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If any link is a good link, then getting links from blogs, PR 0 pages, link farms, etc. shouldn't worry me...right?
I've heard the bad neighborhood discussion...but can my site get penalized if someone from a bad neighborhood links to my site and I don't link back?
If G was to actually penalize these types of links, competitors would be going after each other, rather than worrying about increasing their own inbound links. There has been a lot of previous discussion about one way inbound links..
rogerd you make a good point with the question of tripping a spam flag. It would be best to stay as clean as possible in developing web sites obviously, but in competitive fields it's more like staying ahead of the algorithms...
Google's Webmaster Facts & Fiction [google.com] page used to contain this:
There is nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index.
Now it contains this:
There is almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index.
Thanks for this!
> Seriously, what could a competitor do to harm my rank?
That's a very good question. After Florida many people here thaught that there is a penalty for too many inbound links with identical anchor text.
To get your inbound anchor text percentage close to 100% is theoretically possible for any competitor, though very difficult.
There is almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index
That's interesting, Google wouldn't have changed that sentence had they not changed some policies.
>What could a competitor do to harm your rank?
How about track down your IP address and go to your hosting service and register some domains with the same virtual IP or very similar so that once they develop these domains as spam the server gets flagged as housing a "bad neighborhood".
Another thing could be to fill out a spam report, albeit there would need to be some *dirty, evil, conniving, low down search engine optimization tricks* on your site, something we all know that SEOs never use.
But perhaps...and I'd take this with a grain of salt, the NEW and IMPROVED G-Google might just be watching the incoming links to your web site closer than you think...
THEN close to 100% same anchor for incoming Links and close to 100% links from blogs/forums/FFA etc is possible too.
But wonder, if google could handle this situation, right now it sems that loads of innocent sites are getting throtteled (as Google somehow assuming they are black hat).
Especially the OOP issue.
So your ignorance might kill.
Edited - spelling :-)
Getting back to the original question: in addition to automated filters, I'd worry a bit about a human review. If your competitor turned in a spam report on your site, the existence of lots of link farm and similar links might create a presumption of guilt that could tip the scale if the reviewer found anything dicey at all. I'm not privy to how Google does reviews, but my guess is that it's a quick process performed by lower-level techs in most cases. Unlike our US legal system, "presumption of innocence" may not apply. ;)
Everything we've seen from Google points to automated filters, so I would suspect the same thing for spam reports. Perhaps they run the html thru a much more precise algorithm which checks a lot more elements which could potentially be seen as spam. In fact, the whole Florida fiasco may be just such a case, where competitive searches in commercial sectors are subjected to more "precise" standards.
In terms of Google justice...you reap what you sow.
Time will tell.
Both sites have pagerank of 3-5.
Think about it:
Reciprocal links: - this means that your site, and the sites that link to you are connected in some way. How could you possibly penalise this? This is the whole point of hypertext in the Internet!
Unreciprocated Links - let's imagine a mega-site links to mine. OOP penalty? Once again this is nonsense. It could simply mean that my site is so important that a mega-site feels the need to link to it. That's kudos - not spam.
Balls-Up in the algo - Possible - becoming likely
New algo - slightly ballsed-up - likely
Experimental algo - incompetently looking for themes and interconnections within the site, and its link partners - and marginally f*cked-up to the extent of booting out excellent content - highly likely.
Sorry, misunderstood the first question. My answer to this question is: probably yes. The index page disappeared during Florida for a two word phrase but is now there again.
If a page already has a large number of, shall we say organic links, then this seems not to happen. This would explain why Googlebombing can still work.