Is Google Watching You?

dog watchingI’m probably just super-paranoid, but some times I feel like Google is watching my every move and removing opportunities that would be available to someone who didn’t publicly admit they were an SEO.

Prior to the last PageRank update I felt it was appropriate to submit this blog to a few quality web directories. Before submitting, I qualified these directories based on a number of factors. One factor of course was how much PageRank was displayed when viewing the category I was submitting too. In this case they had a PageRank 0, 3 and 4.

The first one was a newly discovered directory that allowed free blog submissions, and the following two were directories I regularly recommend and that have been around for a very long time.

After I submitted my blog to the first one for free, I noticed Matt Cutt’s blog was the very next approved submission. Now Google is no longer caching the page I’m listed on. The category I submitted to in second and third directories used to have visible PageRank, but as of the last PageRank update those categories now show a PageRank of zero too. However, the PageRank of their home pages went up.

During that time, another free resource I’m always able to squeeze out a PageRank three company profile for my client and personal websites is also now showing PageRank zero for all company profiles listed in the same PageRank 5 category my company is listed in. I’m certain they should all have a PageRank 3.

Also, I took on a new client during this time and submitted him to two of these quality directories. Beforehand, the categories I submitted him to had a PageRank 3, PageRank zero, and were cached by Google. Now neither one of them are cached, and both show a PageRank zero.

Coincidence or manual edit?

I’m probably just being paranoid because I haven’t done anything “wrong”, but it sure has me wondering if I should stop using so many of Google’s free tools.

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  • April 20th, 2010 at 9:45 am Rimpe said:

    I have been paranoid a few times ago about this subject and I deleted a lot of my sites from Google free tools. I dont use analytics, webmaster tools, adwords and adsense for the some of my websites. Its not good but how can I do :)

  • April 20th, 2010 at 9:50 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Hi Rimpe!

    Yeah, it kinda sucks because Google does have a lot of great free tools.

  • April 20th, 2010 at 12:03 pm ChrisCD said:

    I think you may be too paranoid, but I may not be paranoid enough. :O)

    My feeling is that Google wants to show good results. So even if they are able to see what your clients are “doing” vs. other site, if the content is quality, they will want people to see it.

    I use their tools, because they just make my life a little easier. I haven’t noticed a “penalty” for doing so.

    cd :O)

  • April 20th, 2010 at 12:14 pm Ajay said:

    It might not be 100% paranoia, you might be correct in accusing Google for spying.

    I’ve personally expereienced similar problem with Google.

    For using Google tools you can’t avoid them, they offer some great features.

    I’m also support the “Manual Edit” theory.

  • April 20th, 2010 at 12:44 pm Wesley LeFebvre said:

    @ChrisCD – Yeah, I’m sure it’s just paranoia. I haven’t noticed any of mine or my client websites being directly penalized – there really is no reason to.

    @Ajay – I didn’t necessary accuse Google of spying, but it sure makes me wonder. :)

  • May 19th, 2010 at 7:11 am Bruce said:

    I think you may be too paranoid, but I may not be paranoid enough. :O)

    My feeling is that Google wants to show good results. So even if they are able to see what your clients are “doing” vs. other site, if the content is quality, they will want people to see it.

    I use their tools, because they just make my life a little easier. I haven’t noticed a “penalty” for doing so.

    cd :O)

  • May 21st, 2010 at 12:29 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    I’ve always been a little bit on the paranoid side. :? )

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