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Sandboxing Your Competition
Seems like a very solid strategy for keeping out competition
bears5122




msg:774306
 3:46 pm on Apr 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

As many of us have started to notice, sites are typically thrown in the sandbox when they are new, and have shown a sharp increase in links from the on-set.

Now wouldn't it be in your best interest to sandbox your competition? You see a new site throwing up some PPC ads in your space, you immediately give them a few run-of-site links from some other sites you run and watch them get sandboxed.

Maybe unethical, but seemingly a solid approach for anyone in a competitive industry.

 

Elixir




msg:774307
 1:24 am on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh Bear stop it....What you say is true it just does'nt bear thinking about. The ROS links have been bad news for a long time now I just think nobody believed it. Give me your URL and I will give it a shot!

Chndru




msg:774308
 1:34 am on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

And your thinking that Google hasn't thought about it, is rather naive.

seoArt




msg:774309
 1:41 am on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

New sites without all those links aren't going to rank for anything competitive anyway.

McMohan




msg:774310
 6:19 am on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

bears, I don't see the need to do it in the first place :)

If they try and be agressive to rank, they will be sandboxed.

If they are not, they won't rank.

Eitherway you are safe.

ciml




msg:774311
 12:51 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

> a solid approach

It's an approach that is just as likely to help the competitor as it is to harm it, in my opinion.

artdog




msg:774312
 2:01 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

If it's unethical how can it be a solid approach?

Liane




msg:774313
 2:07 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

... Sigh :(

talismon




msg:774314
 2:32 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

We have some ROS links and they work pretty well for us. We have a link in the footer and there is only what other OBL in the footer. I can understand how 30-40 links to different sites could be frowned upon but not all ROS links are bad. Do you think Google is penalizing sites with ROS links?

Elixir




msg:774315
 3:16 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Talismon, sticky me and I will explain to you why ROS are very bad indeed. We had one from a very large client site as a footer also. It was not for passing PR it was to advertise us. Thankfully we removed it before the hammer dropped. Google openly stated a number of times at the last SES that you should not buy ROS with the intention of gaming Google and passing PR I just dont think anybody believed them. One very agressive black hat SEO thought it was funny that Google could or would penalize a site for ROS. They were wrong. If you are buying an ROS for advertising then make sure it has a no follow on it and that it is not going to get picked up as a backward links.

MrSpeed




msg:774316
 3:23 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

What does ROS stand for?
<edit>
Never mind.....run of site

</edit>

BillyS




msg:774317
 3:35 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a lot of respect for Brett, he's been doing WebmasterWorld since 1997. Did you ever notice the links at the bottom of each and every page on this site?

Apparently he doesn't think it will hurt Westhost or BestBBS. Or is Brett simply lazy? My money is on the former suggestion.

bears5122




msg:774318
 3:45 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do you think Google is penalizing sites with ROS links?

In my opinion they are. If you think about it, there are very few legitimate reasons to have a run of site link with competitive anchor text. However, I don't feel they are penalizing run of sites that don't have competitive keywords in it. My suggestion for web designers who want to advertise their business, use your URL or company name.

My evidence are the sites I run on my own. I dropped a couple ROS links I had, and actually moved up the following month on a couple sites. I've had sites do very well and not be sandboxed for months, only to have them get thrown in after I put a ROS link somewhere.

I think ROS links is the easiest way for Google to determine if your site is trying to game the system.

bears5122




msg:774319
 3:47 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a lot of respect for Brett, he's been doing WebmasterWorld since 1997. Did you ever notice the links at the bottom of each and every page on this site?
Apparently he doesn't think it will hurt Westhost or BestBBS. Or is Brett simply lazy? My money is on the former suggestion.

Those aren't competitive terms. If he was naming the link "web hosting", it probably wouldn't do any good. I truly believe Google categorizes links by commercial or non-commercial.

talismon




msg:774320
 7:36 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wonder how they would penalize a site with anchor text link on an ROS network. If they drop you dname on major keywords but keep interior pages indexed, which I have seen happen. Is this a sort of filter or a manual penalty placed on the site? IMO is must be manual.

decaff




msg:774321
 9:34 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh Man...someone needs to take their medication:

"Now wouldn't it be in your best interest to sandbox your competition? You see a new site throwing up some PPC ads in your space, you immediately give them a few run-of-site links from some other sites you run and watch them get sandboxed."

You can't sandbox a site running PPC ads....this is a separate issue from the natural listings...(where sites can be sandboxed)...

Best approach...is to continue to strengthen your position by continually creating new content...and seeking out REAL link opportunities...that FIRST serve your visitors then get quantified by the algo (eventually)...

Rollo




msg:774322
 9:58 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

No, no way to sandbox a competator by putting sitewide links to thier site up. That's crazy talk. More likely you'll be the one who gets hit. More likely still, he'll get a slight boost. And most likely of all, nothing special will happen.

Well, if the sitewide links were really 302 redirects... you'd see some action, but not the kind of action that I'd want.

ROS is a derivative of ROP which means Run of Press, which (in print) means one ad, but the publisher gets to determine where it goes (i.e. in the leftover space). That's why ROP ads are the cheapest.

Since space online is not limited, I guess they're using the term to mean sitewide link cause it sounds cool and God forbid an i-term with out a hip abbreviation. I still think it's a bit misapplied, but oh well...

[edited by: Rollo at 10:34 pm (utc) on April 15, 2005]

bears5122




msg:774323
 10:12 pm on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

You can't sandbox a site running PPC ads....this is a separate issue from the natural listings...(where sites can be sandboxed)...

My mention of PPC was simply meant as seeing that a new competitor has entered the space.

I've seen sites break the sandbox, and almost all have the same things in common. Few strong, authority links, and that's it. No run of site links, no 5,000 backlinks from a link network. From the sites that are sandboxed, you typically see someone who has brought in a lot of links fast.

energylevel




msg:774324
 12:35 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Has anyone evidence to suggest a site will be penalised for ROS inbound links, I'd suggest it's not a penalty but actually the benefits are pretty much ignored beyond the first link.

People who had been previously benefiting from ROS inbounds would obviously see a drop in their rank ( less benefit) and call it a penalty, personally I've not seen a site thats acquired ROS links get penalised as a result.

seoArt




msg:774325
 4:19 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

nm

Liane




msg:774326
 4:29 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

From the sites that are sandboxed, you typically see someone who has brought in a lot of links fast.

And if I were the site owner you were trying to sandbox, I would report your efforts to have me sandboxed in a heartbeat.

What makes you think you can hurt my site? Give me a break! Think before you speak. This is such an obvious tactic that the Google alarms would go off instantly. As a website owner, (in a dog eat dog market) so would mine!

I would report you the minute I saw this sort of garbage taking place. The first one or two referrals would be enough for me to investigate and there are bound to be referrals. You can't control what your visitors do!

Searg




msg:774327
 5:26 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

You know Bears... I have to say it's people in seo like you with your "Trash my competition" analogies that drives a lot of us crazy. What your basicly saying is "I do not have the skill to honestly take my site to the top so I need to think of any way I can to sabotage my competition". Thank God my sites have dominated thier position for some time and I do get beat out here and there but if someone beats us...so be it. We're honest and so is my competition...in other words, may the best seo win...and thank heavens it seems the majority of people here feel the same.

Now, back to my link farm posting..what was your url again Bears? ;-)

steveb




msg:774328
 6:16 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

"there are very few legitimate reasons to have a run of site link with competitive anchor text."

These sorts of links occur naturally most of the time, regardless of how "competitive" the site being linked to is named. I just can't believe how people tie themselves up in knots to conjur up and attribute all sorts illogical behavior to search engines.

Yahoo Sports and Google News, to name two, have many run of the site links, with very competitive keywords in the 99.9% exact same anchor text, and there is nothing wrong with this, and more to the point it is quite an illogical leap to suggest that such linking is "illegitimate".

Natashka




msg:774329
 6:38 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

absolutely agree with steve, sometimes people place ROS without even thinking about Google, PR and serps. One of my high PR sites has a ROS links to a high PR competitor's site in the footer, and vice versa. We did it on the mutual agreement, without giving a damn about what Google may think about it, with the only purpose to send traffic to each other. The links stay like this for a year already, none of us were penalized and the traffic we send to each other is sometimes almost the same as the one from Google itself.

Liane, you said you would report it immediately. Just curious, where and how do you report it? I once tried to report the offending site to Google (it was not ROS links, but anyway, smth close), and I couldn't figure out how and where. I didn't find any form for that purpose and all my emails to them bounced back with suggestions to use their forms. How do you go about reporting this?

MHes




msg:774330
 7:33 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

>none of us were penalized and the traffic we send to each other is sometimes almost the same as the one from Google itself.

Yup, that would be right, hardly any traffic from google then?

bears5122




msg:774331
 7:40 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

And if I were the site owner you were trying to sandbox, I would report your efforts to have me sandboxed in a heartbeat.

What makes you think you can hurt my site? Give me a break! Think before you speak. This is such an obvious tactic that the Google alarms would go off instantly. As a website owner, (in a dog eat dog market) so would mine!

I'm sure your requests to Google for them to un-sandbox your site will go through. Especially since they won't admit there is a sandbox, nor do they typically care anymore about webmasters complaints. Not to mention, there is no law against linking to a site.

I think you took my post too serious, as I was merely playing the devil's advocate, and pointing out a potential serious situation. What could SEO turn into if it is found that inbound links can hurt your site?

Of course there will be debate as to whether inbound links can hurt a site. My belief, after seeing the factors that have triggered the sandbox and other penalties, reading through the Google patent, and analyzing posts/comments made by some of the leaders in the industry, is that inbound links can hurt you. That one of the triggers of sandboxing a site is the unnatural acquisition of links.

I don't believe in the technique, nor would I have the time or care to do so. But someone will, and we'll be seeing "Someone gave me 15,000 backlinks" posts as much as we see the "Someone is hijacking my rankings" someday. We've seen how well Google has handled those problems.

MHes




msg:774332
 2:20 pm on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

>That one of the triggers of sandboxing a site is the unnatural acquisition of links.

I think only if you recipricate. You cannot avoid being listed by others, especially if you quickly get into 'back fill' for directory affiliate sites.

idolw




msg:774333
 7:03 pm on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

there is no point to do so.

establishing a new site is expensive enough.
why shall you block your competitor instead of improving your site and services for your visitors' advantage?

it would be more interesting what happens to an established site if you start promotion for completely different keywords.
have anyone tried that?

buying an old domain with some little IBLs and setting a new business on it promoting it for sth new would be a way out. not all old domains are so expensive, are they?

cheers

energylevel




msg:774334
 7:33 pm on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Im think Google will be or maybe already have implemented whois information to detect changes in ownership of domains into their algo, so change of domain ownership could posibly be treated the same as a new domain/site .....

steveb




msg:774335
 8:44 pm on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

"That one of the triggers of sandboxing a site is the unnatural acquisition of links."

This is backwards, as unnatural acquisition of links is the most common way to get around the sandbox. On the other hand, sites that acquire links naturally are the exact target of the sandbox.

This 66 message thread spans 3 pages: 66 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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