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Laughable #1 Result - uses free hit counter to get backlinks

 2:36 am on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

The number one site in google for my country (Australia) for one of the most lucrative and competitive search terms is using the free hit counter tactic to get backlinks!

While google allows this kind of spamming this site is cleaning up big time, and encourages others to spam also. I have to say the site is fairly useful so it's not like the couldn't rank anyway for that term but come on G, a hit counter!

[edited by: tedster at 3:35 am (utc) on Aug. 10, 2008]



 4:11 am on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Add the counter to a list of tools that can be made and promoted to help ranks.


 4:23 am on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Interesting. In recent statements about "widget bait", Matt Cutts has mentioned a few times recently that off-topic and hidden backlinks from free tools are being devalued. I guess those backlinks are not hidden.

Are there possibly other backlinks that are really doing the job here? Google never said they would penalize widget bait, just devalue it if the links are hidden and off-topic.


 4:28 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

it looks like the site does have backlinks from other sites also, but a large amount of it's links does come from the free hit counter, i thought hit counters for seo were so 5 years ago


 4:31 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

also i've read that Google only penalizes sites for selling links not the ones that buy, but why is it that in in WMT there is the ability to report sites that buy links?


 4:39 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google encourages spam by not deleting spam more effectively, since this site can rank using a spam tactic why don't I create 2 sites, 1 using legitimate seo methods and nother using spam tactics, I could profit from my spam site until it got banned (if ever) and I would still have my legite site (which could get banned anyway since G is secretive) at least by have 2 or MORE sites I can reduce my risks of getting penalized. By having 2 or more sites on the same topic I'm not really contributing to the web very well, just creating new websites for the sake of seo, thus making it harder for G to filter because there are now more sites to index. Now if every webmaster did this it would cause even more issues.


 5:45 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is one of those cases that, though Google is showing the hit counter backlinks, it does not mean they are being taken into consideration for PR or ranking purpose. As you say, "I have to say the site is fairly useful so it's not like the couldn't rank anyway for that term."

Just because we see it, doesn't mean that it's so. Makes this job kind of fun.

And Google does have a track record of leaving spamming looking stuff out there for everybody to see, though in most cases it has already discounted the techniques. That's why the "I see other sites doing it," argument can turn out being highly counter-productive.


 3:20 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

stat counters work, there are sites which their ONLY backlinks are from it and they rank VERY nicely.
and actually i think that these are legit links as well, just like any adv. paid links without no-follow


 7:55 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just noticed a new site popping up at #4/5 for my niche KW related to <a competitive market area>. This site was penalised almost 4 years back and is back with a bang now.
- Site has almost no content related to domain and the KWS its ranking for
- Extensively linking in and out with other domains in the hub to make a Ring.
- PR has gone up to 4 from a grey bar earlier
- has KW in domain name itself
- Loads of meaningless KW stuffing towards 1st table of page

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:29 am (utc) on Aug. 14, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed specifics [/edit]


 10:31 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

The old black hat techniques whick did WORK are now grey hat ( ie; they are well known) - if done in moderation.

Don't worry about this sort of thing dominatinating the SERP'S in your niche, worry about the next...


 10:39 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's very difficult to code SE algos to weed out hit counters?


 12:34 am on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Toplists anyone? :D

Lord Majestic

 12:41 am on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's very difficult to code SE algos to weed out hit counters?

No. But anything that popular would also get normal good backlinks - think Google search boxes with Google image in them, there are millions of the around and while those might be discounted there are still other good links to Google that more than make up for this discount.


 6:20 am on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's not feasible, for whatever reason, for Google to weed out the link advantage from free tools, templates and footer link badges. I know of many cases where this type of link generation is working well.

I think in part and parcel detecting these links for Google is like peeling a potato. You want to get rid of all of the skin, and sometimes you dig rather deep and lose some potato in the process, especially when digging out the eyes.

But ultimately, your goal is to keep some potato in the end for the sour cream, so you ultimately decide the 'level' that you want to dig without risking too much potato.

This might explain why some sites simply seem to be off the detection radar altogether, even with more-than-obvious tactics.


 10:57 am on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

At one place Google issue websmasters guidelines and make tall statements to advice following genuine SEO techniqes, at the same time SERP show up a complete different picture which loudly states that BH SEO wins and yes sustains too!

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