Last week, it was confirmed that Thumbtack – previously backed by Google Capital – was hit with a manual action for having unnatural links. However, only a week later the penalty has been dropped, leading people to speculate that Google may be giving the company preferential treatment.
Thumbtack had “unnatural links” to their site, which led to a manual action that caused “a huge decline in Google referrals, ultimately impacting the leads that professionals in their network are receiving”, as reported in Search Engine Land.
The penalty allegedly occurred because of a post suggesting that Thumbtack paid for links, which they denied, saying that “We have always strived to work within Google’s guidelines”.
However, numerous people have reported Thumbtack asking for links to sections of their website in exchange for progress points. Which counts as buying links.
Once hit with the penalty, Thumbtack apparently saw a drop in rankings, with numerous users voicing the issue on Twitter.
In response to this, Thumbtack emailed all of their businesses asking for the link to be removed or nofollowed. This may seem a little weak, and it appears that they did not disavow any links or take any other additional measures to remove the links.
Nevertheless, however, a week after the penalty was issued, Thumbtack are back in their original position.
Their bounce back to the same position implies that nothing more than the email asking for removal of the link was done, which to some implies that Google has let them off lightly. Additionally, manual penalties usually take weeks or months to recover from, but this happened in less than a week. Is this more evidence Google treat Thumbtack differently? Many SEOs seem to think so.
If you would like more information, or advice from a search engine optimisation company, talk to someone at Search Marketing Group today.