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a well knowned cheats site, for instance, has like thousands of forum references.
unless its another BMW thingie... and some get banned and some get a tap on the back
[edited by: tedster at 6:55 pm (utc) on Mar. 19, 2006]
IMHO if you end up with a large percentage of your links coming from URLs dropped in forums (or self-add directories) then Google will bury you.
Hey I'm really interested to know whether this is true. I asked about this not so long ago (I can't locate the thread now) and got the reply that multiple links on forum sites WOULDN'T harm your site. I'm more and more convinced that one of my sites is being buried because the owner inadvertently stuck some links around on forums asking people to review her site. And also, since there's no budget for link development, they form the bulk (or at least a large percentage) of the the inbound links. There are other inbound links, some from related sector sites, but none of which I'd consider "quality" links. Anyone else had similar problems?
I was reading SEOBook the other day and saw this (Matt is Matt Cutts):
In Matt's reasoning for why linkcondom.com doesn't rank for its own name, he clearly looks at the link profile of the site (who's linking in, when, etc.) and makes the excuse that those elements are what are algorithmically taking it out of the results.
Now, during one discussion about why sites had disappeared during an update I analysed the links of 3 site (not my own) affected - all good sites and in fact two of them were brilliant sites. From a simple check of Yahoo links I saw that a very large percentage of links were from one 'related site' or in one case from a network of related sites.
If I think of my own site then I have hundreds of links to deep pages from a few other sites. I have 1,000 band pages and there are certain music directories where I can add a link under each band category to one of my pages - and I have done. This has meant that I have hundreds of links each from 3 different site - all on topic but doesn't that smell slightly of spam?
I have no proof, but I can only think that either Google is broken or it has a 'spam' filter relating to percentage of links in from related/untrusted sites.
Truth is, I don't need to argue this - anyone can say this is rubbish and I don't care. All I want is to get back to equilibruim in Google - I ranked #1 or #2 since 2000 for about 1600 phrases. Some months I rank there, other months the site is nowhere to be seen for anything but one phrase.
Look up "Google Bowling" if you want more theories - something has been going on.
very true - but I think my point is about whether the links are just ignored or whether such links will cause your whole site to be harmed and marked as spam (e.g. every page reduced by 40 to 100 places in the serps.
In my case, every link from the 3 directories where I have added deep links to my pages are completely 'on topic' that is my page is about the band in question - but two of the directories don't automatically review submissions. The listing categories are actually decent quality (as far as I can see the pages are about the bands in question) - but I can imagine the PR5 directories could have been used for spammming in other areas. I do have quite a few entries in the ODP and lots of natural links as well (no guestbook/FFA etc - it's a serious site)
To be on the topic on Forum links, then I would say a few will not harm you, but if you make 1,000 posts on a forum with a signature url and you only have 3,000 total links...then you will die in Google.
I guess my experience is that I am borderline, and my weekend has been spent trying to remove links. I'm probably wrong, but I do suspect that I could get a PR5 site penalised and removed from decent ranking in Google in a weekend