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  1. #1
    I am Learning... Vick!'s Avatar
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    I don't get this part of Google Algorithm!

    Out of many other things, this bothers me most about Google's Algorithm.

    Why does Google pushes you down in the SERPs, when it sees an immediate rise in backlinks? Cannot someone else do this trick and get you down from the top results for sometime?

    I always used to experience this, but from the last two experiments I am sure that Google does pushes your site down if you get a lot of backlinks at once.

    One of my site was ranking #2 for a less competitive term .. I was happy with #2, all of the sudden I thought of testing my theory .. I went and purchased ~250 backlinks as blog posts and confirmed directories inclusion at the same day. And I was not surprised to see that my site went deep to #16 .. then #17.

    Another new website of mine was rising in SERPs, and was ranked on 4th page for a competitive term ... I did same with that domain too, I purchased ~300+ backlinks the very same day .. and now it cannot be found in top 1000 even.

    No doubt sites come back to good ranking after a while, but why Google pushes them down at first place?

    So, what point does Google about it? Why off-page factors can effect your site negatively?

    What if I buy ~3000 links to my competitor one day, keep for 4-5 days and then remove them? It will effect the competitor's ranking in both ways .. first with rapid rise, and then with rapid fall.
    I haven't tried this, but will certainly do now ...

    Anyone else noticed something similar? Isn't that unfair?

  2. #2
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    hought links

    Quote Originally Posted by Vick!
    Why does Google pushes you down in the SERPs, when it sees an immediate rise in backlinks?
    AFAIK it is not a rapid increase in links that decreases SERP rank, but a sudden increaee that indicates purchased links.
    From http://www.google.com/support/webmas...736&topic=8524
    Buying links in order to improve a site’s ranking is in violation of Google's webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results.
    .....
    Google works hard to ensure that it fully discounts links intended to manipulate search engine results, such link exchanges and purchased links.
    I'm not sure how they tell who bought the links. I imagine there might be some way, or people would be sabotaging competitors.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    I'm not sure how they tell who bought the links. I imagine there might be some way, or people would be sabotaging competitors.
    Do you seriously believe that? There is absolutely no way to *know* who purchased what links for a given site.

    Google's official stance is that if they discover purchased links that those links (or possibly any links on that page/site) will not pass PR or count towards rankings.

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    links

    Yes, I agree it's highly improbable, but how to explain that it isn't used to sabotage competitor sites? Just hasn't "caught on" yet?
    I can agree with not increasing PR for back-links, but as Vick! asked, should a site actually be penalized for it? It seems that what would be fair is for the bought links to be simply removed from the equation and the rank to remain at what it would be had there been no bought links.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    It seems that what would be fair is for the bought links to be simply removed from the equation and the rank to remain at what it would be had there been no bought links.
    That's what Google says is going on. They have never said there is a penalty for buying links.

  6. #6
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    I imagine if yesterday you had three backlinks and today you have three hundred, that might be an indication that you purchased links.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    I imagine if yesterday you had three backlinks and today you have three hundred, that might be an indication that you purchased links.
    But if that *indication* leads to a penalty then the door is wide open to sabotage.

  8. #8
    I am Learning... Vick!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    AFAIK it is not a rapid increase in links that decreases SERP rank, but a sudden increaee that indicates purchased links.
    Paid or free, if rapid increase can push you down in SERPs, I am out to shoot all my competitors in their head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    I imagine if yesterday you had three backlinks and today you have three hundred, that might be an indication that you purchased links.
    First of all, this is not an indication of purchased links. This could be a successful linkbait and viral video hosted on my main page or whatever.

    But for the sake of argument, if I agree that this is an indication of purchased links and site should automatically be pushed down, and put on hold for deep analysis of links and their growth rate ... like aaronjj said, door is open to sabotage.

    I am afraid that Google will ruin its #1 search engine title in this fight against paid links and fight against search engine result pages manipulators, trying different theories and ideas is killing the quality of results heavily.

    Well, someone please answer my questions.

    Am I right on it that rapid increase in backlinks pushes you down in google serps?

    Does this penalty makes sense to anyone? It doesn't make sense to me at least.
    Last edited by Vick!; Sep 17, 2007 at 19:23. Reason: removed duplicate sentence

  9. #9
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Apparently Google... even Matt Cutts can tell if you buy backlinks. I don't know how, but it can't be that difficult.

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/tell-m...our-backlinks/

    Here's my theory:

    If you are buying backlinks in mass quantities... say, 100 or more at a time, how do you know that these backlinks are relevant to your site content? How do you know that you aren't purchasing space on some link farm? The only way I think you can know is if you check them all yourself. Since most webmasters don't have that kind of time, to check each link individually, my thought is that if Google knows a site sells backlinks and sees your site on their page, you'll be penalized.

    IMO, your competitors are certainly not going to purchase quantities of backlinks for your site, since some of them may be valid and help you increase your PR... and your competitors certainly aren't going to take the time to check each backlink they purchase to be sure you are on a link farm or another 'bad neighborhood'. Moreover, most reputable business people will spend their time and money to promote their own businesses and their own web sites. They aren't going to lay out their hard earned cash to try to sabotage yours.

    IMO, worrying about what your competitor might or might not do to you is a sign of paranoia.
    Last edited by Shyflower; Sep 17, 2007 at 04:45. Reason: my theory
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  10. #10
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    I am not sure Google is so good detecting bought links. I say this because some of my competitors are doing well buying links. When I search link:www.url-of-the-site-that-buys-links.com, I see links that are clearly bought.

  11. #11
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    bought links

    I think that Google could determine if links were bought easily enough. In fact they say that they understand that bought links can be legitimate and only have a problem when they're bought to manipulate search results.
    Both the quantity and, more importantly, the quality of links count towards this rating.
    .......
    However, some SEOs and webmasters engage in the practice of buying and selling links, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. Buying links in order to improve a site’s ranking is in violation of Google's webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results.
    .......
    Not all paid links violate our guidelines. Buying and selling links is a normal part of the economy of the web when done for advertising purposes, and not for manipulation of search results. Links purchased for advertising should be designated as such. This can be done in several ways, such as:
    Adding a rel="nofollow" attribute to the <a> tag
    My take is that competitors could indeed purchase a large number of "poor quality" links to other sites, and "negatively impact a site's ranking in search results."
    That is, instead of having NULL effect, it would have NEGATIVE effect.
    I think for Google to assume that competitors would not spend money on other sites to this end is a bit naive, as in fact they would be spending their money to improve their own rankings by bringing others down.

  12. #12
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    I think that Google could determine if links were bought easily enough. In fact they say that they understand that bought links can be legitimate and only have a problem when they're bought to manipulate search results.My take is that competitors could indeed purchase a large number of "poor quality" links to other sites, and "negatively impact a site's ranking in search results."
    That is, instead of having NULL effect, it would have NEGATIVE effect.
    I think for Google to assume that competitors would not spend money on other sites to this end is a bit naive, as in fact they would be spending their money to improve their own rankings by bringing others down.
    Well I guess that depends how you believe your money is better spent... by improving your own business or trying to downgrade your competitors' businesses. I think if you choose the latter, as well as being ethically reprehensible, you run the risk of being penalized yourself if found out.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  13. #13
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    sad quality

    Yes, the "I can't raise myself, I'll bring others down" philosophy is sad. But I have seen such behavior in social settings (ie. grade school, bar cliques), so I can see where some site owners would use similar tactics in business.
    They don't have immaturity or intoxication as an excuse, but $$$ is a great motivator for whoring one's ethics.

  14. #14
    I am Learning... Vick!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    my thought is that if Google knows a site sells backlinks and sees your site on their page, you'll be penalized.
    OH' PLEASE!

    Do you know what you are talking about? Try to implement same theory on real life instead of web and see what results you come up with.

    If Google is really doing this, it is the single most retarded act I have seen in years. I do not really expect such a dumb algo from Google.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    Moreover, most reputable business people will spend their time and money to promote their own businesses and their own web sites. They aren't going to lay out their hard earned cash to try to sabotage yours.
    OK, I don't do anything to my competitors. What is guarantee that no one will sabotage me? Relying on other people's honesty and good will up to this level is so idiotic.

    Imagine you keep a lot of money in your house and do not lock it before you go out .. you assume that you never robber anyone, so you wont get robbed. You won't be robbed just because you never robbed anyone?

    Geeez! We are not living in an ideal world.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    I think for Google to assume that competitors would not spend money on other sites to this end is a bit naive, as in fact they would be spending their money to improve their own rankings by bringing others down.
    And thats sick assumption of Google, which have nothing to do with real life facts.

  15. #15
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    It doesn't appear to be me who doesn't know what they are talking about. Several members here agree that, yes, Google does know when backlinks are purchased and yes, they will penalize you for purchasing backlinks... if only to discount them and place your site where it really belongs.

    Moreover, if you think that honesty and goodwill are idiotic, you have the problem, not me. Good business is built on ethical practice. Unethical practice is soon found out by customers as well as competitors. If you're a cheat or manipulator, customers won't want to have anything to do with your business for fear of being cheated or manipulated themselves.

    I don't assume that if I am not a thief, I won't get robbed. I don't think you'll find that anywhere in my comments. However, just because I lock my door, doesn't mean that I will go into my neighbor's unlocked house and trash it.

    Finally, it's apparent that you are dissatisfied with the way Google runs its search engine. If that's the case, remove your site from it. It isn't built for webmasters, it's built for Google's users. It's quite wearisome to listen to the complaints of those who don't rank where they think they should. The truth is, if you are going to play in Google's ballpark, you have to play by Google's rules.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  16. #16
    chown linux:users\ /world Hartmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vick! View Post
    OH' PLEASE!

    Do you know what you are talking about? Try to implement same theory on real life instead of web and see what results you come up with.

    If Google is really doing this, it is the single most retarded act I have seen in years. I do not really expect such a dumb algo from Google.

    And thats sick assumption of Google, which have nothing to do with real life facts.
    Vick, there is no need for such an outburst. You asked a question, people answered. If you are unhappy with the answer there is no reason to take it out on people here.

    You claim to be learning, so why jump all over people trying to help. Please keep the conversation civil and on-topic.

  17. #17
    I am Learning... Vick!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    It doesn't appear to be me who doesn't know what they are talking about. Several members here agree that, yes, Google does know when backlinks are purchased and yes, they will penalize you for purchasing backlinks... if only to discount them and place your site where it really belongs.
    Even though I do not believe its possible to distinguish between paid links and links those are just given. But even if Google has found some way out, the problem I am mainly concerned is what if someone else buy a couple hundred low quality links and get your site down from where it was ranking for months and months.

    This is the only thing not making sense to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    Moreover, if you think that honesty and goodwill are idiotic, you have the problem, not me.
    I never said these things are idiotic? What I said was, "Relying on other people's honesty and good will up to this level is so idiotic."


    After spending thousands of dollars on quality product, content creation, linkbait .. should I keep business on the pity of my competitors? And assume that we live in ideal world, and no one is going to spend a couple hundred on purchasing low quality links and obvious paid links and knocked me out of serps? If I do this, I'd be just relying on their honesty and goodwill. And this policy is idiotic.

    Everyone doesn't think positive like you do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    Finally, it's apparent that you are dissatisfied with the way Google runs its search engine. If that's the case, remove your site from it.
    No offense intended, but do you give similar suggestion to everyone who criticize of a certain thing?

    Everyone who don't like the skin of SitePoint should stay out?

    Everyone who don't like some rules of US should migrate?

    Everyone who don't like something in the world should commit suicide?

    Strange


    Like I said in my first post, I do not get this part of google's algo ... I wanted other people to tell me the benefits this is going to deliver, how it can increase the quality of serps etc. This is what forums are for.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmann View Post
    Vick, there is no need for such an outburst. You asked a question, people answered. If you are unhappy with the answer there is no reason to take it out on people here.

    I asked question, no one answered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vick!
    what point does Google about it? Why off-page factors can effect your site negatively?

    And I was not taking it out to people here, the outburst was for Google

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmann View Post
    You claim to be learning, so why jump all over people trying to help. Please keep the conversation civil and on-topic.
    I am sorry if I went little uncivil. I will take care from now.

  18. #18
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    I think google has list of sites that get paid for links. If your site shows up on one then you might have a problem.

  19. #19
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    paid links

    Quote Originally Posted by Vick!
    Even though I do not believe its possible to distinguish between paid links
    I think it would be relatively easy. Say I have something that gets picked up by a big time site. eg. MSNBC publishes an article about my site. My site would get a lot of traffic, and presumably many blogs would then publish posts about it. BUT although the number of back-links would jump, they would have unique and relevant context. If I got a jump in links with all of them essentially in the same context, it could flag. Likewise, if the content was randomly generated unique text "splog-ish", it would flag. In other words a sudden jump in poor quality links would trigger the penalty.
    The problem is determining who paid for the links. If I paid for them to manipulate my rank, then I deserve to be penalized. But if a competitor did, then obviously I shouldn't. That's why I think the fairest way to deal with them would be to simply not count them. But as Google says " ... can negatively impact a site's ranking" it doesn't sound like this is what they do to me. Your experiment showing not a lack of increase but an actual decrease would back this up.

  20. #20
    I am Learning... Vick!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcj662 View Post
    I think google has list of sites that get paid for links. If your site shows up on one then you might have a problem.
    What if I put your link on that site?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    I think it would be relatively easy. Say I have something that gets picked up by a big time site. eg. MSNBC publishes an article about my site. My site would get a lot of traffic, and presumably many blogs would then publish posts about it. BUT although the number of back-links would jump, they would have unique and relevant context. If I got a jump in links with all of them essentially in the same context, it could flag. Likewise, if the content was randomly generated unique text "splog-ish", it would flag. In other words a sudden jump in poor quality links would trigger the penalty.
    I agree with this part, but what if I have high budget and buy high quality banklinks from trusted sites (not from random blogs, directories) with varying anchor text .. How would Google detect them?

    I mean, detecting a certain type of paid links is possible .. but detecting them all is not.
    But still, if they can detect a part of it .. its all good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    The problem is determining who paid for the links. If I paid for them to manipulate my rank, then I deserve to be penalized. But if a competitor did, then obviously I shouldn't.
    You got it, this is what I am talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    That's why I think the fairest way to deal with them would be to simply not count them. But as Google says " ... can negatively impact a site's ranking" it doesn't sound like this is what they do to me. Your experiment showing not a lack of increase but an actual decrease would back this up.
    Exactly, and what purpose this is serving .. I cannot get. Well, this rumor is not too spread that buying low quality links can negatively affect ranking .. once this is out, we will see a war between webmasters. And I predict this

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    I think that Google could determine if links were bought easily enough. In fact they say that they understand that bought links can be legitimate and only have a problem when they're bought to manipulate search results.My take is that competitors could indeed purchase a large number of "poor quality" links to other sites, and "negatively impact a site's ranking in search results."
    That is, instead of having NULL effect, it would have NEGATIVE effect.
    I think for Google to assume that competitors would not spend money on other sites to this end is a bit naive, as in fact they would be spending their money to improve their own rankings by bringing others down.
    Just this morning I looked at my stats and saw some hits from a text link selling website. I did not purchase nor solicit that incoming link. In fact, I've got a bunch of spam sites linking to me, too.

    It would be a crying shame for a webmaster to be penalized for something he has no control over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vick! View Post
    If Google is really doing this, it is the single most retarded act I have seen in years. I do not really expect such a dumb algo from Google.[/b]
    Google has been taking sites out of the SERPs for duplicate content reasons when they index the same site via a proxy. So, Google does indeed do dumb things. Is there anyone who can argue that the Sandbox or Supplemental index is smart?

    A lot of people give Google way too much credit for being smarter than it really is. We haven't yet reached the point where artificial intelligence can outmatch human beings. Google certainly hasn't.

    No search engine is perfect. No human is perfect.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    Finally, it's apparent that you are dissatisfied with the way Google runs its search engine. If that's the case, remove your site from it. It isn't built for webmasters, it's built for Google's users. It's quite wearisome to listen to the complaints of those who don't rank where they think they should. The truth is, if you are going to play in Google's ballpark, you have to play by Google's rules.
    We are the webmasters who create the content that search engine users are looking for. We are the ones whose work is indexed by the search engines. Google needs us as much as we need it. Without webmasters, Google doesn't exist.

    I wish more webmasters understood that and the power they have to influence others.

    Besides, how can anyone argue that the Sandbox or Supplemental index are beneficial to search engine users? How is not finding what someone is looking for beneficial to them?

    Wildly fluctuating positions in the SERPs, Sandox, Supplemental, and disappearing from the index for no reason isn't beneficial to the search engine user. The fact is that if people don't find it in the search engines, they assume it doesn't exist. But it may very well exist and be exactly what someone is looking for.

  23. #23
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    We are the webmasters who create the content that search engine users are looking for. We are the ones whose work is indexed by the search engines. Google needs us as much as we need it. Without webmasters, Google doesn't exist.

    I wish more webmasters understood that and the power they have to influence others.

    Besides, how can anyone argue that the Sandbox or Supplemental index are beneficial to search engine users? How is not finding what someone is looking for beneficial to them?

    Wildly fluctuating positions in the SERPs, Sandox, Supplemental, and disappearing from the index for no reason isn't beneficial to the search engine user. The fact is that if people don't find it in the search engines, they assume it doesn't exist. But it may very well exist and be exactly what someone is looking for.
    The fact remains that http://google.com belongs to Google. Our sites are only listed there at Google's discretion, which is why I said if someone doesn't like the way they do business, then don't be a part of their business. Webmasters have no more right to tell Google how to do business than they do Yahoo, MSN, Dmoz, Craig's List or any other website.

    When Walmart doesn't like the way Mattel does business, they remove the toys from their shelves. Mattel may make the toys, but they must do it in the way that their distributors' require or they will have nowhere to sell them. That's the way business works and complaining about it isn't going to do a lick of good.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  24. #24
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    Okay,

    What about linkbaiting??
    I am planning on doing a nationwide contest, for anyone to enter, and there will be a voting process. I am imagining that a lot of links will be generated to my site during the contest--will I be penalized?

    ---

    Also, is it safe to assume that listings will come back after this. A couple of months ago I purchased a link from Aviva Directory, after some thought and debate. Other webmasters recommended it, and it's been around, now I hear that it's been dropped by G and ther listings on this directory are being penalized by ranking.

    Will my organic ranking improve--or do we just ask these directories to remove our listings? How do we know for sure about ANTHING? This is all speculation, isn't it? I know we've read what Matt Cutt said 1.5 to 2 years ago, so why would this take effect now? Could we be totally wrong, because a competitor of mine is still in the top three for a search term that I am working with and he has spammy links with link farms--so why doesn't this effect him?

    -----

    Also what about social bookmarking? Leaving signatures? Blog posts?

    Maybe G is just going through another update and it hasn't settled in yet. . .

    --Don

  25. #25
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Since when does gaining links result in position decreases?

    You could take a poll, after gaining a large number of links 50&#37; of people might notice an increase, 50% of people might notice a decrease. The 50% of people who notice an increase don't say anything because they see it as normal, the 50% who notice a decrease post on boards repeatedly because they think it is abnormal. This leads others to think that gaining links == lower ranks.

    Compounding this issue is that by the time Google lists links in your backlink lists they've been counting them for your rank for weeks or months already. So there is no good way to test when Google starts counting them.

    If Google doesn't like links you've gotten, they don't lower your rank, they just don't won't the links to your benefit. It is really nothing to worry about.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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