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Restoring link trust with Google is now vital. Here's how :
Whitey




msg:4600881
 12:55 pm on Aug 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google has stepped up it's communication to assist webmaster's in what Matt Cutt's previously described as a "transition" back in approximately May when a higher level of transparency started. 8 new videos were produced recently to underpin the manual spam notifications now sent out through WMT and discussed here : [webmasterworld.com...]

This particular video describes, specifically, the philosophy and procedure Google requires webmasters to go through in order to restore trust. [youtube.com...]

My key takeaways are:

- make multiple "take down" requests to sites referring "bad links" to your website.
- keep documentation of those efforts
- clearly articulate, and if possible evidence efforts, that you are serious about removing those links to Google, in any future reconsideration request
- when you have made 2 or 3 attempts to take down those links, then use the disavow tool
- send your reconsideration request in.

From feedback I've been hearing, approximately 95% of sites will not take down links, for a likely variety of reasons. So the effort is in-practical.

Why then?

Google could easily just accept the disavow tool and release the manual action. But they re emphasise and acknowledge that the exercise is "going to be painful". Before they restore "trust" they are saying that they want some evidence that the site involved will not engage in SPAM linking again.

Perhaps folks should reflect on Matt Cutt's previous communication of going in with a "machete" to previously built links.

Thoughts? Does this fill you with an incentive to get cracking on link clean ups?

 

rish3




msg:4602043
 5:17 am on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

You'll be happy to know that "scrapper sites" don't have a lot of trust signals to devalue your pages and if they happen to have more than you you have bigger problems... e.g. your content isn't all that original and likely not the first version Google had in its archive.


Dan Petrovic's testing showed otherwise. He also pulled a nice quote from a paper called “Large-scale Incremental Processing Using Distributed Transactions and Notifications” (by Daniel Peng and Frank Dabek from Google)

A quote from the paper:
For example, if the same content is crawled under multiple URLs, only the URL with the highest PageRank [28] appears in the index.

fathom




msg:4602085
 11:24 am on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

True to a certain degree. But not always.
If your content (original) went online five years ago, and the site is not getting any freshness, the low-valued fresh scraper might rank higher.


Fresh doesn't last forever just a couple of weeks. Thus Google works it out.

You'll be happy to know that "scrapper sites" don't have a lot of trust signals to devalue your pages and if they happen to have more than you you have bigger problems... e.g. your content isn't all that original and likely not the first version Google had in its archive.


Dan Petrovic's testing showed otherwise. He also pulled a nice quote from a paper called “Large-scale Incremental Processing Using Distributed Transactions and Notifications” (by Daniel Peng and Frank Dabek from Google)

A quote from the paper:
For example, if the same content is crawled under multiple URLs, only the URL with the highest PageRank [28] appears in the index.


First, the problem with any experiment is confirming observations. If you don't run 10 experiments and get the precise same results 10 times... what does that mean?

Which observations were the accurate ones... what proves what?

If you do only one test how do you know your observations weren't just a fluke?

Second, you seriously can't be saying "scrapper sites" garner more authority just because they are scrappers.

I didn't review that experiment but the premise sounds flawed.

I don't doubt there are ways to circumvent any quality scoring system but you can't just scrap the web, buy a domain, slap up a site with scrapped content and beat the original domains... it can happen but it it isn't as easy as the claims.

Lastly, QUOTING a phrase, sentence or paragraph is not scrapping.

fathom




msg:4602089
 12:01 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

BTW I just looked at the quote in Google... I didn't know Google.com was classified as a scrapper site?

Professionally I think Dan Petrovic is embellishing, just a little.

aakk9999




msg:4602105
 12:47 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google could easily just accept the disavow tool and release the manual action. But they re emphasise and acknowledge that the exercise is "going to be painful". Before they restore "trust" they are saying that they want some evidence that the site involved will not engage in SPAM linking again.

They must make it painful. Otherwise it would be gamed. If all that a webmaster needs to do is to submit disavow file and the site pops back up, then you can do it over and over again, using different backlinks to se which get you penalised and which not. If however you need to put a lots of effort and then wait - you may think twice before engaging in the same action again.

If you watch these videos, they are all geared towards a webmaster ( or past webmaster) building these spammy links themselves. They are not geared to victims of scraping or of negative SEO - these are just a collateral damage.

Whitey




msg:4602107
 1:02 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you watch these videos, they are all geared towards a webmaster ( or past webmaster) building these spammy links themselves.

@aakk9999 - do you think that Google could do more to bridge the trust gap between a webmaster and what they want, per my earlier post. I'm keen to solicit some views around this question.

aakk9999




msg:4602120
 2:23 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

@aakk9999 - do you think that Google could do more to bridge the trust gap between a webmaster and what they want, per my earlier post. I'm keen to solicit some views around this question.

I personally do not have a problem Google not trusting webmasters who were purposelly spamming and I think that in such cases the future trust has to be earned.

However, I think the problem Google could try to address is to do with its rules/guidelines being changed, especially where Google has suggested something in the past as a "good practice and in line with guidelines", and then, (perhaps as this got abused or just taken too far) Google changed how that something is treated and announced that the practice is now against guidelines.

With such change of guidelines, number of sites that were previously within guidelines and in fact followed what Google recommended suddenly found themselves at the wrong side of the fence and (not all but some) got penalised.

This is the area where Google could do more to bridge the trust gap or to find a way on perhaps not trusting the future actions against (new) guidelines whilst leaving alone the past actions that were practiced whilst this was "in line with Google guidelines" especially if in the past that particular practice was recommended by Google.

diberry




msg:4602153
 4:37 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Whitey, along the lines of stuff Google could do to win our trust... reduce the FUD around linking. I don't know how. I tend to agree with those who think instead of penalizing you for either outbound or inbound links Google finds suspicious, they should just devalue those links so they neither help nor hurt. I'm sure somehow that would make life easier for spammers (although spammers seem to be thriving right now anyway), but there's got to be a better way than what's happening now. People should NOT feel the need to start threads on when it's okay to link out dofollow to a perfectly user-pleasing relevant site, and yet they do because there's so much FUD.

Planet13




msg:4602161
 5:29 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I tend to agree with those who think instead of penalizing you for either outbound or inbound links Google finds suspicious, they should just devalue those links so they neither help nor hurt.


I would suggest that the reasoning behind why they penalize instead of just ignore spammy links is;

1) Links play a SIGNIFICANT role in rankings, and

2) It costs google a LOT of time and money in developing their spam algorithms and they would prefer to discourage future behavior instead of having to constantly police it.

And, to a certain extent, google has said that they DO ignore many inbound links (such as press release links).

also, I think they are trying to punish BEHAVIOR more than links; in essence, they are trying to discourage efforts to game the system. The only way they can discourage that behavior it to penalize links.

aakk9999




msg:4602162
 5:33 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)


also, I think they are trying to punish BEHAVIOR more than links; in essence, they are trying to discourage efforts to game the system.

My thoughts too.

ronalds8




msg:4602183
 6:32 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I just finished analyzing my 72k GWT links which took me 16 days, 10 hours a day. Yei! (Penguin 2.0, no manual penalty). Results: someone pointed 700 pure spam (auto generated text and pictures, yes... auto-generated PICTURES) domains to our site within this year, this really stands out clearly. So, yes, negative seo works very well.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4602204
 8:06 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

ronalds8, and someone could do it again for free and it would take them only a few minutes.....that's the sad part :(

diberry




msg:4602208
 8:37 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

also, I think they are trying to punish BEHAVIOR more than links; in essence, they are trying to discourage efforts to game the system. The only way they can discourage that behavior it to penalize links.


It hasn't worked so far. Spam is doing just fine, and I have not seen a single spammer sadly announcing they're going to have to give up their online ventures to go look for a job because Google's won. Allowing inbounds to hurt a website instead of just not helping it only creates collateral damage in the form of non-spam websites getting hurt.

The only way to stop spam is to make it not worth the time and effort. Unfortunately, Adwords is what makes it worth the time and effort, so Google has caught themselves in their own trap.

1script




msg:4602226
 9:07 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google has caught themselves in their own trap
And they started 15 years ago by building the entire business on results of other people's work: HTML links! This penal mindset they are in has not been helping them to make better results. In fact, spammers rinse and repeat just fine. Penalties (and the underlying "pain" some find appropriate here) only work on sites that their owners value. You would think these are exactly the people Google would need to cooperate with, yet they are stuck in this "the whole world is against us" posture. Somebody at Google has to have the guts to say that the War on Spam is lost and find a better way to conduct the business.

I look at is this way: they have a HUGE index but the vast majority of its content is utter junk, most of it automatically generated. It's in Google's best interest to help actual real people (literally, anywhere who bothers to answer a WMT notification email, if they ever bothered to read those) so the inevitable junk can be pushed further down in SERPs. So, instead of creating ever so Machiavellian ways to determine who's spamming them (blacklisting efforts), they have to be on a prowl for actual real people and businesses they can trust (whitelisting efforts).

*Normal* businesses do it by creating certification procedures which they then rigorously support. It seems to me like Google is trying to create everything from scratch, including reinventing the whole notion of business ethics. Why are upstanding small business owners considered criminals (spam is a crime) by default? I just don't get it. Google may be a huge monopoly right now but their undoing will come from the way they conduct their business making enemies at every turn they make.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4602242
 9:55 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's in Google's best interest to help actual real people (literally, anywhere who bothers to answer a WMT notification email, if they ever bothered to read those) so the inevitable junk can be pushed further down in SERPs. So, instead of creating ever so Machiavellian ways to determine who's spamming them (blacklisting efforts), they have to be on a prowl for actual real people and businesses they can trust (whitelisting efforts).


1script, you make complete sense here, but I truly suspect that Google want to punish real businesses and put them off ever getting success from organic listings because real businesses are the ones with the money - they want us to advertise. Figure that huge brands + spammers + dead sites dominate the SERPs now - big brands will always advertise, spammers never ever, dead sites are dead sites with no chance of the owners advertising. So you fill the organics with sites that don't impact negatively on your ad revenues.

SMEs (99.9% of the private sector in the UK) are Google's target market that would likely spend a lot LESS on advertising or nothing at all if they got a lot of organic traffic. And so here we are...seriously this is the elephant in the room.

Why would Google want to reward their target market that has the money they want? Rewarding them hurts Google. Google get what they want by punishing that group. Searchers just see a bunch of results on a page - ads or organic? Most can't tell the difference.

Google definitely know who the real businesses are, and they want their money.

Planet13




msg:4602244
 10:10 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I seriously doubt that google wants to have crappy results - organic or paid (adwords).

Yes, spammers are able to game the system - sometimes with hilarious results.

But google is working on it. That is probably one of the reasons that they amped up the importance of "authority" and suggested becoming a brand; so that it would be easier to overcome those spam sites.

Google knows it has rivals to search, and you can bet that they are attempting to do what they can to maintain quality. But it is an ASTRONOMICAL task.

By the way: If google REALLY wanted to get the most bang for their buck, they would shake down the amazons and the walmarts of the world, since they are the ones with all the money to spend on adwords, instead of the mom and pop shops, that have no money for adwords.

austtr




msg:4602251
 10:33 pm on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

making enemies at every turn they make.


Yes.... you have to wonder if G is aware of (or cares about) the ill will they have created with all their efforts to "protect the integrity of the search results"

The situation we have now regarding links..ie.. dofollow vs nofollow, disavowals, reconsideration requests, GWT messages for blackhats vs no messages for whitehats, Matt Cutts explanatory videos, needing a social profile (or not), effects of Google +, affiliate site wipe-outs, Pandas, Penguins, manual penalties, repairing unnatural link profiles... is a hopelessly mismanaged confusing mess of vested self interest.

Just trying to keep abreast of this takes hours each day, multiply that by all the others doing the same thing, and you have a collective waste of resources that is truly mind boggling.

And that is from the perspective of someone who has English as their first language. People not fluent in English haven't got a hope of staying abreast of all these issues.

I wish the OP well in his/her efforts to restore link trust with Google. The only problem is that once that formula hits the streets G will need to set loose another furry/feathered update and it all starts over again.

Whitey




msg:4602285
 2:53 am on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just trying to keep abreast of this takes hours each day, multiply that by all the others doing the same thing, and you have a collective waste of resources that is truly mind boggling.

@austtr - so what you are saying is, lot's of effort, a waste of time and no rewards.

I'm not wishing to single you or anyone out, rather probing for ways that popular sentiment could be positively shifted and both Google and webmasters be provided a fair opportunity to reach their objectives of both quality and visibility.

If Google was less aggressive and provided the opportunity to demonstrate examples of success, when links are taken down or disavowed, with reasonable expectancies, would you feel more confident about your chances, and therefore have some of your trust restored to maybe respond. What do you think could work better in the 2 way communication over trust?

austtr




msg:4602303
 4:06 am on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

so what you are saying is, lot's of effort, a waste of time and no rewards


No, I'm not saying that. The current situation is that in recent times, many thousands of sites have been delvalued because G changed its mind about how it's going to rank websites.

Anyone wanting to try and claw back some of their lost performance is probably looking at lot's of effort just to try and figure what the hell happened. But will their efforts be a waste of time with no rewards... who knows?

The point I was trying to make is that every time G changes the ground rules to "protect the integrity of the search results" there is a heavy price to be paid in collateral damage. Our industry is now faced with that whole mish-mash of potential issues we have to deal with as outlined in my previous post. And sifting through all of that, doing the reading, the research, the trials and testing etc etc... it is a horrendous price to pay in hours that could be used for much more productive work.

Whitey




msg:4602324
 5:17 am on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

...... So if Google provided some extra levels of evidence, would be enough to get you fired up ? Just asking :)

austtr




msg:4602333
 6:11 am on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

If G did build some sort of site status indicator into GWT, not just confirmation of manual penalties, then they would be going a long way to removing a lot of the ill will mentioned earlier... and yes, that would "get me fired up" enough to cheerfully work on my sites.

G's search operation is totally dependent of the intellectual property of the people who develop websites. The fact that they knowingly create collateral damage without publishing any advice/suggestions for the afflicted (not just spasmodic MC videos) is just not good enough in this day and age.

And I don't buy the argument that everything has to be kept secret for fear the spammers might gain from the knowledge. That is just an acknowledgement that the spammers have already won and that everything is now just an after the event reaction to that fact.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4602397
 11:24 am on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I seriously doubt that google wants to have crappy results - organic or paid (adwords).


Google just fill the organics with clusters of big brands - if spam / dead sites replace the genuine SME sites, the brands give an overall impression of quality.

By the way: If google REALLY wanted to get the most bang for their buck, they would shake down the amazons and the walmarts of the world, since they are the ones with all the money to spend on adwords, instead of the mom and pop shops, that have no money for adwords.


Amazons and Walmarts advertise regardless of their organic rankings. Mom and pop shops have no money to spend? Of course they do - you can see it in the huge increase in Adwords earnings since Penguin 1.0.

fathom




msg:4602510
 4:41 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)


I seriously doubt that google wants to have crappy results - organic or paid (adwords).



Google just fill the organics with clusters of big brands - if spam / dead sites replace the genuine SME sites, the brands give an overall impression of quality.


I doubt there is any intentional "brand ONLY" thing on Google's part.

If your domain has lots of natural links and your website is about a topic and the genuine SME sites are more webspam oriented it would seem Google isn't playing favourites... but it only seems that it is due to the fact that without brand value you lack revenue to drive that same value.

By the way: If google REALLY wanted to get the most bang for their buck, they would shake down the amazons and the walmarts of the world, since they are the ones with all the money to spend on adwords, instead of the mom and pop shops, that have no money for adwords.


Amazons and Walmarts advertise regardless of their organic rankings. Mom and pop shops have no money to spend? Of course they do - you can see it in the huge increase in Adwords earnings since Penguin 1.0.


$100 from every SME is about 1 trillion dollars or 4 times Google's worth today.

The best strategy isn't organic or Adwords its leveraging both channels because those that click on Adwords to buy never click on organic results... so you are seriously missing out if you think you can only afford organic.

Adwords for nothing more that your business name is more than enough revenue for the average SME for pennies a days. If that isn't profitable you really need to close shop.

diberry




msg:4602527
 5:50 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

You would think these are exactly the people Google would need to cooperate with, yet they are stuck in this "the whole world is against us" posture. Somebody at Google has to have the guts to say that the War on Spam is lost and find a better way to conduct the business.


Actually, I've wondered if maybe this is now happening and is the reason behind the new measures of transparency we're seeing. Maybe someone at Google is arguing that collateral damage is a bad thing, or just that they are now capable of helping honest webmasters without giving the spammers any info they couldn't have figured out on their own anyway.

rish3




msg:4602592
 9:19 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

First, the problem with any experiment is confirming observations. If you don't run 10 experiments and get the precise same results 10 times... what does that mean?


It seems clear he outranked the original sites, including some commentary from the owners of the sites. That's the kind of test where one positive result indicates something. He didn't do it ten times, but he was able to repeat the experience several times.

That jives with my personal observations. G doesn't care about who published it first. They care about who has more juice. In the case of Dan P's experiments, just a higher PR site. In the case of the penalty afflicted, just about any site has more juice.

fathom




msg:4602613
 10:03 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

It seems clear he outranked the original sites, including some commentary from the owners of the sites. That's the kind of test where one positive result indicates something. He didn't do it ten times, but he was able to repeat the experience several times.

That jives with my personal observations. G doesn't care about who published it first. They care about who has more juice. In the case of Dan P's experiments, just a higher PR site. In the case of the penalty afflicted, just about any site has more juice.


It's difficult to hit the target when you erase the bar and retool my words.

You quoted me:

You'll be happy to know that "scrapper sites" don't have a lot of trust signals to devalue your pages and if they happen to have more than you you have bigger problems... e.g. your content isn't all that original and likely not the first version Google had in its archive.


Scraper sites are not known for being of higher PageRank. So get Dan Petrovic to actually redo the experiment using a PR0 scraper domain and show the same results.

In rebuttal - is dejanseo.com.au a scraper domain? You are suggesting it is or as I noted re-tooling my words.

Obviously when a domain has higher authority Google trusts it more - that isn't being disputed.

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