GoCompare – Can they come back?

GoCompare was one of the biggest sites ever to be hit with what experts are calling a “link buying penalty”. I’m interested to see whether it’s possible for them to regain their rankings once the alleged paid links are removed.

The number of links to the GoCompare website appears to have dropped sharply in the last few weeks and from a cursory look their link profile appears to be quite clean, certainly much cleaner than most other top ranking car insurance sites.

Once the paid links have all been removed they will no doubt submit a reconsideration request and explain that they were ill advised by a spammy SEO company (they will probably be asked to name the company so now is not a good time to be featured on their “Clients” page). Assuming Google can’t see any remaining paid links there is no reason at all for the penalty to remain in place, except as a deterrent to future link buyers.

What do you think, can a site come back from this? My bet is that it can and that the penalty will be removed.

Dave Naylor thinks that paid links are more dangerous than ever but if you can get a penalty, clean up your act and be ranking again inside a few months does that make it a risk worth taking?

By Patrick Altoft. at 4:00AM on Thursday, 20 Mar 2008

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.

comments

  • http://www.technogumption.com Tom Beaton

    Is GoCompare not one of the bigger ones with TV advertising et al?

    • http://www.blogstorm.co.uk Patrick Altoft

      Yes, they are the ones on TV all the time.

  • Creased

    I’d agree with you and say yes – they will be back. Asda was dropped last year for some shady SEO techniques, and has returned to the top 10 (most days!) for terms like ‘car insurance’.

    I think that GoCompare was a decent aggregator, not crammed with adverts and banners like MoneySupermarket – its a shame that they resorted to awful pay-per-post links.

    • http://www.blogstorm.co.uk Patrick Altoft

      I think that’s the key issue – Gocompare is deserving of a top 5 ranking based on their site and profile in the UK thanks to the TV adverts and media coverage.

      That’s why I was quite surprised to see them go in the first place.

  • Creased

    Indeed – on this subject it looks like Best Deal Insurance has been penalised. They were high-riders for car and home insurance (#1 for the latter), but seem to have been dumped in the mid 40s.

    I might be wrong and my DC might be playing up – but if you look at their suspect text-based banners on extremely irrelevant websites you might think they deserve it!

  • Creased

    Looks like they are back! Top 5 for car insurance – and top for brand terms. That didn’t take long.

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  • http://www.arawon.com somchai

    My website article website was banded by google 2 month ago. I don’t know what wrong with it and I asked google but there are no response. Then I clean all my website and I tern my web to wordpress blog that maybe make google reindex my web but still deindex now. In yahoo, my website is not deindex and I still get more index. My website is not like gocompare that they reindex after they clean all paid links. Anybody has idea to reindex in google please share.