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|The return of competitors hurting your backlink profile?|
Those who have been around over the past 5-10 years, will likely remember when it was possible for a competitor to harm your rankings, by bombing your website, with masses of links. Just as you could rank a website by stuffing it with keywords.
To counter this, Google employed a kind of "links can do no harm" philosophy. So questionable links were simply discounted.
Over the years, it's become accepted that competitors cannot harm your rankings with links. This had always been my experience too. For years my website has been victim of various malicious campaigns. Links to our website and several other competitors appeared on hacked Wordpress websites along with viagra/pharmaceutical type websites.
But despite the efforts, our rankings remained unaffected, which is the way it should be. A competitor should not be able to harm you. A competitor should not be able to undo your hard work.
Unfortunately, in recent months, post Panda, more and more webmasters have received messages from Google, alerting them of unnatural linking practices, followed by drops in SERPS and traffic.
Google have made a complete u-turn and now rather than discrediting links it deems unnatural, it instead penalises the websites receiving them.
Since Panda, all of the talk and focus has been on on-site factors, such as ad placement, thin content etc and most websites have failed to bounce back. I'm wondering whether that's because, it's got nothing to do with their website, but their link profile?
A couple of months ago, I did a test on a page, of a website I wasn't too concerned about. I chose a page, that had a first page rank for over a year, for it's target term.
I purchased 150 links, using 3 variations of anchor text, to see if it would harm the rankings. Within a week, the rankings were gone. They remained AWOL for 6 weeks. I eventually managed to get the links removed, and the rankings recently returned.
This was a little too easy, for my liking. Actually it's disturbing and a huge step backwards.
Google needs to seriously reconsider the choice to penalise websites, with questionable links pointing to them.
But I am not reading much discussion about the subject and hoping we can generate some interest and awareness of the problem here. Google needs to address this problem.
I believe my main website, has been victim, WebmasterWorld supporters can read more about it in the Google SEO forum. I haven't received a message to inform me of an unnatural link profile, but looking at my inbound links, there are some questionable links there. And after 6 years or so of success, on January 21st, my traffic has dropped significantly.
What are your thoughts on this?
Don't understand why some people just don't believe this can happen.
One run of xrumer can do a lot of damage to a weaker profile site no matter who is running it. (owner or whoever)
If Google would just discout the links instead of penalizing the site and asking site owners to remove links they have no control over in some cases, we wouldn't even be talking about this.
I know for a fact that it happens. I've seen it with my own eyes and this all the convincing I need to believe it.
I've only seen it once, but that is enough proof for me. If it happens once, it can happen again.
|can do a lot of damage to a weaker profile site |
mrguy - I had a similar thought in my original post and then edited it out, basically assuming that such a site would be so weak that it would be unlikely to rank for anything competitive. Perhaps not fair of me to discount such a site completely.
I have seen sites taken out by bad links, but generally not by blog comment and forum profile links... it takes something stronger.
Way back, blogspot links could take you out on MSN Search (pre "Live" search, which was pre Bing)... but then blogspot links could also rank you on MSN Search. ;)
|Don't understand why some people just don't believe this can happen. |
If you can't beat'em... join'em.
I started an Anti Negative SEO business since the world is full of people that need help due to all the experiments and insights shared by 100's of websites.
In fact, in less than 30 days you can fix this and at the same time get the domains doing the linking discounted and removed from Google.
"I started an Anti Negative SEO business since the world is full of people that need help due to all the experiments and insights shared by 100's of websites."
He he then start another business to fix the damage and use the same customers.
Now that's a vertical!
|I purchased 150 links, using 3 variations of anchor text,... |
What type of IP diversity was included in the purchase?
What type of backlinks?
Any diversity to the type of backlinks created?
If articles, were they spun correctly and was the title and anchor text/backlink relevant to the copy?
What type of anchor text diversity was used?
Were these backlinks created on popular sites that get crawled daily?
At what rate were these backlinks indexed?
Were these backlinks pinged (to your knowledge? Some providers may ping and not tell you)?
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