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This probably about doubled the number of links coming into my site. The anchor text / accompanying content was mostly identical.
I wasn't trying to buy links or anything like that - due to my industry, there are lots of directory sites which will freely post info about my product / links back to my site. I used an automated tool to submit to them.
In Febuary of 2007 my traffic from google started dropping - and eventually got cut down to about half what it was.
In retrospect - I think there's a reasonable chance I got penalized for my actions (could of course be algorithm changes / unrelated to the new links). It's apparent what I did might've looked a lot like link spamming to google.
Now things are starting to look up. My traffic is up about 20% over the last two months.
What have other people's experiences been with this? Have other people been hurt by their link-building activities, and then came back?
I'm wondering if Google "forgives" some things over time?
Was severaly punished.
Greatl improved quality of site, got only relevant links in, did stuff to get one way links(not 3 ways... genuine one ways) and every 6 weeks asked google gods for forgiveness.
It was granted, I really could not ahve done more wrong as far as recip links go, so yes, they will forgive, but not forget, clean up your site and links
I have always refused to participate in link exchanges cause I thought the whole idea was ridiculous when I first heard of it years ago. Google created a monster when they started it and for them to now hold it against someone doesn't make sense. It was their stupid idea, they don't have to increase a sites rank cause of links, so there is no need to penalize someone who overdid it.
Google created a monster when they started it and for them to now hold it against someone doesn't make sense.
Blaming Google for Webmasters' greed is like blaming banks for the existence of bank robbers.
What's more, if Google thinks that penalizing or neutralizing "aggressive link building" is a useful tool in its anti-SEO arsenal, that's Google's call to make. All of us (including Google) get to decide how we treat other sites, based on our own goals and our analysis of the risk vs. the potential rewards.
It is those who bragg about it, sells information about it etc....are the ones I believe Google has problems with and punish them for it.
Keep your head screwed on tight, if you are successful online, don't tip your hand, because if you do, you tend to show up the one who helped you succeed (Google.)
Those who are successful are usually those who agressively seek links, but they are smart about it.
The only thing I'm blaming Google for is being stupid enough to count links in the first place.
If you think Google is simply "counting links," you need to read up on PageRank, TrustRank, etc. It's far more complicated than that. Besides, if Google didn't use inbound links as a factor in judging quality and/or relevance, how could it decide where to rank search results? When your index has millions of pages about red widgets or the life of Jesus or macaroni and cheese, simply looking at page titles or gauging keyword density won't do the job.
It's the search engines job to return relevant results, not necessarily the best page on a certain subject. Best for you may not be best for me.