GoodRelations - The Web Vocabulary for E-Commerce

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GoodRelations is a standardized vocabulary for product, price, and company data that can (1) be embedded into existing static and dynamic Web pages and that (2) can be processed by other computers. This increases the visibility of your products and services in the latest generation of search engines, recommender systems, and other novel applications.

[goodrelations] Overstock Google penalty thread

Aaron Bradley aaranged at
Fri Feb 25 16:34:16 CET 2011

I can verify that Google's penalty against Overstock is unrelated to its use of

Overstock was penalized for its purchasing of links (and, apparently, another
violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines that has yet not been disclosed, but
is according to sources another standard and established spamming technique).

That the links in question were chiefly from .edu sites (particularly effective
in passing PageRank to a target site) is interesting but irrelevant. Google's
Webmaster Guidelines forbid the selling or purchasing of links to pass PageRank,
regardless of source.

Just for clarification, Martin, while only 0.0001% may have been targets of
purchased links, Google's penalties for such violations (if and when detected)
tend to be meted out at a section, subdomain or domain level: when discovered
buying links, Google depresses rankings at a broader level than that of the
relevant pages. This is not an "overshooting" by Google - think of this a
punishment rather than a "correction." In extreme cases of Guidelines
violations Google may remove a site from its index altogether. However, again,
any rankings drop you may observe for any Overstock page is unrelated to it's
use of RDF triples or GoodRelations.

Further reading:

In a related note, I have discussed with colleagues in both the SEO and semantic
web fields the possibility of structured data being leveraged for spam, but as
far as I know it hasn't happened yet:
In any case, in the context of enterprise search, Google and other engines do
not take any data at face value, but filter it for spam, and use a multitude of
factors when assigning ranking to a resource. This is why you may not see your
products being returned as rich snippets in search results, even if you have
product pages marked in in RDFa, GoodRelations or hProduct.

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