unnatural links

Wikipedia Link Leads to Unnatural Link Warning

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August 21  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

Scary title to say the least and while you may be smelling the stink of link bait in the air, I assure you it is as it sounds. I don’t like to cover news from other websites but in regards to link building, I’ll make an exception. This WebmasterWorld thread showcases a scenario I would have never thought could and would be a problem. Basically, this webmaster had his site included naturally to Wikipedia and then that page, including the links, got scraped thousands of times over. On top of that, the webmaster’s site is an EMD so he ended up getting a lot of exact match anchor text. We all know now that this can really cause problems for people and sure enough he got the unnatural links message in his WMT.

From their post;

It seems that Google has penalised me for this because from their point of view they see dozens of links with the same anchor text. Because my website is relatively young this makes up a large proportion of the link profile and I don’t think this looks natural.
I explained this to Google in a reconsideration request and they revoked a manual penalty as a result. A few hours prior to that I received one of those ‘unnatural link’ warnings without the yellow caution signs. Now two weeks later my rankings have not improved at all for this keyword (which is also my website name) whereas previously it was ranking quite well for this

This is pretty scary and if true, means that the Google Penguin filter has a long long long way to go! Hearing this also means scary things for the negative SEO world. In the past year we have dealt with businesses coming to us in droves with a unnatural link filtering no thanks to shady link building “companies” that are prolific throughout the web. We have yet to see anyone with a problem like this as the majority were blog network link buyers, blog comment spammers and link wheels gone wild.

But aren’t Wikipedia links nofollow? They sure are and while the majority of scrapers will append the nofollow code along with the rest of the data they’re stealing, we still have a problem. You can even read about another WW user who also had Google point out links from their scraped Wikipedia page being the “culprits”.

From Miozio;

I had the same problem when Google spam team pointed at links as unnatural from sites that scraped Wikipedia where I had a featured link. Those sites had nofollow attribute, same as Wiki but it does not matter to Google anymore. I desperately screamed in reconsideration request of such an injustice and they revoked manual action. Good rankings never returned since then.

Does anything perhaps think the Penguin algorithm is ignoring nofollow?

Here’s a very interesting tidbit from WW user klark0;

Same here. I got 1 Wikipedia link and about hundred from wikipedia scrapers. The only good thing is that almost all of the scrapers keep their copy in sync with wikipedia. So I edited the link to be Domain.com instead of a keyword-like link.

Let’s keep in mind we cannot confirm if this all actually happened, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised. This is where I’ll turn to our readers and hopefully someone has something to say about this topic. If you’ve had this exact problem lets hear about it in the comments below or email me(r.clark@linkbuildr.com) and we can do a post on here together. I had thought I’d seen it all in regards to link problems, so this is certainly an interesting twist on the Penguin saga.

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Guest Blogging Leads To Unnatural Links Detected Message?!

March 24  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

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.

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