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It seems many have dropped off the link:mydomain.com search results. That is nothing to worry about in itself, I know, but I did notice that the missing links were ones from sites which use a links manager programme. In fact I think it's the same one: they use very similar categories anyway.
Having then found another site which would make an excellent link-exchange partner (in fact I may link to it anyway), I decided to check the backlinks for some of the sites already listed as link partners. None of them show the original site in their backlinks on Google.
So has anyone else noticed this, or am I going mad? Any theories on how Google might be filtering the links, given that this site had added random letters to the beginning of each page name (eg. alinks.php )?
Linksmanager stuff is a stitch up and there is no doubt in my mind that Google will try and detect it. If I was google I would show them as backlinks and let people still believe they have value.... I would then have a way of identifying people who are trying to artificially inflate their links by participating in these schemes.
I am looking at about 10 different industries and all serps are dominated by websites, which you alexa or any other similar software.
The funny thing is, none of these links show in google backlinks, but if you use alltheweb or altavista, you see them all.
One example was 14 backlinks on google and 2.300 on alltheweb, all external... and no.1 for a very competitive keyword with pr 5 beating pr 6 and 7 sites easily.
For Google to discount those links when they are targeted and theme categorized doesn't make a lot of sense IMHO since those links were human reviewed at some point.
I can see a decrease in the amount of linksmanager - links, but the sites showing these decrese in their backlinks still have their SERP position as before.
Maybe with the next update Google will massively reduce the count of the linksmanager sites, although in my opinion it would not make any sense, since linksmanager is not made for automated links exchange.
You could easily set up an own alternative using a MYSQL database and PHP.
But most linksmanager garbage pages fall into two categories: they have below (usually way below) PR4; they reside in /links/ directories or have some other obvious designation like that. The low PR ones not showing has that explaination, but if Google is getting better at recognizing the directory sections housing these trash pages then that is terrific news. Still though, I see a lot of these pages showing as backlinks, and presumabaly counted as anchor text (the much bigger problem here).
I think calling the software a plague is a little harsh. It's just a simple way of organizing a link directory, and if used correctly can add valuable resources to a site. The automation process certainly makes life a little easier, and who would begrudge any webmaster interested in saving more time?
Like anything there will be webmasters who abuse the service, but that doesn't mean you throw out the baby with the bath water.
I think you're confusing this program with Zeus. Links Manager does not spider the web in search of link partners, nor does it have the capability to bulk mail. It is simply an efficient way to build a directory. There's really nothing wrong with the concept as long as the directory promotes sites related to it's overall theme. The entire foundation of the Internet is based on a network of links. Where would we be without them?
Now Google may eventually disallow such programs like Links Manager, but I don't see the fairness in such actions if the participating webmasters are using the service correctly.
You seem to be confused about your confusion. This has nothing to do with Zeus.
Defenses along the lines of guns don't kill people just don't fly.
Not only is it fair to ignore the results of deliberate link schemes, it should be required by the Google guidelines. They have been remiss in not taking action against this web pollution previously.
You have the right to use whatever software you want to manage your links.
Google has the right to ignore those links, pages, directories or sites that use them. They also have the right to filter or penalized those sites when it comes to ranking on google.
You have the right to whine about it when they do.
You do not have the right to decide which criteria google uses to rank your site.
It is not an issue of whether or not you use it properly. If Google decides that an action will do significantly more good than harm for the majority of searchers on the majority of searches then they should do it.
People can use whatever they want, and send out as many unwelcome emails as they want, but it sure will be a good day when Google (and Yahoo) recognize this poo as the worthless junk it is.
9 times out of 10 it is there for page rank link swops. The web is dependant on links, thats how search engines find many sites to index and joe public can also find new sites when they surf, but for a site to have so many links out that they need software to organise them is a clear signal to me that they are more interested in link popularity than helping their visitors.
Google has banned a few of our sites that have dynamic directories. But we built them ourselves without any commercial software.
I manage a client's site, about... widgets... Client sells 1000 different widgets on the site, has written and collated over 500 articles on widgets which are published on the site. All pages are SE friendly so site appear to google as huge. It is an authority
I have created a links directory for her, of sites people interested in widgets are likely to be interested in. Blue widgets, wodgets and wudgets.
Of course, I did not visit each site and make an executive decision on whether to link, I used software. Visit 2000 sites by hand? Um no thankyou. Google doesn't do this. they recommend sites through a formula and a crawler. Why shouldn't I?
My software tells me whether the site is of the topic I wish to recommend for my client's site visitors. It matter little that they could have found the same site through a search engine, the fact is, they are at my client's site, not a search engine. All I am doing is givine them more choices of where to go if they are after something similar my client does not have.
And why not askthese sellers of wodgets and whattha's that you sell widgets and maybe their clients may be interested so please link back to you? It will help your rnkaings, and yes people DO follow those links according to my logs. Many many people do.
I figure those of you who are bleating are sellers of the content content content line.
Tell me, how then do you compete with sites with similar sized/quality content with 500 more incomign links? You don't of course, you write to WWW and give the software a serve.