Google backs out of the position 6 penalty
Three weeks ago, we informed you about Google's new position
6 penalty. At this time, it was unclear why Google
assigned this penalty to some websites.
The theories were that Google considered usage data when
calculating the rankings and that Google had a better understanding
of word and phrase relationships.
Was this just a bug in Google's algorithm?
In a discussion about this problem, Google's Matt Cutts
recently wrote the
"When Barry asked me about 'position 6' in late December,
I said that I didn't know of anything that would cause
that. But about a week or so after that, my attention
was brought to something that could exhibit that behavior.
We're in the process of changing the behavior; I think
the change is live at some datacenters already and will
be live at most data centers in the next few weeks."
This statement means two things:
- It seems that Google made a mistake that sent many
position 1 rankings to position 6.
- Google has released a patch for this.
Indeed, many webmasters who experienced problems with
the position 6 penalty reported that their rankings are
now as good as before.
What was Google trying to do?
Even if Google says that the position 6 penalty was not
intended, it is clear that Google tried to do something
with the results.
What was it and will Google continue to do this without
the unwanted position 6 effect?
The changes might have something to do with Google's increased
integration of Universal Search in the results. In addition
to the normal 10 web page results, Google now often returns
results from Google Images, Google Maps, Google News or
other Google services.
The way Google integrates Universal Search results into
the normal search results changed during the last weeks.
These changes also might have caused the temporary position
If your website has been affected by the position 6 penalty
you can relax. Your web pages should have regained their
high positions by now.
If your website doesn't have top 10 rankings on Google yet,
you should take a look at IBP's top 10 optimizer. The top
10 optimizer will help you to get top
10 positions for keywords that are really relevant for your