Awarn - 2:41 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)
I have had the "thing" (maybe it's Penguin who really knows) for around a year now. I read these posts that say I need to build my site for my customers and not Google, focus on making customers convert etc. I thought I did that. Did I spam - NO. I did have a section of related sites. They were mainly related areas of interest sites etc (but here again how far do you stray before it becomes too off topic in Google's eyes?) The site was pretty clean and this is why this Penguin thing irritates me so much. I would consider me clean and many of my competitors spammy.
Now I have looked at this many ways. Nothing makes sense why I am outranked. I have the product, am not spamming, have a site that gives the customers what they want etc etc. But I do have a lot of backlinks. In fact, over time when I look at the backlinks I ask where did this and that come from. A lot come from people who just link to you or these directories that just pick you up etc. Isn't that what Google wants? Is it?
So lets look at Tedster and Ralph_Slates and Fathom's posts. Maybe they are all correct in a way. What if Google implemented a conversion tool on backlinks that looks to see how long the user stays on the site after they came from the link. If they stay long enough it carries value, if the user backs out right away it flips something like an irrelevant score flag. Eventually if you get too high of a score your site is flagged for spammy links (aka Penguin) and the penalties start to hit. You may not be spamming at all. You may have a good site but you have a backlink profile that makes it look like you did SEO. Also how can the disavow tool kick into to this calculation?
So in effect all these sites that link to you can help you or can in fact hurt you if they aren't relevant enough.
I am not sure but it sure looks like a possibility.