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This 45 message thread spans 2 pages: 45 ( [1] 2 > >     
Do Google Ignore Certain Types of Dofollow Links (Can they spot linkbomb)?
ColourOfSpring




msg:4646594
 10:00 am on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

A comment was made on another thread:-

I'm pretty sure Google can spot a $5 link bomb from Fiverr by now.
(don't feel it's necessary to quote who has said this - this is a general discussion here, and it was a very interesting comment).

The purpose of THIS thread is to discuss if Google really do try to side-step around the issue of negative SEO by looking for "signs" of negative SEO and therefore deciding "this site is being attacked, we will ignore those links".

And if THAT is the case, how can they possibly know? Sure, you can point 200,000 links to a site, and in the balance of probabilities, it's more likely to be an attack than some foolhardy attempt at "positive" SEO given what most people know about the dangers of such link building. Or do Google even care if the 200,000 new links look like an attack or not? Remember, we live in a time where Google choose to penalise rather than ignore.

And even if they do try to tackle negative SEO, there are other just-as-easy ways to perform negative SEO in a far more stealthy way, while still being automated. You can schedule the building of links on a smaller scale, published randomly over time. This is still push-button automation. You can have a selection of types of toxic links that are randomly published also. Lo and behold, a site has directories, blog comments, forum profiles, splog links pointing to it. All by the push of a single button.

We can see people offering such negative SEO services. Google are paid money to advertise such services. They're on fiverr.com and other service provider sites. It's in the service provider's interest to make their negative SEO service as effective as possible. The whole point of negative SEO is to make the site owner look like they're violating Google's guidelines. On fiverr.com, we can see a number of N-SEO providers with queues of jobs lined up, plenty of positive testimonials, AND they're advertising ridiculously simple methods (200K link blasts). If it didn't work, why all the positive testimonials and queues of new jobs lined up?

Google are obviously good at spotting "bad" links, but their modus operandi since at least April 2012 is all about penalising such links, not ignoring them.

I don't personally see any evidence that Google are even trying to counter negative SEO - a bad link is a bad link. If it's pointing to your site, it's YOUR problem, not Google's.

 

ohno




msg:4646559
 7:50 am on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)


System: The following message was spliced on to this thread by aakk9999 - 10:43 am on Feb 19, 2014


I'm pretty sure Google can spot a $5 link bomb from Fiverr by now.

Form this thread

[webmasterworld.com ]

Some thought the issue was not part of the original thread so lets discuss that point here.

I honestly think a lot of people would be interested in you expanding on your opinion about certain types of links being ignored by Google (in the era where seemingly Google ignores NO dofollow links).

Then, it's valid to ponder whether a site can receive a manual penalty via links placed by a 3rd party the owner has no relationship with.

Well, it's a given that they spot "bad links" because that's what they penalise sites for (rather than ignoring them). Do you really think Google care who built the links? They've openly said they don't care - you have to just keep an eye on things and disavow any links you don't want to associate yourself with.

If Google can "spot" such "link bombs", why would they ignore those, but not ignore other linking methods? Are you suggesting there's a class of links that Google utterly ignores 100%? Interesting if so...

So, do we think Google can spot the $5 link bomb? If it can & ignores those without the webmaster having to create a disavow file why can't it simply ignore what it deems low quality spam links? Why does it feel the need to penalise a site for low quality links?

[edited by: aakk9999 at 10:48 am (utc) on Feb 19, 2014]

aakk9999




msg:4646611
 10:58 am on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Mods Note:

We have got two opening posts on the same subject and I have joined them together in the same thread.

Future posters to this thread - could we please have a mature discussion and do our best that this thread does not end up in whining and Google bashing - as our charter says, we're not here just to vent, we're here to help each other understand.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4646631
 12:09 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

In the interest of debate I believe the focus should also be on "average sites", not well established powerhouse websites with 1000ís of legitimate links. The majority of the web is made up of local sites with a backlink profile of 10-50 links, these are the sites most under threat from negative SEO.

ohno




msg:4646635
 12:12 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Good point. We aren't talking about the likes of eBay & Amazon here. The small sites that are the life blood of a healthy economy matter here.

EditorialGuy




msg:4646691
 4:11 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

So, do we think Google can spot the $5 link bomb?


I'm sure Google can afford to spend $5 and do some digging if such low-quality links have any impact.

IMHO, $5 "linkbombs" are likely to be more about duping the mark than fooling Google's algorithm. (Would you trust anyone who advertises "negative SEO" services?)

ohno




msg:4646703
 4:27 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

In which case.....

If it can & ignores those without the webmaster having to create a disavow file why can't it simply ignore what it deems low quality spam links? Why does it feel the need to penalise a site for low quality(in their eyes) links?

superclown2




msg:4646707
 4:36 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

IMHO, $5 "linkbombs" are likely to be more about duping the mark than fooling Google's algorithm. (Would you trust anyone who advertises "negative SEO" services?)


Heads you spend 5 dollars and bring down a competitor, tails you lose your five dollars. It looks like reasonable odds to me. I wouldn't do it but when people have to put food on the table .....

To be fair Google is between a rock and a hard place here. How could they tell the difference between a negative SEO attack and someone trying to boost a site and then claiming it was an attack after all? And if they ignore bad links, what is to stop us all blasting our own sites secure in the knowledge that the links may help but won't harm?

Google are not the Internet Police. Would we want them to be? In the meanwhile though I think they could do a lot of good by banning ads for NSEO and penalising sites that sell such 'services'.

mrengine




msg:4646710
 4:55 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm sure Google can afford to spend $5 and do some digging if such low-quality links have any impact.

We all know Google has the financial means to do this. The question is do they?

IMHO, $5 "linkbombs" are likely to be more about duping the mark than fooling Google's algorithm. (Would you trust anyone who advertises "negative SEO" services?)

I would not trust anyone on Fiverr selling links, but we can't ignore the feedback buyers are leaving after purchasing these services. I'm looking at one gig now that sells 240000 links with 28 orders pending. The gig has 352 votes and a 100% user rating. The gig also has a few descriptive comments including:

I was impressed, my order was completed ahead of schedule and the intended effects were immediate. will definitely use them again.

Fast delivery, seems to already having an effect. Recommended!

With a user name that includes "negative_seo" and a gig title that includes "be careful negative seo effect for $5," there is little doubt what the service is all about. The feedback left by hundreds of buyers and gig rating would indicate that the service is at least partially effective in causing harm to other websites.

In my opinion, there is enough irrefutable evidence out there that negative seo works. This correlates with my own personal "victim related" experiences. Only those who are naive and/or uninformed think otherwise.

While I believe Google does have some sort of algorithmic solution to ignore bad links, the overwhelming majority of websites do not have the base quality signals that are needed to provide them some sort of algorithmic protection from the ill effects of negative seo.

[edited by: mrengine at 4:56 pm (utc) on Feb 19, 2014]

aristotle




msg:4646711
 4:56 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

For the current version of Google's algorithm, there is no doubt at all that negative SEO could work in certain cases, especially when directed against small websites. Anyone who denies this is either badly mis-informed or intentionally dishonest. I don't have time to look for references, but Matt Cutts and others at Google have themselves even admitted that negative SEO could work in some circumstances.

The only certain solution to the problem is for Google to stop giving out penalties, either manual or algorithmic, based on a site's backlinks. This would be a very easy solution for Google to implement. The fact that they haven't done so is just more evidence that they don't much care about the quality of their search results.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4646714
 5:08 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm sure Google can afford to spend $5 and do some digging if such low-quality links have any impact.


In regards to penalties, Google only cares if links are unnatural, not the quality of them. There's enough evidence to know that sites have been hit for having blog comments and forum profile links pointing to them. Alternatively, some high profile sites have been penalised by having high quality links pointing to them because they were deemed unnatural.

superclown2




msg:4646716
 5:14 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

The only certain solution to the problem is for Google to stop giving out penalties, either manual or algorithmic, based on a site's backlinks. This would be a very easy solution for Google to implement.


The only way they could do this would be to have an algorithm that ignored any but the most trustworthy links. That would just about wipe out most of the non-brand sites that still survive. I'm sure they are aware of the problem but I'm not sure that solving it is as simple as that.

cattie




msg:4646717
 5:22 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Are you really arguing over $5 linkbombs and websites that only have 10 links? What type of business that takes internet marketing seriously only has developed 10 links?

Or is this just about whining over Google?

Is negative SEO possible? Yes
Can $5 buy you a "linkbomb"? Maybe a "link paper cut".
If your website is weak enough that $5 worth of bad links destroys it then you need to stop whining and improve your site or hire someone that understands the new SEO landscape to do it for you.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4646728
 6:03 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

cattie, please be extremely specific here - what sort of "internet marketing" do you engage in?

Shaddows




msg:4646729
 6:03 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

The only way they could do this would be to have an algorithm that ignored any but the most trustworthy links.

I am pretty sure Google does not penalise links. They penalise pages (and occasionally sites) for having too many bad links.

It's difficult, because a lot of the people who are sceptical about N-SEO are frankly too big to be hurt by it. And by "big" I'm not just talking about your link ratio, its about other signals too.

People don't like nebulous concepts like "brand signals" when your talking about nice, measurable things like 200000 dodgy links.

Can Google spot really obvious N-SEO, and care about it? I think they can and do, because they don't want spammers winning, even just through last-man-standing.

Are they 100%?

No chance.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4646730
 6:05 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

What type of business that takes internet marketing seriously only has developed 10 links?


Small business, local business, the life blood of the country. People that offer local services but don't want to publish a million fluff pages about the best way to repair a broken pipe in the hopes someone will link to them? How many people naturally want to link to such a site? 10? 12? If your lucky..

Are you suggesting exposure is only for large national companies and local searchers looking for say, a local plumber shouldn't have a decent recordset returned?

Interesting user experience.....

[edited by: CaptainSalad2 at 6:20 pm (utc) on Feb 19, 2014]

CaptainSalad2




msg:4646732
 6:09 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Can Google spot really obvious N-SEO, and care about it? I think they can and do, because they don't want spammers winning, even just through last-man-standing.


If this were true, do you have any explanation why negative SEO services are displayed at the top of both organic and PPC SERPS?

EditorialGuy




msg:4646743
 6:28 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

If this were true, do you have any explanation why negative SEO services are displayed at the top of both organic and PPC SERPS?


Maybe they're honeypots.

("Negative SEO" services aren't going away, so why not find out who their prospective customers are?)

CaptainSalad2




msg:4646748
 6:43 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Maybe they're honeypots.


That is an interesting idea for some of the less known sites I see, but in the case of fiverr? Can you picture the PR disaster if it was discovered G was behind fiverr?

in your opinion shouldn't fiverr be scrubbed from the serps?

mrengine




msg:4646754
 7:07 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Maybe they're honeypots.

Now that's quite a far fetched idea and one that I suspect may hurt some people's arms if they were to reach that far for a straw.

It's more likely that the negative seo services found in Google's search results are just like the fiverr gigs they display - people accepting money in exchange for harming the reputation of others. There's nothing hidden underneath the surface.

superclown2




msg:4646768
 8:00 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

What type of business that takes internet marketing seriously only has developed 10 links?


I have a number of sites with far fewer than ten links which are very profitable thanks. Lots of links is so 1990s .........

EditorialGuy




msg:4646769
 8:06 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

It's more likely that the negative seo services found in Google's search results are just like the fiverr gigs they display - people accepting money in exchange for harming the reputation of others. There's nothing hidden underneath the surface.


Or it could be some of both. Certainly it would make sense for Google to keep a toe in the dirty water, unless the anti-spam team believes that ignorance is bliss.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4646781
 8:31 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Or it could be some of both. Certainly it would make sense for Google to keep a toe in the dirty water, unless the anti-spam team believes that ignorance is bliss.


So you think Google are advertising negative SEO services? What's the point of the honeypot? Anonymous person buys their service. Now what? Would Google then punish their client somehow? And if they really do create honeypots for negative SEO, then surely they also create honeypots for positive SEO too - e.g. link networks. Actually the latter would make more sense than the former, but I doubt either exists.

totalodds




msg:4646782
 8:33 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

I am sure Google's search quality team have been briefed to look out for negative SEO before issuing a manual penalty.

If they see see a ($5) link blast the chances are they will detect it's a high chance of negative SEO. There are a number of other mitigating factors including the history of your website and previous link building methods.

If your website as record of being penalized in the past then the higher likelihood your website will be give a manual action (penalty).

The problem is not so much with the manual side of things it's more with the algorithmic updates such as "Penguin".

If Penguin is looking at low quality (spammy) linking patterns over a period of 6/months then it would be pretty easy to get your competitors algorithmically penalized.

Let's say a website is ranking well (top 5) in Google for "blue widgets" and they have maybe 6 or 7 exact match anchor backlinks for "blue widgets" and you go out and maybe add 100 do-follow exacts for "blue widgets" to their link profile, then if they don't upload a comprehensive disavow file then you can bet your bottom dollar, the next time Penguin rolls around they will take a devaluation for that keyword.

Google need to neutralize low quality links so they are neither beneficial or detrimental to one's link graph.

If they don't sort this out pretty soon then you are going to see a lot of very messy link profiles from people using negative SEO techniques.

Google need to put of the fire before it spreads.
@mrjamiedodd (Twitter)

mrengine




msg:4646797
 9:35 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Or it could be some of both. Certainly it would make sense for Google to keep a toe in the dirty water, unless the anti-spam team believes that ignorance is bliss.

I'm not sure if they would embark on such a tactic as the risks outweigh the benefits.

If it were disclosed that Google added honeypot listings in their search engine, then there would be many people screaming evidence exists that Google is manipulating the organic search results for whatever cause (profit, information, etc.). People selling negative seo services would also complain that they had to bid higher to outrank Google's own honeypots.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4646807
 10:05 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

If it were disclosed that Google added honeypot listings in their search engine, then there would be many people screaming evidence exists that Google is manipulating the organic search results for whatever cause (profit, information, etc.). People selling negative seo services would also complain that they had to bid higher to outrank Google's own honeypots.


Not only that, but it would prove that negative SEO exists because Google are concerned enough by it to create these honeypot sites.

goodroi




msg:4646819
 10:31 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

it would prove that negative SEO exists
Google (including Matt Cutts) has said multiple times that negative SEO exists. I would link to the blog posts, magazine articles, interviews and videos but there are too many. Just Google it and you will see that no one is really debating if negative SEO exists.

The debate is more about how easy or hard is negative SEO. In my experience when people talk about it they tend to state their personal feelings as fact. Few people back up their claims with real data which is unfortunate.

EditorialGuy




msg:4646828
 10:59 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

The debate is more about how easy or hard is negative SEO.


Isn't the answer likely to be "It depends"?

If you're already living on the edge, in terms of penalty risk factors, isn't it reasonable to assume that you'd be more vulnerable to negative SEO than a site that has a clean record with Google and high authority for its topic?

turbocharged




msg:4646856
 1:24 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

In my experience when people talk about it they tend to state their personal feelings as fact. Few people back up their claims with real data which is unfortunate.

To back up real data with facts, that would require linking to some sources. Linking out to sources was against the rules here until the red carpet was recently rolled out to allow the apparent promotion of Danny Sullivan's push to make all website penalties public record.

If the oppressive link policy of the past stays gone, then I'm sure some will link to some sources. Until then, people can check out Google's webmaster help forum. There are plenty of people complaining about being link bombed. Proving it's nseo or the site owner's own doing is impossible I think. But the effect of the toxic links are the same.

tangor




msg:4646864
 1:36 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Can we look at the disallow side of GWT as a tacit admission by G that they CAN'T figure out all the back links? For webmasters the disallow side is all about proving a negative, ie. fighting scurrilous scum. (When did you stop beating your wife?)

The "work" has now been put on the webmaster to make their results "work".

If G was doing their job correctly... but ... wait ... that's a different universe so ...

This 45 message thread spans 2 pages: 45 ( [1] 2 > >
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