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Competing with Link Text only

   
4:30 pm on Jun 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Our new site, launched a month ago, is up against a lot of "google-bomb" style SERPS manipulation <>.

Going to be difficult going up against them. This is a very competitive sector and they have over 3,000 backlinks (that I know of) via such means.

All these backlinks are totally off-topic, irrelevant, and simply a means of using mass anchor-text inbounds to manipulate the SERPS.

These guys currently hold the #1 position in G, which is what I'm gunning for.

I'd be happy with a top 5 SERPS listing for the bulk of phrases I'm targetting, but I'm quite competitive by nature ;-)

I'm interested to know what you guys would do in these circumstances?

TJ

[edited by: ciml at 3:13 pm (utc) on June 19, 2004]
[edit reason] Please see Sticky. [/edit]

6:09 am on Jun 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The question to ponder is are on topic links more than marginally better than off topic ones?

They don't seem to be even just marginally better.

8:38 am on Jun 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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trillian, u need to be patient ...
just continue with the good work ... u will succeed someday ...
11:51 am on Jun 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Well in doing a little shopping around, it does seem that google penalise sites linking out to non-related theme sites where those links are en-masse (i.e. a large number of sites all linking to one site with the same anchors).

I'm assuming they must be manual penalties.

A word of warning to those looking at joining any kind of link selling affiliation.

Just seen Marinibusters Msg #5 here:-

[webmasterworld.com...]

And in response to:-

I have to really take issue with this. When the web was relatively new, people who put up sites would link to whoever the he** they felt like, often because they had simply found a site they thought was interesting and wanted to share. There was nothing wrong with it and there's still nothing wrong with it. And, in fact, that was one of the things that was neat about web surfing in the mid 90''s----never knowing where you might end up.

From Google's "technology" page:-

PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B

I agree with you in principle, and so does google.

But purchasing links is not "democratic" and it's hard to draw a line of distinction between natural and purchased links so my feeling is google will have to remain on the ball with manual penalties. I don't think they could automate this.

TJ

2:09 pm on Jun 21, 2004 (gmt 0)



But purchasing links is not "democratic" and it's hard to draw a line of distinction between natural and purchased links so my feeling is google will have to remain on the ball with manual penalties. I don't think they could automate this.

True, but they could have a filter that neutralizes the transfer of PR from known sellers (or even strongly suspected abusers) of PageRank.

For example, there was a discussion a while back about a well-known PR8 weather site that sells links. Even a casual look at the site makes it obvious that something shady is going on; <>. It wouldn't be unreasonable for Google to enter that site's domain in a "block PageRank transfer" filter. Before too long, PageRank buyers would realize that they were wasting their money; and even if they didn't, Google's SERPs would be improved.

[edited by: ciml at 4:45 pm (utc) on June 24, 2004]
[edit reason] No specifics please. [/edit]

2:13 pm on Jun 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



True, but they could have a filter that neutralizes the transfer of PR from known sellers (or even strongly suspected abusers) of PageRank.

My understanding is that's exactly what they are doing.

But it requires manual intervention when a "known" seller is discovered - unless you're saying such a filter could somehow be automated?

TJ

4:36 pm on Jun 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



actually, one site purports to have a list of sites that no longer pass PR because google has identified them as PR sellers.

I don't know what to think about the issue, really. To be honest, when people engage in reciprocal linking, it's the same thing really. It's not an outright sale, but it is barter which is essentially the same. Also, when you buy an advertisement on a site, you typically get a graphic that links back to another site. Do we call that advertising, or do we call it page rank selling?

10:07 am on Jun 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It's not an outright sale, but it is barter which is essentially the same.

Detecting reciprocal links by automated process is easy though, and you can bet your bottom dollar that google will start devaluing them (there's been plenty of argument on here recently to say that they are already).

Finding the anchor bombers (and the ones charging for the service) is a lot more tricky.

I have had word from google that this (mass scale anchor text) is considered to be SPAM. It was in this instance anyway - although quite where and how you draw the line between SPAM and anchor-text advertising is anyones guess.

TJ

12:19 am on Jun 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Incidentally, many of these sites do not even have the keyword in their title.

Will moving to #1 make that big a difference then? Maybe #2 is high enough if your title looks good and theirs doesn't...? Just putting that out there to discuss...

9:19 am on Jun 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Interesting point karmov.

But events have been overtaken by a bit of e-mail correspondence with google who expressed some curiousity.

It seems google do indeed view this as SPAM and have now nuked the site.

Not sure if this was a manual penalty or an anti-anchor text algo tweak, but it's done the job and paved the way for me.

TJ

<Added>Hmmm - interesting, it's an algo tweak. If there was a previous weighting against sites with masses of the same anchor text, they've cranked it up a little bit.</Added>

3:34 pm on Jun 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Are u sure it's an algo tweak? I would hope that this kind of thing gets done manually, otherwise a number of sites whose name and url is essentially the same as their keywords (causing those who link to the site to unknowingly engage in "anchor bombing") could get unfairly penalized. In my case, about a third of those who link to me simply use the url, but at least a full third or more use the title of the site which is synonymous for the industry keywords.
3:42 pm on Jun 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Are u sure it's an algo tweak?

Sorry, I had lost track of this thread.

No, I take it back entirely. My initial impression was an algo-tweak combined with several manual penalties (I'm looking at a multitude of sites).

My initial assumption was from a drop in rankings of several sites which had not been PR0'd. That in fact turned out to be simply a case (as far as I can tell) of some of their inbound links having lost their effect/relevance/PR transfer by the nuking of the advertiser.

I take it back about the algo-tweak. None that I can actually detect anyway.

My mistake, sorry.

TJ

3:49 pm on Jun 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



>... at least a full third or more use the title of the site which is synonymous for the industry keywords.

I consider this anchor text to be a weakness of Google's algo. Say, someone who was early in this game or rich, bought the domain widget.com where widget is a highly competitive word. Now many of links to it will have anchor texts widget, boosting this site's ranking for widget search. On the other hand, a site exactly similar to this site but with the domain name dhvfdsfoi.com because all other were already taken, will have hard time getting anchor texts widget, thus losing out in ranking.

5:03 pm on Jun 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Actually, I should rephrase. There are three keywords for my industry, only one of which is in my url. In fact the url (just occurred to me--you could write a webmaster fairy tale about the Earl of Link), has this one keyword plus another non-keyword, but there is no hyphen. So the url is not exactly matched to the industry. The truth is, I get keyword rich backlinks because those linking to the site read the content and go "yeah, it DEFINITELY is about blah-blah-blah". And then they link with those words. Is this unfair? Or is it simply the result of being DEAD-ON with well developed content. And is google wrong to reward this kind of relevancy? Relevancy is what they are all about. I mean, think about it, what should a site about bulldogs have as the anchor text in a back link? I would guess that the word bulldogs would be in there in many cases. The purpose of anchor text is to tell the user what the HE** the referred site is all about. It's only wrong when the anchor text is lying about the content of the site being referred.
5:44 pm on Jun 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I was not writing about your site. It was a general comment. Say there are two sites - kw1.com and kw2.com and kw1 and kw2 are very close synonyms, and are used interchangeably. However, kw1 is searched 1,000,000 times a day while kw2 is seached 1,000 times a day. [We all know of such synonym pairs.] Both sites have contents related to kw1 and kw2 so relevancy is not an issue. But the links will have the problem either in the plain url form or in anchor text form. How many people are going to link kw2.com with anchor text kw1?

Unless Google is able to give equal weights to kw1 and kw2 for either of kw1 or kw2 searches, obviously kw1.com has a strong [unfair] advantage.

5:53 pm on Jun 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



For google to apply equal weight in such situations, they'd actually have to be aware of all the various synonyms that apply to a particular keyword. With all the millions of topics and sites out there, how would they do that? Hire english majors en masse?
6:11 pm on Jun 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Simple. Remove anchor text importance. It just favors the person who got the coveted kw1.com site - generally the richest person. All latecomers don't stand a chance in the most competitive keyword searches - all good domain names are gone.
6:23 pm on Jun 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



If you remove anchor text importance, then simply getting links in general would become more valuable. I'm not sure that's an improvement. As far as those with money snapping up the best domains, I'm not sure about that either. Take mesothelioma for example. You could buy domains all day long with that word. Just hyphenate the url with some other word, almost any word really. mesothelioma-clickety-click, for example.
7:32 am on Jun 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



While on this topic, does anyone know how to get a spam report to Google guy or Yahoo guy?

With all the recent changes alot of fairly decent sites lost including mine big time, but now I am seeing some of the largest spammers I've ever seen ruling on both.

These networks appear not to be small time, they are probably whole companies orgainzed to spam systems out of russia.
Thousands of backlinks, lots of pr, only scrambled keywords and they are ruling both engines across any one of thousands of keywords they gone after.
I just sent google a spam report and added attention Google Guy.

7:42 am on Jun 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Sad thing about it is I can see exactly how they are doing every step, including the pr. I could do the same things and even hire people to help, but I keep telling myself to keep making good looking relavant pages and some day that will be better off.

People like me are the ones continuously getting knocked into oblivion. You know what though I'd rather go outa biz, then do all the uninteresting nasty junk these people are doing.

11:45 am on Jun 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



For google to apply equal weight in such situations, they'd actually have to be aware of all the various synonyms that apply to a particular keyword

That's why they bought Applied Semantics.

12:53 pm on Jun 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Maybe Google has a real crap algo? I mean why the need for all the amateur spamcops if their algo is so great?

I have to admit I saw the most laughable thing I've even seen yesterday. Someone built a perfectly themed ring of 20 sites on free hosting and he's literally ruling the SERPS for every phrase.

The best part is the page itself. He uses purple and green, etc and has a picture of a rotating finger that points to the links on the "target site".

It's time to party like its 1999.

6:33 am on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Few weeks ago now, fully laid out a huge spam nest directly to Google-Guy. Pointed out it's pr bases, and tons of spam incomming backlinks. Really one of the biggest spammers on the net I've seen.

Still ranking sky-High all over on same sites network.
Good thing many of my sites that were relavant for years are now totally irrelavant, with these recent changes, at least people could read and see what was really there.
Like I told him, I would just rather just quit webmastering, rather than do like the poop networks I showed him.

1:43 pm on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well i also know a big spammer, i reported him several times with details at the spam report. I reported it a long time before the juni update. He is still ruling the serps and i can see his sales increase. His farm of the same sites is also growing and growing. Before he had ten, now he already has 10 or more big sites. Each site has over more than 6000 pages i guess.

If after the next update his sites are still very high, i will reconsider using this technique also, because i am losing sales now!

3:08 pm on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Why not report them to google? Heehehhe... if not, let the bombing begin!
3:24 pm on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well i reported them several times, but no action was taken from the side of Google. So maybe i will start doing it too, because no action is taken against it.

Well maybe it is difficult for Googlebot to recognize it as such, or?

Well the spammer has more than 3000 different products in store at each site. Each shop has the same products. Only the layout, the filenames(+/-3000) and the domain names are different. Easy isn't it?

3:30 pm on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Before he had ten, now he already has 10 or more big sites. Each site has over more than 6000 pages I guess.

Nothing wrong with that IMO. Sounds like he has worked very hard to get where he is.

A bit naughty that this is the same product on all sites I guess, but that is the name of the game isn't it.

4:42 pm on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



They won't be there long. I think it's a case of timing.

I reported a spam network to google a few days before the last backlink update and they were nuked the day of the update.

I think that google put them all in a list and roll-out the penalties on a day to coincide with other activity such as a backlink or PR update.

That keeps everyone guessing.

TJ

4:54 pm on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



>> Well i reported them several times, but no action was taken from the side of Google.

Perhaps your definition of spam and that of Google are different. Sometimes I fall into the temptation to consider those "sites positioned above mine" as spam, but in many cases, they are not really to that extent. Instead of wasting your time to report them, it can be more productive to admire them and learn what make them stronger than yours.

>> So maybe i will start doing it too, because no action is taken against it.

Yes, so what are you waiting for?

5:11 pm on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I reported a spam network to google a few days before the last backlink update and they were nuked the day of the update.

trillianjedi, did you include anything special in your spam report? I submitted reports on a dozen of the most egregious offenders over the past year, complete with detailed explanations, and not a single one has been nuked. I finally gave up around 4 months ago because it seemed to be a waste of my time.

5:17 pm on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Elgrande - nope, just a single URL.

I don't know how many people had reported them in the months before me though of course...

TJ

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