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Google Sandbox = Dampening Filter Applied

Google Sandbox Link Dampening Filter

     
2:54 am on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone,

Google Sandbox- I have read this topic so many times in the last two years it hurts.

The "Google Sandbox" as it is called is not Googles way of dumping on your site, keeping your site at bay till Googles happy with you.

Google Sandbox is actually a tool in the Google Adwords Adsense campaigns.

What I see many websites suffering from is "gross misinformation", spewed about by all of the so called "Google Experts"

People just refuse to use common sense when it comes to getting front page rankings on Goolge.com SERP's.
This is apparant by the sudden rise in popularity of text link ad sites as a way to help bolster rankings in the SERPs.

I also se it in many freelance job boards I visit with the webmasters submitting projects to build them 100's of reciprocal or backlinks with so many stipulations it makes me laugh.

I have some bad news for you.

Links WILL NOT get you front page results on Goolge..

What they will get you more often than not is what is known as a dampening filter(Read Google Sandbox" for Google Experts).

What the "Google Experts" forgot to tell you was that Googlebot is an indexing bot which keeps information on every website that it indexes in it's database.

In this "cache" are your pages, and the links from those pages. Google uses this information to determine if you are attempting to influence the search results ranking by participating in practices such as agressive
link building.

Google also has in the database, the amount of time it took the authority sites in each category, to build natural links over the last 7 to 10 years. (Natural Link Building)

So all those sites who go on a link building spree and exceed the averages it took an authority site to build links, will receive a dampening filter for trying to manipulate the SERPs . (Artifical Link Building).

Hopefully this will put the "Google Sandbox" myth to rest and allow people to open their eyes to the real problems of trying to get websites with great content listed in the front page rankings of the search engines.

Clint

2:34 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Agressive linkbuilding = Sandbox

Yes, they are.

3:20 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If company X is new but has the ability to be better by providing lower prices than those other older companies, then wouldn't that be of greater use to users?

Since when has Google been the arbiter of low prices? This has nothing to do with low prices!

Think about it. We have far far more sites on the internet now than 7 years ago. A new site is obviously going to secure links at a faster rate now than an old one would have.

Back then less sites on subject would have been around. Now you can make contact with billions of sites!.

Therefore your assumption/statement(?) is that all the newer sites are more relevant than the older ones?

Boldly goes where...

however your theory doesn't hold up in too many cases. One such case is enough to disprove a theory, much less many.

Seo1 has tried to put a very credible case forward for the possible problems that the "sandboxers" may have had. He has not given a de facto standard of rights or wrongs.

Give me an honest answer to this question.

Why should I, Seo1 or anyone else has has NOT suffered a "sandboxed" site bother with trying to assist those who have IF you do not read and learn from our POSITIVE experiences?

I don't know Seo1, he does not know me, you don't know me, HOWEVER I, and many others, have not had this specific problem and if you persist in saying we are wrong when we have had no problems, just why the hell should we help you?

Please stop denegrating this free advice until you can prove otherwise.

3:52 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Rollo

Hmmm Old site ...were you updating the site?

Did any of the internal links break?

Was the server or site down an extended amount of time?
Google could have returned during an outage and not found the site and so they would drop it.

Is ther server being used by "spammy" websites?

Lsstly the "sandbox conspiracy" was predicated on domains registerd since January 2004, and not someplace any site could end up.

Since your site was on the front pages for two years this would indicate the site was registered prior to 2004 also since you did not indicate what results were when you started, (were you sandboxed then rose to front page results) youe website does not fit the criteria.

What your website sounds like is one that was online and had little competition and aftet not being updated on a continaul basis it was dropped in its rankings on in the serps.

Hope this helps

Clint

3:55 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Rollo

Hmmm Old site ...were you updating the site?

Did any of the internal links break?

Was the server or site down an extended amount of time?
Google could have returned during an outage and not found the site and so they would drop it.

Is the server being used by "spammy" websites?

Lastly the "sandbox conspiracy" was predicated on domains registerd since January 2004, and not someplace just any site could end up.

Since your site was on the front pages for two years this would indicate the site was registered prior to 2004, also since you did not indicate what results were when you started, (were you sandboxed then rose to front page results) your website does not fit the criteria.

What it seems happened to your website is, your website was online and had little competition and after not being updated on a continaul basis, it was dropped in its rankings in the serps.

Hope this helps

Clint

4:53 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yes... this was the one site I thought would be sandbox proof.

Hmmm Old site ...were you updating the site? - No, actually it hasn't been touched really since it went up.

Did any of the internal links break? - No

Was the server or site down an extended amount of time? - No.

Google could have returned during an outage and not found the site and so they would drop it. N/A

Is the server being used by "spammy" websites? - It's a virtual host, it shares an IP with other websites, at least with respect to mine, they are optimized, but not spammy (at least I wouldn't think so, maybe Google would).

Lastly the "sandbox conspiracy" was predicated on domains registerd since January 2004, and not someplace just any site could end up. - Well, I don't want to get into a semantical argument, let's say that the site has just dissapeared with the current update along with the websites of many others on the board, but this site did nothing remotely spammy.

Since your site was on the front pages for two years this would indicate the site was registered prior to 2004 - yes,

...also since you did not indicate what results were when you started, (were you sandboxed then rose to front page results) your website does not fit the criteria. - No, the site pretty much began at the top as soon as it strated appearing.

What it seems happened to your website is, your website was online and had little competition and after not being updated on a continaul basis, it was dropped in its rankings in the serps. - Actually, there ins't any competition unless we can count pages linking to the site. It didn't drop a little, it disappeared. I can't find it in the first 20 pages... I don't know if it's farther down becuase I didn't keep on. I'm not concerned about it from a financial point of view becuase it hasn't nor will it ever make a dime, however, for a site like this one to suddenly dissapear, it means that no site is safe and it means that Google is very getting flakey.

Anyhow, thanks for your reply... I'll be interested in seeing how your theory stands up to other cases.

5:02 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So I start a new site tommorrow selling custom picture frames.
#1 site in Google from 1999 with 71 backlinks.
#5 site 1998 showing 10 backlinks.
Sound like authority sites to me.
Here is the plan:
Create clean html site that loads quickly. Good title
Weekly:
1. Change/add content to existing pages.
Monthly:
1. Create 10 new pages.
2. Obtain 1-2 one way inbound links varying anchor text.
3. Maybe 2 or 3 reciprocal links.
I wonder if this would be a good start w/o incurring the wrath of God er... Google.

Would I rank top 50 after 6 months of this?

5:14 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't know Seo1, he does not know me, you don't know me, HOWEVER I, and many others, have not had this specific problem and if you persist in saying we are wrong when we have had no problems, just why the hell should we help you?

If that was addressed to me, don't worry I wasn't asking for your help.

Just because someone doesn't get sandboxed doesn't necessarily mean that they have any more insight into how Google works than someone who has been. Many of those whose sites were doing well then suddenly disappeared probably knew a bit too much about how Google worked for Google's comfort level.

Anyhow, theories are put forward so that they can be scrutinized, debated, and held up to evidence. That's how "knowledge" comes about.

5:18 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My new definitions for SEO post Alllegra & Florida.

1. Natural links = links that come NATURALLY to you, links others give to your sites without you asking them and neither of you bothering about search engine benefits

2. Pretend-natural links = links which you get from some other website to your site which is carefully planned for SERP benefits - therefore taking all precautions such as to vary anchortext, from somewhat relevant pages etc. Maybe links you pay for too.

3. Three-way links = used to work, but completely unnatural, and an algo an everyday coder can write can catch it.

4. Reciprocal links = used to be very natural, now an SEO tactic and natural at the same time. Dear Google prefers to err on the side of caution, and looking suspiciouly at large amount of reciprocal links

5. Aggressive link building for traffic = I guess Google's logic is this (for their own reasons) - you do aggressive link building for traffic reasons, right - go ahead and do it. If you are true, why are you bothered about how it affects the SERPs? Rely on the traffic through the links till we take you out of the sandbox. If you are honestly doing it only for traffic, why do you care about our SERPs? I think that while some do it only for traffic, most do it only for SERPs and some do it for both benefits.

I am very safely sticking to natural or pretend natural link building, and my sites have received full overall boosts in Google without any noticeable jump in pagerank. This is helped by my laziness to request reciprocal links, and being miserly to spend on buying links / link exchange software.

Hope I am on the right track, with Google, you never know.

6:07 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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G penalised spamming but for the link not. I agree with SEO1 inbound link with alway beneficial, Today or tomorrow it with helpful to you. Quality Link for same caterogy will more beneficial.
3:30 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What if every site/domain name in Google is assigned an authority score or similiar (not pr) and a link to a website from another website determines the links value (not pr) based on the linking sites score. Maybe even a negative score is factored in when a link is obtained from a known dubious or off topic site?

ie: widgets.com (white hat webmaster) recieves links from:

Top authority site - score = +90
Average on topic site = +50
Off topic recip - score = -10

Total score = 130

spammywidgets.com (webmaster just wants any recips for pr gain) and recieves links from:

Off topic recip - score = -10
Off topic recip - score = -10
Similiar topic - recip score = +10

Total score = -10

Just a thought. I have no more idea than anyone else.

I have noticed though that when I launch a new website and link to it from another site of mine (not sandboxed) with good rankings and on topic the site does extremely well right from the start without any other inbound links.

Another site of mine had approx 60 recip links on the "resources" page and was steadily declining in the serps. I removed all the recip links except for 2 excellent ontopic and useful links and within in a week the site practicaly soared up the serps. (serps were steady and no updates in progress at the time)

Once again just my observations that maybe of use to someone piecing together the big picture.

4:25 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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No5needinput

Good stuff..I've said it in other forums I have seen sites come online with no inbound links, 500 outbound links and a Google PageRank 4 was assigned.

I have decided to no longer submit websites through any service but instead just link to them from my home page.

Seems to get the site indexed much more quickly, then once the site is in Googles index I will submit to the top 200 SEs & directories for the link boost.

And I too have seen new sites I launch fare quite well in the serps. I even moved a client off of a big name server company to a smaller one I resell through and this had a positive effect.

Another site of mine had approx 60 recip links on the "resources" page and was steadily declining in the serps.

Did you notice your Google Page Rank when you had the 60 recips and what is the Google Page Rank now?

Good post!

Clint

4:43 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"Did you notice your Google Page Rank when you had the 60 recips and what is the Google Page Rank now?"

Homepage was and still is a pr5 and resources page, only linked to from the home page is and was pr4

pr throughout the site has remained steady and within what it would be expected to be (no sudden pr increases/decreases for no apparent reason on internal pages) and practicaly unchanged for at least 2 years.

4:49 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Interesting topic - it's always painfully enlightening to read the opinions of other SEO's.

SEO1 - you have your own set of beliefs and that dictates how you optimize sites so just roll with that - it seems to work for you.
;)

I have personally seen newly launched sites on newly registered URL's, some of them dare I say 'optimized' for ridiculously un-competitve keywords fail to get anywhere in the top 500 google results withing a few months. Said pages are designed with SEO in mind (I.E lots of content, no fancy flash or graphics, keywords in page names, etc) and absolutely ZERO effort of link building. As for the optimization efforts on these new sites - everything is by the book with no black hat tricks anywhere. Organically written text written for HUMANS but yet enough food for spiders in the content and page elements to have relevancy to the marketing focus. Very conservative optimization - I dare not make my web sites look like I'm going after a certain focus. (tee hee)

The only incoming link is from a pre-existing site with good PR (6 or 7), that has been on the internet for 5+ years, has good organic positioning across the board. This is to help the spiders find the new sites of course. Once the site has been crawled by the majority of major spiders the 'helping' link is removed.

After a few months the site may go from a 500 rank to somewhere in the 200's or not..maybe it'll fall closer to 1000.

Then there are older sites of clients...sites that have been ont he internet a long time and are stagnant. Nothing will push these pages from the 1st serp of google.

Life is a mystery!

Back to links - linking has been a major theme since the mid 90's when the internet became a household thing. I remember tinkering with HTML one summer, learning the ins and outs, and finally building my own personal website on geocities way back in the day. Then going into chat rooms and what not (youngins, this is how us old folks got our groove on back before instant messenger programs were around) and making friends with other webpage owners, trying to get as many people linking to my site as possible. NOT because I wanted PR or x number of links, but because I just wanted people to come to my site and sign my guestbook or whatever, even though my site probably contained no content that the average person would have any interest in. I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this - I guess it's natural for people to seek links to their site, especially vetarans of the internet. Besides, whether you have a link campaign or not, it will happen naturally over time - that's what the internet is. It's all information linking to other information. This is something that should never be penalized by any SE's.

Ironic that a SERP is nothing but a bunch of links, linking to pages with even more links.

[edited by: Michael_Weir at 4:53 pm (utc) on Feb. 17, 2005]

4:52 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm cehking the new toolbar
this is spelled sanbox
5:24 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I guess it's natural for people to seek links to their site, especially vetarans of the internet. Besides, whether you have a link campaign or not, it will happen naturally over time - that's what the internet is. It's all information linking to other information. This is something that should never be penalized by any SE's.

Linking to related content is a fundamental principle of the Web (though not necessarily of the Internet), but the key word--which you used--is "natural." On today's Web, only the most naive search engineer would devise or perpetuate an algorithm that treats all links as being equally "natural" or "organic." So it stands to reason that if, say, Google sees 1,000 run-of-network links from a weather site to aaa-discount-diet-pills.com, the PR algorithm should ignore the links (whether temporarily or permanently) instead of naively assuming that those 1,000 links represent legitimate "votes" for the site that's getting the links. And if Google knows that the linking site has sold links in the past, then maybe a penalty is deserved and applied. (After all, no site has a god-given right to be listed in Google's index, and if Google feels that questionable SEO techniques are indicators of poor quality, then Google is perfectly entitled to use penalty or ban.)

6:31 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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And if Google knows that the linking site has sold links in the past, then maybe a penalty is deserved and applied.

I don't see how Google could institute a penalty for buying links, because they have no way of knowing how the link got there. What if a competitor had it put there by paying, or some other route?

7:16 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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europeforvisitors - obviously a weather related website getting 1000 inbound irrelevant links would be suspect. By naturally I meant that over time any website is going to acquire incoming links which aren't relevant to content on the site.

Over time (many years) MANY irrelevant inbound links will occur (I have a ton of links from random web forums which I've never posted at coming into my site, just from people mentioning my site in there), but yeah...1000 of the same type of irrlevant link wouldn't be an accident.

7:43 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't see how Google could institute a penalty for buying links, because they have no way of knowing how the link got there. What if a competitor had it put there by paying, or some other route?

Good point. In any case, it's more likely that Google would simply ignore the links. And for the link buyer, paying a hefty sum for the links and not getting the PageRank would be a penalty in itself. :-)

Over time (many years) MANY irrelevant inbound links will occur (I have a ton of links from random web forums which I've never posted at coming into my site, just from people mentioning my site in there), but yeah...1000 of the same type of irrlevant link wouldn't be an accident.

Yes, and it's probably a good bet that Google is getting smarter all the time about divining "unnatural" patterns.

3:39 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My new SEO clients aren't ranked anyway (or they wouldn't be calling me). I tell them all that I can start achieve ranking results in Yahoo and MSN within a month or two and good old Google may take up to 9 months or more.
I look at many different search forums and the sandbox and aging filter are still hazy concepts open to tons of speculation. I just know they exist and when I start some serious site tweaking, I'm going to wait 9 months or so for Google to show results - but they do show up and I am batting a thousand on the Google Serps when I come out of the box/filter.

Put your white hat on and keep pluggin'.

4:49 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hey Don

Try adding content daily and see how quick you rise up out of the lower results.

Clint

4:52 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If I buy links from other websites why is that so bad.

I think it's called advertising.

If this type of advertising spoofs Google's ranking algo, maybe they should discount such links.

Where is the logic in applying a penalty?

5:10 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The reason buying links is bad is it flies in the face of the thoughts of those who built the web.

In 1975 when the Hyperbol linking of computers was discussed the links were meant to be a "free" distillation of information.

When the world wide web was envisioned it too was built on the free exchange between users of documents messages e-mail.

When search engine algorithims were developed the papers and research abot linking was based on the free open exchange between websites of information. A link was worded as a "a vote form site A to B"

Now knowing all this let me ask you a question,
are canidates for public office allowed to buy votes?

Then what makes you think a free service based on free linking between sites, would want people abusing their free service with buying votes(links)?

I find many webmasters looking for free traffic focus on one search engine thinking it will build them thier business.....not only can the search engine build your business,,,it has the distinct capability of wiping out your business in one fell swoop...

If you are brave enough to try to manipulate the search engine to build your business be brave enough to have it trash your business as well..

One last question...the web is designed to allow you to build free traffic why would you spend money on something you can have for free with minimal effort?

Clint

5:30 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the history lesson.

The problem is that Google's inherently flawed voting system will never work because very few of the votes are given in such a free manner and because the votes are in the biased hands of the webmasters rather than the public.

To carry your analogy further, in Google's system, only the candidates for public office can vote, not the actual public - Oops! Will the votes in this system be unbiased, free and fair?

5:42 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Then what makes you think a free service based on free linking between sites, would want people abusing their free service with buying votes(links)?
Businesses are buying advertising. Just as they do in any media. It is what supports the media.

Google is in the advertising business, look at their sources of income. Discouraging other businesses from advertising may precipitate anti-trust actions.

Clearly, "buying links" is here to stay.

5:45 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"Thanks for the history lesson."

hahaha. I was gonna tell you a few things about King Henry, but I realized it may not have much to do with Google's algo.

IMO: Google has tightened the dupe filter and many innocent sites have been caught in the middle.

6:38 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Dave

I agree buying advertising is here to stay. However I feel that when it comes to text links ads, the only derived benefit is increased traffic, from the sites where the ads are displayed as opposed to an increased presence in the serps.

If I were to recommend advertising to buy it would be contextual banner ads which convert at around 30% followed by e-mail marketing at 20% conversion.

Clint

7:02 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Walkman

"Thanks for the history lesson."
Not a problem it's free...

hahaha. I was gonna tell you a few things about King Henry, but I realized it may not have much to do with Google's algo.

I knew Queen Mary - she lost her head over Google I think (hehehe)

IMO: Google has tightened the dupe filter and many innocent sites have been caught in the middle.

I know this goes way off thread but "innocent sites"? what the heck are those? Ohh the 1/10th of 1% of the websites which are not on the web positioned to generate revenue?

The innocence of the web was lost years ago when we all discovered sex sells online even easier than offline.

But here's a novel thought...if the web masters stop trying to manipulate the spiders....then the algorithimic throw ups that Google dumps on those "innocent webmasters" (LOL) would be less often needed for revamping and causing mas hysteria...

My biggest thing is so many people are pent up over attaining front page rankings on Google, that if Google decided to shut the doors and retire permanently, people walking off bridges and buildings would probably be much greater than Crash of 1929.

I will also agree with Dave's assetion that offline business buy advertising and so will online businesses.

I just don't know many offline business owners who were so anal over one particular method of advertising.

Any online business can thrive under the same modality of any offline business, effective advertising, word of mouth advertising, accomplished through outstanding customer service. Proper reinvestment of revenue back onto the business, maintianing operating expenses leaving room for healty revenue growth year to year.

My 1.5 cents adjusted for inflation.

7:04 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I feel
Doesn't matter. What counts is how Google and others feel. AdSense ads are "text link" ads and both parties seem generally satisfied.

But this thread is entitled "Google Sandbox = Dampening Filter Applied."

8:06 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don’t believe that IBLs will harm you or your competitor, regardless of quantity, quality or whether or not they are paid for. Remember, there is almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your site (paraphrased).

But…. if inbound activity is suspicious, and outbound is too… bingo.

If I suddenly receive 1000 links for any reason whatsoever, no problem. But if suddenly I publish 100 outbounds around the same time, that combination may be sufficient to trip the ‘link scheme’ filter (I assume there is one).

I have to believe that the ‘too many links too quick’ theory is a reality, but not for all sites. It mostly is applied to post-March04 sites, but since Feb 7 some older sites seem to have been hit too.

Moreso, I think that the *combination* of IBLs & OBLs is the trigger and that the total count and/or ratio over some period of time is the measure.

I applied the same aggressive linking to two sites, one old & one new. It never affected the old one at all. I believe it was this linking that kept the new one falling in SERPs rather than rising (from #36 to #56 to # 76 to #130 in about 2 months). This new one was released on Feb 7 and jumped from #130 to #6. The old one has moved from #7 to a solid #3.

I now approach linking with great caution. Just because I’m out of the box, I won’t assume I can’t be sent back. And I won’t assume my old site is immune.

/*tom*/

8:39 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Tom

The reason it never really affected the old site I think is based on a reciprocal linking build that will have little value as reciprocal links have no value to Google, and would like offsetting penalties in football, have no effect.

As for new sites it probably is not due to value of the link, but the count of links obtained within "X" time frame, thus crossing the link damperning filter values.

Your resulting drops could be from continued link building which will with each occurance, result in a further, drop till banned.

Clint

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