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With all the different sites offering links for sale, they would have to employ someone full time just to stay on top of it.
Quite likely, although it would be easy to "flag" sites as potential sellers automatically and have the list worked on manually.
One site in particular I noticed would not have been flagged by any such automated system due to the very clever way that it was implemented.
What evidence is your opinion based on?
PR7 (with hundreds of PR4+ backlinks) and PR8 site (with thousands) until yesterday doing just fine in google and completely indexed hit PR0 this morning, no backlinks showing and all pages removed from index.
That in my book is a manual nuking (in certain circumstances this can be automatic - bad neighbourhood link etc, but on these examples that's not the case and you can either take my word for it or not ;-)).
If it doesn't affect anything in any categories you keep an eye on, you won't notice a thing.
[edited by: trillianjedi at 7:32 pm (utc) on June 23, 2004]
We had another site "nuked" a few months back (late January). We had kept a #1 rank for an ultra competitive search term for about 9 months, and then decided to "buy" some high PR links to bolster us through the holidays (mostly newspaper sites, you know the type). We made it through "florida" fine, but about a week into January we lost our fresh cache tags, then about another week later all of our backlinks had disappeared. Then our PR7 dropped to a gray bar. We gave up on the domain, transferred it to a new domain, and are just relaunching the site (not the site that just dropped from PR7 to PR0). I am beginning to wonder if Google recognizes that the sites are from the same IP range, had penalized the old domain manually, and are doing the same to the new site based on similar linking.
Another note, we have at least 500 inbounds from "non brokered" domains. If it's true that Google would simply discount the PR from the broker bought links, then we should still have at least a PR5b from the other links. I think that there is far more to this than just Google tweaking there ever-changing algo. I think that they have gone dramatically in the direction of hurting SEO's so that we will be discouraged from doing what we do. We all know that they are "known" by their relevance, and they see us as a constant threat to their results. In my opinion, this would accomplish their goal by going out of their way to penalize sites that are buying these links, not just the sellers.
Googlebot visits daily....
Whether it be "nuked" sites or erroneous PR and Backlink updates, they clearly have done something.
For my site, It now shows backlinks from a site that quit linking to us months ago. This tells me that the count and PR are not to be trusted. I'm not complaining because the count went up, but I know that the count means nothing anymore. What is being shown and what actually exist are two different equations.
I never have chased PR and instead have focused on the SERPS. PR is not going to get me a sale, being in the top of the SERPS will.
Whatever it is, this is exciting times since it had become way to easy! You really got to work at it now!
I was thinking about "purchasing" some links, but after reading here and and seeing that even though some sites have purchased 1000's of links without it affecting their SERPs, I think I'll stick to what I was doing.
As far as I know it is a white hat site nothing to my knowledge wrong we were page 1 & 2 listings but something has gone wrong! Any advice
This would be a much more sensible route than they took. The likelihood is that Google is aiming to discount, to some degree or completely, links that aren't genuine "votes". That is nearly impossible so they take baby steps in that direction. One such step is to discount links pages named links. Another is to discount links pages named anything at all.
Personally I think they took a heavyhanded step because they weren't ready to take a more subtle one. The more subtle thing may now be underway, or at least a process has begun.
You probably still don't want to be linked to from a links.tld page
You probably also don't want a page with just globs of links
If file name doesn't matter after this update, that's great, but people should continue to be concerned about pages that are constructed similar to how most links.tld pages are constructed.
I would argue that Google has nothing at all against pages named links.tld or pages with just links. This is very standard with non-SEO types and in view pages with just relevant links are very useful. Sometimes I land on a site and move on to its links pages to discover new things, instead of trying to find links hidden among text.
So why did Google PR 0ed links.tld. My guess is that it was a bold move to catch SEO-ed sites. It cast a wide net and for long enough so that all SEO-types noticed it and changed their links pages to some very obscure names. Only the webmasters who either didn't know such things exist or didn't care, left their links pages as links.tld.
People who changed the names of their links page can't hide now. Especially if two sites were linking to each other, and both changed their links page names, are under the most suspicion, in my view.
Think of this, it does not make any sense for Google to penalize links.tld since it know quite well that most of the established and non-SEOed genuine sites have their links pages named links. I seems like a nice gamble most SEOs fell for.
PR updates on a daily basis, pretty much as soon as the link is crawled.
The "PR Updates" we refer to is really a "toolbar update" where google updates the data the toolbar reads the PR from .
The SERPS are also rolling updates.
The reason I state this is that in every "PR update" thread people say things such as "my pr increase by 3 but the SERPs have not changed" or "starting to notice SERP updates".
A lot of people seem to think that a when the toolbar PR is updated the SERPs will change signicantly when infact it is no different to any other day.
Hall of fame black helicopter post. Let's get real. Megacorporations aren't doing Internet wide practices to find the quivalent of a penny.
Google cares about making an algorithm that works like it wants to, not pursuing a couple hundred webmasters who when changing a page file name didn't also have the sense to actually change the pages a bit!
From what I've observed, about a week ago we had changes that conform with this update. In my sectors there was also movement today and yesterday more than normal, but not that much more.
The backlink update that we are seeing is a joke, I do not know why anybody at this point even pays attention to the toolbar PR, or even looks at the backlink count. This has not been accurate for some time now. I do not think Google really cares how accurate these factors are as it is not that important to their end users.
Just my 2 cents
However...traffic is off about 30%. Unless there are a whole lot of G IP's we don't know about where we're gettin' pummelled, it makes no sense. But it's not the first time we've seen this screwy phenomenon.
They took away the PR from all sites of this domain but not from the subdomains. Very curious thing.
Maybe it has to do with the change of servers (IP and Nameservers) we did last week?!?!
In fact I hope so!
It's not very easy to get people linking to you when the toolbar shows PR0!
Google in-house PR is believed to have update continuously, followed by change in Serp and Toolbar PR (the green bar that you see) is the last one. That is why you won't see much change in serp eventhough your PR and backlinks are shown to increase or drop, because the effect has been realized previously.
When it was first acknowledged that links.**** did not show up as backlinks, I also thought that having links from links.xxx page were no good anymore. Lately, my belief tends to reverse because I saw many old, long-forgetten friends & links obtained in previous years in other SE like alltheweb and MSN.com. More than 98% of them are not shown as G backlinks and very high percentage of them got the name links.xxx - Yet my sites do rank very high in competitive serp terms. My hunch tells me that it is not the remaining 2% that G show as backlinks, but perhaps it is those 98% not shown by G's backlinks that serve my rankings to be high.
I have not heard of people going in and out like this before.
It's quite common, usually the result of an auto-filter triggered by something G doesn't like (hidden text, linking to a bad neighbourhood etc).
Remove it, and the site pops back again.
I would say Andrew was lucky with the time-frame - can often take 2 months plus to recover following fixing the problem.
But it's quite normal.