How Long Does a Google Penalty for Bad Links Last?

by rishil on March 22, 2011

Not long if you are owned by Google.

Guess who is back in the SERPs with a vengence?I wrote about Beat that Quote and started ranking for it, in fact, I was at position 1 until today morning (they were penalised for shady SEO only a couple of weeks ago).

Jump To: Quick Answer! ===>

Now lets see what google has given them:

Click for full screenshot

Click for full screenshot

Only Two weeks if You are Google!

7 Listings for Brand? That is Bullshit.

I havent had a chance to look at their KWs, but at first glance, they are on page two for most important ones in the Insurance industry.

Drop your comments and frustrations in the comments :P

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Rishi Lakhani is an independent Online Marketing Consultant specialising in SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media. Explicitly.Me is his Blog. Google Profile

{ 4 trackbacks }

Beat That Quote Penalty Lifted After Only Two Weeks | SearchTalk
March 22, 2011 at 10:23 am
Two Weeks Later, Google Lifts Ban On BeatThatQuote
March 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm
Beat That Quote - er, I mean Ranking! | Hobo
March 23, 2011 at 8:47 pm
Nine Ways to be a Competitive SEO
September 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

LordManley March 22, 2011 at 9:41 am

Hardly a shock though, eh?


Prachi D March 22, 2011 at 9:49 am

So the formula is
-Use BH SEO techniques,
-Get ranked and grow a bit
-Get bought over by Google
-Get penalised for few days
-Then rule the SERPs

Not easy for everyone…specially the ones who work with small to medium scale businesses like I do, still believe in good content, good products etc etc….


Mark Hodson March 22, 2011 at 9:57 am

I wonder how long Google will keep showing real-time results for [beat that quote] now that angry Tweets have taken over the no1 spot?


Peter Young March 22, 2011 at 10:11 am

Surely not a surprise Rishi – after all they have spent £37 Million on something that has started off as a complete PR nightmare – so much for due diligence.

Be interesting to see how much they clear up their link profile – or whether it just gets left as is in which case Big G’s guidelines are going to look very very shallow….


Usman Patel March 22, 2011 at 10:25 am

2 bloody weeks!! Very quick turnaround indeed!!

Ironically, a search for “moneysupermarket” via Google also lists 7 brand related searches all of which key product landing pages, very much the same for Beatthatquote as well.

Kudos in getting your page to number one for brand term, just proves the power of social factors (you already knew that anyway) ;-)


ITsmarite March 22, 2011 at 10:29 am

this kind of sucks one rule for google and another for everyone else. small businesses will never be able to compete, and why would google clean up their link profile bet they just keep it as it is


Sam March 22, 2011 at 11:14 am

Hey Mate,

Great spot as always! Don’t want to spam up your blog and drop links in the comments but if anyone (yourself included) is looking at the data we’ve got that shows their other penalties (non-brand) have been lifted feel free to click the name. We’ve been tracking some generics in their space for a couple of years now and looks like the penalty has been dropped across the ball.

We wouldn’t have thought to look into it were it not for your post so great work! Seems a bit fishy though that such a pervasive penalty could be lifted so quickly. I would absolutely love for someone (perhaps I’ll do it if I find time) to crawl their links and see if they removed any of the “suspicious” ones from earlier or whether this was truly a slap on the wrist and a “please don’t do it anymore”.

Thanks for your insights as always!


iDCx March 22, 2011 at 11:28 am

mmmm nice find Rishil,

Google loves its own perpetuation. check out – no customer links inside – hardly any content but full of ad sense – yet ranks. growing a few of my own sites atm – shady sites, one page of content but ad sense in the site bars – 2nd place on some cool keywords…

well even though it is frustrating that they’re back, its their train set and not ours – i guess it depends on why they got banned or even if they did get banned and it wasn’t google that removed it themselves – i recently had a client site that was down for maintainence and now ranks higher than it did beofre – no changes, but it got indexed whilst down (with no 503) and now – boom back in in a few positions higher

2 weeks is a long time – i dread to think how much they lost in that down time.

Worth doing some digging maybe.

Thanks for the alert yea


Jordan Russell March 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Wasn’t the penalty for BMW was esimilarly short? Though it wasn’t due to spammy links obviously.


Diyan March 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Nice following this up Rishil. So not only they are back but they still get some nice suggestions.

When you search for “beat that quote”, without space at the end, you get a suggestion “beat that quote car insurance”.

That’s not the case for its competitors since mid Feb 2011, as you established in your blog post. They get only “brand name insurance” as a suggestion.

nice one Google, NOT!


Nick March 24, 2011 at 9:44 am

Seems they have been penalised again?! Right now they are not ranking for Beat That Quote.


WB March 25, 2011 at 3:34 am

Yes – G-Slap is back on. Nothing…..more than

price comparison site 55
uk price comparison site 55
uk price comparison sites 60
home phone 66

……………………………………………..for now.


Gavin Smith March 25, 2011 at 9:11 am

Yup not showing for its own name again.

This is some strange behaviuor from the algorythm, Banned, back in and Banned again within the space of a few weeks.


Burner December 16, 2011 at 3:51 am

Here we go again, special privileges for Google which affects smaller businesses. Google is more likely to keep their link profile as it is.


td January 9, 2012 at 7:54 am

Google is a law unto itself. But then again: why should they care, as they call the shots?


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