Some webmasters are rejoicing today after Google admitted it had accidentally given certain websites a penalty that moved them from first place to sixth place in its rankings.

Most people in the industry have been aware of the issue for a couple of months and some have been able to make some changes to move sites back to number one on their own.

In the past, Google denied that the penalty existed but it has now admitted that a glitch in the algorithm could cause such behaviour.

Google has tried to work with webmasters and, to their credit, admitted the mistake and worked to rectify things in a timely manner.

Glitches in the algorithm such as this one help webmasters examine the intent of the engineers behind the system.

What were they trying to do with this new bit of code that caused the problem?

It is likely they were looking at ways of reducing the weight of artificial link building and on page SEO factors.

A lot of sites that received the filter were highly targeting one particular keyword and had been at number one for several years.

Use this as a wake up call to make your campaign more natural.

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Published 30 January, 2008 by Patrick Altoft

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