link spam

Linkbuildr Gets Targeted For Negative SEO

3 Comments
March 22  |  Black Hat  |   Ryan Clark

I am actually shocked it took this long for someone to try something funny towards our site. I don’t think I’ve pissed anyone off all that much in the past year or so, but regardless someone has blasted Linkbuildr.com with a load of anchor text specific links from blog comments. Looks like Scrapebox went to town on us and pushed us into the top 5 for the target keyword they focused on.

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We certainly never had that many links before and I honestly haven’t even checked in months as all of our business comes from people reading my content and referrals. We do not build links and the majority of them come from me being apart of the industry and our content getting linked to.

Negative SEO Attempt

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So far we’re now ranking in the top 5 for “link building blog” which has rose since these nofollow links came flooding in from blogs all over the world. I’m not too worried about it as they’re nofollow anyway and no one has really seen a full proof case of negative SEO working.

With that being said, I kind of hope the Google algorithm burns us for it because I’ll turn that into some sweet link bait. Luckily for us, our business of getting new clients does not rely on free Google traffic all that much. While I also don’t have a whole lot of time any more to handle social media relationships either, we get a lot of content shares from the great people of this industry.

What Kind Of Links Did We Get?

The majority of links are the usual crap you get from the services sections of the “SEO” forums that plague the internet. I’m always ragging on Warrior Forum, Blackhat World, Digital Point and the like so perhaps someone from there is responsible for the new link love.

Open Galleries:

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At least they were polite!

Blog Comment Spam:

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Will We Get Dropped?

I decided to write about this publicly just incase we do get hit as it will make for an interesting discussion. I don’t think much will happen and if negative SEO does work, it shouldn’t be this easy. There are certainly a lot of people coming into Google’s webmaster help central complaining that competitors are doing this and its working. Problem with that is so many companies hire “SEO” companies and have no idea they’re just getting link spam.

Like I’ve stated before, 99% of SEO companies out there are spammers and either know they’re just slinging junk or still think that manually submitting a site to 250 directories, doing one line blog comments and submitting to social bookmark sites is marketing. I also state that Google keeps ranking link spammers and snake oil SEO consultants at the top for every and any keyword related to online marketing.

It’s a tough game!

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Spam Still King In Google SERPs

1 Comments
October 11  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

So we’ve had a Panda, Penguin and EMD update all within the past 30 days, the Google search results should be pretty clean right? We most definitely shouldn’t be seeing link spammed, keyword stuffed, EMD based 3-5 page max websites ranking for some of the most lucrative keywords…right?

Well I decided to check one of those keywords for the sake of seeing what’s going on and it seems even worse than last month to be honest. Below are my results for the keyword “payday loans online”, so obviously these won’t be the same everywhere. I’d like to hear what you folks are seeing because one of out ten results being an actual brand is kind of scary. The majority of the results crossed out below all had thousands of links dumped at it within the past month. As well, they only have 3-5 pages max so you’d like one of these updates took out these kinds of sites?


 
This is laughable to say the least although the latest Penguin update was just a refresh, and not a tweak to the algorithm itself(correct me if I’m wrong on that one though). Matt has been caught saying that the next real update will be “jarring and jolting”, so we’ll see what’s up in the coming months. I imagine they’re trying to get these updates out of the way before the holiday


What about non-shopping results?

While not every top 10 result is going to be this bad, but I just keep saving searches I come across as a user and this was a recent find of mine. I have a BenQ projector and recently had to figure out what was going wrong with it and how I could fix it. You’d think BenQ would come up on the first page, but instead it’s 99% FixYa and their pages are mostly just disguised Adsense ads and no real fix for anything.


 
More so annoyed more than anything really….link to your crazy search results in the comments below if you have something to share.

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JCPenny Caught With Paid Links?

1 Comments
February 12  |  Black Hat  |   Ryan Clark

I just enjoyed reading the long and well done report by the NT Times on the black hat hi-jinx JCPenny has been tangled up in. I don’t need to chat much about it as they went 5 pages deep into uncovering what was going on. JCPenny, by the looks of their Alexa, did quite well this last holiday season!

This is a good warning to all big brands not to game their links and stay away from any anchor text filters…something JCPenny is still stuck in by the looks of it. While it was reported they got slapped up into the 70′s, I’m now seeing them back in the 30′s, but there’s no traffic to be found there. JCPenny could have also been setup in this situation. Of all the huge brands we’ve worked with, they’d never have to resort to tactics like this to get those kind of results. While it’s not easy, these companies most definitely have the budget to do it right.

Just 7 percent of JCPenney.com’s traffic comes from clicks on organic search results, she wrote. A far bigger source of profits this holiday season, she stated, came from partnerships with companies like Yahoo and Time Warner, from new mobile applications and from in-store kiosks.

This is also great for them, any this should be similar for any large company. We always tell our clients to NOT have all their eggs in one basket, especially in case something bad happens. If you’re still relying 100% on search, it’s time to start looking at Facebook storefront options, a strong Twitter presence and get mobile in one way or another.

The one major thing JCPenny could improve on is of course much better product descriptions. If you were a smaller ecommerce site with a weak link profile and brand presence, then you’d be trumped. This is where having such a big company comes in really handy, but don’t feel invincible.

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Preventing Naughty Link Builders With Bad Behavior

6 Comments
January 13  |  Link Building Tools  |   Ryan Clark

You and I both know that there are a lot of excessive link spammers out there, especially when it comes to blogs. If you like at programs like Xrumor, they target weak guestbook scripts, insecure forums and out of date blog comment systems. I’m not sure why I haven’t heard of Bad Behavior until now, but it is definitely worth tinkering around with. There is a wordpress plugin for the likes of me and the other millions of users, but there is also some code to easily integrate into your PHP framework.

I’m planning on getting a forum of sorts going on here soon and the last one was overrun with link spam. Bad Behavior analyzes incoming HTTP headers, the IP address, and other data to determine if it is coming up rotten. Since it is mostly acting at the TCP level you don’t have to worry about the site loading slowly. They’ve tested it successfully on a site with over 100,000 unique visitors a day. There is actually quite a lot to the inner workings of Bad Behavior and they graciously have provided a wealth of information on how it works.

Bad Behavior complements other link spam solutions by acting as a gatekeeper, preventing spammers from ever delivering their junk, and in many cases, from ever reading your site in the first place. This keeps your site’s load down, makes your site logs cleaner, and can help prevent denial of service conditions caused by spammers.

This plugin is of course free and done out of hate for spam, so if you too hate spam as much, make sure to donate to their efforts. I’m going to be testing the plugin out over the next month so I’ll update this thread with any notes on how it performs. If you have any questions ask away in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Download Link: Get Bad Behavior Here
Blocked Googlebot Warning: http://expressionengine.com/forums/viewthread/63850/
Thanks to Alex from Application Developer who pointed out this to me.

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