Link Cleanup

What to Expect From Google’s SEO Department in 2013

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May 21  |  Link Cleanup, News, Video SEO, Wordpress SEO  |   Alex Chan

If you’re wondering what’s in store from Google for 2013, the video above shows Matt Cutts giving an elaborate explanation of what to expect.

Coming soon is the newest version of the Penguin algorithm, called Penguin 2.0. This update will have serious improvements from the last Penguin 1.0, and we should expect it any day now. The new Penguin will detect black hat SEO, go deeper into the websites, and have a larger impact than the previous updates. Sites should get ready by using Google’s Disavow Tool to defer any spammy links.

Along with Penguin, a new Panda update is coming. This update is expected to have an enormous impact on many websites and Google will try to “lower” the affects to keep from harming websites. The last major Panda update had serious impact on all websites. We should expect something similar for this one. The fact that Google states they need to “tone it down” means it’s going to be HUGE.

After punishing Interflora and a few UK Newspapers, Google will start looking into advertorials and other types of advertising that directly violate Google’s guidelines. Paying money for advertising in order to pass the PageRank is one of the issues that Google has been regularly monitoring this year. A number of link networks have already been shut down or heavily penalized.

Many users in England complained about pay day loans and other pornographic queries that appeared on Google.co.uk. Google will introduce two new changes in the area of spammy queries. One method is to detect links “upstream” in an effort to reduce the value of the spam links. Along with monitoring links in a new way, Google plans develop advanced link analysis software that will make Google’s search engine understand the linking flow better.

When certain websites present an authority in a certain field like travel, medicine, real estate, and so on, Google will try and boost the authority of those pages allowing them to top on the search result pages. This is great for existing authoritative websites but it will make it harder for new websites to join the race. In addition to handing out higher authority, Google will make another attempt at cleaning the “cluster issue”. The cluster issue was presented back in 2012 for websites that dominate the first page for a single keyword. That includes websites like yelp, and possibly even Google Maps, YouTube, or other Google entities. This is an attempt to diversify the results and offer the end-user a wider range of information.

Last but not least, Google hopes to improve the communication with the webmasters. This is great for white hat developers and we’ve already seen some improvements after Matt Cutts announced the best method for handling a manual Google penalty. When dealing with webmasters, Google announced that they will be providing more detailed and explicit information to the webmasters in their Webmaster Tools. That was something that Google was always criticized about and anyone who’s dealt with this can relate.

By the sounds of things, Google has a few good ideas that are going to help webmasters on the way. The improved communication sounds great but everyone should be prepped for both Penguin 2.0 and the upcoming version of Panda.

Pay Me To Remove Your Unnatural Link

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July 17  |  Black Hat, Link Cleanup  |   Ryan Clark

I just came across a Google Webmaster Central thread where an SEO firm doing a link cleanup kept coming across webmasters requesting a monetary fee to have the “illicit” link removed. The Linkbuildr team talked about something like this happening a few weeks ago during a company retreat and now we see something in the wild. We don’t do link takedown requests on behalf of clients for two reasons:

  1. We help people attract links, not build sh#@ links.
  2. We don’t build sh#@ links. If a major brand has a trillabazillion naughty links, the cleanup mess is going to be a bloody nightmare.

How have you been handling requests for processing fees in response to your link removal requests?

Some webmasters are now requesting processing fees from $20 to $500 to remove links from their web sites.

I don’t like paying those fees, as I did not ask them to place the links in the first place. On the other hand, they see it as a reasonable fee for the time and effort required to remove links. Nobody likes to work for free.

The web site I am currently working on has over half a million inbound links and the link removal processing fees are starting to add up to quite considerable numbers.

How do you handle such requests?

EastwoodThere is a great possibility this person is trolling, but this scenario is definitely not far fetched at all. I imagine a lot of companies will do anything to get out of Penguin’s grip and pass that manual review. I’m probably not helping the situation by blogging about this as other nefarious webmasters are likely to start doing this to other companies trying to clean up a link mess. Regardless of the negatives, what do you folks think? Would you pay a webmaster or track them down and go Eastwood on their behinds?

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