Msg#: 4431410 posted 5:59 pm on Mar 20, 2012 (gmt 0)
Tony Verre (@TonyVerre) posted a blog post about Unnatural Links [searchnewscentral.com] triggering a WMT warning and penalization by Google over the past months. According to Search Engine Round Table [seroundtable.com] this is a stepping up of warnings about unnatural links promised by Matt Cutts.
Tony asks what does Google define as unnatural the suggests a few scenarios that might resemble unnatural linking, including
Acquisition rate of links
Root domains - clusters of links from related sites
Anchor text concentration
What are your thoughts about those signals Tony highlighted? Any additional signals you think are triggering the WMT love letters?
Msg#: 4431410 posted 1:33 am on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)
Pretty much most links you have to build by hand are trying to influence your rank in the SERPs. This is defined as a scheme and against their TOS.
While any ol junk site can target anchor text like there's no tomorrow and rank well for a while, it's just not a sound strategy. If you're truly kicking ass with content, user interaction/features and have a solid PR strategy you'll get the links. It's slower but it's safe and doing things the right way will eventually put you in a great place.
Msg#: 4431410 posted 6:07 am on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)
I would suggest some of these make an impact positively or negatively.
-Rate of build -Prevalence of Brands in target marketplace -Concentration / Percentage of authority links -Overall strength variance of inbound link profile -Type of link built and age of content build to -Number of, and anchor text of other outbound links to similar websites on the same website
Msg#: 4431410 posted 5:55 pm on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)
Signals of Link Selling Barry Schwarz comments here [seroundtable.com] about a post in supporters from last year where a member reported having received the WMT Love Letter [webmasterworld.com] warning of unnatural links. Matt Cutts posted to that thread to make it clear that that particular case was about signals on the member's site that indicated to Google there was link selling going on.
While that Love Letter was from last year, it is clear that link selling signals were something Google was looking for. The OP of that thread asserted there was no link selling. Taking his word for it, what appeared to have triggered the false positive may have been a set of cross-links between that site and five or six other sister sites. There are other methods that fall into the Spam Bucket, but I personally believe that those are different than the paid links and reciprocal buckets. With paid links and reciprocals there is some crossover with natural linking patterns that could resemble unnatural linking- so there needs to be a statistical threshold to determine the difference between natural and unnatural. The methods in the Spam Bucket, by contrast, may not have a presence in natural linking patterns.
Clearly paid links is one of the buckets. Reciprocals would probably be another bucket.