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I did a Yahoo backlink check, and it's showing variously 6K to 30k backlinks. Pretty much all directory and similiar. All in that 10 days. Holy cow. He said he's got some rankings in Yahoo but is nowhere in Google.
I think the guy's screwed for Google, but have no experience with this stuff. My recommendation to him was to wait 3-6 months and see where he's at, at which point he should start looking for quality links.
What would you have suggested?
When the collapse happens rinse and repeat. This is not a cheap strategy, and if/when it does work money to cover link expenses needs to be recovered quickly.
Anyhow, I think your suggestion is good. He needs to wait and see for signs of movement in google before spending more money.
Using the Yahoo tool will return total results including multiple results for links on the same server. It is my opinion that Google entirely discounts all but one of those links on those websites.
There are more accurate tools to use (free) in the marketplace that are well known that will show unique linking domains. That's a much better number / reference to work with in link assessment.
He seemed to have all the decent directories covered, but he's got every last little $5 general directory as well. And now I see him trying to drop links in my forum.
All that hard work going to waste... [sigh] I bet, out of those thousands of directory links he's gotten, only a few dozen would be of some value. Come to think of it, I could probably have spent 1/5 of the time he's spent, yet probably achieve better results.
Btw, 3-6 months may not be enough. I've come across newbie webmasters with slightly aged sites they may have purchased for cheap, then they go off on a behemoth of a link building spree... and guess what? 6-12 months later, they're still whining about why their SERP's are nowhere to be found.
I'd suggest... scrap the domain!
I wouldn't. Despite what some hear, it is not difficult to reverse penalization, especially algorithmic filtering / penalties.
Just be smart and honest about what happened, get to the source, document the issue, submit the reinclusion request, and build GOOD, trusted quality links at a much lower, natural rate.
The domain will come around just fine...
Would you board up your brick and mortar business because of bad press in a local newspaper?