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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4430985 posted 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!

 

1script

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4430985 posted 10:14 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

But this is a new penalty/phenomenon
My understanding of the phenomenon was that the penalty itself is not new, just the notifications about it.
fathom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4430985 posted 10:18 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

penalty itself is not new, just the notifications about it.


Yes.

We sorta took a stroll down memory lane! :)

SEOPanda



 
Msg#: 4430985 posted 11:55 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hello pandora's box:

[negativeseo.me...]

Look what Google has done. This is going to get ugly.

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4430985 posted 1:47 am on Apr 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

SEOPanda -- and they are page 1 in Google for the phrase! Both the .me and .co versions. Amazing.

fathom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4430985 posted 3:39 am on Apr 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Look what Google has done. This is going to get ugly.


The more things change the more they stay the same.

What's better seeing spam in results outrank you permanently (the old way) or a temporary setback caused by the same culprit?

Black hat strategies have always been there. Changing which domain get their short-term benefits is neither here nor there.

Recently the stable length at which a black hat strategy provides monetary gains has been compromised to a point that makes it unfeasible for commercial return.

That community is in search of a new market.

Combating negative SEO is no different than combating any other unpleasant business issue.

webdevfv

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4430985 posted 9:04 am on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Here at thissite we only use legal means to ensure your competitors get banned. Google will penalize a site for bad links. If we create bad links to your competition, we can get them banned on google, while staying completely in the framework of US legislation.


This may not be illegal - i.e. it's not a crime against the state and the government won't prosecute you, but surely it is on a par with a smear campaign or libel and is improper business practice, and if found out you will be sued by your competitor.

Anyone with an ounce of law knowledge please confirm either way.

Shaddows

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4430985 posted 9:38 am on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

sued by your competitor.

For what?

IANAL.

In the UK, there may be a case under the Computer Misuse Act [cps.gov.uk]. Probably Section 3- Unauthorised Acts with Intent to Impair.

But that is aimed at computers, not websites. Criminal Damage might be more appropriate.

fathom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4430985 posted 10:19 am on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

This may not be illegal - i.e. it's not a crime against the state and the government won't prosecute you, but surely it is on a par with a smear campaign or libel and is improper business practice, and if found out you will be sued by your competitor.

Anyone with an ounce of law knowledge please confirm either way.


White collar crime is an odd beast.

A BS example just to show the potential.

Neg SEO cannot even be remotely achieved without abusing the services of many, many others. So let us say I came here to WebmasterWorld and found a way to add a massive amount of links to a competitor... and then did the same thing to a dozen other places.

I got you penalized as a direct result of WebmasterWorld ... whether they have direct knowledge of a crime or not - that can be seen as collusion between the neg SEO and WebmasterWorld to harm another.

When you include all the other businesses the neg SEO company must implicate in a manipulation scheme (including Google) to produce the desirable result... that is a conspiracy.

I am 100% sure none of these implicated firms would desire going down for the unjust enrichment of the Neg SEO (or their customer)... and all would likely cooperate with authorities.

adder

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4430985 posted 10:52 am on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

How anyone could read that discussion there and then conclude that you can't do that to just about any URL owned by an average Webmaster here


I didn't read everything but the above quote - "you can't"


@Fathom - with all due respect, You Can!

I agree that I couldn't possibly harm Coke or McDonalds websites because they're so huge and even if I spent 10,000 a month on junk links, I wouldn't be able to harm their "natural link profile".

However, with smaller webmasters who have recently launched a website and have, let's say just 200 backlinks, if I use spam tools and fake blog networks and build 100 "unnatural" links each month over a course of the year, they will have 200 natural links and 1200 unnatural. Will it not trigger the penalty? Mind you, doing that, won't cost a fortune, so I could as well target 10 new webmasters in my niche. Or maybe do a JV with one of my established competitors and take out 100 new sites?

Here's why I can say what I just said.

I just analyzed link profiles of several websites that I know have been penalized for "unnatural links". These are not my sites and the webmaster of these sites is actually guilty of building a few bad links... nothing too horrible to be honest. BUT...

I noticed many links from medical sites (totally unrelated to his niche) and low quality directory links.

Then I asked myself a question: Could I just take this link report, replicate the link profile and apply it to my competitor's site?

the answer was YES!

I'm not here to argue with you, @Fathom, but please challenge me. What makes you say that you cannot harm the new competitors?

When Google cannot tell who developed the link... they merely discount the links.

How can Google or anyone ever tell (and most importantly PROVE) who developed a link?

This is potentially very very dangerous. I normally avoid criticising Google but this in my oppinion is not a clever idea. Many small webmasters won't be able to survive the penalties making way for the Web 3.0 AKA the Branded Web.

fathom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4430985 posted 11:24 am on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Regardless of any impact you may or may not produce we are discussing very different things here.

To say you can harm someone (small or large I really don't care) by soliciting the help of other website owners (whether knowingly or unknowingly) where you are abusing their offered services to create economic sabotage on a 3rd party ... you cannot really "suggest" you cannot be held accountable?

I don't buy that. I sure love to see you win that in a court of law.

A ponzi scheme is a great deal for the early adopters but that doesn't mean it is legal.

Sadly, academic debate will not produce an absolute answer... but I believe the economic cap of Neg SEO is a couple of people will try it... learn that a positive result does not imply a sustainable result and also learn the law can harm them much more easily.

It is easy for you to make a decision to "risk it" for yourself... you are unlikely to sue yourself if you lose... correct?

But when you intentionally "risk it" to do harm to others - I'm sure you can find a way but that is judged on a different scale so it isn't fair to say "if I can to this to myself" - "others can do it to others".

Can you... sure OK I'll agree some morons will try... will you?

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