We all know that Google is a powerhouse, but in the past they have been a fairly reasonable one. For all the brawn they possess, they let people get away with a lot of activities that are probably technically infractions. This is what makes it so shocking when they truly bring their guns to bear. It’s their right though, and their newest issued penalty may have enormous repercussions on everything from local SEO to international SEO.
Raven Tools, provider of metrics and management tools for SEO and social media, has announced that they are being forced to stop providing their wildly popular rank checking tool. The reason given is that they failed to pass Google’s annual AdWords audit. Similar things have happened to other rankings providers such as SEOMoz and Market Samurai.
What does this mean going forward? Apparently Google is going to start cracking down on people who are scraping data. If they get caught or cross whatever invisible threshold Google has assigned, they’ll have their AdWords API access revoked.
The real question is whether Google is simply trying to ease the load on data centers, or if they are purposefully trying to strike a blow at SEO providers. Everyone in the SEO industry is at Google’s mercy to a degree, and if they want to stem the flow of data, that could mean major changes for both providers and clients. There isn’t too much to worry about yet, and there are always others ways of getting information, but Google is unapologetically using its power here.
Apparently, that thin red (blue, yellow, and green) line that every SEO has to walk just got a little thinner.