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We observed a site with over 7,500 pages with good PR which had *some* pages holding non same themed o/b one way links on them.
Only these pages were put into the supplemental index. The deduction is that artificial pages created for linking, according to the Google algorithm, will be dropped.
Therefore, i think it safe to say that Google's long battle with determining the theme of referring sites and the quality of their content for indexing purposes has advanced significantly.
To have a "sustainable site" that weathers the storm of future updates, webmasters are likely going to have to look at a long term strategy of link building from quality sites. Primarily Google likes:
-O/W IBL's from same themed site, high PR sites
-Long established links [ to get rid of paid link purchases ]
-Links embedded in original content
What it does not like is:
-Same themed mass link exchanges [ even if they are good quality ]
-Pages excessively stuffed with O/B refering links, even if they are themed
-3 way linking into isolated networks - known as "link islands"
Pages caught in this framework will suffer filtering, supplemental and index dropping.
There is some unconfirmed suggestion, that pages receiving these referals are tagged by Google as potential offenders, and although IBL's shouldn't effect the receiving page, there are some warning signs that, mixed with other criteria, Google has them under observation.
Essentially Google may believe that it has defined the theme of your site that it can control advertising outputs through Adsense and content quality for referring purposes.
There are other issues supporting what makes good content - but for big sites they will have a great technical and content related challenge to demonstrate to the algorithm "value addedness".
Perhaps a new thread on "value addedness" in specific terms would help set the direction of good on page practices.
Thanks, Whitey for a valuable post.
Don't link to bad neighborhoods...
That yawn inducing phrase has been uttered for years from search engine reps, Ask Jeeves to Yahoo.
Anyone think Google is not only getting better at spotting these, but actually doing something about it?
The negative side of this is that some folks refuse to link to a quality site because they have zero clue what a quality site is. It's not the niche that determines quality.
I saw a webmaster go into a panic over this. Total knee knocking panic. So he wiped his outgoing links that fit certain niches. Quality had nothing to do with it, he wouldn't hear it.
But that's a natural reaction, totally understandable, if you believe your livelihood is about to whirlpool around the drain hole.
I had a site that was cached daily, just after midnight. As an experiment I linked out on one page to a site that was blatent spam and heading for a ban in Google.
The next night the cache date did not update, nor the next, and then it dropped back to a cache from more than a week ago, and stayed at that date. I left it like that for a week or so, and the cache date did not update any more.
I then removed the link, and after 3 or 4 days the cache date started updating again, but lagging by several days. After a week it corrected itself and the site continued being cached and indexed as normal from then on.
I repeated the experiment a few weeks later and got exactly the same result. I tried it again about a month later and had the same result yet again. I then tried it with another site and got the same result again.
I never left the links onsite long enough for the page to go Supplemental, URL-only, or drop out of the results - but I am guessing that that is what would have happened if I had left the links in place for a few more weeks.
Clarification on Post above
However, many of you appear to misunderstand my post - sorry if it is unclear -.
I am talking about a good site, with certain pages holding SPAM links on them to other pages, even a small number, [ 3 way linking ]. Those pages went supplemental.
The moral of the story is, if you advertise SPAM links on your pages, expect those SPAM pages to loose their caches.
If in turn those pages support other sites [ perhaps yours], expect them to be effected for 2 reasons:
-per g1smd's post
-the experiment i posted
How Google judges spam links in this case is simply that the hyperlinked text did not match the theme. e.g. a Viagra link on a Finance site
This is like a pack of cards with it's knock on effect.
There are between 10 and 60 o/b links, 1 went to us.
However, this long established site shows the following problems:
-The pages are no longer cached [ i presume they have gone supplemental ]
-The links from that site, no longer support our SEO
-Sites they linked to, that in turn linked to us have dropped their page strength.
-We no longer rank on terms from those pages that have dropped their page strength.
I believe this is very profound, even though it's simple. In my view, I am observing some sites that have very little inbound links and poor content, in very competitive sectors with equally competitive keywords holding top positions.
I ought to say not all the sites have poor content.
The pages of those *some* sites are supported internally and outrank pages from other sites which were heavily supported with I/B links.
I guess they are not on sustainable ground, but the picture is they are holding as of this moment.
Even more so as SE's seem to get a handle on this.
It's about time I say.
Trouble is links can be manipulated by SEOs just as much as anything else. I don't classify myself as a SEO. I'm trying to create pages of good content and information but they're not even getting included in the Google index because I don'y do the SEO link-getting thing.
Google is just proving how bad they are at identifying quality on-page content by relying so over-hugely on link requirements.
Your pages need to in the web core: they need to link to pages in the core, and need to be linked to by pages that are in the core.
If you only link to pages that do not link out to other sites, or if all pages that link to you do not have incoming links, then you will be in trouble very soon.
If you have only incoming links, or only outgoing links, then you are out of the core and will also suffer very badly, very quickly.
g1smd - Your pages need to in the web core: they need to link to pages in the core, and need to be linked to by pages that are in the core.
Good point - but we need to be clear about how content interacts with links to form a theme.
Google knows which sites produce the original content and gives them a priority. So DMOZ will rank well. DMOZ scraper sites will rate low with dupe content.
And if you start putting links onto these scraper sites, then you're in trouble, because Google knows the content is not original and it knows the purpose of the outbound links [ ie linking for SEO purposes only].
I see a lot of people submitting to directories for link purposes to gain link superiority, with little or no original content. The content is generally dubious, and the content authority of those sites is going to be next to nil.
Do this and you're gone.
Unfortunately, a large proportion of sites i have looked at fall into this category.
Now - i just want to repeat my earlier observation. A site that we watch closely has strong internal linking in a very competitive sector. Since Big Daddy, this site has held up well on internal linking, almost, alone. It outranks many sites which have used strong linking with heaps of reciprocals and perhaps one way schemes [ such as what i have described ]
Moral of the story - better to have good content , good internal linking than a lot of useless non themed paged links pointing to you.
It's all very obvious really - nothing scientific. Just be good at what you do [ content subject ] and follow the Google guidelines.
But please do not loose sight of unresolved issues at Google re it's indexing which may still not be working properly. Either we don't understand it fully, or there are serious continuing glitches.