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Google: Link Drops In Forums Is Spam and Will Get The Dropped Site Penalised
engine

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Msg#: 4674984 posted 5:09 pm on May 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

We knew it was bad form, but it's confirmed by Google's John Mueller, dropping links in forums to your site will get your site into trouble, either algorithmically, or manually.

John goes on to indicate that you should clean up those link-drops, too.

For those many people that are still carrying on with the practice, i'll repeat it in plain English: Link drops in forums is considered spam by Google and will get the site dropped penalised. There's no advantage any longer. Give it up! :)

Here's a link drop. ;)

[productforums.google.com...]

[edited by: aakk9999 at 6:55 pm (utc) on May 27, 2014]
[edit reason] typo [/edit]

 

fumanchu



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 2:14 pm on Jun 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Bill, I couldn't agree more with what you said. I have been recommending DuckDuckGo to everyone I know to steer people away from Google. Google is stupidly generating massive amounts of anger and even outright hatred with their behavior. Right now they are still king of the hill, but the ground is shifting beneath their foot though they don't realize it.

Wait and see. More and more people will begin to abandon Google for search. Their results stink, and who wants to have their searches logged and tracked in this day and age?

DuckDuckGo works great as my default search engine, and I will keep trying to move as many people as possible away from Google. Thankfully, I am seeing more and more search engine traffic from DuckDuckGo and other search engines. I think that will continue as people begin to abandon Google.

At this point I no longer worry about trying to make Google happy with my sites. It's a pointless waste of time that will only result in having to do it over and over and over again, each time they change their algorithm. Screw them, I just don't give a damn any more. I used to use nofollow on my links but I turned that off in the plugin and all of my links are do follow and I don't give a #*$! if Google likes it or not.

[edited by: fumanchu at 2:34 pm (utc) on Jun 4, 2014]

fumanchu



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 2:28 pm on Jun 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Oh, a few more thoughts.

I encourage everybody to pick an alternate search engine and then link to it on your site somewhere in a prominent location on your pages. Put a graphic and a little blurb that encourages your visitors to try the other search engine. I have this with DuckDuckGo on my pages and it's nice to see people clicking over to it and giving it a shot instead of Google.

There must be a grass roots attack on Google's search monopoly and that can only happen if we all make it a point to encourage our readers to try other search engines. The alternative is to just keep the status quo and let Google run wild with their search tyranny.

Screw that, they aren't unbeatable and they aren't untouchable. They think they are, but they are not. Remember how everybody thought Microsoft was unbeatable years ago, and look where they are now. Sooner or later a new technology or company will arrive that will consign Google to the dustbin of history. It ALWAYS happens in technology, so it's just a matter of time.

EditorialGuy

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Msg#: 4674984 posted 2:32 pm on Jun 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

I encourage everybody to pick an alternate search engine and then link to it on your site somewhere in a prominent location on your pages. Put a graphic and a little blurb that encourages your visitors to try the other search engine.


Why stop there? It's easy enough to block Googlebot in robots.txt.

fumanchu



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 2:36 pm on Jun 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

EditorialGuy, as I understand it, Google completely ignores robots.txt files. Correct me if I'm wrong please, but that's what I read a while back. So I don't think that would work unless something has changed recently.

fumanchu



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 2:40 pm on Jun 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Oh, here's another example of a shift away from Google. Apple has announced recently that Bing will be replacing Google in Spotlight searches in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. Google is still the default search engine in Safari...for now...but eventually Apple will dispense with them there too.

[searchengineland.com...]

Also, Apple has added DuckDuckGo as a search option in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. So users will be able to use DuckDuckGo as their default search option very soon. I do not know how many will use it, but I suspect that it will hurt Google to one degree or another once people realize that they can search without being tracked and filter bubbled.

[searchengineland.com...]

Given the hundreds of millions that use iOS and the millions that use OS X, this is all very bad news for Google. And they deserve every bit of it! :)

Eventually Google will rue the day they decided to screw Apple by releasing Android. As a company Apple can be a good friend, but they can also be a terrible and implacable enemy, as Google is starting to find out.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 4:07 pm on Jun 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Fumanchu, Google honors Robots.txt. It just isn't offering a robotx.txt generator anymore:

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/156449?hl=en

Also, there are other ways of blocking Googlebot (e.g., on pages that Google already knows about or finds through links on third-party sites), as the linked Google Support page explains.

In other words, if you're serious about promoting a "grass roots attack on Google's search monopoly," you can banish Google from your life (or at least from your site) instead of relying on lip-service solutions like telling readers who have found their way to your site through Google to use DuckDuckGo instead.

fumanchu



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 4:10 pm on Jun 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the clarification, EditorialGuy. My comments weren't about "banishing google from my sites," they were about encouraging readers to try a different search engine. Like Microsoft, Google will probably always be around in form or another but their search monopoly has not been good for the web in general, and the more people that diversify their search engine choices, the better for all of us.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 10:59 pm on Jun 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

The problem isn't forum signature links, guest-blogging links, blog roll links or anything "link related", except Google's algo.

The real problem is Google continues to allow those type of links to be effective. It used to be Google got gamed by counting them as positives, now Google's going to get [getting] gamed by counting them as negatives.

The only difference between the positive and negative impact those links have will be who's site they point to. It used to be they pointed to the site someone owned/worked for. Now they'll point to a competitor's site instead.

As long as forum sig links, forum link drops, guest blogging links, etc. are effective one direction [positive], or the other [negative] they will continue to be used. The only difference is who uses them, the site owner or the competition.

The way to "get links back to citations" is to ignore the "bad ones", because as long as "bad links" have an effect in either direction they will continue be used and grow, which doesn't solve the problem at all -- Counting them as negatives actually could easily compound it...

niggle



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 5:09 pm on Jun 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Wow I had no idea - I put a link in my last post - better go and remove it!

niggle



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 5:10 pm on Jun 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Oh no I didn't - phew!

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 5:22 pm on Jun 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

As long as forum sig links, forum link drops, guest blogging links, etc. are effective one direction [positive], or the other [negative] they will continue to be used. The only difference is who uses them, the site owner or the competition.


Reading your post made me wonder, is this why we have not seen a penguin update in a while?

What if google had already planned on "not counting" these types of links that people got penalized for. But before doing that they thought why not inflict a little pain to make people think twice about trying to game the system in the future.

I don't know, just thinking out loud.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 6:13 pm on Jun 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

is this why we have not seen a penguin update in a while?


Maybe Google will announce, one of these days, that Penguin has been incorporated into the main algorithm, a la Panda.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 7:12 pm on Jun 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Maybe Google will announce, one of these days, that Penguin has been incorporated into the main algorithm, a la Panda.


That's a possibility for sure. That said we have a few canaries in the mine which should let us know if there has been any penguin activity and we've not seen any indication yet of an update or an integration.

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 5:29 am on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Gotta' agree with EditorialGuy on this;

Google hasn't done anything different, and I don't think John Mueller has said anything in that post that he hasn't already said in google hangouts.

Google doesn't like link spam, and dropping links to your site in forums is just another form of link spam.

I don't see how it is any different than how google treats link directories, FFA links, blog comment spam, guest blogging for links, etc.

Oh, and although it isn't stated in that post, I am (pretty) sure that John Mueller is only referring to links that are followed / flow page rank. He is not referring to links that are nofollowed.

Matt Cutts has said in a couple of videos that google reserves the right to punish a site that is creating tons of nofollow links if they think the person who is posting the links is just sort of polluting the internet in general. It sounded like you would have to be a MAJOR spammer to be punished for nofollow links, though.

So if the links are nofollow, you probably have nothing to worry about. And if they flow page rank, well, what were you expecting?

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 5:35 am on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google doesn't like link spam, and dropping links to your site in forums is just another form of link spam.

I don't see how it is any different than how google treats link directories, FFA links, blog comment spam, guest blogging for links, etc.

--

So if the links are nofollow, you probably have nothing to worry about. And if they flow page rank, well, what were you expecting?

Totally agree, but what happens if I add links to your site instead of mine? Uh, oh yeah, if you're in my niche you're completely toast if I don't have ethics, cause if I didn't have ethics I would most certainly give you a few [or more] links you didn't ask for -- Google's whole POV is off a bit, no matter how much some stick up for 'em -- Google's just plain off in their decisions.

[edited by: JD_Toims at 5:50 am (utc) on Jun 6, 2014]

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 5:37 am on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

@ EditorialGuy


"Maybe Google will announce, one of these days, that Penguin has been incorporated into the main algorithm, a la Panda."


Yes, something to think about. Although I am not really sure how much we in the webmaster community really understand Panda.

Matt and Amit and Vanessa Fox all say that Panda was a PLATFORM update - and not just an algorithm update, and (if I recall correctly) required the caffeine infrastructure update to be completed before Panda could be implemented.

Anyway, sorry I am digressing. I guess what I am saying is there is a little bit of Panda we kind of understand and a whole lot about Panda that we still don't understand.

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 6:16 am on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

"Google's just plain off in their decisions. "

Fair enough.

Just don't count on them for traffic. Problem solved.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 6:48 am on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Just don't count on them for traffic. Problem solved.

Totally agree, but please don't try to convince ppl who try/want to rank that's the answer or you'll get flamed outa here ;)

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 2:44 pm on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Matt and Amit and Vanessa Fox all say that Panda was a PLATFORM update - and not just an algorithm update


Exactly. "A new architecture" was the phrase used by someone at Google (Matt Cutts, maybe?). Given the fact that Penguin has been around for a couple of years, it's reasonable to assume that the new architecture would have room for a Penguin bedroom, porch, or balcony.

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 7:02 pm on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

"Given the fact that Penguin has been around for a couple of years, it's reasonable to assume that the new architecture would have room for a Penguin bedroom, porch, or balcony."

I would buy that idea.

There also seem to be claims of Penguin recoveries that coincide with PANDA updates.

My own experience is that my site LOST traffic on PENGUIN dates, and it has bounced back significantly as of the PANDA 4 update (up 50% since May 17th compared to the time frame before May 17th).

So there is SOME connection, I would guess. Maybe the Panda has built a Guest Igloo?

Clay_More



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 7:02 pm on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Does someone have a reference for the platform/architecture/algorithm statements? I've looked and cannot find anything.

I believe Panda and Penguin are algorithm, Hummingbird was architecture.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 9:37 pm on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Clay_More: Here's a Search Engine Roundtable that includes a screen capture of a Matt Cutts tweet:

[seroundtable.com...]

What he said:

"think of it like P4 is a new architecture. Brings in some of the softer side, but also lays groundwork for future iteration."

Clay_More



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 2:59 am on Jun 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

I must say there is nothing I find more definitive than a screenshot of a tweet.

I can see where your interpretation comes in, but I think I'll stick to my belief that Panda and Penguin are independent parts of a larger algorithm.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 4:13 am on Jun 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

You're correct Clay_More -- Panda and Penguin are a portion of the larger overall algo [scoring system] like PageRank. Hummingbird was more along the lines of infrastructure [not directly the scoring system, even though it did/does have some effect on the results] like Caffeine and Big Daddy, only different.



An example of what Hummingbird might do is:

If someone searches for "cookie ingredients" and then searches for "bread", it might "shift" the results they see from "bread sellers" [normal result set] to "bread ingredients" [previous query based result set] -- It does impact what people see in the results for subsequent/related queries, but does not actually "change the overall score" of the pages included in the results for a given query -- Hope that makes sense.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 1:36 pm on Jun 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

I can see where your interpretation comes in, but I think I'll stick to my belief that Panda and Penguin are independent parts of a larger algorithm.


It wasn't my interpretation, it was Matt Cutt's interpretation.

In any case, an "architecture," a "platform," and "independent parts of an algorithm" can be different words or phrases for the same thing.

Clay_More



 
Msg#: 4674984 posted 5:44 am on Jun 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

In any case, an "architecture," a "platform," and "independent parts of an algorithm" can be different words or phrases for the same thing.


I wouldn't necessarily agree with that. But, if you are happy with your interpretation, I'm not going to burst any bubbles.

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