The other day I wrote about the hilarity still showing up for buy Cialis still in Google even after all these “quality” updates. While I can see how Google’s toned down the power of having a lot of specific anchor text links, there are clearly problems still. So right now for the search term bad credit personal loans is showing one silly result. This is a very competitive term and this type of crap shouldn’t still be showing up, right?
So the super duper spam attack Google algo update hit this week and continues to roll out, so what do the search results for some of the most spammed keywords look like? Well let’s take a look at buy Cialis and see what we can find ranking in the top 10 for one very competitive keyword.
All those businesses out there who’ve gone and looked for a link building company have most likely ended up at the Google search box to start their quest. With so many people having problems due to links these days, I thought we’d take a quick look at what an unsuspecting consumer might end up being provided by both organic and paid search results from Google. I feel bad for a lot of small businesses who don’t know any better and end up getting a boat load of spammy links done in their name. While they’ll most likely enjoy the benefits for a while, they’ll one day get the stinger of Google in their arse and that can be disastrous. While I don’t condone you heavily rely on organic Google traffic, it does make or break a lot of businesses.
So I’ll pick a few random search queries a company might search for and see what results we get in the organic and paid (Adwords) results. I’ve looked at a couple and have been disgusted with what I’ve seen, which is what inspired me to get this post going. It’s also quite obviously a sly tactic to make people aware of our link “attraction” process and why we promote awesome content for links more than any other tactic out there.
Search Query: Link Building Services
So here in red we have the companies that offer services that are against Google’s TOS and good ol’ Vertical Measures holding it down in green at number one. They do a lot of amazing work and even as a competitor, I have no problem promoting them or kissing a little ass. Problem here? Most will go with the others because a link attraction campaign costs quite a bit of money and those cheaper services are just too easy to go with.
Search Query: High Quality Link Building Service
So, BuildMyRank, a very very blackhat link building network that has recently been kicked in the rear from Google is still ranking no1 for this term… strange? You can imagine how this will end up getting a lot of people and their businesses in trouble without them knowing any better. This is another great example of why this post is going up here and why Google may even need to specifically check in on these SERPs.
Search Query: Whitehat Link Building Service
These are looking a lot better as I can see our site in the company of Eric Ward‘s (which should be no1 in my opinion). You can quickly see that a lot of the other results for the “whitehat/white hat” queries bring in a number of services that are in no way approved under Google’s TOS.
As you can see there is a lot of room for people getting stuck with a company that has no idea what’s going to keep you out of trouble while getting them ranked. You’d be shocked at how many firms are using blog networks to pump up client results and they’re not even telling them. I can imagine this will also lead to a lot of lawsuits or threats from companies who wake up one day with their business on the verge of extinction.
We don’t claim to be all super whitehat either, don’t get me wrong. Ranking in some niches sometimes requires sneakyness and we know that techniques that are not squeaky clean often work. We do, however, have ninja skills when it comes to acquiring links that can only be obtained via some monetary exchange. When it comes to stuff like that, the clients are always made fully aware of the potential risks at hand. I’d just like to drill it into companies’ heads that they need to be aware of what might be a problem for them in the future and not be in the dark. Flying in the face of Google’s TOS is like investing: you have to be willing to lose everything you put in. One day, it might not be worth anything.
While I haven’t seen many reports for guest blogging leading to an unnatural links penalty/warning from Google, this is an interesting topic to keep an eye on. I know this topic is going to freak you out a little but let’s take a look at this bloke’s case and feel out what might be the problem if it is even guest blog links. I’m a huge fan of guest blogging so I’d be pretty choked it this were an issue now, but I suspect a couple of other things in play here. I found this thread while doing my daily forum browsing;
I went from 1k Google visitors per day to 200. I then went back up to about 400 and now I’ve tanked again to 250ish.
I figured Google was punishing me for something so I submitted a reconsideration request.
I recently received an email from G stating that:
“We’ve reviewed your site and we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines.Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.”
The thing is, I’ve never paid for a single backlink and 90% of my link building is by submitting guest posts to high quality blogs in my market. With each guest post I include an author resource box. Does Google recognize that this resource box is included with lots of my backlinks and see it as unnatural link building? How can I lift this penalty without individually contacting over 50 bloggers who host my content with a backlink? And if guest posting is no longer a viable link building strategy, then WHAT IS?
Veeerrrryyy interrreeesssting! Now we don’t know if that warrior was engaged in other link building practices, but usually most people are. If you’re buying services from affiliate marketing forums, they’re more than likely on the grey/black side of things and can lead to trouble…although everything seems to lead to trouble these days. So while the thread is young, I’ve piped in with my 2 cents and we’ll see what comes of it if anything.
What Am I Thinking?
Well lately there is a lot of guest blogging going on, and sadly I’m seeing a lot more low quality stuff taking place. Remember to take what I say with a grain of salt, I don’t claim to know all and I’m just here to get the discussion going. So if it were possible to get an unnatural links penalty for guest blogging what factors come to your mind first that might trip the filter? Think about this for a minute here and then continue reading on……
Anchor text manipulation come to mind? I imagine if you’re gaming nothing but the same anchor text over and over that’s still going to be considered trying to manipulate the SERPs. We here at Linkbuildr are a huge proponent of NOT bothering to give two shits about anchor text anymore, and more so go after site/brand anchors or whatever isn’t trying to manipulate your ranking for one or two keywords. Keeping your rankings in the long run is all about building trust folks.
Another factor to consider when attracting links…ok well not consider but actual friggin do is link diversity! Relying on the same type of links is not a smart move and really will make your profile stick out like a sore thumb. So that’s all I really have to say and if you’ve had a problem with guest blog links I’d love to hear about it in the comments so don’t be shy now.
February 28 | News
| Ryan Clark
So Google’s 40 new changes to their algorithm in February brought on many new changes. While there are already many blog posts covering the changes I thought we’d look at some humor.
Of course, the folks at Google state a lot of stuff that just doesn’t yet work or take effect. I’m quite content in saying that half of the stuff that comes out of their PR department is bollocks and mostly just hype. For example, they stated they’re making sure less duplicates show up in mega site links. It’s typical that Google cannot even get that part right as is evidenced here:
That is all for now :)
No we didn’t get a notice of detected unnatural links but more and more people are these days and I expect this to ramp up a lot more in 2012. As I’ve stated many times, I’ve got my ear to the ground and a lot of the webmaster/affiliate forums are bringing up threads with this message. Google’s war on link spam is like America’s “war” on drugs – it’s a big fat fail boat year after year. The biggest hole in their algorithm is the links although they don’t need to change that aspect entirely. The anchor text abuse is rampant and that’s what needs to be curbed or turned down a notch…something we’re actually seeing in our link analysis a lot over the past 8 months.
I’m writing about it today because I saw yet another thread started in Google’s Webmaster Help Central regarding a rather larger site getting this notice. It comes in your webmaster tools area and you definitely don’t want to be seeing it. There are still a lot of people who claim that links cannot hurt your rankings, there are also a lot of people who believe in all sorts of fairy tales. Google’s guidelines on link schemes clearly state that you can be kicked in the ass (loss of rankings) if you’re heavily gaming their algo.
Image Credit: http://searchnewscentral.com/20110629173/Latest/does-google-think-your-links-are-unnatural.html
This is what she looks like and for a lot of people I’ve spoken with, it doesn’t always follow with a decrease in rankings. I imagine your site is now under some serious watch from your big brother G so proceed with caution. From what I can tell, it takes a certain type of “link scheme” to trigger this message. The type I’m referring to is usually link exchanges as they’re really easy to spot and trigger an alert to Google. A lot of people these days are link spamming via article marketing, blog comments and forum profiles and I’ve only seen a couple cases where these links caused a problem. Those types of links are too easy to spam a competitor with, thus Google most likely won’t be causing a fuss from these links too much…I imagine they just eventually devalue them and move on.
Where I’d also be suspect is in a few other areas of your link profile. If your top anchor text are clearly gaming or a certain keyword then I’d be quite worried as a business owner. Half the time businesses hire some crack pot SEO firm and all they do is spam spam spam for certain anchor text links. A lot of companies have no idea what’s going on or if this were even a bad thing to have happen. Another area I always like to peep on is the distribution of links to pages besides the homepage. This is another area Google can easily calculate in their algorithm is something looks highly unnatural. If I were Google, I’d also take a look at the number of C classes that total the link profile, but that might just be a little too hard to determine by a machine if something’s awry.
Is Google passing value on the type of link? I’d put a lot of money on yes they are. If your link profile consists of only blog comments, how could they not determine something was going on. I’m a big fan of link diversity, but I’m also a bigger fan of creating something that encourages people to link to you…that’ll provide you with more than enough natural links.
Cases To Study
Via this Google search query:
That should give you folks a good idea of what they’ve been going after in the past year or two. Like I said above, I expect these messages to be ramped up in 2012 so make sure you’re really thinking about your current and future link marketing efforts and tactics. If you’ve seen this message and would like to tell your story, then feel free to do so in the comments below. If you’ve got this message and would like us to take a look at your website for free then get in touch via our contact form.
Google+ brand pages are now showing up ranking just below the main websites for some brands but not all yet. I’m obviously not the first to realize this but I want to prepare your minds for when their posts are going to outrank most other sources on the web. Huge brands with insane amounts of followers are going to have a major advantage dominating the SERPs. I know a lot if you folks think the “social network” isn’t going any where but I urge you to push for those followers even harder now.
Article Marketing Robot is a very popular content “marketing” tool used by a lot of folks, specifically in the affiliate marketing world. I frequent a lot of SEO forums to keep my “ear to the street” as they say, and one particular Blackhat World thread caught my eye. Keep in mind that this person was most likely doing all sorts of junk link building like 2.0 and forum profiles, junk blog comments and other low quality stuff. The message I’m wanting to get across is that the Googly Woogly is cracking down a lot more on poor link building practices.
Short story: a few weeks ago 4 of my sites were penalized and I made a reconsideration request on all 4 of them. Of course they are were rejected so I have written them again with more details. Few days ago they finally replied me (this is the first reply from google in 5 years ).
Here is part of the email I got from them:
“Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank.
To illustrate how these articles could apply to you [they mean google quality guidelines], here are examples of pages that contain inorganic links to your site: [they posted examples from which one is an AMR article]” To illustrate how these articles could apply to you [they mean google quality guidelines], here are examples of pages that contain inorganic links to your site: [they posted examples from which one is an AMR article]”
They tend to be really helpful now. They post links and even the anchor text. I replied them again and they answered within 72h.
I decided not to post a screenshot of this email because I am still trying to recover my rankings and I don’t want them to know that I am sharing this info here.
I know a lot of people say links cannot hurt you but the fact of the matter is they can. I’ve quoted Google’s guide on link schemes so many times my fingers hurt. Pimping low quality content going after certain anchor text is in direct violation and is risky business. We all know it works well so just be careful in how you go about your link building efforts.
I am by no means saying not to game Google. If you have a solid brand backed by wicked awesome content you’ll be able to get away with a lot more. The majority of affiliate sites will rarely ever get linked to and that makes it too easy for Google to spot a link scheme taking place.