It’s been a while since there’s been much complaint about Google’s recent search algorithm adjustments. But now that the search giant has reinvigorated its Panda update (the content farm crackdown) for international reach, many of the same issues (and same sites) have once again been subjected to a traffic nosedive. One of the punished domains was Overstock.com, which was specifically singled out by Google after the company had attempted to improve its SEO rankings with somewhat dubious methods. Overstock, a discount retailer, had been encouraging academic sites to link out to it for student discounts on books, and since Google gives higher credibility to .org and .edu domains, Overstock’s search ranking improved.
Google took notice, and Overstock announced it would make the necessary changes to win back its favor. No dice: Its search ranking did not bounce back, and the Panda update likely did not help. But now the tide has turned and Google has returned Overstock to its former SEO glory. The site announced today that “the search engine penalty enforced on [it] by Google in late February has been lifted.”
Good thing for the site. As a result of being blacklisted by Google, traffic accordingly dropped and negatively impacted sales – a complaint various legitimate sites have had since Google’s update. When Panda was originally implemented in late February, it was quickly obvious that some less than exemplary sites benefitted and some high-quality content was punished. And this second wave of the supposed content farm fix has had similar results. Hopefully Overstock won’t be the only one released from Google’s penalty box.