High PR Society Busted

by cssitkt 146 replies
I just received this email from High PR Society - a blog network that appeared to have escaped the wrath of Google.

Around a month ago several networks - SEO Nitro (Dori Friend), HomePageBacklinks.com (Terry Kyle), Backlink Monster (Brad Callen), etc - got largely deindexed by Google. As soon as that happened we locked down HPS to new users, changed hosting, and went underground as best we could. Our goal was to protect the service for our users and ourself.

Unfortunately, a few days ago our luck ran out. A bit more than half of our sites were deindexed. We've seen sites drop and come back, but I don't think that's going to happen this time.
#search engine optimization #busted #high #society
  • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
    I recently filed a reconsideration request for a site that received the dreaded Notice of unnatural links. With all of the rankings dropping into oblivion overnight I figured i had nothing to lose.

    Google replied and said: if you give us details of the SEO services you used this will increase your chance of having the penalty removed. I wonder how many people are handing over link reports?

    I have link reports from most of the main Blog Networks that do or did advertise on warrior.
    • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
      Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

      Google replied and said: if you give us details of the SEO services you used this will increase your chance of having the penalty removed. I wonder how many people are handing over link reports?
      I think this is more than enough evidence that the latest scare tactic used by Google (unnatural link building emails) was just the means to infiltrate the blog networks.

      These hits where not algorithmic, if they were then the entire network would have fallen and not just parts of it.

      People have exposed the networks they used in the hope that the penalties will be lifted.

      Any other thoughts?
    • Profile picture of the author MarlboroMonkey
      Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

      Google replied and said: if you give us details of the SEO services you used this will increase your chance of having the penalty removed. I wonder how many people are handing over link reports?
      Oh man, what a classic police interrogation technique!

      Remember fellas, snitches get stiches.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      The original 700K scare tactic was just that, a scare tactic.

      So far all threads/comments I've seen people say their sites/pages had not dropped in the SERPs, but they were getting a message in GWT telling them to fix the problem links (LMAO! ).

      I can only imagine how many thousands of people fell for that scare tactic.

      My advise is, If pages haven't dropped into oblivion in the SERPs, leave the old links alone.

      Good grief people, don't reply to the Google messages, use your head!

      If you remove the old links you are guaranteed to drop in the SERPs. If Google does a manual penalty you'll drop in the SERPs. So you still have a 50% chance of holding SERP rank If you just ignore their message.

      Google is baiting with GWT messages!
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    • Profile picture of the author sovereignn
      Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

      I recently filed a reconsideration request for a site that received the dreaded Notice of unnatural links. With all of the rankings dropping into oblivion overnight I figured i had nothing to lose.

      Google replied and said: if you give us details of the SEO services you used this will increase your chance of having the penalty removed. I wonder how many people are handing over link reports?

      I have link reports from most of the main Blog Networks that do or did advertise on warrior.
      Wow they really said that?

      That's intense they're truly after these networks
    • Profile picture of the author todawg_not
      Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

      I recently filed a reconsideration request for a site that received the dreaded Notice of unnatural links. With all of the rankings dropping into oblivion overnight I figured i had nothing to lose.

      Google replied and said: if you give us details of the SEO services you used this will increase your chance of having the penalty removed. I wonder how many people are handing over link reports?

      I have link reports from most of the main Blog Networks that do or did advertise on warrior.
      Google wants you to nark on other blog networks with no guarantee
      your site will be reinstated..

      Pwwffttt.... come on Google you can do better than that
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin McNally
    No doubt they will now have a long list then ! Shows that some of these networks did work although it was always a short term strategy .
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  • Profile picture of the author jeromie
    Don't leave out the good news cssitkt

    We closed down HPS to new members well before we were at capacity. Our current sites are at ~70% utilization AND we have at least 600 completely unused PR sites. We have enough sites to replace the ones that were lost.
    We're also in discussions with possible domainer partners to add even more
    • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
      Originally Posted by jeromie View Post

      Don't leave out the good news cssitkt

      We closed down HPS to new members well before we were at capacity. Our current sites are at ~70% utilization AND we have at least 600 completely unused PR sites. We have enough sites to replace the ones that were lost.
      We're also in discussions with possible domainer partners to add even more
      That's crazy talk. Only those in deep denial or blissfully ignorant would now consider using a blog network they didn't control to improve their rankings.
  • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
    What's funny is Google is actually playing whack-a-mole and in the process they highlighting the shortcomings of the algo!
    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Originally Posted by Eleva8 View Post

      What's funny is Google is actually playing whack the mole and in the process they highlighting the shortcomings of the algo!
      Yep, and no way are they going to do a manual penalty on 700K accounts.

      Think about it, the average webmaster most likely has multiple sites, so I'm sure that the 700K is the number of accounts, not actual websites. I'm sure the actual number of sites is a lot larger number than 700k.

      We all see the threads here on WF of people in panic mode, most likely they are creating their own problems by responding to the GWT messages.

      Don't take the bait!

      This is the funniest tactic I've ever seen, related to SEO!
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  • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
    Definitely Oscar material!

    But it has worked to a degree... I'm sure many webmasters will never think of ever purchasing another SEO service!
  • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
    The penalties are real that is for sure but those who got hit the hardest relied heavily on paid links for their ranking, so I would say in terms of the penalties their had to be an algo at work looking for certain patterns.

    Here is one warrior that was hit and there are tons more over at Traffic Planet who were hit heavily:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/adsense-...ml#post5869467
    • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
      Originally Posted by Eleva8 View Post

      The penalties are real that is for sure but those who got hit the hardest relied heavily on paid links for their ranking, so I would say in terms of the penalties their had to be an algo at work looking for certain patterns.
      Don't forget that they have the most powerful web scraper in existence today and they have a **** load of data about every website in their index. All they have to do is follow the backlinks. Changing IPs, nameservers, themes and all that crap doesn't help anything if you come under their radar. Sure, it takes a bit of manual work, but (obviously) they see it worth their while.

      Think about it this way.

      1. Get backlink parameters - contextual links from high PR pages (they have this data already).
      2. This is the manual/semi-manual part. Identify blogs that belong to link networks (why they've been collecting data lately - so they don't hit legit blogs).
      3. Follow the backlinks going out of those blog network blogs. Locate all sites and send out GWT messages (manipulating PR).

      Now there are two possibilities.

      #1 Apply manual penalties (makes little sense).

      #2 This one makes more sense. They have a "rapid link loss" (or somethign similar) penalty which is built into the algorithm. Such a penalty expires after the algo determines that "bad links" are gone.

      And so they de-index link sources (blog networks). Sites using networks get hit automatically (thus they do not need to manually penalize 700k or w/e sites).

      Google knows that a lot of good sites will be effected by this, but that's OK - because they have removed the bad links themselves. The algorithm will take care of everything over time.

      See where I'm coming from? I'm not a very experienced programmer, but this makes perfect sense to me. There's no magic involved, nothing special or too resource consuming. Most of the process is automated.

      And yes, they have a very big legal department advising them throughout the whole process. Hence the notification messages and all that (they also serve as a scare machine, a win-win).

      inb4 you give Google too much credit.

      I don't think that I'm giving Google too much credit here. This is pretty basic logic, IMO. In fact, I believe that they have the whole process simplified even more, somehow.
  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    I don't know whether or not to be excited by this stuff or scared.

    Excited because maybe white hat SEO will start working, scared because maybe it won't and no one will be able to influence the search engines effectively and SEOs will basically be out of a job.

    Hard to say moving forward.
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    Blogs rarely have dedicated IPs, let alone on separate class C IP addresses.

    There is a shortage of ipV4 addresses. Undoubtedly this type of service raises many eyebrows.
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Ward
    I had my suspicions that this was a tactic to get people to not only rat out themselves but blog networks as well. I didn't say anything but I saw a few people publicly state that they thought this was going on. It was a pretty obvious ploy but I guess when they pull something of this magnitude they're going to catch a bunch of people that fall for it.

    Google outsmarted SEOs with a pretty obvious trick. I guess you have to give them credit for that.
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  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Banned
    You know whats funny? I'm a pretty hardcore user of high PR society and despite the deindexing of a large portion of their sites my rankings hardly dropped. Guess it works to diversify your backlinks.
    • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
      That's pretty thorough Mike and credit to you, however I still think there is a small element of risk.

      Even if your links are indistinguishable from natural, the client could be using other low quality link building techniques that result in an unnatural links detected notice. If the client then confesses to using SEO Link Building Services and gives details I think google can find the links quite easily without a link report.

      Of course google may not be able to recognize your links as bought, even under manual review and with a bit of luck that would be the case.

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