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MrFewkes

2:26 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)



I was wondering - does anyone know of anything in the pipeline from google regarding ....

Links from Profiles.

By profiles I mean typical forum member profile links, web2 profile links and any other kind of member site profile links.

Does anyone know if they are planning to swipe them down anytime soon?

They can do it - we know that - because they already did it with various link types.

Its so common now to mass spam profiles that its getting hard to resist doing it in order to stay alive in the serps.

tristanperry

3:06 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)



moultano (http://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=moultano) is a Google employee (working at Google; in the search quality dept I believe) and 3 days ago he posted the following:

There's a change slowly rolling out that improves the [nfl jerseys] query substantially. I'll check on the others. Thanks for the examples.

Some really dramatic changes to how we use links are on the way. (Sorry I can't say anything more specific. This is a really sensitive area.)


So it's only a short message (re: the second paragraph) although it does imply that Google might be changing things around soon.

And if they are directly changing the way they handle backlinks, it might well be going after 'weak' backlinks such as forum profile spam/links.

So who knows; I reckon a decently big change is coming fairly soon though.

tedster

3:29 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It's for sure that they "should do" something - and they should announce it loudly to stop all the forum profile builders who try to spam their way to the top with empty, garbage posts. Someone must be teaching this approach because all kinds of junk is being attempted.

skweb

3:37 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



My experience is that all links are not the same in value. The best ones are one way links that come from someone (preferably a good, clean website) who posted them because they really liked your page (some of my friends are reporting that even such links with nofollow tag are valued higher). That way even links from low PR websites are worth more than links from directories, profiles, comments, etc. even if they are from reputable websites.

crobb305

11:18 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I found a competitor getting .edu and .gov backlinks, all from member profiles within these sites. Ranking very well. I can't wait to see these yanked. I'd also love to see the made-for-seo-link-selling blogs to take a hit (not talking about legitimate blogs, but more specifically the blogs designed only to sell links, all have similar titles, probably made by the same company).

MrFewkes

11:52 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)



"Some really dramatic changes on how we use links are on the way"

Here we go guys - probably the most important comment ive ever seen here.

I wonder how many businesses will go to the wall because of this load of dross on its way.

That needs a "speculation" thread - we could have a competition here to see whos right
:)

aristotle

12:16 am on Feb 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"Some really dramatic changes on how we use links are on the way"
"That needs a "speculation" thread"

Well, if we're going to speculate about this, one really "dramatic change" would be for Google to start including nofollow backlinks in their ranking calculations.

Planet13

1:33 am on Feb 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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(Sorry I can't say anything more specific. This is a really sensitive area.)

I wonder WHY it is so sensitive?

If they are going after "spam" links, then that seems hardly controversial. After all, everybody hates spam (even if not everyone can agree on what it is).

Is there tension between different groups / teams inside google as the make up of the algorithm change?

Is there tension between the search team and the Adwords team about all the revenue that will be lost when thin affiliate sites take a tumble?

Maybe it will use new technology that hasn't been patented yet?

tedster

2:16 am on Feb 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I assume he can't be more specific because he doesn't want to tip Google's hand any further - further detail could undermine their effort.

anteck

3:21 am on Feb 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Spammy Crap. I've had this 'technique' thrown at me in all directions and have ignored it. All it does is spam up well meaning sites and forums. The links are crap and it's a rubbish technique. Work on building REAL relationships rather then fake profiles

Planet13

8:44 am on Feb 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I assume he can't be more specific because he doesn't want to tip Google's hand any further - further detail could undermine their effort.


I was thinking that too. But then again, I thought it would be just as easy to say something like, "Yeah, we are going to devalue all the spam profiles. Spammers beware!"

What, then, would people do to undermine their effort? Stop posting spam profiles? That seems like it would just make life EASIER for the spam team at google...

Ok, maybe I am over-thinking it. It's just that I have a background in management education, and in-fighting among different organizational functions is so common, so I guess I can't help but think of internal strife being the main part of any "controversy."

BTW: I think it was a few weeks ago when a Matt Cutts video was released and he said that USERS' biggest complaint WASN'T that there is too much spam in the SERPs, but that there were TOO MANY ECOMMERCE RESULTS in the top SERPS.

That seems at odds with all the hullabaloo lately from google about getting rid of all the spam / content farms.

I wonder if they are actually surveying users, or are using click patterns in the SERPs to determine if there is "too much ecommerce" in the results.

aristotle

11:06 am on Feb 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if they are actually surveying users, or are using click patterns in the SERPs to determine if there is "too much ecommerce" in the results.


There's a "Give Us Feedback" link at the bootom of every SERPs page that provides a way for people to complain.

TheMadScientist

2:18 pm on Feb 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I wonder WHY it is so sensitive?

I would guess what tedster said and PR exclusivity running out may have something to do with an increase in sensitivity in the link handling area.

leadegroot

12:08 pm on Feb 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I wonder WHY it is so sensitive?


Easy - because its company business and he hasn't been authorised to release that information.

linkbuildr

5:41 pm on Feb 3, 2011 (gmt 0)



I imagine the profile links work for a bit until they get devalued. These profiles have usually the same profile desc, no links to them and nothing of value.

I do on occasion see exact match domains with profile links and some commenting taking down top 5 spots with ease.

Planet13

8:32 pm on Feb 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I do on occasion see exact match domains with profile links and some commenting taking down top 5 spots with ease.


Wonder if that is a penalization of the domain or just a devaluation of those links?

do those sites have any natural links as well? Or just the forum profiles / comments?

mrguy

8:53 pm on Feb 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I think it was a few weeks ago when a Matt Cutts video was released and he said that USERS' biggest complaint WASN'T that there is too much spam in the SERPs, but that there were TOO MANY ECOMMERCE RESULTS in the top SERPS.


Now that's an interesting thought. If only info sytle sites show up in the organic, then the only commerce site would be ads. Hmmmmm....

The question will be will the masses click the ads or switch search engines if that really is a plausible scenario of what they are up to next.

Sgt_Kickaxe

8:50 am on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I suspect a link from a profile has one major benefit going for it, it's a link from that domain to yours. I don't think it's likely to be a very big benefit for any site but I do think the "first" link is valued more heavily, assuming it's between relevant sites.

I wouldn't be surprised if they barely register on the "pagerank" scale at all, unless it's a high PR profile. That ship has sailed imo.

Planet13

7:55 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't be surprised if they barely register on the "pagerank" scale at all, unless it's a high PR profile. That ship has sailed imo.


You might be right. However, I had been looking at some very basic profile spamming software (just for educational purposes, mind you), and the cheapest ones can generate 30,000 links per month for at a cost of $20 per month.

More expensive software / services can generate 50,000 links or more per month.

Believe me when I say that I WANT to believe that ship has sailed, too. But if you look on the black hat forums, the people on their seem to still be doing quite well with software that scrapes other sites for content. Then links to those scraper content sites with thousands of profile links, and then from those sites link to their actual revenue generating sites.

tristanperry

2:05 pm on Feb 13, 2011 (gmt 0)



An update on Hacker News - this time from Matt Cutts - regarding a backlink algo change:

We were already in the middle of deploying an algorithmic change in how we trust links in our scoring. So between Feb. 1st and Feb. 8th, lots of rankings for the pages in question had already dropped. The author of the NYT article, David Segal, noticed that independently and we confirmed that algorithmic changes had been responsible for those drops. After Segal contacted us, we investigated and ended up taking corrective manual action as well.


Source: [news.ycombinator.com...]

Naturally the first bit ("in the middle of") is IMO key. So there's been some sort of algo update (as was confirmed in the NYTimes story), but this Matt Cutts comment does suggest there's more to come.

(Which would add up with moultano's message re: "dramatic changes" on the way).

tedster

3:11 pm on Feb 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks. One of Matt's comments says it pretty directly:

Both webspam and search quality folks are crunching on linkspam and content farms, so I hope we'll have more to talk when some of the things in the pipeline make into production.

walkman

1:09 am on Mar 15, 2011 (gmt 0)



"We were already in the middle of deploying an algorithmic change in how we trust links in our scoring. So between Feb. 1st and Feb. 8th, lots of rankings for the pages in question had already dropped"

So was that it ? Very interesting thread. Looks like the ycombinator techies are pushing Google in a certain direction.

CainIV

1:24 am on Mar 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I found a competitor getting .edu and .gov backlinks, all from member profiles within these sites. Ranking very well. I can't wait to see these yanked.


Here, here - I second that. Here's hoping to a wide, and sweeping look at link value across the board.

trakkerguy

6:39 am on Mar 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



changes to how we use links are on the way


Might not mean anything, but I notice he didn't say "weight", or "value" link, but how we "use" them.

I keep expecting them to track if a link actually brings traffic, or something along those lines.