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Can Others Hurt Your Rankings - Part zillion...
internetheaven




msg:3616921
 9:27 am on Apr 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

Don't see this with any other search engine. Whereas other SEs will simply ignore any inbounds or content that seems to be dodgy, Google actually damages your rankings if it sees anything untoward.

Currently competitors can damage you in a variety of ways (probably best not to get too specific as you'll give some people ideas) but general things that Google lets your competitors affect your rankings with are:

1. Inbound links from "bad" places.
2. Hundreds of links from one IP address.
3. Duplicate content:
3a) from competitors scraping your entire site and creating their own from it
3b) from competitors stealing your articles and submitting them to article submission services
4. 301/302 redirect hijacking (after all this time it STILL happens!)

and more. There is a new one that is very quick to work using 301's that I daren't put in here but a black hat "associate" of mine said she's dropped quite a few of her client's competitors within days!

Why do you think that Google has this mentality of allowing this war between webmasters? They could simply ignore bad stuff rather than filter sites, such would not create less relevant results.

 

tedster




msg:3617254
 3:37 pm on Apr 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wish I had an answer to this frustration. I do understand that Google is much more of a target than other engines, and their algo is more complex.

But especially with Google's growing army of human evaluators, you would think they could at least flag a checklist of domains whose impressions in the SERPs dropped significantly. They've got patents that mention that kind of metric.

internetheaven




msg:3621598
 9:24 am on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I do understand that Google is much more of a target than other engines

Not a matter of being a target, Google is the only one screaming out penalties that can be tripped by automatic filters which can be tricked by your competition.

MSN and Yahoo seem to use manual penalties only.

5ubliminal




msg:3621629
 10:18 am on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't think strong sites would suffer from negative SEO (too much). Tedster said something on another thread about the immune system and that pretty much sums it all.

When you use BH methods to rank a parasite site (hosted on a strong domain) why won't that domain crumble to the depth of the serps even if you throw tens of thousands of links in over night? Cause it's strong enough.

[edited by: tedster at 4:50 pm (utc) on April 8, 2008]

Hissingsid




msg:3621683
 12:00 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I agree with Internetheaven, sabotage is a serious problem and the more that Google's spam team seems to do the worse it seems to get. The damage doesn't have to be that big to have a massive effect on your site's performance.

In our market even a 3 place drop can ruin your business.

Some things would be easier fixed than others. For example if Google just ignored backlinks that are not whiter than white that would cut out one very easy destructive action that black hat competitors can hit you with.

Or if you could block inbounds that are undesirable then a webmaster would be responsible for checking that they keep clean.

Cheers

Sid

Bewenched




msg:3621694
 12:15 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Dont forget
3. Duplicate content:
3c from sending bogus query strings to your urls
3d getting your site spidered under SSL

I feel your pain and I have lived it.
It's sad that instead of building good content I spend most of my time banning ip ranges of scrapers, bad bots and spammers and filing dmca complaints.

Rlilly




msg:3621707
 12:27 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is not someone going out an buying tons of rich anchor text links, replacing your sites natural listing in the SERPs also a form of sabotage?

Hissingsid




msg:3621754
 1:32 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi,

What these guys are doing is this. Find a disease that will kill someone (sites) on Google and go around deliberately infecting people (sites). And they do it for a fee.

What they are doing is clearly criminal but completely unprovable.

Cheers

Sid

5ubliminal




msg:3621791
 2:39 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

... 301, 302 ... you just can't protect against those without crippling the very functionality of HTTP. It's all within the fabrics of the internet and if all 301, 302 hijacks stopped working many people with permanently / temporary moved pages will suffer bigtimes.

To end this... Google's doing all it can to keep itself within the specs and keep the SEO game going. There's only so much hardware can do and no matter what they change there will always be someone mumbling in the back complaining about his site and rankings.

As Chris Crocker said:

"Leave Google Alone!" ... and get on with the SEO game!

[edited by: tedster at 4:58 pm (utc) on April 8, 2008]

internetheaven




msg:3621844
 3:45 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is not someone going out an buying tons of rich anchor text links, replacing your sites natural listing in the SERPs also a form of sabotage?

That is working hard to increase your ranking.

Translated into brick-and-mortar high street stores ... if you invest in a bigger and brighter sign than me then good for you, that is a tactic to increase your business over mine. If you come over to my business and smash my sign up, I think that is wrong. Referring to vandalism of other people's businesses as "the SEO game" is a reflection on your own mindset, not an actual viable argument.

What they are doing is clearly criminal but completely unprovable.

As stated, if these things were provable (which could only be the case if Google opened its doors a little and shared information which is unlikely to happen) then the black-hats could be sued for everything they have. A judge would not say "well, that's just the way the game is played", a judge would hand you the black-hat's house and car keys.

[edited by: tedster at 4:57 pm (utc) on April 8, 2008]

Rlilly




msg:3621861
 4:19 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

"That is working hard to increase your ranking."

I would disagree, working hard to increase your rankings is developing content and tools folks will link too. Creating a highly usable site for viewer. Not just calling up some rep at a text link brokerage company saying I got 1k a months to spend on anchor links which will essentially be only for the purpose of bumping the sites with the good content down the SERPS and replacing it with yours.

[edited by: tedster at 4:56 pm (utc) on April 8, 2008]

tedster




msg:3621873
 4:27 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Not a matter of being a target, Google is the only one screaming out penalties that can be tripped by automatic filters which can be tricked by your competition.

You've got a point there - perhaps you overstated bit, but still, today's sabotage situation does seem to be a side effect from some of Google's spam prevention approaches. There is a growing market for services that will take out a competitor, and that's a sad thing. It has parallels in some tacky offline business practices, but that doesn't make it palatable.

When Google changed to saying "almost nothing a competitor can do", the writing was already on the wall. Using Google to hurt a competitor was not news to us, even then. The past flood of 302 hijackings, for instance, did not happen by accident ;) just as the proxy hijacks of more recent times were not all innocent.

The problems that others can create through massive links are another thing altogether. Imagine going back some years and hearing that someone would intentionally spend money to build lots of backlinks to their competition. That would have sounded insane!

I'm sure that this current situation is not the effect that Google wants to be creating. They may have a brilliant team, but they also have some very clever opposition.

Beachboy




msg:3621931
 5:22 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Related topic: How about Google allowing webmasters to defend themselves against inbound link manipulation?

[webmasterworld.com...]

night707




msg:3621971
 5:45 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sid, Internetheaven,

i share your observations to the fullest.

Google`s whole approach with PR and links looks meanwhile like total fake with being wide open to manipulators who are making a killing by controlling results with easy to understand methods.

It is a proven fact, that Google now prefers sites with "Hundreds of links from one IP address" and that authority sites get pushed down like never before.

.... There is a new one that is very quick to work using 301's that I daren't put in here but a black hat "associate" of mine said she's dropped quite a few of her client's competitors within days! ....

Google even keeps on paying the biggest $$$ to those sites who violate their TOS the most.

At this moment Google has no competition at all and Internet search belongs to them as much as PCs to Gates and Ballmer.


httpwebwitch




msg:3621978
 5:55 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

There is a new one that is very quick to work using 301's that I daren't put in here but a black hat "associate" of mine said she's dropped quite a few of her client's competitors

When it comes to malicious SEO, we can only defend against aggressors if we understand their tactics. If there's a black hat technique compromising natural SERPs, this is surely the place to divulge it.

Sure, some malicious types might use the information for evil purposes, but it's likely that we can figure out a way to thwart the technique, and bring it to the attention of the non-evil folks at GOOG.

And even if there is no remedy, it is helpful if a webmaster can identify if they've been a victim.

Reno




msg:3621989
 6:09 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

If there's a black hat technique compromising natural SERPs, this is surely the place to divulge it.

I understand the hesitation to put the technique in print -- it would be like publishing the recipe to a deadly poison made from ingredients readily available at any grocery store.

What might work is a special section of WebmasterWorld where anyone could post a blackhat technique that they discovered, but the only people who could read it and make comments are WebmasterWorld moderators like tedster, Brett, et al, plus specially selected reps from Google/Yahoo/Live. The solutions could be brainstormed behind the scenes, then put into place for all of our benefit.

...........................

swa66




msg:3622012
 6:41 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

the bad guys probably know long before you found out.

outland88




msg:3622015
 6:45 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Best original post that I’ve seen in a while. The problem is Google is so secretive its telling nobody anything that would be of any value. I believe Google wants Universal search to be so successful they’re totally ignoring what its doing to many businesses. The ends justify the means. Convince me that webmasters haven’t become more nervous about the mentioned things since the introduction of Universal search,

zuko105




msg:3622028
 7:02 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

301 redirects to the targeted pages/domains from some “bad neighborhood” (e.g. adult sites, link farms, etc.) this could result in the attacked pages being deindexed.

[edited by: tedster at 7:05 pm (utc) on April 8, 2008]

zuko105




msg:3622029
 7:03 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

not saying that I've done this before, but makes sense.

Gotta know your enemy.

drall




msg:3622030
 7:05 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

The new 301 exploit which just came out that I mentioned several weeks ago and in which we and several of our peer sites have fallen victim to is absolutely wicked.

It can destroy your rankings on even the most authorative pr 7-8 websites that are 10 years old. It is becoming more widespread and has taken about 25% of our traffic away. As in the words of our chief security engineer "this is a complete vulnerability on googles end and we can do nothing about it, it is a Google issue".

This is not the old usual 301 hijack, this is a entirely new variant and deadly to every site regardless of age or rank. We already reported it to Googles security and search team. I will not reply to stickies about it with details of the exploit as it is that nasty I do not want it to spread beyond what it already is although it is becoming common knowledge on the blackhat boards.

internetheaven




msg:3622082
 8:19 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

It is a proven fact, that Google now prefers sites with "Hundreds of links from one IP address" and that authority sites get pushed down like never before.

Probably better to phrase that as "Google's algorithm now seems to be set up so that ...", no-one company would actually prefer these lousy results, they just make Goog more money. Many of you seem to be under the impression that Google are evil. I believe Google are idiots, not evil. (yes, I'm calling the billion-dollar-phd-crammed-company idiots and I'm fine with that.) The point is not that these SEOs CAN exploit Google, but that Google is making themselves exploitable.

They just have to ignore stuff, I don't see how penalising equates to better spam control? If they ignore all the practices black-hats get involved in then those sites won't rank. Why have penalties?

netchicken1




msg:3622085
 8:27 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

With dup content is the originator penalized as well? Surely all google has to do is compare its cache, or creation date of the page, to see which site has the original content and not penalize that version.

honestman




msg:3622111
 8:55 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Many have copied content on sites I manage, but Google's algo is smart enough not to reward them as they have no important inbound links. I have not found a search engine as consistent as Google - not even close. Yahoo is not even close and Microsoft has absolutely no clue.

DoingItWell




msg:3622124
 9:08 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

With dup content is the originator penalized as well? Surely all google has to do is compare its cache, or creation date of the page, to see which site has the original content and not penalize that version.

On some of my websites, Google et al arrive considerably slower than the scrapers. I report a sitemap change to Google and Yahoo right after I've put a new page in production, but still the scrapers are there ahead of the SE bots. The only way I know to get Google to show up right away is to put Adsense on the new page and visit it immediately.

ByronM




msg:3622131
 9:20 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Dupe content is a tough one to nail down. In some ways dupe content is inevitable - if you use Spex or ChannelWeb product data that very well means having a standardized "Spec" sheet could penalize for what is VERY thorough and advanced content - only duplicated because other retailers use the same data as well (why re-invent the wheel?)

Dupe Content checking is both a bonus and a detriment to google - especially if the algo is applied regardless of the theme of the website in question.

Hissingsid




msg:3622162
 9:51 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

They just have to ignore stuff, I don't see how penalising equates to better spam control? If they ignore all the practices black-hats get involved in then those sites won't rank. Why have penalties?

Well said!

Google's founding spin that one link is one vote is difficult for them to leave behind. What they are now doing is shooting the president because the wrong people voted for him.

Rather than a link being a vote I think it should be seen as the transfer of a token (funds) to a bank of goodwill. With the amount transferred being on a scale of 0 to 10. Links from dodgy sites and sitewide backlinks etc each are worth exactly 0 and therefore have no value. A link from an authoritative ultimate trust site from a page that is exactly on theme is worth 10. This is called PageBank and is one element in the ranking algorithm.

Cheers

Sid

Reno




msg:3622166
 10:00 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Rather than a link being a vote I think it should be seen as the transfer of a token (funds) to a bank of goodwill.

Outstanding suggestion -- if they do not already have something like this in the pipeline, the time has come to make it happen.

............................

zeus




msg:3622176
 10:17 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes Internetheaven all this still happen I dont see such on other SE, this bad naborhood linking is a killer.

I also think, if you depend on images that sites that links directly to your images with bad words your images will get filtered out and if you have many hotlinking links to your Images with bad text your whole site will be filtered as if you had po.. on it.

Marvin Hlavac




msg:3622186
 10:45 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hello everyone!

internetheaven wrote that the following is bad:

Hundreds of links from one IP address.

but night707 writes it is good:

It is a proven fact, that Google now prefers sites with "Hundreds of links from one IP address" and that authority sites get pushed down like never before.

Hypothetically, if a person is a member of a third party forum, he has made thousands of postings, and each posting contains a link to his own site - will this many links to his own site from this other forum hurt his own site, or will it help him? The links will get him visitors, but will Google perceive it as good or bad?

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