Shaddows - 8:41 am on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)
Fathom, you seem bent on believing that malicious competitors creating malicious links would have zero power to hurt someone else's site, but you sure haven't convinced me
I agree. And I think I know why.
First things first...
1. demonstrate the website owner conclusively had absolutely nothing to do with what happened, then after that
2. demonstrate the links that conclusively caused this effect, and then
3. show the "competitor's" timeline of development that supports this occurred at the appropriate time.
Fathom wants empirical proof, of the most formal and rigorous kind- one in a vacuum, in a static universe, with no delay between cause and effect. But also will not accept any data posted, due to "In my experience, "upon investigating..." means... "the first thing I saw"...
Other such dismissive language abounds. In effect, anyone posting contradictory information are dismissed as non-rigorous, ill-informed, amateurish no-hopers at best, or fabricators at worst.
Funnily enough, I actually do NOT think that individual links can get you penalised, or even masses of links in most circumstances.
Some limited testing and a lot of research shows that a strong site with a good existing link profile cannot be taken down by a negative link campaign.
Quite a few sites have gotten good rankings by manipulative techniques, before switching to "sustainable" models. Those can be taken down by negative campaigns, until their legitimate link profiles match their rankings.
Info sites are much easier to get demoted than ecom- but that is almost certainly NOT a penalty. The mechanism there seems to be something like(kicking in at (3))
1) Assume links are trustworthy unless otherwise indicated
2) Dampen* overtly suspicious links adhoc
3) EVENT: Overall profile flags as suspicious
4) Re-evaluate ALL links and dampen* on perceived merit
(Possibly, site might return to a "trusted" state at some future date, but there is no consistency there)
Ecoms are somewhat expected to have a financial basis to their link acquisition; freely given links to ecom are relatively rare. I have NEVER seen an ecom taken down by link campaigns whether legitimate, negative or merely incompetant.
Trust me, thats what my investigations show.
I am fascinated by Fathom's suggestion that a poorly executed link campaign can damage your own site, but not a competitors. If all is the same except the target site (or, in a different formulation, the person paying the bills), I cannot see how you can categorically say one will be penalised but not the other.
*dampen means to reduce power by any amount, up to 100%