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Google WMT notice of detected unnatural links. So, what now?
pontifex




msg:4430987
 7:26 pm on Mar 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Right before Pubcon 2011 (November) I cancelled the last paid links to my site. The marketplace where I bought should have removed the last one by end of November.

Suddenly I start to get this stupid notification in WMT... It is coming around 3 months too late!

We rely heavily on our merchants. It is a big marketplace and everybody who sells there can link and use widgets, which link to their products. These widgets have a NOSCRIPT part with a standard link to the product.

In the last 6 months we have gained around 1,000 new merchants on the platform. Not all, but quite a lot do link to their products - like they would on eBay or Amazon.

Will they eventually understand that? Grrr... after "Reinclusion request", they still mail me: "nope, still unnatural links..."

To really investigate, I would need some examples. Maybe a merchant (or 20) are doing something fishy - but how should I know?

GWT is totally not helping me...

P!

 

fathom




msg:4440003
 1:24 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Fathom is taking a different line- that who initiates the links influences the action taken against those links.


Actually you don't seem to understand my position at all.

When Google cannot tell who developed the link... they merely discount the links. This assumes if a competitor developed links to you, you would merely lose the value those links offered (since you didn't develop them, no harm, no foul).

When Google can tie the website owner to those links it also discounts your results... and most recently when it does that it notifies you.

I don't presume to know what Google has under the hood... but believing you have been sabotaged by a factious competitor is very unlikely (unless your competitor notifies you with hahaha! then I would say you are probably right)

[edited by: fathom at 1:59 pm (utc) on Apr 12, 2012]

SnowMan68




msg:4440012
 1:58 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do I believe that Google is that granular on individual links... no, not a chance... but if you have say 500 guest posts and all have the same link anchor pointing to the same page... that could be easily seen as "unnatural".


So anything done in moderation and varied is considered natural then? Outside of having links on spam sites?

SnowMan68




msg:4440016
 1:59 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Or just guest blog posts...

fathom




msg:4440018
 2:01 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)


So anything done in moderation and varied is considered natural then? Outside of having links on spam sites?


Google clearly demonstrate that in it's paid links guidelines...

[support.google.com...]
Paid links

...

Google works hard to ensure that it fully discounts links intended to manipulate search engine results, such as excessive link exchanges and purchased links that pass PageRank. If you see a site that is buying or selling links that pass PageRank, let us know. We'll use your information to improve our algorithmic detection of such links.

SnowMan68




msg:4440023
 2:12 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

So as long as it's done in moderation it's good to go? Yes or no? That's why they use the wording excessive?

SnowMan68




msg:4440028
 2:18 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

The excessive part is a grey area and seems like that is why it would be easy to manipulate competitors now with how strict G has gotten. Send 100's of spammy links from bad neighborhoods with the same money anchor text at a competitors site at it will get pounded pretty hard. It would look like the owner was doing it to increase his ranking, but it reality it was his competitor. How would they truly tell the difference on that?

tcsoftware




msg:4440029
 2:18 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've just seen this message for a small site in my webmaster tools. The site only has around 100 domains linking into it so I've had a quick look into it.

It would appear that the site has some links in from a private blog network which is stuffed with duplicated content. Domains shown in webmaster tools as linking to the site have been removed from the index.

I'm guessing that this has triggered the message and the resulting drop in ranking is due to the backlinks from domains being deindexed.

buckworks




msg:4440031
 2:20 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just find that 10s of thousand of people not attempting it ... means it never happened


That bit of logic is fallacious - flatly wrong.

fathom




msg:4440040
 2:40 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

That bit of logic is fallacious - flatly wrong.


My logic is based on the realism that I have absolutely no experience in harming websites in this fashion.

How many times have you launched a link campaign meant to get a website banned, penalized, discounted, or the like?

Unless you have done this at least once isn't your logic based on a fallacy?

fathom




msg:4440041
 2:44 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

So as long as it's done in moderation it's good to go? Yes or no? That's why they use the wording excessive?


Ask Google for stronger confirmation if you need that.

IMHO Google can't detect limited patterns.

<edit>added Google to first sentence...missed it</edit>

[edited by: fathom at 3:05 pm (utc) on Apr 12, 2012]

SnowMan68




msg:4440045
 2:50 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ fathom

I agree with you and have always felt that way. Just trying to understand what your "true" stance was.

So as far as the 700k emails are concerned...you believe this is 100 percent automated? Nothing manual, or very little manual penalties.

fathom




msg:4440046
 2:52 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

The excessive part is a grey area and seems like that is why it would be easy to manipulate competitors now with how strict G has gotten. Send 100's of spammy links from bad neighborhoods with the same money anchor text at a competitors site at it will get pounded pretty hard. It would look like the owner was doing it to increase his ranking, but it reality it was his competitor. How would they truly tell the difference on that?


If competitor manipulation is so easy to do it begs the question why you don't have any experience at it.

If you are say #30 just get 100's of spammy links from bad neighborhoods with the same money anchor text at a competitors site at it will get pounded pretty hard... and you'll be the industry leader making millions.

SnowMan68




msg:4440052
 3:06 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

If competitor manipulation is so easy to do it begs the question why you don't have any experience at it.


Because I'm ethical and focus on making my site better. Unfortunately that is not true for 100% of the population. We all know this though...

fathom




msg:4440053
 3:08 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

SnowMan68 wrote:
@ fathom

I agree with you and have always felt that way. Just trying to understand what your "true" stance was.

So as far as the 700k emails are concerned...you believe this is 100 percent automated? Nothing manual, or very little manual penalties.


I'm not experienced in this so my thoughts are just an educated guess.

You may wish to start a your own thread and include it in the affiliates forum where you will get better likely more educated responses from people that deal with the subject matter daily.

fathom




msg:4440057
 3:25 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Because I'm ethical and focus on making my site better. Unfortunately that is not true for 100% of the population. We all know this though...


Amazingly enough lack of experience is my point.

Ethics have nothing to do with this... if you are not experienced in this you can't possibly achieve any measure of success... any successful initial attempt would be a fluke... which is what most people have...

They lacked experience and fluked their own way right over the edge.

I don't believe everyone lacks experience another issue might be complacency.

Again, getting nailed for unnatural links isn't about links that "do nothing but look spammy"... the links in question actually had a positive impact on your results.

SnowMan68




msg:4440072
 4:11 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe this is what you're looking for. The reason I would not "attempt" to bring a competitor down with negative SEO is because I am an ethical person. Is that better?

With so much knowledge on your part though it feels like you must be typing from within the Googleplex...

kd454




msg:4440077
 4:19 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

It is quite easy to get your average site penalized, meaning they are not a mega company.

Business or E commerce sites that would never get natural link are easy targets now.

Load up your target with over 1k or more blog posts, watch it rise in the rankings for a month or two. Google sends out there GWT message, wait another couple weeks to a month then the site tanks.

About a two to three month overall process, and would cost a max of $200. If you think this bogus your in denial or have not done your homework.

fathom




msg:4440085
 4:31 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe this is what you're looking for. The reason I would not "attempt" to bring a competitor down with negative SEO is because I am an ethical person. Is that better?


Negative SEO is about ranking bad publicity to harm your reputation.

With so much knowledge on your part though it feels like you must be typing from within the Googleplex...


I'm unbiased to a fault. I prove/disprove popular thinking... I don't just accept it.

Leosghost




msg:4440087
 4:36 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Negative SEO is about ranking bad publicity to harm your reputation.

Actually Negative SEO is about lowering a company's or site's or page's or person's etc, ranking in serps..

Ranking bad publicity to harm a reputation is "negative reputation management"..

Helps if you understand ( and thus use ) the terminology correctly..

<edit reason "punctuation" >

[edited by: Leosghost at 4:40 pm (utc) on Apr 12, 2012]

fathom




msg:4440088
 4:37 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

It is quite easy to get your average site penalized, meaning they are not a mega company.

Business or E commerce sites that would never get natural link are easy targets now.

Load up your target with over 1k or more blog posts, watch it rise in the rankings for a month or two. Google sends out there GWT message, wait another couple weeks to a month then the site tanks.

About a two to three month overall process, and would cost a max of $200. If you think this bogus your in denial or have not done your homework.


Well here's someone with true experience.

I want to hire you to take out 5 ecomm sites that don't have great natural link profiles.

What is this worth to you?

crobb305




msg:4440091
 4:56 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

I posted this on another thread, but it's just as relevant here:

I think JohnMu made an important point on the Google Groups forum:

"While we have just recently started sending out these messages, they may apply to issues that were already known (and affecting your site's standing in our search results) for a while."

Some of us may be waiting in anticipation of something that has already happened. I saw my rankings drop on overly-optimized key phrases about 6 months ago, and got a message on March 2.

SEOPanda




msg:4440094
 5:06 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

crobb305, this is what I'm wondering also. Some people say they had a drop a few weeks later, but it could be unrelated.

SEOPanda




msg:4440096
 5:08 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Also, it says in the message:

"We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you've made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google's search results. "

This would imply that the penalty has already been assessed.

SnowMan68




msg:4440100
 5:15 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

"We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you've made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google's search results. "

This would imply that the penalty has already been assessed.


Agreed. That's probably why some people continue rolling on without future drops. And if they get hit 3, 4, 5 weeks later it could be one of the many algo updates affecting their sites.

np2003




msg:4440294
 1:35 am on Apr 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well it seems like negative SEO works. I tried it on an old domain of mine that never had been SEOed because it had a natural SEO rankings (PR7). I made the site years 8 years ago and gave away free stuff (thus why there was lots of links to it).

I bought $500 worth of ezine articles, xrumered blasted it with profile/ blog posts and can confirm that the site now appears on page 7, where it use to be on page #1 for at least the past 4 years.

Furthermore, I tried this on two other domains I had and both of those sites are now way back in the index where they previously held page #1 and page #2.

The new update basically means NEGATIVE SEO is going to flourish now.

crobb305




msg:4440295
 1:41 am on Apr 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well it seems like negative SEO works.


I was just reading about the "Chrome Penalty". I don't mean to rehash old news, but I wasn't aware it had happened. It seems Google acknowledged that the sponsored ads pointing to Chrome weren't "authorized", yet a penalty was imposed. It's an interesting case, but I am not sure what they mean by "authorized" in this situation. Did someone on the Chrome side buy links without authorization (right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing), or did someone on the outside just point links to Chrome that appeared to be paid ads? [searchengineland.com...]

newebster




msg:4440709
 1:38 am on Apr 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Notification on March 23, site penalized today. Re-inclusion request sent 2 days ago

fathom




msg:4440716
 2:08 am on Apr 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well it seems like negative SEO works. I tried it on an old domain of mine that never had been SEOed because it had a natural SEO rankings (PR7). I made the site years 8 years ago and gave away free stuff (thus why there was lots of links to it).

I bought $500 worth of ezine articles, xrumered blasted it with profile/ blog posts and can confirm that the site now appears on page 7, where it use to be on page #1 for at least the past 4 years.

Furthermore, I tried this on two other domains I had and both of those sites are now way back in the index where they previously held page #1 and page #2.

The new update basically means NEGATIVE SEO is going to flourish now.


Forgive my ignorance but I thought the alleged purpose of Negative SEO was to harm the other guy?

You have 100% conversion rate on your own domains... maybe you should try it on websites that you don't own to prove conclusively that you as the owner isn't the common denominator.

<added>
I found this in your profile:

[webmasterworld.com...]
np2003 wrote:
I think I know how Google trusts a link... I tried this idea about 7 months ago on a keyword that had over a million searches per month. I can report back now that for the past 2 months, 8 of these sites have been on page 1/2 for that keyword term... It's actually a very simple but time consuming strategy and best of all was pretty cheap to setup. Remember, Google is looking for "natural" link patterns. Sending an email out or getting a link on a PR9 site just smells like link buying and that will get you no where. I know coz I tried that (paid $2k mo) for twox PR9 sites and got nothing after 6 months.


Sure sounds like your negative SEO is what you are describing here... but pre-loses and it didn't work so well... promoting wise.

Flip Flopping?
</added>

totalodds




msg:4442165
 8:49 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Guys, we can talk about negative SEO all day long, but this is not going to help us re-gain our rankings.

We need to share experiences & advice in order to prevail.

We received a WMT message on March 18th - 7-days later top page rankings dropped to pages 4-17* (very competitive keywords)

It's been 3-weeks & still not recovered. We have sent two re-inclusion requests & had no response.

We have also diluted our anchor text & removed as many "spammy" links as possible.

It's obvious Google has rolled out a new automatic algorithmic penalty that takes effect 7-28 days after receiving the message.

So the big question here is?

Has anyone...


1. Received the WMT message

2. Lost rankings (by at least 20-150 positions)

3. Recovered from this penalty & re-gained original rankings?


These are the key questions we need to answer. It seems many of us here are suffering from this penalty so have any of us actually recovered?

T

SEOPanda




msg:4442171
 9:02 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Has anyone received this message, but has keywords that lost less than 10 positions in the SERPs?

kd454




msg:4442175
 9:11 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

https://groups.google.com/a/googleproductforums.com/forum/#!category-topic/webmasters/chit-chat/Azfly-iRtLs

pandora's box is open it seems, like I said in a earlier post Google has made it very easy to rip your competitors.

About 15 min of work can flag a site that has been up for years and been playing by the "rules".

xrummer - 5 mins
scrapbox - 5 mins
blog posts - 5 mins

= GWT message
= 2 to 4 weeks after message your sites take a dive.

You send in your re-inclusion request and say you did not do it, then they tell you TOO BAD you did not remove the links.

Good luck trying to remove 10,000 or so spam links.

Thought them PHD's over in Gtown were smarter than this or they just don't care.

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