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What's up with the Google's paid link detection algo?

     
6:29 pm on Oct 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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After the recent 14th of Oct SERPs shake-up that is commonly considered here as another Panda round, I noticed a very new site that broke into the top positions in the niche I am monitoring. Somehow it managed to take over #1-#3 spots for a few mid-competitive commercial searches. It is still there.

I know this niche pretty well, and can estimate that the achieved rankings allow the Site to pull about $30,000 - $50,000 in monthly sales, and the keywords though not hysterically popular, have enough competition to make this rankings a serious challenge.

What's interesting is that the backlinks analysis for the site above reveals sitewide links and blogposts bought on many hundreds of horrible spammy domains. When I say horrible - I am talking about .info sites that feature links to the Site along other sold links pointing to casinos, insurance sites, debt consolidation and even #*$! enlargement.

Moreover, it looks like these are the ONLY backlinks that Site has. I said to myself - "well, google must be ignoring these links" and I spent a lot of time with Yahoo Explorer, Open Site Explorer and Majestic, to find that hidden powerful link that gives the Site its superb rankings. I couldn't find any.

I am wondering, what the hell is going on with the Google's paid links detection algo? Or with the backlink relevancy factor, that factor alone should be enough to send the Site far down where it deserves to be?

Frustrating ... Or it may be just that all the rest were pandalyzed, and that's what we are left with now - the High Quality ...
10:00 pm on Oct 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've noticed the same - relatively new sites that have bought 100s of cheap backlinks in spammy directories seem to be doing quite well for certain terms at the moment.
10:20 pm on Oct 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Some people like to say "well those rankings won't last",
but I believe that's how some currently very popular even "brand" websites got the ball rolling years ago when they started.

If you get enough exposure in the SERPS, eventually you attract some powerful 'genuine' links. Of course your website can't be crap either.

I even see the same effect on 2 of my sites to an extent. Used recip's instead of bought links though...

Wouldn't be surprised if it still works today.
10:29 pm on Oct 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Some people like to say "well those rankings won't last",

I like to say that. I also like to predict stock market crashes.

It's a high risk strategy. Sometimes it lasts a month, I've seen it last a couple of years. But almost always the chickens come home to roost. Which is why we're both right. The rankings last, until they don't.

Now, if you can pull it off for a year or two, there's some money to be made.
11:38 pm on Oct 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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We've seen that as well. Spam site ranking number one for a highly profitable keyword (we're talking about millions of dollars). It's not really enough to say that these kinds of strategies work sometimes, and that they may work for years. This site couldn't care less. They'll just create another site and do the same thing over again. It's the genuine companies who work really hard and conduct honest white hat SEO that suffers. The fact that Google can't detect these obvious offenders, is disconcerting and makes me seriously doubt the effectiveness of their spam filters.

You can try sending in complaints, but I doubt they look at more than 0.01% of them.
6:41 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Some people like to say "well those rankings won't last"


Neither rankings will last. Anything small business has a very little chance to last (in organic), no matter content or backlinks quality.

Overall, I feel that the hard work SEO, and in fact, any hard work whether it is put into content or link building, has become less rewarding ranking-wise on the low scale of investment capital. You may create some great niche content and attract nice natural links, and you are still a gambler - it is an extremely high risk strategy, just like the Black Hat.
7:02 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Anything small business has a very little chance to last


Well, have to agree with that! Website, links, online or not, most new businesses fail...

And as far as online goes, if you make a million in 1 year, then you go away, is that worse than making a million in 10 years, then going away?
9:25 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You may create some great niche content and attract nice natural links, and you are still a gambler

Indeed.
9:31 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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>> We've seen that as well. Spam site ranking number one for a highly profitable keyword (we're talking about millions of dollars).

I've actually also seen something similar for a very competitive keyword (perhaps one of the most competitive tech-related keywords) but they are really a mix of natural, aged links and a ton of comment spam plus known and very obvious paid links. They were actually ranking page 2-4 before the original Panda and now they're ranking one page 1, positions 1-4 ever since the original Panda.
9:33 am on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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but I doubt they look at more than 0.01% of them.

That many? Golly, better than I would have believed... looking at the g serps these days! :)
4:28 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've actually also seen something similar for a very competitive keyword (perhaps one of the most competitive tech-related keywords) but they are really a mix of natural, aged links and a ton of comment spam plus known and very obvious paid links. They were actually ranking page 2-4 before the original Panda and now they're ranking one page 1, positions 1-4 ever since the original Panda.


This site has bought hundreds of domains, all linking to each other, then linking back to original site with the high volume keyword in anchor text. Perfect example of running a link scheme and obvious example of manipulating the search engines. They've even tried to hide their content (keyword stuffing). All of this is so obvious and easily detected.

but I doubt they look at more than 0.01% of them.

That many? Golly, better than I would have believed... looking at the g serps these days! :)


Ha. I didn't say address, I just said that they look at them. Then disregard..