homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.167.174.90
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

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

    
New Matt Cutts Video about Link Sellers
mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 3:12 am on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Anyone catch the WebmasterHelp video that was uploaded today. The question was something along the lines of - if a site is caught selling links and the site links to me what will happen? [youtube.com...]

Cutts explains the answer then :

1 - Site caught selling links has its PR go down, 30, 40, 50... percent.

2 - Page rank going forward goes down as trust in the domain is lost.

3 - To the person asking the question - his site is not affected at all. Basically, the link passes nothing - doesn't help or hurt.

I think this is great. When all this came about this is what I originally proposed they do - just make the links mean nothing. I think most of us assumed we were getting negative action on our site through links (negative seo comes to mind). Although this doesn't mean the same method is applied to anything other than link seller sites.

It does raise a few questions...

- This is essentially saying you can keep buying links as much as you want and it will not affect you. You are in a sense taking a gamble and if it works it works or the site gets caught and the juice is gone. No affect to the buyer other than he might have not got his moneys worth.

- What in the world is the disavow tool for then? It is not for cleaning up paid links obviously from the answer above. So it must be for follow links from scraper sites, directories, domain info sites, etc that we obviously aren't paying for, but just happen. Why don't they just expand on the same concept for link seller sites to those who have x% of non-quality outgoing links? I'll use one of those domain info sites as an example - a picture of the index page, date registered, maybe some kw info, whois, all that crap - these are typically worthless follow links. Can't they use the same method for these?

It would allow the receiver website peace of mind as they wouldn't have to worry about bad links plus we wouldn't be sifting through them to possibly add to a disavow list as well. More time spent on the actual site then everything else.

[edited by: tedster at 3:40 am (utc) on Apr 3, 2013]
[edit reason] added link [/edit]

 

TheOptimizationIdiot



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 3:53 am on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Do you mean why bother with the unnatural link notices and the disavow tool since if they can detect the links they could just ignore them and no one would have to worry about it?

If that's the question you're asking, then I have no clue, other than for Google to spread the FUD, because it seems like an absolute nobrainer to me for them to just discount the links they think are unnatural rather than using them to essentially "create panic" among webmasters and get them to often disavow or remove "everything" in hopes of making Google happy.

mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 5:14 am on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Not exactly... the unnatural link notice could be from any number of things, but yes, one of those would be a ton of the same link from the same source. So, yes, in a case like that why not just discount the value of the link same as they are apparently doing for link seller links.

Saves webmasters time and energy... well legitimate ones.

TheOptimizationIdiot



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 5:28 am on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

the unnatural link notice could be from any number of things

Yes, and not only a ton of links from the same source, we know from the recent help the BBC got from a Google rep. it could mean there's only one page with unnatural links.

So, yes, in a case like that why not just discount the value of the link same as they are apparently doing for link seller links.

FYP = So, yes, in [any] case [at all] why not just discount [ignore] the value of the link same as they are apparently doing for link seller links.

Saves webmasters time and energy...

FYP = Saves webmasters time and energy [plus makes Google's results better by not having webmasters overreact and disavow or remove too many links and tank their own site, which could actually be high-quality, in the process.]

Automotive site

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 11:33 am on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is good news. You have to earn your links through great very good/superb content. Any link buying/exchanging links undermines the whole process.

Google also has to be clever enough to determine when a site owner is getting spammed with bad links. It should not be the job of the site owner to mine for bad links and send out emails asking for them to be removed, or even disavowing them. This is just wasted time that could be spent doing something more useful.

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 11:51 am on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is this really a new policy from Google (i.e. returning to their ORIGINAL policy pre-March 2012 of ignoring spammy/paid links), or is it just Matt Cutts saying something off the cuff that doesn't truly reflect Google policy?

If Matt Cutts is saying that Google will simply ignore paid links, then what of blog networks and the like? What about sites that STILL over a year later have unnatural links penalties made against them? Are reconsideration requests now unnecessary because there's now nothing to reconsider?

It's interesting that Matt Cutts talks specifically about paid links here, as surely they are most likely links to involve collusion from the linked-to site. What of "spammy" links like blog comments, blog network links, forum signatures etc? These are LESS likely to involve collusion from the linked-to site since they simply cost a lot less than directly paid links. If he's saying "hey buy links if you want, but we'll just ignore them when we realise they're paid", then he's saying any form of link building is OK because Google will simply ignore the value of the links once they're labelled as unnatural i.e. no more negative value, just novalue.

Just think of all the time that will save for webmasters to actually write useful content than try to hone their link profiles via link removal requests!

However...still, more questions than answers here from a likely off-the-cuff remark from Matt Cutts that may not reflect Google's policy to paid links.

jimbeetle

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



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 3:26 pm on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is this really a new policy from Google...

No, Matt is not saying anything new here, this has been Google's policy for some years.

...or is it just Matt Cutts saying something off the cuff that doesn't truly reflect Google policy?

Why on earth would Cutts make a video in order to make an off the cuff remark?

If Matt Cutts is saying that Google will simply ignore paid links

I don't see where he said that Google ignores paid links. He did say that the site selling links is penalized by a PR reduction. He did say that the site's links would no longer pass PR. Beyond that? He did not say anything about the sites purchasing links. But he *did not* say that Google ignores paid links.

Reading too much into what Matt says can be hazardous for your SEO well being. Keeping in mind that there are different algorithms aimed at catching different types of link manipulation, then trying to extend this to other scenarios might well be fruitless.

mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 6:33 pm on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Jim - I think you should watch it again. The selling site links value 'just goes away' - that tells me that those links just become worthless.

After all the question that was asked was 'If a site linking to mine gets caught selling links, what happens to my site?'

The only thing to take notice is that this question was directed to a person who was not a buyer, but rather just happened to have their link on the site. Cutts even holds up an index card with two groups going away from the seller - 'buying' and 'you'.

how they could tell the difference between a buyer and non-buyer on a site caught for selling links is beyond me, but he did take the time to differentiate the two.

mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 6:39 pm on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Either way, I do like this approach of bad links becomes worthless where there is no positive or negative effect on the site being linked to. It just seems like the easiest solution while saving us all some time. We should not be held accountable for other peoples actions that we cannot control. I remember seeing where we were supposed to contact webmasters to have our links removed before using the disavow tool - anyone that has attempted this knows how hard and time consuming this really is. Searching for whois, hoping the whois is correct and valid, actually getting the person to respond, and then actually getting them to remove the link(s)... we shouldn't have to worry about other people negatively affecting us just our own site.

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 7:22 pm on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't see where he said that Google ignores paid links. He did say that the site selling links is penalized by a PR reduction. He did say that the site's links would no longer pass PR. Beyond that? He did not say anything about the sites purchasing links. But he *did not* say that Google ignores paid links.


I meant that Google ignore the link in terms of NOT negatively penalising the linked-to site because it's deemed a "paid link". Have you not noticed everything that's happened in the last 12 months with webmasters trying to remove links?

If Google are ignoring these types of links in this way, then this IS a new policy. Since at least March 2012, they would penalise the linked-to site with an unnatural links penalty. OK not in every single instance, but in many cases they would, and if Matt Cutts is now saying there is no harm to the linked-to site, then that's something new. There is plenty of evidence over the last 12 months to show how links can harm your site. Now it seems they don't (at least for paid links). If paid links aren't triggering some kind of penalty/NEGATIVE value to the linked-to sites, I wonder how other types of links are affected? Are we going back to pre-March 2012 days?

[edited by: ColourOfSpring at 7:27 pm (utc) on Apr 3, 2013]

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 7:27 pm on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

If I remember correctly, J.C. Penney and 1-800-Flowers, among others, were temporarily penalized by Google for buying links, and Forbes magazine was penalized for selling links. Most sites hit by Penguin had done "link-building" at least, and undoubtedly link buying in some cases.

jimbeetle

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



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 10:47 pm on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Jim - I think you should watch it again. The selling site links value 'just goes away' - that tells me that those links just become worthless.


I was responding to this:
If Matt Cutts is saying that Google will simply ignore paid links

Yes, PR is not passed, but that does not mean that Google *ignores* paid links, it pays plenty of attention to them, from dropping the toolbar PR of the selling site and by not allowing it to pass PR (and dinging the buying site when caught).

I realize it might just be a matter of semantics, but there is a very big difference between "ignoring paid links" and "taking action to reduce the effects of paid links."

If Google are ignoring these types of links in this way, then this IS a new policy.

No, this has been going for some years. I don't remember exactly when it happened, 2005, 06, 07. but the first round actually took out a number of SEO sites in order to get folks' attention.

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 10:55 am on Apr 4, 2013 (gmt 0)


Yes, PR is not passed, but that does not mean that Google *ignores* paid links, it pays plenty of attention to them, from dropping the toolbar PR of the selling site and by not allowing it to pass PR (and dinging the buying site when caught).


OK, I'll try again. My original point when I said this:-

If Matt Cutts is saying that Google will simply ignore paid links


....I meant: Google is ignoring the linked-to site. They are not penalising the linked-to site.

I hope that's clearer, and I apologise for not being clearer.

If it is the case that Google are now ignoring the linked-to sites, then this is a new policy from Google, since they've penalsied plenty of sites that paid FOR links in the last 12 months. If you recollect, there's been a lot of evidence that links can hurt your site. IF paid links no longer "hurt" the linked-to site, then this is a big change.

bsterz

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 12:31 pm on Apr 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

how they could tell the difference between a buyer and non-buyer on a site caught for selling links is beyond me, but he did take the time to differentiate the two.


Examining the site's back link profile and anchor text ratio/variations should give them a good idea about whether the link is paid or not. Also, examining why the site selling links would link to your for free could be consideration.

[Google is ignoring the linked-to site. They are not penalising the linked-to site.


Matt Cutts said that the link from the seller site will not pass PR and not hurt or help a site that did not pay for a link. He did not say that Google would not issue a penalty on the site buying links.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 3:17 pm on Apr 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's not clear to me exactly what this this thread is saying. Has Google very recently fundamentally changed its policies regarding link building, link buying, and link selling? Could someone please clarify?

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 3:30 pm on Apr 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

No change in Google's policies that i can see. These are the kinds of thing that have been going on for years.

Link seller sites can lose PR, in increments according to the severity of their infraction. Their outbound links get ignored, but there's not necessarily any true penalty applied to the sites they link to because of one link. If the target site shows a widespread pattern of paid links on many different sites, then they certainly may be penalized - as we often discuss here.

The one slightly new factor for me here is that ALL the seller site's outbound links may be ignored, even those that were not paid for.

[edited by: tedster at 3:31 pm (utc) on Apr 4, 2013]

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 3:30 pm on Apr 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts said that the link from the seller site will not pass PR and not hurt or help a site that did not pay for a link. He did not say that Google would not issue a penalty on the site buying links.


Well he did say that the link selling site's links (plural) would not pass on any PR (just watched the video again) - that's open to interpretation. You're right in that it could be a verbal sleight of hand by Matt Cutts (not the first time). He should come out with a video to clear all of this confusion up :)

Dymero



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 9:39 pm on Apr 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Matt is just talking about the link seller here, mostly. I didn't hear where he says that the link buyer won't be at risk of being penalized.

I wouldn't rely on this as proof that there will be no manual penalties for buyers.

Perhaps it won't be as likely. Only for the really widespread cases.

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 9:45 pm on Apr 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

e should come out with a video to clear all of this confusion up

Oh no, perish the thought. We can come up with scores of new questions for every video he makes. The English language will never be clear enough to do the job.

topstar



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 11:39 am on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is there any info or evidence of a site selling links having a penalty reversed? One of my sites was penalized. I didn't sell links but linked to my other website and it looked like link selling. PR dropped from 6 to 4 and the other site dropped in ranking because it lost a very valuable backlink. This happened one year ago. Will the site pass juice ever again?

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 5:26 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

the other site dropped in ranking because it lost a very valuable backlink.


Do you mean that it's rankings were almost totally dependent on one backlink?

jimbeetle

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



 
Msg#: 4560831 posted 6:17 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

I didn't sell links but linked to my other website and it looked like link selling.

What could possibly give Google the impression that this was link selling?

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