I think there are enough published posts about the last saga of how Google is penalising itself but I thought I’d wade in too, since my readership is about 6, it doesn’t really matter anyway.
To cut a long story short, Google caught itself cloaking and has removed some of its pages from the index as a “sign of good faith” to webmasters that it has consistency with its guidelines. However, I don’t believe that this was the correct method of corrective action from either a users or PR perspective. Here’s why:
1. Google users need help pages and by removing them from the index the the user experience declines for many regular users.
2. Removing it’s OWN pages from it’s OWN index is contrived and anyone with half a braincell can see this. I feel slightly insulted to be honest.
I think what would’ve been a better course of action would have been to issue an apology and to say that these things can happen and that they would be giving a little more consideration to websites before they penalise them.
Google now have a bit of a PR disaster on their hands and their trust with webmasters has yet again been slight eroded, especially since they found even more pages which were being cloaked and were violating the webmaster guidelines but are refusing to remove them from the index.
I don’t dislike Google for making a mistake, However, I dislike being patronised. Immensely.