Selen - 10:56 pm on Dec 12, 2013 (gmt 0)
In my opinion Google should not count these low quality links.
That would be the most reasonable option. I think Bing doesn't count such links..
In addition, will be great for each webmaster to discount links from WMT (i am talking about negative seo, and spam robots).
.. or give webmaster an option in Google Webmaster Tools. For example a webmaster could decide if he wants all back links to be counted automatically (default) OR have a chance to REVIEW them before they take Google algo calculation effect. That would be the most efficient way (less work for Google and much less work for webmasters).
Google will have a really hard time determining who created the links.
After not sleeping for almost 2 days, I'm not able to determine it either. The bad sites that linked to the site I manage have no apparent relation, they are hosted all over the world, have different themes. Some links appear only for a short period of time and then disappear. Some appear in footer/header only (suggesting someone has access to a "Master key" where he can add/remove bad links at any time).
I could meet somebody in a dark alley at midnight and slip a $100 bill into their pocket in return for a link to my site. How is Google going to know who paid for it, or if anyone even paid for it at all?
I've just read two articles mentioning you can get 500-1000 'back links' for even $10. To do the damage, you can claim you are the owner of your.. competitor website (even though I doubt rogue people would even ask if you own the site as long as you pay them).
They may take a closer look if there is a reconsideration request. Eventually, taking a closer look over many websites over the time may perhaps result in some adjustments to the metric as they *will* learn something from the write-ups of webmasters' many reconsideration requests.
That makes sense and that's my hope, but how much time can it take.. Now I'm thinking it might not be a good idea to request to reinstate the website because the decision may be negative AND those who are patient and wait (ie. do nothing) may be rewarded automatically (ie. Google will automatically lift their 'penalty'). And those who still have 'manual penalty' in their account for the same thing may not recover? I hope Matt Cutts or someone from Google reads it and take it into consideration when working on the fix.