homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.224.53.192
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Pubcon Platinum Sponsor 2014
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 47 message thread spans 2 pages: 47 ( [1] 2 > >     
Penguin recovery not in the least about removing links?
McMohan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 8:34 am on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Disclaimer: This school of thought might already have been proposed in some threads, if so please remove my post.

Assumption: My shot at Penguin recovery is based on the premise that Google can't penalize your site based on inbound links, unless there is concrete evidence that you own those sites that are linking.

If the above premise is true(which I personally believe is to be true), then what good is going to come from removing links to your that were not the cause of a "Penalty"?

Penguin mainly affected sites that relied heavily on keyword anchor text backlinks, from sites where links can be obtained without breaking a sweat (read bookmarking, forums signatures, blog comments so on). In all likelyhood, Google merely discounted those links, as if they didn't exist. Google has in fact done the "link removal" for you. Since the sites relied heavily on such links enjoying the ranks they did, when those links were discounted in a bunch, the fall was obvious. Penalty is not the word.

Now, if those links didn't exist and so do the ranks, what is to be done? Get new links, that are Penguin-proof. From sites where anyone and everyone can't get links, relevant and natural anchor text. It is the addition of such links that matter (IMO) not the deletion of crap links.

None of the sites I deal with have been affected by Penguin (touch wood) and I do not have the first hand experience of pulling through any site from Penguin, but I have studied a good deal of Penguin affected sites.

 

Andy Langton

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



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 10:15 am on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I disagree with the premise - I believe Google can certainly downgrade your rankings (whether that constitutes a penalty or not is a different discussion) based on sites that link to you. Ownership is not the factor, but whether or not the links imply that your site had significant control over the links.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 10:42 am on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google can certainly downgrade


Of course they can, and they do once you receive an "unnatural link notification" but for penguin alone I would agree with McMohan as it probably only devalues links. That said, there are probably trip levels in penguin which will set a site up as a candidate for a manual review and subsequent unnatural link action.

smithaa02

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 1:54 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Penguin doesn't devalue links...it punishes them.

Google already devalues bad links...so why would penguin be different?

If link juice was starved to select pages (like the homepage)...then why in so many cases do other pages still rank well? The loss of page juice say to the home page should have tanked your other pages as well?

If this was just a loss of page juice, then how do you explain sites that did well before link building...and then after link/building penguin dropped far below where they were at before link building (like us)?

If this was just a loss of page juice, then why did (before google caught on) the amazon.com/mispellings/synonoms/stemming variants) still show your keyword/page at the top for so long?

IMO Penguin is absolutely not a mere ignoral of bad links, but a punishment.

Think about it logically...if it wasn't a punishment, google would be providing no discentive to link build. It would be heads I win (google didn't catch me) or tails it doesn't matter (because google ignored the bad link). I can't belive this.

Plus we have some limited stories about Penguin recoveries from link removal. WPMU (granted this was manual action). Spunkle link scrubbed and recovered. One of the disavow beta guys link scrubbed and recovered.

Shaddows

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 4:59 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

There are three levels on the Dodgy Link front:

1) The main algo is perfectly capable of devaluing links on an adhoc basis. Most dodgy links (if detected) are treated this way

2) Penguin looks for positive evidence of active manipulation. It then degrades your ranking score. This final result of this degradation is currently far worse than if there was no perceived manipulation This may seem obviously intended result, but the counter perspective is that the underlying value of the page should be reflected in SERPs- that the best page should rank top.

3) Manual Action. This means that the "good" and "bad" algo's cannot currently catch your manipulative practices, so you have been whacked manually. I suspect a new algo (or new module on an existing algo) will eventually be released to catch the er, penalised infringement.

And Links are not the only Penguin element. Or necessarily the main one.

And "building" links may add to the problem.

Ralph_Slate

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 5:22 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Here is what I observed:

April 24: 60% reduction in Google search traffic. I saw many instances of a "-10" penalty, with my site at position #11 in the SERPs. Other pages were gone completely.

I never bought, sold, or traded links, and my site has a *ton* of backlinks since it has been at its URL since 1999 and is a leader in its niche.

I changed a bunch of things on the site over the summer, 80% of which were so-called "quality" issues (i.e. Panda). Made navigation better, removed some thin content, reworked my titles and H1 tags. As for link-related changes, I made about a dozen outbound links "nofollow", removed some spam from a VBulletin installation (not much), and blocked a development server (on a separate domain) from being indexed by Google.

Oct 11. my traffic came back, and the "-10" pages are now at #1, and the other pages are on page 1 or page 2 of the SERPs.

Please treat this as just another data point, I'm not saying that this is the cure.

McMohan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 12:19 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I believe Google can certainly downgrade your rankings (whether that constitutes a penalty or not is a different discussion) based on sites that link to you

I guess we both are implying the same conclusion. If some links Google thinks aren't in good taste, then it might effectively 'nofollow' them. If those links were holding up your site, then ranks naturally fall. Some may call it penalty, which I disagree with and merely call it discounting the links.

Penguin doesn't devalue links...it punishes them.
Google already devalues bad links...so why would
penguin be different?

How could you be sure? Majority of the sites (not counting the collateral damage) that were affected by Penguin were being propped up by type of links, which you say are the ones Google was always punishing. Since it wasn't doing so or rather not doing so effectively, Penguin came around. Mind you, by links I mean not just the type of sites, but the anchor text too, the whole package.

how do you explain sites that did well before link building...and then after link/building penguin dropped far below where they were at before link building

It is not that you dropped to a position lower than what merits, but other sites in the meantime (during the time links were built to your site) gained links and moved up and new sites came about.

Plus we have some limited stories about Penguin recoveries from link removal

Since almost everyone believes that way out of Penguin is to remove links, do we have this situation where we haven't heard of any recoveries. Isn't it quite possible that we haven't had any recovery because our approach was wrong all these days?

McMohan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 12:40 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Shaddows, I agree with your view about point 1 and 3. With point 2, the Penguin play, how does Google treat those links that it considers are manipulated, is the question.

My surmise is that Google discounts all the links that it thinks are manipulated and leave alone those that may be genuine. Now, most of the sites that were affected had a very high percentage of apparently manipulated links. Lets say a site had 30% of links with anchor text "Cheap Widgets" and another 30% links with "Discount Widgets" and another 10% of links with "Affordable Widgets". Google might take a position that it looks like about 70% of the links to this site are manipulated and let me not take any of them into account in my algo calculations. Rest of the 30% links look good and they stay. Now, the site suffers to a great degree for obvious reasons and remaining 30% links are too few and aren't optimized with keywords in anchor text and can't really help much. Site drops to a level one would say, "oh, my site is penalized!".

IMHO, instead of wasting time with removing those links, build new links so that site gets back into credibility.

mhansen



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 3:01 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I feel that the "link in-itself" is much less important that the manipulative intent of the anchor text. I also feel that the links are devalued, and it's the anchor text and resulting page/site that is penalized for that specific query.

We lost a good bit of our Google traffic on April 24th like most others hit with Penguin. The site however still gets a good bit of G referrals for specific pages that were never linked to, or we rarely marketed, resulting in backlinks. We DID actively market the specific pages that were hit. They were the main sections of our site. We did not buy links, or participate in link schemes, but we did write, market, and distribute great content that led traffic to those pages. We also used descriptive anchor text that described the pages, and it was we wanted the pages to rank better for. (Isn't this a "best practice" in Googles' own SEO starter guide [static.googleusercontent.com]? Pgs 16-17)

As we scoured our link profile to clean it back up, we found the anchor text to be our main issue, versus the link itself. If the page was about "Widget Price Comparisons" and our backlink profile, even on authority pages, contained the descriptive anchor text that matched the content on the page it was pushed to the "end of results", where it still sits today.

Our hardest hit sections contained the least amount of anchor text diversity, and although they are still found, it's usually at the end of results. Searching for specific text strings on the pages does not return them until end of results, so the penalty is two-fold, anchor text related AND page or site related.

My feeling is that Google has devalued the links... however, they have also devalued the anchor text phrases that were contained in those links, and applied a penalty or filter to the page AND site they linked to.

The filtering is NOT seen in third party sites that use Google Custom Search. (Check your site in Foxstart.com, or any other Google custom search driven site) On our site, I can fire off a query that used to rank #1 in Google, now ranks on "end of results" in Google, but still shows in its original placement in Google custom search driven sites.

To me, this means Google has:

1 - Ignored the Poor Quality Backlinks, or the site would also not show via custom search engines.

2 - Still Considers the PAGE and SITE very relevant since it ranks in other Google provided result engines. (Google custom search) In addition, changes made to pages just last week, are already reflected in custom search engines, so it's not an old dataset.

3 - Google is maintaining a record of, and penalizing or filtering the "Anchor Text" of the links and resulting pages it feels were done with "manipulative intent" (aka SEO).

4 - Upon the search query being fired off in Google, it scrubs the results against the list of sites it feels tried to manipulate it's rank position, and moves them to the "end of results".

Obviously, the penalty or filter is longer than 6 months, since nobody is reporting significant penguin recoveries this week after 6 months has come and gone. It could be that the filtering stays in effect until the next Penguin refresh, which was a theory elsewhere.

M Hansen

Ralph_Slate

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 3:32 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am strongly convinced that Penguin is more than just a link devaluation. In dozens of search cases my site was ranked #11 - a clear penalty - from April 24 until Oct 11. Then, on October 11, my site ranked #1 in those cases. This was for pages which were strong pages but no backlinks. Backlinks seemed to overcome this phenomenon.

Andy Langton

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



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 9:05 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I guess we both are implying the same conclusion. If some links Google thinks aren't in good taste, then it might effectively 'nofollow' them. If those links were holding up your site, then ranks naturally fall. Some may call it penalty, which I disagree with and merely call it discounting the links.


That wasn't quite what I meant. I agree that in many (most?) cases Google discounts link value (i.e. a lack of positive). But I also believe that in other cases, the presence of links can cause worse rankings than if links did not exist at all (an actively negative effect).

neildt



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 8:30 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ralph_Slate I had similar experiences as you with our hotel travel site. Basically 24th April all hotel profile pages only dropped X number of pages, but could still be searched using the -amazon tag.

After making on site changes only, and removing some 301 redirects from another site that we didn't want, the pages are coming back.

For example search "hotel name city" are back on page two (some page one), used to be page one, but is a massive improvement on previously rankings that were beyond page 30.

I believe the penalty we suffered was over use of the anchor text for internal links.

gouri

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 3:38 am on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I believe the penalty we suffered was over use of the anchor text for internal links.

@neildt,

Can you please tell me:

(1) Were you using too many internal links with the anchor text being exact match phrases that the page linked to is trying to rank for? If you were, were all of these links in the site's body text? Combination of navigation links and body text links? Something else?

(2) If the internal links going to a page were not using the same anchor text, were they using similar anchor text?

(3) Did all of your internal links look similar? Common words in them. In this question, I mean the internal links going to different pages.

BaseballGuy



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 7:18 pm on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm doing online reputation management for a client. His daughter was being attacked online by classmates, and the Google algorithm ranked these websites very high. The websites contained some VERY bad stuff about this little girl, which was completely false.

The "negative websites" had the words:

Fraud
Immoral
Slut
(and a few other very bad words that I cannot mention in a family forum like WWW).

Her attackers created blogs, social media sites and other web properties and while I have found no evidence of "intentional SEO", by reasons I don't have time to get into....the sites got a bunch of inbound links to further boost their rankings for the teenage girls proper first and last name....in fact, the internal page that was ranking on page one has a pagerank of 5.

So I started with purchasing an EMD (eg: JaneDoe.com) and creating a bunch of web properties.

I started in August of 2012, and despite my best efforts was not able to knock down the last remaining negative website (there were 2 on the 1st page when I started).

So I changed my tactics....

I built millions of ultra-spammy "bad links" into the last remaining website. I did a few other tactics (no hacking and nothing that could even remotely be considered "illegal" was done) and within 2 weeks it had dropped off the 1st page.

I successfully used negative SEO to drop the bad page.

So, first hand experience that Penguin punishes for "bad links". It doesn't get more clearer than this.


It's the wild wild west out there with Penguin....and even though I don't consider myself a "black hat" and my "black hat" knowledge level is a "5" out of "10", I was still able to drop the last negative website relatively easy.

neildt



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 7:57 pm on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

(1) Yes we had multiple internal links with same anchor text to same page

(2) Same anchor text to internal pages (database driven links)

(3) Similar e.g hotel name

crobb305

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



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 8:51 pm on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think it's time we get past the notion that Google needs "concrete evidence" to do anything. It's clear that they can program their algorithm(s) using any parameterizations and filters that they choose. The prosecution, judge, and jury are computer programs. The appeals court is Matt Cutts and friends. There is no defense team to discredit the "evidence" or lack thereof. With respect to any questions about "penalty" vs. mere link discrediting, Penguinzed pages/sites that have been relegated to the supplemental body for snippets of their own content (in quotes) with scrapers ranking above, have been penalized. If the links were merely discredited, the snippets would still rank #1, as they did previously, but there would simply be a loss of ranking on the phrase(s) that appeared unnatural in questionable anchor text. Every Penguinzed/Pandalized site I have looked at doesn't even rank for their own content.

I keep saying over and over, please read the patent about spam detection. Please. It should be required reading :) We could build a whole thread just about that patent, and the elements that Google could be using in their attack on webspam.

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 12:36 am on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

So, first hand experience that Penguin punishes for "bad links". It doesn't get more clearer than this.


Unless I'm missing something, what you presented is actually evidence that *something* in the algo punishes for bad inbounds, and that's been something most of us suspected long before Penguin (it was called "Google Bowling" a few years back). And no one's arguing that links aren't part of Penguin, just that they aren't ALL it looks at. Or maybe you were responding to a more specific comment someone made and not the gist of the whole thread?

Whatever the case, nice work defeating the bullies. :)

gouri

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 1:25 am on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

@neildt,

Thanks for the response above.

I wanted to ask if:

(1) You think that internal links were the main reason that you were affected by Penguin?

(2) What changes did you make to your internal links? How did you change them?

(3) When did you your rankings start to improve? Soon after the internal links were recrawled or after a Penguin run?

(4) What on-site changes did you make in addition to internal links?

I am asking these questions because I think that internal links might be affecting me and maybe some other on-site factors.

FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 7:24 am on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Penguin doesn't devalue links... it punishes them

This was true even before Penguin. I am sure others can verify this. I myself saw a site where the owner (unknown to the SEO who was working on it) thought they'd speed things up by buying a 'directory package' of anchor text links on two key phrases. This was only a few hundred links. The site dropped out of the SERPs for those two phrases overnight.

zehrila

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 10:31 am on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

There are different school of thoughts, a lot of us have tried a lot of things which we felt are right, but did any one actually recover? changing internal links, removing spammy links, building better links, adding more content, changing back link strategies etc etc, but still no recovery? any one?

To me it has started to feel like the punishment is somewhat permanent. I got links from very big news sites, other general big sites, all editorial links. I also removed links which i felt could be the reason, but all in vain! There is more to penguin which none of us could nail so far.

As far Penguin is concerned, i strongly believe it is punishment and not just the devaluation of links, i also strongly believe if your on page is top notch, your users love your stuff, your content is awesome, you have massive social media presence then you are immune to penguin, atleast to some extent.

brinked

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 8:50 pm on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

From my experience with a client is penguin punishes link schemes. My client used a SEO service and what they did was set up links on blogs in a link wheel fashion. Blogs were set up on networks that would link to his site and link to the next blog article that was just a spun version of the current article.

We removed tons of these and he has made significant imporvement (now on top of page 2 after being nowhere to be found).

Not a full recovery, but that is expected since we pretty much wiped out most of the links.

So from my very limited experience with penguin, I would say I see evidence of link schemes, spun articles, spammy blog networks all have a play in how penguin punished a site. Bottom line..stay away from cheap link building packages.

BaseballGuy



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 10:28 pm on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)


Unless I'm missing something, what you presented is actually evidence that *something* in the algo punishes for bad inbounds, and that's been something most of us suspected long before Penguin (it was called "Google Bowling" a few years back). And no one's arguing that links aren't part of Penguin, just that they aren't ALL it looks at. Or maybe you were responding to a more specific comment someone made and not the gist of the whole thread?

Whatever the case, nice work defeating the bullies. :)


Sorry, I was referring to someone else.....they gave their opinion that Penguin punishes and I confirmed it with my experience.

For the record, the site I took down was a pagerank 5 site.

shoreline

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 12:04 am on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I built millions of ultra-spammy "bad links" into the last remaining website. I did a few other tactics (no hacking and nothing that could even remotely be considered "illegal" was done) and within 2 weeks it (pr5) had dropped off the 1st page.


Google is not going to penalize a website because millions of back-links suddenly appear in two weeks. Google is smart enough to recognize this and simply discount the value that the link may have had.

If this were true, then you would see this happening all over and the search results would be nothing like they are now. I've seen examples of websites claiming to have been penalized only to find the owner of the site did something themselves to cause a penalty and simply couldn't accept responsibility.

The last one I found, the owner cried "Google Penalty" because someone placed almost a 1000 links out on the internet to their site, but what really happened was the owner had made an exact copy of their own website and placed it on another domain. Google found it, selected the new domain as being the legitimate site and removed the other domain (now a copy) from the index.

Link warnings stared on July 20th and were followed by Google's notice that these warnings mean only that the links will be ignored and will not cause any detriment to your site.

Yesterday, we took another step towards more transparency and began sending messages when we distrust some individual links to a site. While itís possible for this to indicate potential spammy activity by the site, it can also have innocent reasons. For example, we may take this kind of targeted action to distrust hacked links pointing to an innocent site. The innocent site will get the message as we move towards more transparency, but itís not necessarily something that you automatically need to worry about.


We made two changes so you can tell the "individual links aren't trusted" messages from the "our opinion of your entire site is affected" messages.


The purpose of the warnings are so that you'll be aware that links you are building are not going to be of any value and/or, are happening too fast.

If you could get a website removed by simply pointing links to it, no one would be using Google.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 12:24 am on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

If this were true, then you would see this happening all over and the search results would be nothing like they are now.


I don't believe BaseballGuy is lying. I believe he is accurately reporting the facts. I think what may need to be considered is that the sites BaseballGuy defeated were not in a competitive niche and likely had a flimsy backlink profile. Naturally it would be easier to defeat a site like that AND not "see this happening all over." The two viewpoints can be reconciled.

There are several statements in this thread that seem to imply that link devaluations happen just to dodgy or spammy links. Pretty much all links are subjected to some form of devaluation. This has been happening since around 2003/2004. This is related to relevance factors, not just links Google thinks are manipulated or dodgy. Even non-dodgy links are subject to devaluation.

Also, my observations about similar anchor text triggering a penguin event lead me to believe that it's not just the anchor text, but the anchor text plus other factors that corroborate a conclusion that the site is engaging in an unnatural link scheme. In my opinion it's not just the anchor text, there are other factors involved to confirm that a site is manipulating rankings. Otherwise we would see more false positives, i.e. "see this happening all over."

[edited by: tedster at 2:03 am (utc) on Oct 29, 2012]
[edit reason] change reference per poster request [/edit]

Play_Bach

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 1:16 am on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Having had my Google traffic cut by 70%, I'm of the opinion that if there's a buck to made, Google knows all about it and at some point will make a move. Good luck grasshoppa!

Whitey

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 6:03 am on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

There are many examples on various forums referred to by top SEO's that demonstrate negative SEO is alive and well.

Many sites competing used links as a quick way to get ranking through commonly used terms and manipulative anchor text. Those are now stripped causing big losses in ROI for the sites that secured them - and there are many. Now that has turned even uglier with talk continuing of reports that this can spin a site on it's head and actually cause more widespread damage, bringing an entire site down.

Sites in competitive niches face fierce competition and likely have some pretty big campaigns in play to bring competitors down.

Perhaps branded sites alone with Google's "immunisation from anything penalty" can survive this destruction, but anyone else is much more vulnerable.

I believe the above reports to be true and correct , unfortunately.

neildt



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 9:41 am on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Can you please tell me:

(1) Were you using too many internal links with the anchor text being exact match phrases that the page linked to is trying to rank for? If you were, were all of these links in the site's body text? Combination of navigation links and body text links? Something else?

(2) If the internal links going to a page were not using the same anchor text, were they using similar anchor text?

(3) Did all of your internal links look similar? Common words in them. In this question, I mean the internal links going to different pages.


(1) Yes we had too many internal links pointing to the same page with the same anchor text. So we reduced the number of links pointing to those pages

(2) They were using the exact same anchor text e.g hotel name, of which we were trying to optimise for "hotel name" phrase

(3) The internal links were similar, because the pages were database driven with the same anchor text. So we've reduced the number of links and changed the anchor text.

We haven't recovered 100% from Penguin, however our hotel profile pages that before Penguin were ranking on page 1 for phrases like "hotel name" or "hotel name city name", dropped to beyond page 30+.

Once Penguin hit, we have slowly tried different changes. From my view point we were hit with the same match anchor text for internal links. Those same phrases like "hotel name" or "hotel name city name", rank on page 2/3/4 of Google and appear to be improving over time.

The only other change we made was before Penguin we did over 10,000 301 permanent redirects from a site we no longer wanted to run to the affected site.

However, after speaking many times with Google people like John Mueller etc they confirmed that the 301 redirect should not cause this Penguin problem.

To be sure, we reverted back the 301 redirects; as to rule this out too

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 3:28 pm on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't believe BaseballGuy is lying. I believe he is accurately reporting the facts. I think what may need to be considered is that the sites BaseballGuy defeated were not in a competitive niche and likely had a flimsy backlink profile. Naturally it would be easier to defeat a site like that AND not "see this happening all over." The two viewpoints can be reconciled.


Excellent point. Remember also that the sites Baseball Guy targeted had engaged in dodgy SEO to rank quickly for the girl's name. Baseball Guy's negative SEO probably got a boosted effect from the fact that the sites were already doing dodgy link schemes.

I don't believe there's anyway for a computer to distinguish whether bad backlinks are coming from you or your competitors. But since we have clear indications that negative SEO can work, my guess is that it's a sliding scale something like this: one batch of bad backlinks alone won't get you in trouble*, a mild continuing pattern of bad backlinks will be weighed against other signals your site is sending and could go either way depending on the quality of those other signals, and a really obvious pattern of bad backlinks throughout the history of your site could hurt you badly all by itself. It's that third situation where Baseball Guy's negative SEO came in.

*This may be exactly the situation the new WMT messages and disavow tool were designed for, in fact.

(Edited because somehow I had repeated a chunk of text.)

WebPixie

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 5:44 pm on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I find it hard to believe that there are still people that do not think negative SEO can work.

BaseballGuy



 
Msg#: 4511586 posted 6:24 pm on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

@shoreline

If you notice, I also said "other techniques". I'm not going to disclose what I did, as it worked pretty darn well in a relatively short period of time.

<<edit>> It was the "millions of links" that finally caused the "negative" website to come crashing down.

I have also heard reports of guys in competitive niches neg SEO'ing their competitors with relative ease. I cannot confirm this as I have not seen their sites but I would have no reason to doubt them.

In my opinion, "weak backlink profile" is the reason I was able to knock a PR5 website down. The only thing the site had going for it in my opinion was "age". Yes, it did have quite a few relevant backlinks (I don't want to go into it....but the negative site had a VERY good backlink profile).

So take it as you may.....and yes, I'm purposely not disclosing some information (regarding the negative websites uber good backlink profile....just because I don't think it's relevant to this discussion), but at the end of the day it was knocked down with relative ease.

The fact of the matter is that "links still count", despite Google's best efforts with Penguin.....and this is because the Google algorithm is based upon links as a voting factor. Until they change that, links are still going to be king. It's just how you use your links that which will determine whether you survive the algorithm updates or not.

I personally know a couple of "web spammers" in real life.....one guy is driving a $130k AMG Mercedes and the other guy just bought the new turbo Porsche. I have seen their sites and when we talk about "Penguin" or any other barnyard zoo animals.....they start giving me crap and making fun of me and asking me "how's the paranoia fear culture over at WebmasterWorld workin' out for ya?".

So I'm looking at these guys, their huge bank accounts, and they're still making money despite Google's best efforts.


How is that fair? I don't spam, all of my sites are or were "white hat", in accordance with all "best practices" of the day.

Slight rant, but I digress....links are always going to be king.

This 47 message thread spans 2 pages: 47 ( [1] 2 > >
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.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved