I couldn’t decide if I should call this post
Can You Penalize a Site in Google buy Buying Spammy Links to it?
Getting to #1 by banning everyone above you.
Last week, some people decided that they didn’t like Dan Thies (even though I’ve always thought he was a great guy….his book Search Engine Fast Start was required reading for our ninjas for years…and I’ve learned a lot from him)….but anyways, some people decided he was too much a Google lover so they decided to buy a lot of spammy links to Dan’s site (SEOFastStart.com) to see if they could get it penalized for a few phrases.
Results have been bouncing around…it may have worked…or it may not have…the dice may still be rolling on that one…
But, the post about trying to penalize Dan’s site by people bringing in links that could get you banned reads like a soap opera. So far it’s an 18 page thread. …SEO’s throwing stones at each other…some are mad at Google, and they’ll lash out at anyone who appears to be a friend of Google’s…some want to prove points….and some are…well….
Even Rand Fishkin jumps in a few times, once stating:
I’d also point out that compared to Dan, I’ve been far more supportive of Google’s webspam efforts and a constant supporter of more transparency in the marketing and SEO fields. I realize that this opinion may be unpopular with many who spam, so I’d like to offer up Moz or my personal website, randfishkin.com as targets for these efforts. I think it would be fascinating and revealing if external link manipulation could hurt either one.
Also – just FYI – while I may have disagreements with folks about tactics or philosophy, I am really interested in this experiment and I appreciate the mentality of testing and publicly sharing. Thank you all for that!
I have to admire Rand…
I’m not sure if I should mention this or not…but if you read through all those pages of that forum, you’ll find some ideas for taking sites down via messing with their backlinks…it’s scary, and if google is going to play a game of over optimization on a mass scale that involves unnatural links, there will be people who will want do SEO by taking others out of the game….I really hope SEO don’t have to stoop to this level…”oh, you’re #7…yea, I can get you to #1….I’ll just get the 6 sites above you banned”….scary stuff….
….years ago google used to say “Nothing your competitor can do can harm your rankings”….but now they just say “it’s very hard to harm your competitor”….well there are some people who can work very hard…and some who don’t need to work very hard at…they can just push a few buttons…
I know that some people have asked Google for a way to say “don’t count these links” in the webmaster tools…but there is few issues with doing that…what percentage of webmasters would “catch these” unnatural links in their webmaster tools?…I know, very very few…no one looks at the backlinks, because what they show for your backlinks, even in the webmastertools is crap….Do I have to spend my days saying “this scraped page that you say links to me isn’t real?”
In my webmaster central account, google says I have 968,577 backlinks…that’s a crock…..I know that the vast majority of links they are showing me are scraped, worthless links (I didn’t ask for them…they just came…every site on the web, the longer it’s been around, the the more search exposure it has, the more “crap, scrapped, etc links to it.” they don’t ask for it, it just happens…and I know Google knows this too….they show me tons of links that I know they don’t count, and they don’t show me some links that I do know count…if I had to manually “not count” links to google in the webmaster central account it would take me months to go through nearly 1 million links to tell google what links I think are real, and what links I don’t think are real….and for those I’m not sure of, I’d have to write or call the webmaster and ask if they are real if if they really meant to link to my site??
as even Dan Thies said in a Google groups:
The only reason I am bothering to post anything here now, is to try to get some answers for everyone on whether Google has decided to open up the market for “negative SEO.” Still looks like they haven’t, but I also think they owe every webmaster an answer. Once I see how this all plays out, I expect to be “Google proofing” these particular sites…..
Aaron Wall also said a few thing about this issue of “is is possible to penalize another site for negative SEO”, stating:
Google is betting that the SEO industry is full of ________. If our trade is to worth being in, I hope Google is wrong! If not, you will soon see most of the quality professionals in our trade go underground, while only the hacks who misinform people & are an unofficial extension of Google’s public relations team remain publicly visible.
That might be Google’s goal.
Will they be successful at it?
That depends entirely on how intelligent members of the SEO industry are.
Well…we’ll just have to see what this new google over optimization / webspam update is all about….if we find it’s about unnatural links…it could be a scary world in SEO…..