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Thread: How Garbage Ranks in the SERPs: a Case Study

  1. #31
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    maybe just leave it there until someone can provide actual evidence that you can sink a competitor.
    According to this article and elsewhere, Google is sending out this message to webmasters it believes have spammy incoming links:

    Dear site owner or webmaster of http://example.com/,

    We've detected that some of your site's pages may be using techniques that are outside Google's Webmaster 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....If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.

    If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.
    It looks to me like Google is removing sites from the SERPs for having spammy incoming links. It doesn't care who created the links. If they exist, you're toast.

    It looks like good evidence that a competitor can harm you simply by buying you some links.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post


    It looks to me like Google is removing sites from the SERPs for having spammy incoming links. It doesn't care who created the links. If they exist, you're toast.
    I'm still not sure if that's the case. Near the bottom of the article is this quote:

    The last defense for the link spammer is a fallacious line of reasoning: "search engines can't penalize me, because I could do it to my competitors." Yes, in theory, you could trigger a link spam penalty on a competitor site. You will find; however, that companies with strong branding signals who have built real editorial links - usually the companies that actually rank highly - are nearly impervious to link spam attacks.
    As I said earlier in the thread, it should be very difficult to hurt someone with a ranking that's genuinely earned, especially as the new crop of recently acquired spammy links will stand out like a sore thumb in their link profile, and those sites with weak spammy rankings from poor quality backlinks will probably get nerfed anyway (they're the ones getting the emails) so it's pointless trying to take them down. Zero sum game, you're wasting your time either way.

    I've never thought that blog networks were a good idea. If you have a link graph with umpteen billion links on it, it ought to be pretty easy to spot little clusters of unusual inter-connectivity.

  4. #33
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    This also points to the danger of a massive ongoing backlink creation program for your website. If a lot of these are low value, it's difficult to prove that none of them were created by third parties (competitors) who were attempting to devalue your whole website.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwelford View Post
    This also points to the danger of a massive ongoing backlink creation program for your website. If a lot of these are low value, it's difficult to prove that none of them were created by third parties (competitors) who were attempting to devalue your whole website.
    Yes but that's only relevant if your backlink profile was already full of low quality links in which case you weren't long for the chop anyway.

    Maybe what Google are doing is preventing good quality genuine sites form being sabotaged whilst allowing spammy sites to be sabotaged simply because they were going to get binned anyway and the backlink sabotage just helps to draw these lower quality sites to Google's attention.

    Like the article that Clinton linked says, and like common sense would dictate, if you have a strong, good quality backlink profile, you don't have much to fear from link sabotage.

    EDIT: Just came across this interesting perspective from Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land Google Warning More About Bad Link Networks
    Last edited by JJMcClure; 2 April 2012 at 10:47 am.

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