homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.196.24.103
register, free tools, login, search, subscribe, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Accredited PayPal World Seller

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 80 message thread spans 3 pages: 80 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Agency Banned from Google after Link Buying
bhartzer




msg:4457818
 2:59 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

An SEO agency, iAcquire, has been banned in Google for buying links on behalf of their clients.

iAcquire was cited as the agency behind Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corporationís link buy request emails. As noted in the comments below, this is probably not the first time an agency has been banned because Google believes that it has bought or sold links ó if thatís why iAcquire was indeed banned. We still donít have an official word from Google on this, but it seems the most likely explanation.

However, itís also likely the iAcquire was banned not for buying links but because Google believes it actually does control a paid link network or operates at least in significant part as a paid link company, despite iAcquireís denials. [searchengineland.com...]



I have to say that this I believe this is a significant turning point in the SEO industry--almost as big as 2002 Google PageRank/Searchking lawsuit [searchenginewatch.com...]

 

netmeg




msg:4457875
 4:26 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't remember Google *ever* quite doing this.

bhartzer




msg:4457876
 4:29 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

You're right, netmeg. It's a first.

Marshall




msg:4457880
 4:42 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Rather funny that a company whose business is built on manipulating results bans a company whose business is built on manipulating results.

Marshall

The Shower Scene




msg:4457881
 4:48 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Their LinkBuilding.net subsidiary through which they do their link building has not been banned.
http://linkbuilding.net/about/ There is no mention of iAcquire on their about page but when you click on the Better Business Bureau link it takes you to their iAcquire BBB page.
mhansen




msg:4457882
 5:05 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Funny... I still see plenty of ads for link building firms. And the serp's are full of companies that are in the same vertical advertising "text links" etc.

This kind of stuff is the reason there's so much confusion about Google. If it's bad, and they delist a company, WHY do they keep all the others? Why do they accept paid ads?

Mixed message at best.

greenleaves




msg:4457887
 5:17 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Wait, so then Yahoo and Bing should ban Google for buying links (afraid of linking to it... lolz)

martinibuster




msg:4457894
 5:28 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

What I don't understand is iAcquire's refusal to own up to their problem. That so-called link building expert at the center of this scandal, Mike King, tweeted that the banning is Google "throwing their hissy fit."

Really? Is that all it is?

In the article about iAcquire [searchengineland.com] posted by Danny Sullivan, the CEO gives a response that appears to shift the blame away from iAcquire and onto the client:

As for iAcquire itself, it won't comment on the case, citing client confidentiality. It won't acknowledge that it was involved in any way, nor confirm if it has worked with DBCC. But the company did give me this statement:

We work with many of the largest brands in the world. Itís very common that we run into large brands everyday buying links from blog networks and large paid link marketplaces, and our mission as a business is to direct brand strategy towards whiter hat link building approaches.


But when Danny approached the client they responded that they never bought links and iAcquire backtracked on their statement saying they were only speaking in generalities. In other words, iAcquire was trying to shift blame and were caught blowing smoke hoping this would all go away.

One thing that Danny Sullivan mentioned and is getting lost in these discussions is that if the allegations are true then what they did may be a violation of FTC guidelines. Here is what Danny Sullivan wrote:

The request that went out on behalf of DBCC was a classic example of non-disclosure. It lacks warnings about possible Google penalties. It even required that there be no visible disclosure, which might very well violate US Federal Trade Commission guidelines [ftc.gov].


Is their refusal to credibly explain what happened in anticipation of having to defend against a Federal investigation?

iAcquire, their CEO, Mike King, all of them, appear to be neck deep in this. Getting banned by Google is a big deal. It is more than just a "hissy fit" and it does nobody any good to trivialize the banning. Getting banned by Google is a big deal.

A similar thing happened to Jim Boykin four years ago and to his credit Jim owned up to it [internetmarketingninjas.com] and made a statement addressing the issues surrounding his business. Should iAcquire do the same?

Planet13




msg:4457908
 6:18 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Should iAcquire do the same?


Yes, they should.

Reading through the comments on the blog, there appears to be lots of disgruntled website owners who are upset with iAcquire - not because they were buying links, but because those website owners had received so many pushy emails from iAcquire asking them to host paid links.

So I think that any argument of innocence might result in a lot of annoyed webmasters posting those solicitation eamils publicly to refute iAcquire's protestations.

I don't think that iAcquire can weasel their way out of this, and although i don't think that google holds a personal grudge*, I doubt that labeling google's actions as "a hissy fit" will in anyway expedite removing the ban.

*It could be that iAcquire is being made an example of to try and thwart the state of rampant link buying, but again, that would be different from a "personal" vendetta. On the other hand, maybe somebody on the google spam team got tired of receiving all the email solicitations and thought that this is the only way they would stop receiving those kinds of emails from iAcquire.

g1smd




msg:4457911
 6:29 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Mike King was speaking at SMX London just days before the ban. Anyone remember if there was anything said in that session (or in an earlier recent conference) that might have piqued Google's interest? There were several Google employees in the audience.

nickreynolds




msg:4457915
 6:42 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Interesting to see if this is the start of a big change or a one off. There are so many sites selling links quite openly. I often use a backlink checker that is on page one of google if you search for that, and the main purpose of the site is clearly to sell backlinks.
One human spending just a week trawling through different sites could easily uncover hundreds of backlink selling sites and ban them. I've always wondered why G don't do that. The problem is that link selling is so prevalent that effectively Google have till now been sending a very mixed message.

Vamm




msg:4457924
 7:36 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)


One human spending just a week trawling through different sites could easily uncover hundreds of backlink selling sites and ban them. I've always wondered why G don't do that


Maybe Google just did not advertise that.

diberry




msg:4457925
 7:41 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google has never banned anyone for selling or buying links, have they? I remember when the whole paid text link controversy started, I read that if Google banned sites who engaged in a totally legitimate tactic (paid links) just because it confused Google's algo, that would put them into anti-trust territory.

It really feels like the new leadership over there is determined to cross all those lines Schmidt stayed just on the right side of, and see if the government can figure it out before he makes enough to buy a private island.

dstiles




msg:4457950
 8:54 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

1. G has only itself to blame for the links fiasco. If they hadn't made it such a big ranking factor there would not now be a problem.

2. Paid links are perfectly fine in some cases - you WANT to bring your business to peoples' notice. You pay to advertise in newspapers, magazines, on TV, why not on web sites and online directories? It's only G's panic over their failed links ranking algorythm that's the problem here, enticing people to pay for links way beyond reason.

3. G's adsense and adwords are paid links. I notice G does not normally ban web sites based on those paid links.

4. If G banned all web sites with more than a reasonable quantity of links to it from an unreasonable range of sites, would that solve the problem? 10,000,000 links to one small web site with a customer-visit rate of 100/day cannot be whitehat no matter how you look at it. Especially when that site has no or almost no links to any other site visible on its pages.

I am personally fed up with the number of emails that go through my mail server to my customers which try to get them to put up links to sites that have no relevance whatsoever. The companies sending those emails get blacklisted in my mail server. Oh, and virtually all of those "SEO" emails come from gmail accounts... Go figure.

atlrus




msg:4457952
 8:55 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hypocrisy at its finest.

Google is willing to sell you a link that will "game" your way to the top of the search results (Adwords)...

One internet company I will love to watch crumble and will not miss one bit.

mendel36




msg:4457961
 9:16 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

so what do they have to do to get back into the index? Tell G who their client roster was?

mendel36




msg:4457962
 9:20 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

wow, maybe G doesn't like the agency to flaunt it....

[youtube.com...]

..probably not a great idea in retrospect....

lucy24




msg:4457964
 9:24 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Rather funny that a company whose business is built on manipulating results bans a company whose business is built on manipulating results.

Surely you've come across businesses with a "no-compete" clause...

keto




msg:4457969
 9:54 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Mendel36, thank you... that video is so awesome. bawhahaha

loner




msg:4457981
 10:38 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Per link I made a lot more with iaquire than with Goo's adsense plastered all over my site.

Yes Goo is having a hissy fit like a spoiled little prima donna. I better go out to the parking lot and see if they keyed my car.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4457982
 10:43 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I back Google on this. Google is essentially in the business of building rank lists which means they are in the business of busting those who manipulate those lists and this is a good move on their part.

+1

On the down side: Links are still relevant or Google wouldn't bother and if Google had never made links important to begin with there would be no market for them.

[edited by: Sgt_Kickaxe at 11:17 pm (utc) on May 25, 2012]

motorhaven




msg:4457983
 10:55 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hypocrisy at its finest.

Google is willing to sell you a link that will "game" your way to the top of the search results (Adwords)...

One internet company I will love to watch crumble and will not miss one bit.


Big difference between paid per click search results which appear on web sites via a Javascript, and a paid HTML link for the purpose of page rank/link building.

jimbeetle




msg:4457985
 10:57 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

"hissy fit"

It always amazes me how some CEOs remain so professional in adverse situations.

brinked




msg:4457987
 11:00 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I guess this move makes sense. Why not? They have punished major companies before to set an example.

With every webmaster blaming their seo firm for buying spammy links, google has to set an example to link agencies that buy links.

This is google saying, we will now punish your seo firm if you practice bad SEO. This now will effectivley put in the back of the minds of seo firm if they should rethink their marketing plan for their clients.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4457991
 11:20 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

*WHOOOOOOSH*

Unfortunately that was the sound of 100 smaller entrepreneurs jumping into the market to fill the void having one company banned will create. If Google hoped to deter anyone else it won't work. The only real deterrence at this point would be to remove links as a signal in the ranking algorithm and let people waste their money without affecting rankings.

diberry




msg:4458017
 1:46 am on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Google is essentially in the business of building rank lists which means they are in the business of busting those who manipulate those lists and this is a good move on their part. "

I don't blame Google for banning a company that explicitly sells/buys links to game their algo. No problem.

But where I do have a problem is that Google has been using their near-monopoly control as a gateway to internet traffic to force *everyone* to stop selling/buying links for *any* reason. Link selling existed long before Google - how else do you think anyone got their site exposed before search engines existed? Not all link selling is about Google.

So far, Google hasn't dared to ban a site for merely selling or buying links, because that site may or may not be trying to game the algo - they may just be trying to get some traffic, and link buying is a perfectly legitimate way to do that. But they have lowered site rankings when they suspect paid links. If they ban someone purely for selling links, that would constitute using their near-monopoly status to force businesses to adhere to Google's rules, and my understanding is that would put them in clear violation of US anti-trust law. (Remember, it's okay to be a monopoly, or near-monopoly, so long as you play by certain rules.)

So if Google wants to ban services that promise to bump you up in the engines through algo gaming, I think they're probably on solid legal and moral ground.

But I really question their history of lowering sites in the SERPs for engaging in paid links. Imagine if instead they were telling you to stop taking out TV ads, because TV mentions of websites were becoming part of the algo - and if you didn't stop taking out ads, they'd make sure virtually none of their enormous customer base ever heard of your business. It's the same principle, and it's legally and ethically problematic.

ponyboy96




msg:4458021
 2:31 am on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Next up any form of link building is blackhat. Oh wait..it already is. Getting links to anything other than your brand name or URL is blackhat now. Where has everyone been?

jkwilson78




msg:4458032
 4:24 am on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

To me this just sends the signal that buying links does work to manipulate rankings and their algo is incapable of doing anything about it so they have to resort to this kind of stuff to try and scare everyone.

You can lose those rankings at any moment but it works.

I do confess to getting a kick out of seeing some well known "white hat" sites in the SEO industry that claim to be anti blackhat/paid links yet have run ads for years for some of the better known link brokers.

Guess, they're against the practice but not against taking their advertising dollars :-)

Planet13




msg:4458034
 4:54 am on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

To me this just sends the signal that buying links does work to manipulate rankings and their algo is incapable of doing anything about it so they have to resort to this kind of stuff to try and scare everyone.


Agreed, although I would not say that it is incapable, but maybe it's a confession that the algo is not as adept as they would like at detecting paid links.

On the other hand, could be that google didn't really care that much about iAcquire one way or the other and they are just doing this to keep us all guessing about what they are up to and what the ramifications are.

Kendo




msg:4458044
 5:41 am on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

if Google had never made links important to begin with there would be no market for them


And your competitors with weak product and no history in your industry could never steal your livelihood!

This 80 message thread spans 3 pages: 80 ( [1] 2 3 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved