Not losing sleep over google

keep-calm-and-don-t-click-that-linkGood grief. Just received a very pleasant email from the good folk at Intus Healthcare, who supply me with CPAP equipment for my sleep apneoa.

Turns out that Google are hassling them over a link I have in my blog sidebar. They interpret the links as advertising spam because they appear on EVERY page of my blog and the website is not about sleep apneoa.

Well pardon me, Google. The whole point of the sidebar in my blog is that it appears on every page – this is not uncommon in WordPress blogs. Although my blog is not all about apneoa, there are at least 10 posts about my personal experience with the condition, usefully linked by the “CPAP” tag. So a link to the supplier of my CPAP kit – kit that is so much a part of my life that I sleep with it – is pretty much damned relevant.

But of course, such logic doesn’t apply to the world of crawlers, metrics and analytics.

As I really don’t want Intus to suffer, I have taken their link down, at least for now. But it grates on me that Google can try to dictate what useful information and links I have on my own site.


  1. Tom Reader
    December 18, 2015

    That’s disappointing. I thought the whole point of a blog (some blogs, anyway) was that we could write what we wanted about anything, link to other sites, and Google would have the sense to decide which links count as genuine ‘up votes’ and which to ignore. Seems the whole SEO industry [hawk, spit] has forced Google to worry that some links are actually negative, i.e. worse than no link at all.

    That’s pretty silly. Apart from anything else, it seems to provide a way to damage (accidentally or deliberately) someone else’s ranking, through no fault of their own?

    Sigh – OK, well I’ve removed the link from my blog, where I’d recommended a product of someone else’s – like yours, the link to the article appears on every page of my blog, and if they’re treating that as spam it’ll have to go.

  2. chris
    December 18, 2015

    One way around it seems to be to have a link to an internal page – “Links about XXXXX” – on which you list all the links about that subject.

    But then you either use robots or nofollow to stop Google looking at the second page.

    But I don’t see why we should jump through hoops like that for google.

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