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Negative SEO via Article Submission Site?
getcooking




msg:4577981
 8:14 pm on May 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've posted before about how our homepage has been booted beyond the depths of hell in the rankings for any keywords except our brand. This started several years ago. At first we just didn't rank well for our keywords (page 60 or so - so basically not ranking at all, but still we were there), then we started bouncing in and out of the SERPS, but for the last year now we're nowhere to be found and have stayed there.

I've had this feeling that something negative was out there hurting us that I hadn't found - until (possibly) today.

I discovered 139 articles on one of those article submission sites all by the same author, all articles pointing to our homepage with various, but mostly repeating, anchor text. The articles are mildly relevant to our content but look to actually contain some of our content, just spun a bit and enhanced. They look to have been submitted in 2009, which was when our homepage really started bouncing in and out of the SERPS. Of course, these articles have been scraped and have wound up elsewhere as well (which is actually how I discovered them today). This author's topics aren't very varied - most of his articles are for a different niche and the ONLY articles he's written in my niche are linking to my site. Smells very deliberate to me.

So, my questions are:

1) Could this be the cause of our ranking issues? 139 links (on the one site) out of our total 350K backlink profile seems like it should be insignificant. I've never received a WMT warning about links.

2) On principle, I'm not cool with having my brand on these articles. Has anyone ever gotten one of these types of sites (it's a well known one) to remove a link? Or in my case 139 links? Since I'm not the author of the articles I'm not sure what my recourse is.

Or, am I just grasping at straws again in trying to find our ranking issues? (I'm running out of straws!)

 

luckystrike




msg:4577995
 9:32 pm on May 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

you could try disavowing them but for me disavowing doesn't work so I'm started putting some effort into trying to contact the sites to get the articles removed. A painful, futile exercise...

But really with those google updates most of us can as well pack and go home.

jigneshgohel




msg:4578154
 10:25 am on May 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

1) Could this be the cause of our ranking issues? 139 links (on the one site) out of our total 350K backlink profile seems like it should be insignificant. I've never received a WMT warning about links.


May be, as multiple link from same ip with same anchor text is not giving much benefits. It may happen that the value of those links may dropped in eyes of Google crawlers and weight for the same has decreased in recent updates. This may be the reason behind lost of search ranks.

2) On principle, I'm not cool with having my brand on these articles. Has anyone ever gotten one of these types of sites (it's a well known one) to remove a link? Or in my case 139 links? Since I'm not the author of the articles I'm not sure what my recourse is.

Try to remove those link manually as much as possible. Once you clean the data and still found few links, use Google disallow tool.


Or, am I just grasping at straws again in trying to find our ranking issues? (I'm running out of straws!)

Better you focus on generating quality backlinks from different resources having different and most relevant anchor text.

Robert Charlton




msg:4578444
 3:59 am on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

350K backlink profile

I always wonder, when I hear of such large numbers, how many unique IPs we're actually talking about. So, I don't know what 350K means. It could mean that you've got 350,000 independent, relevant sites freely giving you editorial links because they've liked your content... or, it could mean that you've got a lot of ROS (run of site) backlinks, and this has already raised a flag at Google. There are lots of possible nuances here, but ROS links, in my experience, are generally not natural.

Also, it's prudent to ask, what is the anchor text distribution like in these 350K links?

Going back to the 139 links now... they are most likely not helping. I'd do everything I could to get them taken down. With regard to your ongoing ranking problems, the question about the 139 links is whether Google is seeing them as something much worse than the 350K backlinks, as you are suggesting would be necessary for the 139 to be having a negative effect, or whether Google feels they fit a pattern that Google already is not liking.

Hoople




msg:4578476
 5:38 am on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Do the 139 links point to the homepage in a way that you can rename and then serve Google 410 Gone codes in response for re-crawls?

Example: do they point to example.com/default.asp or something else after the / that you can change? If it's just / asking the article site to unlink may be the only hope.

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