Hi again, aristotle:
Thanks again for the response, and for the link:
So if what Matt Cutts said is true, Google investigated a case in which a site had 10,000 spammy links and determined that none of them counted.
I would just like to get into a theoretical debate about this:
Yes, I am sure that google does filter links, basically devaluing many of them.
However, I think that we can both agree that we have seen sites that have been banned / given a -950 penalty for link building, right?
So then we then have to ask; why do some sites get penalized for links?
My thoughts are:
Certain links that are easily
determined to be manipulated links are only devalued, while some links that are better "disguised" (for lack of a better word) could lead to a penalty.
While not knowing what that threshold is, I will speculate wildly that forum signatures, free directory listings, and off topic reciprocals MIGHT be the kind that would be devalued WITHOUT a penalty.
Possibly, the "in content" links that APPEAR to be editorially given might be penalty worthy. However, this would exclude those in content links that appear on article sites, since there is a huge number of those article sites with tens of thousands of articles which have in-content links.
So it might be that the threshold is based on whether the site providing the link appears to NOT be under the control of the target site (or at least the content appears NOT to be under the control of the target site - which would exclude links from article directories since it is fairly obvious that the content on the article directories is provided by the target site).
This is possibly due to the prevalence a few years back of google bowling, where it was cost effective to build a bunch of spam links to a competitor's site. Google took steps to reduce the effectiveness of google bowling, and possibly this is the result of those steps?
anyway, would like to hear opinions from everyone on this idea.