QUOTE(cazint @ May 8 2006, 11:20 AM)
Namely, when this happened, NONE of the other top 20 sites, ABSOLUTELY NONE of the other sites changed positions.
Well, at least one other site had to change positions... I've never seen a "vacant" #1 position in a SERP before, so this page had to displace somebody in order to get there.
So, what you're saying is the relative
positions of the others didn't change? i.e. #1 dropped down to #2, the old #2 dropped to #3 and so forth until you get down to #7 dropping into the "hole" created at #8 by the other site moving up, and then everybody else stayed exactly the same?
Or did the old #1 drop totally off the map and the lower-listed pages moved up to fill in the "hole" at #8? Or did the old #1 just swap places with the old #8?
Point is, as MM pointed out, changes don't happen in a vacuum. When one page changes position, at least one other has
to change as well, and you can't always be certain you're looking at the right end of the equation to know which one it was that initiated the change and which one is just along for the ride (or whether they both had something to do with it).
Not that I'm disagreeing with your assessment of the situation. I think it's probably likely that those links did have something to do with the other site moving up.
And yes, there are probably quite a few people here who would agree Google shouldn't "count" purchased links such as those toward their organic results. But since we don't own Google, and -- last I checked -- few of us get consulted in advance on policy issues by the folks at the 'Plex, and near as I can tell nobody here's responsible for writing the Google algo (at least, not among the active posters
), unfortunately there's not much we can do about it in any practical sense.
Glad you feel better after venting, though.