MoneyExpert dropped from Google for credit card spamming

MoneyExpert.com have been dropped from Google for the term [credit cards]. They have held the top spot for some time, partly by purchasing links from blogs such as:
www.rusplaneta.com, www.wutang-corp.com, www.diggeek.com, www.firingsquad.com, www.ocia.net and hundreds of others, all with the anchor text of credit cards.

Google have finally taken notice….

{ 19 comments }

PPCblogger October 29, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Heard the rumour. Naughty naughty.

It’s not a site wide thing, some big terms have been nuked but they still rank for some other very competitive terms/brand.

Tron October 29, 2008 at 4:41 pm

This is a strange one – still hold top position for a number of terms; “Loans” for example.

In other areas Money Extra have come from nowhere; “Credit Cards” for example, with 2mmm links. Is there something going on with MoneyExtra and MoneyExpert? ;o)

Henry October 29, 2008 at 7:26 pm

They still seem to be doing well on most of the other terms that I moniter. We will have to see how it pans out.

I reckon a couple of months in the wilderness for a couple of terms and then back in the top ten after a few of there backlinks have been devalued.

Is anyone that it is a penalty.

Paul October 30, 2008 at 2:20 pm

They’ve gone to 60ish for ‘car insurance’ to from around position 5 last week.

Perhaps a few of their digital point sites were nuked, affecting a few million of their back-links.

Alternatively, it could be down to some of the

@Tron – As you know MoneyExtra use exactly the same black hat SEO link building (spamming) techniques as MoneyExpert – so we know it’s nothing to do with Digital Point not working anymore (unfortunately).

Could be the cloaking they had on the insurance page – not sure if they did this on credit cards too, but they definitely had some sneaky redirects going on when you clicked through from the Google SERPs.

PPCblogger October 30, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Yeh they were redirecting based on refferer on the higher level insurance page to the car insurance landing page.

Around 10 sites I know using the DP network still rank fine. So, it’s certainly not network wide.

Might be just some sites in the network being taken out as Paul mentions. You’d think if it was a manual penalisation specifically of the site it would be for more/all of the site.

Harry October 30, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Sounds like the usual story – the Big G is trying to scare the link buyers without actually affecting their SERPs too drastically.

If they did a network wide nuke of DP or de-listed all those who bought links, they’d be huge PR, loss in trust of the SERPs and no brand name delivered to the results page for customers to interact with.

Money Expert will be back in a few weeks, maybe with a slight penalty.

Baby Clothing October 31, 2008 at 4:39 pm

It’s about time Google started penalising some of these big site for using techniques that are not complying with “google guidelines”. I realise in many cases it can be difficult to determine which links are paid for and which are not, but something needs to be done because it is strictly against Google guidelines…

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35769#3

Teddy November 1, 2008 at 11:30 pm

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or when the doer of deeds could of done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly….who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst if he fails whilst daring greatly – so that his place shall never be with those cold and TIMID souls who know neither victory or defeat.

Paul November 3, 2008 at 10:24 am

Well said.

“White-hat Optimisation” is an oxymoron.

Lee November 3, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Anyone notice that GoCompare has also dropped for “car insurance” to page 4?

BTW, any recommendations for seo companies which could help get a penalty removed, where even a search for the company name is on page 4?

insurance blogger November 14, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Hi,
nice article – interesting comments.

As someone who used to dominate the search term ‘car insurance’ (four years ago) on all the top three SE’s by linking (not link spam as every link was from a site on theme) and buying links etc and who RM at moneysupermarket and all the others that copied me…..until I overcooked it on google and got ‘nuked’ …..

I’d like to point out that:
Yes there is no such thing as ‘white hat’.

When you get so big it doesn’t matter what you do you won’t ever get nuked if you get backlinks from authority sites like the BBc, telegraph, times etc etc..

long live the blackhatcats

Henry November 17, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Looks like they are back.

That didn’t last long.

Harry November 17, 2008 at 5:05 pm

But they’ve disappeared for [car insurance]!!

Peter November 17, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Hi,

Great site guys, love reading your posts, even if they have dried up recently!

Anyone have recommendations for uk seo companies which can help rank for competitive terms? Is there anything i should be looking to ask when choosing one?

Keep up the great work!

Henry November 19, 2008 at 3:38 pm

@peter

If I was you I would ask if they can rank you and what level of risk that would entail. It is important that they are upfront about the fact that if you want to get ranked in competitive industries quickly then it will entail some level of risk.

henry

Peter November 20, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Thanks for that Henry. What do you mean by risk? Could they get the site banned?

George November 21, 2008 at 12:03 am

@Peter, they could definitely get the site banned (here’s looking at you Latitude), penalised (ahem Tamar), link ring exposed (MoneyExpert are still hanging on) or worse – bad PR when right now it’s important that your customers trust you.

clive December 3, 2008 at 12:13 pm

On the subject of SEO – who does reducemyquote.com – is it Tamar or someone else.

They obviously think links on dating and drug sites is a good move:

http://online-encounters.com/
http://www.pillspilot.com/

George December 4, 2008 at 10:15 am

@clive, reducemyquote is all under the Endsleigh brand.

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