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.
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    • 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?
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      • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
        Originally Posted by Eleva8 View Post

        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?
        You could well be right - with 700,000 penalty messages going out to GWMT accounts in Feb, Google probably received quite a few confessions.

        I have enough evidence on my hard drive to give Google at least 15,000 blog network URL's!!
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        • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
          Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

          You could well be right - with 700,000 penalty messages going out to GWMT accounts in Feb, Google probably received quite a few confessions.

          I have enough evidence on my hard drive to give Google at least 15,000 blog network URL's!!
          If this is how they did it then these dudes in the Google plex are playing a game of chess with us IMers. They had us on check with that one but it is far from checkmate
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          • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
            Originally Posted by Eleva8 View Post

            If this is how they did it then these dudes in the Google plex are playing a game of chess with us IMers. They had us on check with that one but it is far from checkmate
            Absolutely....I have my next wave of sites all lined up and will using a completely new SEO strategy. Needless to say I wont be using any Private Blog Networks
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by Eleva8 View Post

        These hits where not algorithmic, if they were then the entire network would have fallen and not just parts of it.
        Yep. the number one error people are running around now for no reason at all is that deindexing is an update to the algo. Deindexing is almost always a manual process that is different from the algo. If deindexing were the algo then all sites being crawled would be hit around the same time but we have seen one network go under the radar for a while then another while others are untouched and then another.

        Problem for the rental networks is rather than innovate just about every network has been setup up the same copy cat way with just slight differences between them. So by now google probably does have a fairly streamlined way of outing and deindexing them.

        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?

        LOL - not many things recently have surprised me but it does surprise me that they are being that flat out obvious However it does underline the point made above. it they were deindexing algo wise they wouldn't need that information.
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        • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          Yep. the number one error people are running around now for no reason at all is that deindexing is an update to the algo. Deindexing is almost always a manual process that is different from the algo. If deindexing were the algo then all sites being crawled would be hit around the same time but we have seen one network go under the radar for a while then another while others are untouched and then another.

          Problem for the rental networks is rather than innovate just about every network has been setup up the same copy cat way with just slight differences between them. So by now google probably does have a fairly streamlined way of outing and deindexing them.
          Good point - the way the Blog Networks are going down does look manual. I wonder who's next? I know of a few not effected....yet.
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        • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          Yep. the number one error people are running around now for no reason at all is that deindexing is an update to the algo. Deindexing is almost always a manual process that is different from the algo. If deindexing were the algo then all sites being crawled would be hit around the same time but we have seen one network go under the radar for a while then another while others are untouched and then another.

          Problem for the rental networks is rather than innovate just about every network has been setup up the same copy cat way with just slight differences between them. So by now google probably does have a fairly streamlined way of outing and deindexing them.
          Agreed! In the process G has also revealed their hand so innovation is definitely going to be embraced. We going to see new networks that's for sure and I bet the next step is tightly themed sites in the network using Joomla, custom built sites etc.

          Interesting road ahead!
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    • 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 Fixers
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post


        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!
        Totally agree here Yukon, if people actually reply then they are just idiots. All it takes is to say I used local company (made up name) seo services and not sure what they used and they will not tell me, they have confirmed they have removed the links they could blah blah and then see what happens.

        But this has been a big scare tactic and a lot have not seen the penalty.

        There is also the thought that they got lots of scared people giving out URLs and then assessed them manually and then created some kind of algo to identify and deindexed these domains?? Who really knows though hey ?!
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        • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
          Originally Posted by Fixers View Post

          But this has been a big scare tactic and a lot have not seen the penalty.
          It's not a scare tactic. It's a simple advance notice to cover their asses in case your site means a lot to you. They have to give you every reasonably possible notice before penalizing a site.

          If your site hasn't been penalized yet - it's not going to be that way for long.

          To all the people who got these messages and claim that they haven't been penalized - I doubt it. I have loads of proof showing the exact opposite. Most of you here are just posting for the sake of arguing. You haven't got a single message from Google, you don't track anything and most of you have no sites in the top results for any meaningful keywords anyways. lolz

          If anyone has real data to share/discuss - get in touch. Theorists will theorize, lol.

          Use your heads, you're not dealing with a company run by amateurs. Stop thinking like one.
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          • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
            I my case it was not a scare tactic - 3 sites completely dropped rankings after receiving the message from Google and after a month non have recovered.

            These three sites together made more than $3000 a week
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            • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
              Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

              I my case it was not a scare tactic - 3 sites completely dropped rankings after receiving the message from Google and after a month non have recovered.

              These three sites together made more than $3000 a week
              Ouch, that's a hefty loss. And exactly what I mean - it's not a scare tactic and a lot of people are going to/have lost rankings from this. Those who haven't - they never got the message, because they either didn't use these blog networks to rank or they don't even have any websites.

              I lost good sites to this, and so have many others. My sites have mostly recovered now. Mostly - not quite there yet (one is #26 and the other one #8, both were top 3 before getting slapped to pages 5-6 and 10). Neither of the two sites got their initial rankings from blog networks - those were done to push them to #1's (heh).
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              • Profile picture of the author Vusal
                Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

                Ouch, that's a hefty loss. And exactly what I mean - it's not a scare tactic and a lot of people are going to/have lost rankings from this. Those who haven't - they never got the message, because they either didn't use these blog networks to rank or they don't even have any websites.

                I lost good sites to this, and so have many others. My sites have mostly recovered now. Mostly - not quite there yet (one is #26 and the other one #8, both were top 3 before getting slapped to pages 5-6 and 10). Neither of the two sites got their initial rankings from blog networks - those were done to push them to #1's (heh).
                How much time does it take the sites to recover from penalties?

                I got messages for 2 of my websites on March 8, they aren't penalized YET,
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          • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
            Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

            It's not a scare tactic. It's a simple advance notice to cover their asses in case your site means a lot to you. They have to give you every reasonably possible notice before penalizing a site.

            If your site hasn't been penalized yet - it's not going to be that way for long.

            To all the people who got these messages and claim that they haven't been penalized - I doubt it. I have loads of proof showing the exact opposite. Most of you here are just posting for the sake of arguing. You haven't got a single message from Google, you don't track anything and most of you have no sites in the top results for any meaningful keywords anyways. lolz

            If anyone has real data to share/discuss - get in touch. Theorists will theorize, lol.

            Use your heads, you're not dealing with a company run by amateurs. Stop thinking like one.
            The penalties do exist and those who are in denial about it will soon get hit if they did receive the msg, via WMT. I know it took 3 weeks after receiving the msg. on one of my sites for it to get hit and others have seen the penalty come after 6 weeks.

            The signs that it will come is a very unstable site that starts bouncing around from page one to 3-4 for many keywords then bang - all KWs drop!

            But you still didn't answer the question I asked earlier? With your theory sites should recover quickly due to the "bad links" been removed by Google themselves through the deindexing. Why are sites not recovering?

            If this is algorithmic as you believe it is then sites should begin recovering! Who knows maybe it will take 6months to a year? I know my site is stuck where it is regardless of what I do but it is still early days for me!
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            • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
              Originally Posted by Eleva8 View Post

              But you still didn't answer the question I asked earlier? With your theory sites should recover quickly due to the "bad links" been removed by Google themselves through the deindexing. Why are sites not recovering?

              If this is algorithmic as you believe it is then sites should begin recovering! Who knows maybe it will take 6months to a year? I know my site is stuck where it is regardless of what I do but it is still early days for me!
              Sorry, somehow missed that one... here's what I think -

              1. The penalty has a timer and before it expires the algorithm won't re-evaluate (Google mentioned that every penalty is a time-out and the periods can vary).

              2. Not all links have been removed yet (de-indexing, database updates and re-evaluation are completely separate parts of the algorithm/process and might take weeks to months to sync properly).

              My sites are climbing back up... it's been 5 weeks (one that's recovered to page one) and 3 weeks (one that's on page 3 now).
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              • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
                Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

                Sorry, somehow missed that one... here's what I think -

                1. The penalty has a timer and before it expires the algorithm won't re-evaluate (Google mentioned that every penalty is a time-out and the periods can vary).

                2. Not all links have been removed yet (de-indexing, database updates and re-evaluation are completely separate parts of the algorithm/process and might take weeks to months to sync properly).

                My sites are climbing back up... it's been 5 weeks (one that's recovered to page one) and 3 weeks (one that's on page 3 now).
                Makes sense and hope you are right! Out of 15 sites that I own this is the first penalty I have received except for a few Panda kicks on inner pages but nothing serious.

                Will just have to weight this one out, I guess!
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          • Profile picture of the author yukon
            Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

            It's not a scare tactic.
            Sorry, I see it as a scare tactic.

            Anyone that gets this GWT message & still ranking their pages in the SERPs, that's a scare tactic.

            If it isn't broke, don't fix it.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by yukon View Post

              Sorry, I see it as a scare tactic.

              Anyone that gets this GWT message & still ranking their pages in the SERPs, that's a scare tactic.

              If it isn't broke, don't fix it.

              Yuke some people did in fact see drops with the notices. Lots of em. I don't know where you have been hearing that no one did.
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              • Profile picture of the author yukon
                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                Yuke some people did in fact see drops with the notices. Lots of em. I don't know where you have been hearing that no one did.
                I only know what I've read, since I didn't get the message in my own GWT account.

                Still, If I had the message & my pages were still holding rank in the SERPs, I'm not removing any old links, or even attempt to remove any links.
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                • Profile picture of the author nik0
                  Banned
                  I'm also hugely suprised I never recieved this letter.

                  I have a thin affiliate site with 5000 pages, all indexed, spammed with 150.000 comments and 50.000 xrumer in an attempt to get it deindexed.

                  Welll I failed in that but I did lose all my visitors and rankings for 3 months now. BUT never ever a single message from Webmasters or anything.

                  I would have been the perfect candidate for that. I even used to have Adsense on that site for a very short time. (before I started to spam it btw, it made like $1/month so I was like lets see what happens, all or nothing).
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                  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                    Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

                    Welll I failed in that but I did lose all my visitors and rankings for 3 months now. BUT never ever a single message from Webmasters or anything.

                    .
                    Why would Google bother killing you off since you pretty much did the job for them? In other words since you are nowhere anyone could find you Google couldn't be bothered. sorry dude. You bored them
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                    • Profile picture of the author nik0
                      Banned
                      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                      Why would Google bother killing you off since you pretty much did the job for them? In other words since you are nowhere anyone could find you Google couldn't be bothered. sorry dude. You bored them
                      Hahaha yeah you sure got a good point there
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              • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
                Originally Posted by yukon View Post

                Sorry, I see it as a scare tactic.

                Anyone that gets this GWT message & still ranking their pages in the SERPs, that's a scare tactic.

                If it isn't broke, don't fix it.
                That's the thing - ****'s broken.

                I haven't heard of anyone not get hit after receiving a GWT message.

                I mean sure, forums are full of random crap - but have you seen any real evidence of anyone getting that message and then not getting hit over the next 1-6 weeks? Because all of my sites got hit eventually. And I have a huge list of contacts who received those messages and got hit anywhere from 1 day to 6 weeks after the message.

                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                Why they are so amazed they got slapped is anyone guess. THey clearly think or thought Google was dumb.
                Well that's no surprise really - people are already signing up for ALN 2 and FBL. Weird.

                I have another question. When you get 10+ clients, it's fair to assume that most of them are going to be targeting different niches (mostly local) right? Do you build a bunch of small networks to cater to all of those or build a small 2-5 site network for each client?
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                • Profile picture of the author josephseeley
                  Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

                  I haven't heard of anyone not get hit after receiving a GWT message.
                  I just got one for a site that wasn't hit. About 100 pages, a year old site... a few BMR backlinks but nothing much.

                  The reason it didn't get hit... it never actually ranked for anything anyways!
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                  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
                    Originally Posted by josephseeley View Post

                    I just got one for a site that wasn't hit. About 100 pages, a year old site... a few BMR backlinks but nothing much.

                    The reason it didn't get hit... it never actually ranked for anything anyways!
                    Google is just getting vindictive now. Oh, you're an unnatural link builder, even though it didn't help!
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                    • Profile picture of the author josephseeley
                      Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

                      Google is just getting vindictive now. Oh, you're an unnatural link builder, even though it didn't help!
                      Two can play that game

                      I'm breaking up the site and using the content for backlinking... just what Google had in mind no doubt!
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          • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
            Banned
            Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

            It's not a scare tactic. It's a simple advance notice to cover their asses in case your site means a lot to you. They have to give you every reasonably possible notice before penalizing a site.
            Where did you pull that bogus tidbit from, lol? They don't have to tell you squat before penalizing a site, or about anything else they may do that causes a site to drop in the rankings.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
              Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

              Where did you pull that bogus tidbit from, lol? They don't have to tell you squat before penalizing a site, or about anything else they may do that causes a site to drop in the rankings.
              Because that's how things work in the real world (corporate in this case). Just because you feel they "can do whatever they want" and they technically can (in many cases) - by becoming the sole source of income to many people (including a lot of legit businesses) they are taking on a lot of responsibility.

              Do you really think their lawyers never look at how GWT messages work and how they are worded? When to send them and to whom? Potential risks to other businesses when they apply mass penalties across their index? Really now?

              Or better yet - you're telling me you don't see any potential legal risks from Google's position (applying mass penalties, etc)? You really think that these messages being a "scare tactic" makes more sense?

              Go on, educate me on how real businessmen think.
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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
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    • 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 Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by todawg_not View Post

        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

        This claim of google using webmaster tool reports to track down blog networks is way overblown though. The only way you are giving Google links they don't already have is if the links were not indexed. Google has the best backlink checker in the world that sees 100% of the links that figure into ranking on Google.
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        • Profile picture of the author markowe
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          This claim of google using webmaster tool reports to track down blog networks is way overblown though. The only way you are giving Google links they don't alreadya have is if the links were not indexed. Google has the best backlink checker in the world that sees 100% of the links that figure into ranking on Google.
          Probably it would help them cross-reference specific sites with named networks, like, oh, these sites are probably all in BMR. In fact you could write a neat little algo that did that work, once people started spilling their guts on what networks they were using.
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        • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          This claim of google using webmaster tool reports to track down blog networks is way overblown though. The only way you are giving Google links they don't already have is if the links were not indexed. Google has the best backlink checker in the world that sees 100% of the links that figure into ranking on Google.
          It probably is been overblown with regard to tracking down networks but in terms of covering their a$$ it may be more of a legitimate argument. Google can't really tell if the link has been bought or not, even if it is on a network that they have alreay sniffed out. They still need some sort of proof to cover their a$$e$, especially if a penalty is served on a site.

          What better way to get the proof then to ask the guilty party if they actually did break the rules?

          Yes, Google can do what they want on their search engine but as a large company, public image is important to them. Penalizing sites without any solid proof that the penalized site broke the rules is one way of destroying their public image.
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          • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
            Originally Posted by Eleva8 View Post

            It probably is been overblown with regard to tracking down networks but in terms of covering their a$$ it may be more of a legitimate argument. Google can't really tell if the link has been bought or not, even if it is on a network that they have alreay sniffed out. They still need some sort of proof to cover their a$$, especially if a penalty is served on a site.

            What better way to get the proof then to ask the guilty party if they actually did break the rules?

            Yes, Google can do what they want on their search engine but as a large company, public image is important to them. Penalizing sites without any solid proof that the penalized site broke the rules is one way of destroying their public image.
            They do not need to be paid for to break the rules. Any site that is designed solely to try to manipulate pagerank or rankings is breaking the rules, paid for or not.

            And as far as public image, destroying public blog networks is a big win for them in the eyes of the public and the stockholders. It cleans up the search results. There is no downside risk on this one for them.
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            • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
              Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

              They do not need to be paid for to break the rules. Any site that is designed solely to try to manipulate pagerank or rankings is breaking the rules, paid for or not.

              And as far as public image, destroying public blog networks is a big win for them in the eyes of the public and the stockholders. It cleans up the search results. There is no downside risk on this one for them.
              Agreed! But the point is with regard to the message related to Google asking people what SEO services they used. If you used a network and admitted it then you are guilty and you can't write to the NYTimes telling them Google destroyed my business for no reason.

              However, if a site didn't break the rules (G's rules that is) and they reply and say NO, I didn't use a network then Google will have to lift any penalty on that site because that site owner CAN destroy their public image to a degree.
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              • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                Originally Posted by Eleva8 View Post

                you can't write to the NYTimes telling them Google destroyed my business for no reason.
                .

                Can you tell me when last you saw a piece in the New York Times about businesses being destroyed by changes in Googles Algo? They do 3 or 4 every year that affect a number of businesses.

                Google doesn't need for you to confirm your site was breaking the rules when it sees you have links on pages with 50-200 other links all in text about different subjects. Slapping what Google calls spammy sites gets nothing but good PR for Google. Marketers don't seem to grasp how the vast amount of the public want to see them slapped.
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                • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
                  Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                  Can you tell me when last you saw a piece in the New York Times about businesses being destroyed by changes in Googles Algo? They do 3 or 4 every year that affect a number of businesses.
                  The eg. was probably extreme regarding the past improvements to their algo. but the game changes with the recent penalties.

                  Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                  Google doesn't need for you to confirm your site was breaking the rules when it sees you have links on pages with 50-200 other links all in text about different subjects. Slapping what Google calls spammy sites gets nothing but good PR for Google.
                  Dishing out penalties when they see the above is where things can go pair shaped for Google. What are they are calling it now: negative SEO!

                  The public surely don't want to see spammy sites in the SERPs but in the same breath business owners don't want to see their sites been influenced by factors out of their control.

                  Granted, all I have said is pure speculation as is most of what is in this thread!
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                  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                    Originally Posted by Eleva8 View Post


                    Dishing out penalties when they see the above is where things can go pair shaped for Google. What are they are calling it now: negative SEO!
                    Thats what they are calling it but I am not seeing Wikipedia being taken out by people with Xrummer, SenukeX or deindexed sites. Thats the extreme but I check medical serps and there is webmd still going strong. My point is what sites are being taken out that people give a rip are being taken out? and if no one but the marketers are concerned then why should Google give a rip? We are the enemy.
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                    • Profile picture of the author markowe
                      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                      Thats what they are calling it but I am not seeing Wikipedia being taken out by people with Xrummer, SenukeX or deindexed sites. Thats the extreme but I check medical serps and there is webmd still going strong. My point is what sites are being taken out that people give a rip are being taken out? and if no one but the marketers are concerned then why should Google give a rip? We are the enemy.
                      Yeah, I just can't understand why IMers find this so difficult to grasp. The fact is, MOST niche sites I see around the net are complete crap. And yes, of COURSE Wikipedia is on page one most of the time, because it mostly IS the single best source of information on any given subject. CERTAINLY when compared to most shoddy MFA MNSs.
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                    • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
                      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                      Thats what they are calling it but I am not seeing Wikipedia being taken out by people with Xrummer, SenukeX or deindexed sites. Thats the extreme but I check medical serps and there is webmd still going strong. My point is what sites are being taken out that people give a rip are being taken out? and if no one but the marketers are concerned then why should Google give a rip? We are the enemy.
                      I agree... in the majority of cases it is going to be marketers eating up marketers.

                      I've just seen a site offering a negative SEO service and they claim to be able to take down most sites... bold claim I must say but sad to see Google open this door because many legitimate sites are going to crash.

                      I'm not going to provide the link to that service but if you want to have look, I will send it via PM.
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            • Profile picture of the author raiko
              Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

              They do not need to be paid for to break the rules. Any site that is designed solely to try to manipulate pagerank or rankings is breaking the rules, paid for or not.

              And as far as public image, destroying public blog networks is a big win for them in the eyes of the public and the stockholders. It cleans up the search results. There is no downside risk on this one for them.
              Yes, they are slowly moving toward perfectly optimized search results where every search term results in a Wikipedia page.
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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
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    • 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.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
        Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

        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.
        So about half of all the "SEO" warriors?
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        • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
          Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

          So about half of all the "SEO" warriors?
          You could be right there

          The trouble is a lot of the SEO services sold on Warrior work short term which is enough to get reviews and draw more customers in. People need to know that most of the services sold on warrior are complete rubbish with very little or no long term value.
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      • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
        Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

        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.
        A blog network they control, thats even more blissfull... Forget money you spent renting or buy a few links...how would you like to waste Tens of thousands of dollars building a network that "You control" and have it nuked. We talked to a Private network owner and he used his network ONLY for himself and look what happened to him.


        Private Network Owner "J"
        - Fully private network of over 2000 sites. Only he posted on the network.
        - Content was average quality.
        - Lost 90% around a month ago.

        As "J" lost his network, we compared notes. At the time, Our network was staying alive while his was getting destroyed. As it turns out, we were both using SEOHosting.com. We both had multiple servers with them and we noticed that his servers were getting taken down one by one. We had overlap with him on one server, and that server had around 50% deindexing for us. That day we moved hosting and locked things down and everything has been great for a month.
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        • Profile picture of the author oogyboogawa
          Originally Posted by HKSEO Rotzee View Post

          A blog network they control, thats even more blissfull... Forget money you spent renting or buy a few links...how would you like to waste Tens of thousands of dollars building a network that "You control" and have it nuked. We talked to a Private network owner and he used his network ONLY for himself and look what happened to him.


          Private Network Owner "J"
          - Fully private network of over 2000 sites. Only he posted on the network.
          - Content was average quality.
          - Lost 90% around a month ago.

          As "J" lost his network, we compared notes. At the time, Our network was staying alive while his was getting destroyed. As it turns out, we were both using SEOHosting.com. We both had multiple servers with them and we noticed that his servers were getting taken down one by one. We had overlap with him on one server, and that server had around 50% deindexing for us. That day we moved hosting and locked things down and everything has been great for a month.
          Honestly, all that tells me is that just because someone created a network themselves doesn't mean they did it well enough. The info you gave here is not enough to tell us that it was actually a well done network. In fact if it looked just like BMR style networks but with a bit better content and only he is linking from it, that is only marginally better.

          Read Mike's last post for a few hints on what can be done to make things look more natural before saying that relying on a personal network is blissful ignorance. It takes more work to do it right, but you really can have a network of site that people would never guess were in a backlink network.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by HKSEO Rotzee View Post

          Private Network Owner "J"
          - Fully private network of over 2000 sites. Only he posted on the network.
          - Content was average quality.
          - Lost 90% around a month ago.

          .
          J's site most likely had low low quality since no on e can handle content on two thousand sites without spinning and junk quality. It seems obvious to me he was running it just like rental networks do. You are right being private doesn't mean anything if you are going to do it just like the rental networks did.

          Now the SEO hosting thing is something though. I have always advocated mixing things up with regular hosts but I think now I will just stay away from the SEo hosts completely and recommend likewise. That IS something to consider
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          • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            J's site most likely had low low quality since no on e can handle content on two thousand sites without spinning and junk quality. It seems obvious to me he was running it just like rental networks do. You are right being private doesn't mean anything if you are going to do it just like the rental networks did.
            Pretty much this. I've said in maybe ten posts now - you need to run your blog networks like real blogs. Pick a theme and build then around your money sites. So you have a site about headaches? Build a blog network of "natural health/remedies" blogs and keep all articles on the same topic. Then link out from the network to your money blogs.

            Another thing - there's no need for hundreds of blogs. A strong 10 blog network can help you rank 3-10 money sites over time. Get 20 or 30 blogs in your network to further hide footprints.

            Now the SEO hosting thing is something though. I have always advocated mixing things up with regular hosts but I think now I will just stay away from the SEo hosts completely and recommend likewise. That IS something to consider
            Not sure what to make of this to be honest. I'm hosting most of my sites across a bunch of regular shared hosting accounts (one per domain) at hostgator, bluehost, site5, fatcow, etc... it's a bit more expensive, but I prefer it this way.


            Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

            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.
            I actually do agree with this. Paying for links is against Google TOS. All the client has to do is show an invoice of any sort that in some way links it to links bought from your network and you're done.

            Not providing a link report can help if you have perfect blogs in your network, but I doubt it... Which is why I do not use my networks to rank clients. I know this is what Mike advocates doing (working on client sites it's good business, I just prefer working on my own sites). You really just have to take that risk sometimes, I guess.
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            • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
              I've also been thinking a lot about SEO hosting. I'm not claiming to be an expert on hosting but if Google uncovers a block of IP's used for SEO hosting then I think all of the sites found on those IP's are in trouble even if they look natural.

              Given Google's recent hard stance I'd rather blend in using standard shared hosting. Sure you need to manage a few accounts but I think it may be safer.

              Uncovering SEO Hosting IP's would be a jackpot hit for Google - 1000's of link building sites in one go...Ouch!
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  • 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!
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    • 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 Mantasmo
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        Yep, and no way are they going to do a manual penalty on 700K accounts.
        I just wanted to make a few points if I may...

        1. Not all of those messages were about "unnatural links detected". So it's definitely less than 700k.

        2. It makes no difference how many, they apply the penalties automatically. The process of identifying link sources is done semi-manually (by locating networks/sites), then they just follow the links and apply penalties to websites. There's absolutely no need for Google employees to manually penalize each and every account site.

        3. I know at least 20+ people who got messages for anywhere from 1 to 20 websites and most of them have been hit by now (I'd say around 80%). Those who haven't been hit yet all got the messages not that long ago. For me personally it took exactly one week from receiving a message on two different websites (I don't have many sites linked though).

        So yes, it is a scare tactic, but it is being fuelled forward by pretty harsh penalties all around. That's why it works so well.

        Another thing (and why Google are OK with applying so many penalties) - the penalties expire over time. They de-index bad/spam blogs and the links naturally disappear. Over time, all of the penalized sites come back to their respective positions.
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

          I just wanted to make a few points if I may...

          1. Not all of those messages were about "unnatural links detected". So it's definitely less than 700k.

          2. It makes no difference how many, they apply the penalties automatically. The process of identifying link sources is done semi-manually (by locating networks/sites), then they just follow the links and apply penalties to websites. There's absolutely no need for Google employees to manually penalize each and every account site.

          3. I know at least 20+ people who got messages for anywhere from 1 to 20 websites and most of them have been hit by now (I'd say around 80%). Those who haven't been hit yet all got the messages not that long ago. For me personally it took exactly one week from receiving a message on two different websites (I don't have many sites linked though).

          So yes, it is a scare tactic, but it is being fuelled forward by pretty harsh penalties all around. That's why it works so well.

          Another thing (and why Google are OK with applying so many penalties) - the penalties expire over time. They de-index bad/spam blogs and the links naturally disappear. Over time, all of the penalized sites come back to their respective positions.
          Obviously I haven't read all the threads on the subject, but from the multiple threads I did read I haven't seen a single person say they've had any sites deindexed because of the BLs detected on 700k GWT message.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
            Originally Posted by yukon View Post

            Obviously I haven't read all the threads on the subject, but from the multiple threads I did read I haven't seen a single person say they've had any sites deindexed because of the BLs detected on 700k GWT message.
            Not de-indexed, penalized. The backlink sources get de-indexed and the penalties slowly go away.

            And yes both of my sites got penalized, along with dozens of sites from my Skype contacts list. All of these threads about rankings disappearing - if they didn't get a notification, that's because the sites were not using GWT.

            There's a lot of legal ass-covering involved in this as well. Don't think that Google would use simple, kindergarten-like scare tactics. Those notifications also serve as a "advance notice", among other things.
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            • Profile picture of the author yukon
              Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

              Not de-indexed, penalized. The backlink sources get de-indexed and the penalties slowly go away.

              And yes both of my sites got penalized, along with dozens of sites from my Skype contacts list. All of these threads about rankings disappearing - if they didn't get a notification, that's because the sites were not using GWT.

              There's a lot of legal ass-covering involved in this as well. Don't think that Google would use simple, kindergarten-like scare tactics. Those notifications also serve as a "advance notice", among other things.
              If Google drops the site providing the backlinks (example BMR), then those BMR style pages are probably getting deindexed or the pages removed by BMR.

              If a guy has a BL on a deindexed page or a page removed by BMR (again BMR is the example) then that's not a penalty on the site the BL was pointing at.

              Losing a BL is not a penalty. Losing BLs will surely make your page drop in the SERPs, again, it's not a penalty to lose backlinks.

              Build new backlinks equivalent to the old BLs.

              Google is setting bait in those GWT messages, they can't prove anyone built links, they are tricking people into confessing they built BLs.

              The only penalty anyone can prove is being deindexed (site:URL).
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              • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
                Originally Posted by yukon View Post

                If Google drops the site providing the backlinks (example BMR), then those BMR style pages are probably getting deindexed or the pages removed by BMR.

                If a guy has a BL on a deindexed page or a page removed by BMR (again BMR is the example) then that's not a penalty on the site the BL was pointing at.

                Losing a BL is not a penalty. Losing BLs will surely make your page drop in the SERPs, again, it's not a penalty to lose backlinks.

                Build new backlinks equivalent to the old BLs.

                Google is setting bait in those GWT messages, they can't prove anyone built links, they are tricking people into confessing they built BLs.

                The only penalty anyone can prove is being deindexed (site:URL).
                Sorry Yukon, I agree with most of your posts, but this one just makes no sense...

                Penalties are very real, and they aren't simply rankings dropping due to a loss of backlinks. Both of my sites held solid top 5 positions before I used ALN -> got WMT messages -> dropped to pages 5/6. That's a penalty.

                I know what I'm talking about, I track a load of data and use pretty much every technique out there. This isn't theory, it's actual data. Many other people have reported the exact same thing.

                They can prove it - all they have to do is identify blog networks that sell links and the penalize all sites that those blog networks link out to.

                Negative SEO is real, it's not a myth. Penalizing a competitor's website is very easy right now (unless it's a true authority website with a gigantic link profile).
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                • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
                  I agree with bnetwork on this one. When you receive a message from google in your GWMT account saying Google has detected unnatural links and that message coincides with total loss of rankings for all keywords - that's a penalty.

                  I've seen it with several sites now and exactly the same thing happens - one month on and the rankings have not returned.
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      • Profile picture of the author bitriot
        And more importantly, this proves that blog networks DO work and that they CAN NOT CURRENTLY be addressed by the algo - if they could, google wouldn't be doing all of this manual de-indexing.

        This is good news for people willing to invest in their own private networks.
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      • Profile picture of the author mookes
        content is the king, but now "social media" is the king
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        • Profile picture of the author Architex
          I have a question.

          How does the penalty work? Does your site drop for everything you were ranking for or it is only certain keywords? I used BMR and the KW's I used it for are gone. But the ones I did not use it for are still doing OK. Granted it is still early. I was just curious. And BTW I got the love letter as well.
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          • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
            Originally Posted by Architex View Post

            I have a question.

            How does the penalty work? Does your site drop for everything you were ranking for or it is only certain keywords? I used BMR and the KW's I used it for are gone. But the ones I did not use it for are still doing OK. Granted it is still early. I was just curious. And BTW I got the love letter as well.
            Good Question Architex. At first i thought the penalty affected all keywords but now i'm not so sure. I received another Google penalty message this week for a site where some of the keywords ranked naturally. The KW's that ranked because of bought Blog Network links totally sunk as a result but the KW's that ranked naturally are still floating ok. The weird thing with this one is the Blog Network that I used appears to still have most of it's network indexed. It's a low profile underground network but many Warriors know of and use this network.

            I'll keep my eye on this and report of I see anything interesting.
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            • Profile picture of the author mosthost
              Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

              Good Question Architex. At first i thought the penalty affected all keywords but now i'm not so sure. I received another Google penalty message this week for a site where some of the keywords ranked naturally. The KW's that ranked because of bought Blog Network links totally sunk as a result but the KW's that ranked naturally are still floating ok. The weird thing with this one is the Blog Network that I used appears to still have most of it's network indexed. It's a low profile underground network but many Warriors know of and use this network.

              I'll keep my eye on this and report of I see anything interesting.
              That's some Golden Data you have there. Get more links from the sources which proved worth and maybe you can recover the old rankings.

              BTW, this pretty much indicates you don't have a penalty, but lost rankings because of link devaluation. That mean's Google is lying in the message they're sending, or it's just very carefully worded
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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!
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  • 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
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    • 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.
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      • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
        Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

        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.
        This makes perfect sense and I have no doubt that the intellectuals at Google have instituted a system that involves a great deal of automation. It may even be close to your line of thought.

        The problem I have with your theory is that sites are not recovering and if the "bad links" as you put it are actually been removed by Google themselves (through deindexing) then the penalty should resolve fairly quickly. Why are people's sites not recovering?

        Remember these messages were going out to people from last year and from what I have read (no solid proof) many of these penalties have not been lifted.

        Lastly, Mike did mention in a reply earlier that G probably has a way of outing a network by now with all the data they have collected recently. So the future of the conventional type blog network may be dead. It can be something as simple as: Worpress + High Posting Frequency = Red Flag - Check!

        With that said do we agree that the deindexing of the network itself has to be done manually, or risk deindexing real sites if is an automated process?

        I'm now wondering whether they actually used the WMT message as a scare tactic to find the networks or whether it was actually an agorithmic process that helped uncover the network. Seeing that the messages in WMT are actually been received after the deindexing of the network I guess the latter now makes more sense. :confused:
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      • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
        Receiving an email from Google coinciding with all of your rankings vanish is enough to scare most people. If your rankings vanish there's nothing to lose from requesting reconsideration which is when google asks you for as much info about the paid links as possible.

        If google stick to this game, Private Blog Networks will never work because there will always be site owners ready to spill the beans if and when they receive a penalty. Considering these changes I think blog networks are 100% dead unless you alone own it and keep it very secret and well maintained.

        Link building now has to be done in way that blends in completely with natural links.
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

          Receiving an email from Google coinciding with all of your rankings vanish is enough to scare most people. If your rankings vanish there's nothing to lose from requesting reconsideration which is when google asks you for as much info about the paid links as possible.

          If google stick to this game, Private Blog Networks will never work because there will always be site owners ready to spill the beans if and when they receive a penalty. Considering these changes I think blog networks are 100% dead unless you alone own it and keep it very secret and well maintained.

          Link building now has to be done in way that blends in completely with natural links.
          Let's define private & public backlink networks:
          • Private BL Network - The general public doesn't know the network exist.
          • Public BL Network - Everyone knows for a fact the network exist, heck their sales pages are ranking well in the SERPs (lol).

          I have no doubts that private BL networks will continue working well to rank pages in the SERPs. Remember If the BL network is truly private 99.999... of IMers will never know about it.

          I predict guys like Mike Anthony will be busy this year.
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          • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
            Originally Posted by yukon View Post


            I predict guys like Mike Anthony will be busy this year.
            Mike Anthony might be busy this year but it will be from selling his course on how to build your own private blog network, not necessarily from his blog network. All it takes is for one of his clients to receive the dreaded unnatural links message and then Google will be asking for details.

            I hope it doesn't happen but Private Blog Networks are just too risky. Even if you build the best blog network that appears completely natural, all it takes is for someone with a penalty notice to freak out and hand over the details in their reconsideration request.

            The only Private Blog Networks that will work are the ones you build yourself and keep to yourself
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            • Profile picture of the author yukon
              Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

              Mike Anthony might be busy this year but it will be from selling his course on how to build your own private blog network
              That's what I was referring to.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by cssitkt5874458

              Mike Anthony might be busy this year but it will be from selling his course on how to build your own private blog network, not necessarily from his blog network. All it takes is for one of his clients to receive the dreaded unnatural links message and then Google will be asking for details.
              Warning long answer - lots to correct

              and why would they receive such a notice if the links are in fact quite natural to the content? See this is where no offense but you guys get trapped in your ideas of networks. You really don't know what networks look like that are NOT the public rental ones.

              Let me give you two small clues.

              Never seen a links page like links.php or links.html. Standard practice. Have they all been deindexed even though quite a few of them have high PR and are not nofollowed? Nope because the links there fit the context of what the site is about. You have no clue which one take payments and which don't and neither does Google so they have left them alone. Hint: a pile of them can be bought.

              Ever heard of a blog by John chow? DO you have any idea over the years how many sites he has linked to in the IM niche and has he been de-indexed? On both cases the links placed make sense within the context of what the site was about. Now answer honestly - have you ever seen ANY rental blog network that has content that all makes sense being together on the same page? No. SO trying to claim that all Networks are toast because you don't know about networks that are not rental is lets just say REALLY over reaching

              Final two clues.

              Can you spot a network that has less than ten links to their clients ON THE ENTIRE Domain? Forget just the front page crowding nonsense. What if it also links to Adobe, legit businesses in your local are and ton loads of other sites.

              and

              Do you know there are networks that never link direct to client sites? NEVER.


              I hope it doesn't happen but Private Blog Networks are just too risky. Even if you build the best blog network that appears completely natural, all it takes is for someone with a penalty notice to freak out and hand over the details in their reconsideration request.
              A) why would a site get a penalty notice if the links the pages come from look completely natural? Is the bogeyman going t get you for every link even if it looks natural?. If theres no evidence then Google would have to be penalizing you based on suspicion in which case you could get a penalty from any site so why care? You might as well get out of Search engine traffic all together because if a blogger one day says hey thats a neat site and does so naturally then Google might say you slipped him cash when there was none offered.

              B) what details would they have to hand over? Again your stuck in your rental network understanding and applying it to all networks. I don't give out links. I don't offer my network to renters. I will robot text the main backlink checkers so you don't even know you are getting links. . Now will people here accustomed to link rentals balk at that (and my price tag) . Sure. I had one just last night that said I had his head spinning . He wanted to know how many links. I told him no promises and no numbers. People who gave out link reports are just asking for trouble. You get none from me. My job is to rank you not tell you how I did it or how many links you got. Link counters I send packing. Thing is business owners never ask or care. they just see the customers coming in and thats all they want where the average renter wants to hear numbers and will go crazy with positive reviews based on numbers while they are at the bottom of page one getting no traffic.

              Frankly half the problem with rental networks was that they attracted the link counters and so they HAD to give out all their links which = kiss of death.

              The only people who I want to see links is google. I'll block Opensite explorer, block majestic, block Yahoo when they were around etc. So good luck finding the links to give to google.

              The only Private Blog Networks that will work are the ones you build yourself and keep to yourself
              or the ones built like they were your own
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              • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                Warning long answer - lots to correct

                and why would they receive such a notice if the links are in fact quite natural to the content? See this is where no offense but you guys get trapped in your ideas of networks. You really don't know what networks look like that are NOT the public rental ones.

                Let me give you two small clues.

                Never seen a links page like links.php or links.html. Standard practice. Have they all been deindexed even though quite a few of them have high PR and are not nofollowed? Nope because the links there fit the context of what the site is about. You have no clue which one take payments and which don't and neither does Google so they have left them alone. Hint: a pile of them can be bought.

                Ever heard of a blog by John chow? DO you have any idea over the years how many sites he has linked to in the IM niche and has he been de-indexed? On both cases the links placed make sense within the context of what the site was about. Now answer honestly - have you ever seen ANY rental blog network that has content that all makes sense being together on the same page? No. SO trying to claim that all Networks are toast because you don't know about networks that are not rental is lets just say REALLY over reaching

                Final two clues.

                Can you spot a network that has less than ten links to their clients ON THE ENTIRE Domain? Forget just the front page crowding nonsense. What if it also links to Adobe, legit businesses in your local are and ton loads of other sites.

                and

                Do you know there are networks that never link direct to client sites? NEVER.




                A) why would a site get a penalty notice if the links the pages come from look completely natural? Is the bogeyman going t get you for every link even if it looks natural?. If theres no evidence then Google would have to be penalizing you based on suspicion in which case you could get a penalty from any site so why care? You might as well get out of Search engine traffic all together because if a blogger one day says hey thats a neat site and does so naturally then Google might say you slipped him cash when there was none offered.

                B) what details would they have to hand over? Again your stuck in your rental network understanding and applying it to all networks. I don't give out links. I don't offer my network to renters. I will robot text the main backlink checkers so you don't even know you are getting links. . Now will people here accustomed to link rentals balk at that (and my price tag) . Sure. I had one just last night that said I had his head spinning . He wanted to know how many links. I told him no promises and no numbers. People who gave out link reports are just asking for trouble. You get none from me. My job is to rank you not tell you how I did it or how many links you got. Link counters I send packing. Thing is business owners never ask or care. they just see the customers coming in and thats all they want where the average renter wants to hear numbers and will go crazy with positive reviews based on numbers while they are at the bottom of page one getting no traffic.

                Frankly half the problem with rental networks was that they attracted the link counters and so they HAD to give out all their links which = kiss of death.

                The only people who I want to see links is google. I'll block Opensite explorer, block majestic, block Yahoo when they were around etc. So good luck finding the links to give to google.



                or the ones built like they were your own
                This is a brilliant tactic. I think I am going to deploy this for my network. People will need to understand that this not only protects you and your network, but it also protects them... because nobody can rat on something they don't know.

                ...And I'm willing to wage this is like a disease, it spreads like wildfire. They may get the "Warning" message from GWT because that person uses bad neighborhood networks that Google is really after, so they send them all their reports, even the good guys trying to do it the safe and smart way... so google just scored the bad neighbor hood and your good network.

                I'm trying to think of a way to send a report without revealing any footprints.... Any ideas?
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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    • 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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  • Profile picture of the author giseo
    Google sounds a bit desperate.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    Here is the deal:

    I don't believe one bit that there is an extra penalty of the sites/pages the links point to.

    Why is that?

    Because if Google would do that they will openly admit and freely give in to the possibility of negative SEO - which (IMO) Google simply cannot afford. They are not that stupid and introduce something with much more implications than the actual blog networks had.

    Why? Because a site having "bad" links does NOT necessarily mean that the links were built by the webmaster himself - there is no proof for this and IMO it would be a fatal move by Google to penalize REGARDLESS of the true intention of the links and who actually built them.

    Even if is the case that "negative SEO" is and was always possible (as i strongly think)..they would basically just admit that any kind of bad SEO/links would affect sites..and people would start going nuts with negatively SEOing competiting sites.

    FURTHERMORE - if "bad" links and networks getting de-indexed, the links and their juice is already losing power. If i have 100 links blog network links pointing to my site NOW and next month all those satellite/network sites are gone..how many do i have then? Correct: ZERO.

    Therefore there is no "need" for an extra penalty on a site since the algorithm should take care of this already with all the old links lost/de-indexed. If their algo works right it will reflect the lost links, maybe not right away but within weeks/months for sure.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      Here is the deal:

      I don't believe one bit that there is an extra penalty of the sites/pages the links point to.

      Why is that?

      Because if Google would do that they will openly admit and freely give in to the possibility of negative SEO - which (IMO) Google simply cannot afford.
      Here's a better deal - give me a site of yours that's currently ranking (I'll ask for proof that you own it) and I will get it penalized. You and your theories...

      Negative SEO is very real right now. This won't last for long though.
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      • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
        Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

        Here's a better deal - give me a site of yours that's currently ranking (I'll ask for proof that you own it) and I will get it penalized. You and your theories...

        Negative SEO is very real right now. This won't last for long though.
        Did you read my post? I always knew that negative SEO is and was possible.

        I am however saying that it would not be smart if Google now starts de-indexing target sites, simply because it would put this fact in to broad public spot light. But this can not be Google's intention - rumors have always been spread that negative Seo is not possible (and there is a reason those were spread because Google doesn't want this becoming general knowledge! The idea that negative SEO "is impossible" needs to be kept alive. Get it? What do you think happens if those alleged 700.000 webmasters who got the GWT love letter seeing their site penalized - 500.000 of those people might still believe negative SEo is not possible...but they might find out the truth once they realize it needs merely "some bad links" to blast a site into oblivion?)

        For this reason, Google will NOT blindly start de-indexing/punishing target sites. (Why would they even need to with all those links lost now anyway?)

        Please read my post again so you understand.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
          Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

          For this reason, Google will NOT blindly start de-indexing/punishing target sites. (Why would they even need to with all those links lost now?)

          Please read my post again so you understand.
          Ok I should not have answered you, lulz. Go read over my previous posts in this thread, then we can talk. Some pointers:

          1. Google is penalizing websites after the "notification" message.
          2. They are not doing it "blindly", that doesn't even make sense. Not sure what you're saying there.
          3. Google aren't de-indexing sites which use blog networks. They're penalizing them.
          4. You said you "don't believe there's an extra penalty for the sites that blog network links go to". There is one. You have to be blind not to see it. If you still "don't believe it" (your words), give me a ranking site of yours and I'll send a large blog network blast your way. Lets see what happens.

          Meh.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      Here is the deal:

      I don't believe one bit that there is an extra penalty of the sites/pages the links point to.

      You could have summed up that entire post by just saying -

      "I am in deep denial"

      People have gotten penalties not just for blog networks but for spam blasts. Its all over the place for anyone who is reading and/or dealing with customers who have gone through it. People right here in this forum got the notices and what destroys your point is that they have to submit reconsideration requests AFTER THEY HAVE REMOVED THE LINKS. SO in many cases the links are still in place so its not just that they have lost links but been penalized. So yes you can get a penalty having deindexed sites pointing at you in addition to the loss of the links. I'v ehad people who just recently started using BMR and they now report their site is lower than it was before they started.

      But I have discussed this in threads with you before. basically you say its not true for the main reason that you don't want it to be true. However the evidence is at this point overwhelming that some links coming to your site can hurt it. the only ones really in denial about this is some marketers
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      • Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post


        But I have discussed this in threads with you before. basically you say its not true for the main reason that you don't want it to be true. However the evidence is at this point overwhelming that some links coming to your site can hurt it. the only ones really in denial about this is some marketers
        The problem here is that this means when you are in competition with someone, all you need to do then is to hit them up with some bad backlinks and they will get blasted. I've seen this done to sites before. Google had come to realize this and halted a lot of their de-indexing of sites for what amounted to exceptions to what was being done.
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  • Profile picture of the author BigNorm
    I had one site hit with the bad backlinks message from Google which was the only one using the BMR service, the home page was de-indexed literally, you couldn't find it anywhere on Google no matter how much you tried searching but the internal pages were fine. Sent back some BS message that a company we had recently hired may have used a specific service and that we would look into it. Three days later after doing nothing sent back a reconsideration request and the site is now re indexed, granted not ranking but is now found so it's just a gradual process of getting it back up to page one again.
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  • Profile picture of the author NicheDad
    Hope all those people who used these networks kept good records so they can go back and hit the sites they promoted with these networks with a NEW backlink profile.
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  • Keep in mind that by Google's definition ALL offsite SEO is Black Hat. They think organic search engine rankings should occur naturally with no help from site owners or SEO pros.
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  • Profile picture of the author rodanglee
    The penalties are manually applied and so the kws sank lower. But since the algorithm is still at work those kws are slowly rising depending if there is another SEO campaign for the website. YES, the penalties are there, but with continued backlinking, the algorithmic portion of Google takes over again.

    As for deindexed links getting you lower, I find it hard to believe. How can Google selectively choose a website algorithmically without resorting to equating the variable into a constant?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jude.A
    Just want to say I've learned a whole lot of great stuff just from this thread today.
    A big thank you to the OP and to everyone that has argued or commented in this thread; to cssitkt, bnetwork, Eleva8, yukon, and most especially to you Mike Anthony. I've indeed learned a lot today, and Mike I checked your signature, I'm definitely joining your program soon .
    Thanks everybody.
    Jude
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  • Profile picture of the author pangolin123
    I am a member of an exclusive private blog network. 30 of us invested over 24,000 dollars in total and we wrote premium quality articles, etc to the network. But, still google manage to de-index 2 of the sites in the network. Oh, well..
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    • Profile picture of the author rodanglee
      Originally Posted by pangolin123 View Post

      I am a member of an exclusive private blog network. 30 of us invested over 24,000 dollars in total and we wrote premium quality articles, etc to the network. But, still google manage to de-index 2 of the sites in the network. Oh, well..

      See, there's the problem.. who's the Judas Iscariot in your group of thirty....
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    • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Extropy
      Originally Posted by pangolin123 View Post

      I am a member of an exclusive private blog network. 30 of us invested over 24,000 dollars in total and we wrote premium quality articles, etc to the network. But, still google manage to de-index 2 of the sites in the network. Oh, well..

      This may be just the beginning. Almost all of the networks first got hit a month ago and HPS was untouched. We locked it down to new users and just got hit a few days ago.

      The BIG NEWS that most people seem to not realize is that totally private, closed, single user (or 30 user) networks have gotten hit as well. This isn't just public networks, it's ALL networks.

      I've spoken to many, many network owners who had their own 20/50/100/2000 site networks that have all gotten torched. After comparing notes, there was no common theme.

      Some had all unique sites on them, some wordpress, some seo hosted, some hosted on individual accounts, etc.

      This was quite literally a combined effort by G to deindex all networks. All they have to do is find one site on one network, look at the link profile, then examine the networks that each of those links belongs to. Crossing networks can do this.

      OR they could see a site that is ranking that probably shouldn't be. Look at it's links, and nuke it that way.


      Public or private, nobody is safe.

      But keep in mind most SEOs haven't been around ages and haven't seen the purges that come every year or two. This is just part of the game and we need to dust ourselves off and keep going.
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      • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
        Quite a few blog network owners have said they can't find a common denominator across the networks hit but there is one common denominator - they were all used in link building schemes.

        One of my sites used links from no less than 6 Private Blog Networks and if Google analysed my entire backlink profile because they found links from one network, there's a good chance they would discover the the other networks... Cross infection

        Whatever google have developed behind the scenes it's hard to deny that they now have an effective way of discovering Private Blog Networks.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jude.A
          Originally Posted by cssitkt View Post

          Quite a few blog network owners have said they can't find a common denominator across the networks hit but there is one common denominator - they were all used in link building schemes.

          One of my sites used links from no less than 6 Private Blog Networks and if Google analysed my entire backlink profile because they found links from one network, there's a good chance they would discover the the other networks... Cross infection

          Whatever google have developed behind the scenes it's hard to deny that they now have an effective way of discovering Private Blog Networks.
          That sounds very scary i must say

          I´m not that good with SEO, I just pay guys in this forum to provide backlinks for my site, and my rankings really improved on my brand new website i only built in January this year.

          90% of the SEO service guys i have subscribed to in this forum have always said they use Private Blog Networks to build the back links.
          And i always looked at these guys as geniuses or magicians .

          For me, I've not received any "love letter" from Google and my rankings are still where they've been for my 3 main keywords (Page 2 ). I'm sure i am a small fry for Google, so i guess i am safe.

          But with this latest development, it's obvious i won't be building back links from Private Blog Networks any longer. My question now is, what is the next step to take for those of us that still can't build back links ourselves even if our lives depended on it.

          What do we do now? It's really scary right now...
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by HKSEO Extropy View Post

        The BIG NEWS that most people seem to not realize is that totally private, closed, single user (or 30 user) networks have gotten hit as well. This isn't just public networks, it's ALL networks.
        Sorry but this is

        utterly and completely false

        But before I answer that - my condolences on losing that arm of your business. However -


        Several private networks are totally untouched and will continue to be untouched because very private networks can be made to look extremely natural even to the point of being natural in every way like a regular web site.

        We all know why these networks were deindexed. IF the algo could take care of them there would be no reason for Google to deal with them. the algo would just nuke them. The fact that they were deindexed indicates Google wanted them out of the index entirely because the algo CAN NOT limit them if they remained. So google did not find a way of getting at all networks anymore than they could get at every site selling links or people buying them.


        In order to knock out ALL networks Google would have to have the power of mind reading to know certain sites are linking for SEO reasons because the sites look. behave and even have traffic and users just like a regular site . I realize thats hard for a rental service provider to grasp or those who set their networks up like service rental providers but it is a fact. IF you said rental networks are dead and those who set their sites up just like them are dead then that would be true.

        I have not found a single deindexed site yet in mine. But of course I do the unthinkable to a service rental provider or those that copy the rental networks lead - I have less than 8 links on my pages and I work the links into the theme of the site and the content is all original. I don't just link to SEO Sites but other non SEo target sites. Every day bloggers refer to various sites talking about all kinds of things but they make sense to what that blogger covers on their blog. People building networks got the idea it was some great cash machine and all you had to do was buy the domains scrape and spin content to them, autmate WP posting and Kabing - cash! Some network "Experts" even dropped several HIgh Pr sites on the same IP address . No one cared about security or that the pages ended up looking so incredibly obvious that the moment anyone on the network ranked for anything lucrative their competitor was going to report them for OBVIOUS rented links.

        I have taught 50+ people from WF alone how to build networks and I have received no reports (none of them were renting out spots and publicly advertising their networks though ) from any of them. I am by no means claiming none of them ever will but there is a HUGE difference in how people build networks and you can't make a blanket statement like you just did to fool yourself and others that everyone is in the same boat.

        I realize you have a vested interest to claim that its just the way things are why your network was deindexed because it might be painful to admit that some things were done wrong but the facts are there are vastly different ways of building networks and you did MANY THINGS wrong with your network

        A) You and the network owners you are talking about spun like crazy. Your partner has already admitted that the private network owner he was referring to had 2,000 sites and spun like crazy to populate them.
        B) Some Networks actively Solicited people in sales copy to post "garbage content" - thats a quote - not me making it up
        C) you like most people building networks posted way too many links per page on way too many different subjects by way too many authors (who couldn't care less about the network itself) on sites that anyone here could identify as a network one second after viewing it
        D) You put too many domains hosted on the same hosting company.

        and quite a few more things wrong (eg. Your PR 5 and PR6s should have been used in a support fashion not directly to money sites)

        So look I know things are rough now. I'm not writing this to dump on you. Its not nice to lose a business in one day like you have and I know that the human tendency when going through that is to not want to look at ways in which you could have averted it because that means you might have to admit you made mistakes - but you can't make the blanket statement you just did. Its false.

        You will no doubt claim everyone will eventually get wiped out because you were but the reality is NOT ALL networks were or are built the way you built yours and the way everyone so far I have seen deindexed built theirs.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    Good Question Architex. At first i thought the penalty affected all keywords but now i'm not so sure. I received another Google penalty message this week for a site where some of the keywords ranked naturally.
    Did you really receive a GWT for a site?

    You might want to double check, because i got one which clearly refers to "some of your pages on your site may be using techniques [...]".

    Which, to some point, is a significant difference and should answer your question whether "all" keywords would be affected.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
    SEO just got interdasting!!
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  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Banned
    Now that blognetworks are dealing with deindexing and not giving out url's, we have to just beleive that they speak the truth about deindex numbers.
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  • Profile picture of the author discustipated
    - This is why Im building my own network and letting know one in. Going to have them set up with fresh content being posted without links and when I post an article with my links there going to use real author names and be in the form of a byline as if it were a guest post and only one anchored link in the content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
    Maybe aged domain prices will finally go back to normal levels... lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketing Ignite
    This is what happens when you do low quality SEO..if you did SEO the way Google loves, then you dont have to worry abt getting slapped. This is a very common sense advice but many still prefer black and grey hat techniques...
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    • Profile picture of the author rodanglee
      Originally Posted by Marketing Ignite View Post

      This is what happens when you do low quality SEO..if you did SEO the way Google loves, then you dont have to worry abt getting slapped. This is a very common sense advice but many still prefer black and grey hat techniques...

      FYI, there is no SEO that Google loves. It is a well known fact that Google HATES seo.
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Marketing Ignite View Post

      This is what happens when you do low quality SEO..if you did SEO the way Google loves, then you dont have to worry abt getting slapped. This is a very common sense advice but many still prefer black and grey hat techniques...
      If you do seo the way google loves, you don't have to worry about getting slapped because you'll never get ranked in the first place.
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      • Profile picture of the author dp40oz
        Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

        If you do seo the way google loves, you don't have to worry about getting slapped because you'll never get ranked in the first place.
        YES!!! Haha!!! Quote of the month!
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      • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
        Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

        If you do seo the way google loves, you don't have to worry about getting slapped because you'll never get ranked in the first place.
        HAHAHA Love it.

        Man, you guys are going to LOVE what we have come up with. I'm really excited about it, its just not quite time to share it yet. But trust me, the game is far from over and things are about to get REALLY interesting!
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        • Profile picture of the author nik0
          Banned
          Originally Posted by HKSEO Rotzee View Post

          HAHAHA Love it.

          Man, you guys are going to LOVE what we have come up with. I'm really excited about it, its just not quite time to share it yet. But trust me, the game is far from over and things are about to get REALLY interesting!
          Mr. Brag I know where to find you if not
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        • Profile picture of the author cleanerupper
          Originally Posted by HKSEO Rotzee View Post

          HAHAHA Love it.

          Man, you guys are going to LOVE what we have come up with. I'm really excited about it, its just not quite time to share it yet. But trust me, the game is far from over and things are about to get REALLY interesting!
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketing Ignite
    FYI, there is no SEO that Google loves. It is a well known fact that Google HATES seo.
    Where do you hear such myths? Google loves SEO'ers but not the black hat or grey hat SEO that manipulate...If you do SEO according to Google Webmaster guidelines you make it easier for Google so why wouldnt they like seo...

    Even Matt Cutts confirms this...

    SEO Is Not Spam, Says Google's Matt Cutts
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    • Profile picture of the author cssitkt
      What do we know so far?
      • Private Blog Networks are being de-indexed one by one. The de-indexing is probably through manual review.

      • Thousands of webmasters have received messages from Google in their Google Webmaster accounts stating that unnatural links have been detected please submit your site for reconsideration. When this message appears, sometimes all rankings drop sometimes no rankings drop and sometimes rankings drop for a few keywords. This penalty is probably automated.

      • Private Blog Networks are probably being reported by people requesting reconsideration when they receive the unnatural links notice.

      • When a Private Blog Network is discovered / de-indexed, the sites using the network often receive the unnatural links detected notice.

      • There is no common denominator between de-indexed Private Blog Networks other than their purpose - to sell links.

      It is possible that Google have developed a bot/crawler that is intended to hunt down blog networks used for selling links. Our sites are visited by google bots all the time, harvesting details of links found. Most people on this forum can reverse engineer a backlink profile and find any blog networks being used for ranking – we do it all the time when checking out the competition. With most people practicing link diversification a caught site will probably be able to point you in the direction of several other link selling networks. Let the bots loose for a while and you’ll have a nice stack of data from thousands of suspect sites that will give you a pretty good idea of which sites are selling links.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnmartin12
    Thanks a lot friends for sharing your useful tips and suggestions i really appreciate it..
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  • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
    Mike, a small and private blog network is only going to get nuked if your client uses some other service and Google sends them a GWT message + penalty. They ask for SEO provider details during the reconsideration process, which most clients are going to hand over in a heartbeat.

    In my opinion, it's a risk worth taking. If you don't work with clients - even better.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

      Mike, a small and private blog network is only going to get nuked if your client uses some other service and Google sends them a GWT message + penalty. They ask for SEO provider details during the reconsideration process, which most clients are going to hand over in a heartbeat.
      Well I tend not to get into that situation because I work with businesses and don't do link rental. I am in charge of their SEO and use my network in that context. IF they are doing other things I send them packing.

      Its a different business model and frankly the only one I see working long term from here on in. If you have clients that pay a few hundred to a few thousand a month then you can afford to have low OBl. The rental SEO network always had one self destructive features and that is in order to make the money off people paying $69 and $149 you had to pack the sites with links and once you do the first time some competitor of ANY of your clients does a backlink check and finds your VERY obvious link pages the game is up.

      From the report its a piece of cake for google to create a crawler that goes through the links, checks the backlinks, crawls those and cross references with similar features until the whole shebang is detected. Plus almost all of these networks ran the same kind of content on each domain, would have really bizarre LSI indicators (because of different subjects on the pages) and ran the same platform on all site - usually WP.

      Why they are so amazed they got slapped is anyone guess. THey clearly think or thought Google was dumb.
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  • Profile picture of the author pralbin
    One day you got good money from your sites and the next it all can be dead ... man, Google really holds the strings!
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  • Profile picture of the author emrom
    Interesting information. good to know.
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    Ok, so if you are going to go to all the trouble of building a totally legit-looking network, indistinguishable from a bunch of random real sites, why not just guest post on high-pr blogs? Much less work and hassle, surely?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
      Originally Posted by markowe View Post

      Ok, so if you are going to go to all the trouble of building a totally legit-looking network, indistinguishable from a bunch of random real sites, why not just guest post on high-pr blogs? Much less work and hassle, surely?
      Not always. It's hard to find niche related high PR blogs to guest post on. Most of the posts that accept guest posts openly are just article farms really, nothing special.

      I'm building a network of "real" blogs, but I'll be using it to promote quite a few websites over time (all in one big niche). What I mean is - I'm not going to try and hide completely, have only 2-3 links per blog or whatever... that just wouldn't be economical in any way.

      I'm dropping around 5 links/month on each blog. Which, even if I only had 10 blogs = 50 links/month. Buying those as guest posts would cost at least $1k+. My cost is around $200 for 50 links.
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    Oh, I meant free guest posts, there are plenty of opportunities out there if you have at least some writing skills, or have someone who does. But I appreciate what you mean about not all niches having those opportunities, especially cheesy micro niches (though we are not really talking about those anyway, right).

    If you reuse your network to backlink to multiple properties of your own, surely you have to be REALLY careful that there is nothing at all connecting those target properties with each other or to you, right? Easier if you are doing SEO for different clients, especially real businesses, bit trickier if you are ranking your own sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
      Originally Posted by markowe View Post

      Oh, I meant free guest posts, there are plenty of opportunities out there if you have at least some writing skills, or have someone who does. But I appreciate what you mean about not all niches having those opportunities, especially cheesy micro niches (though we are not really talking about those anyway, right).
      Not that easy... I do this full time and I always offer money. Apart from 2-3 authority blogs per niche, there's really not much out there as far as free guest posting goes. Most "we accept guest posts" blogs have way less authority and look worse than my own blog network.

      Offering money + article gets me more replies. When I email 20+ people per day, I want to land at least one good post. Otherwise it's just a huge waste of time for me.

      If you reuse your network to backlink to multiple properties of your own, surely you have to be REALLY careful that there is nothing at all connecting those target properties with each other or to you, right? Easier if you are doing SEO for different clients, especially real businesses, bit trickier if you are ranking your own sites.
      I don't think it's as bad as some people think. I track roughly 10 small*general* blog networks and they're all doing just fine. Niche blog networks with only relevant content and a good structure to hide any obvious footprints are safe, IMO.

      I add articles without links, articles with authority site links and then some articles with links to my own sites. All of my sites are about health, which makes it very simple to make everything appear natural. My networks and money sites are "technically" owned by two different people, not sure if this helps.

      Another thing to keep in mind - don't post to all blogs. I pick a subset and post to those. Drip feed the posts over a couple months. Sometimes just one post/week for a couple months can get you on page one or ever into top 5. mix in some real guest posts and it becomes almost impossible to pick out your blogs.

      With clients it's a bit trickier, because local businesses can be based in very different places, making it a bit weird to blog about. Clients can come from 10+ different niches, which makes it difficult to keep each blog on topic. Not that it matters much though.

      EDIT: if anyone has a good course or some guest blogging tips to share I'd be really grateful.
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      • Profile picture of the author nik0
        Banned
        Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

        Not that easy... I do this full time and I always offer money. Apart from 2-3 authority blogs per niche, there's really not much out there as far as free guest posting goes. Most "we accept guest posts" blogs have way less authority and look worse than my own blog network.
        How much do you offer them for a guest post? And is it a one time payment or monthly thing?
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        • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
          Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

          How much do you offer them for a guest post? And is it a one time payment or monthly thing?
          I offer a standard $20 one time payment. It helps me get a much better response than emailing asking for free posts.
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          • Profile picture of the author nik0
            Banned
            Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

            I offer a standard $20 one time payment. It helps me get a much better response than emailing asking for free posts.
            Not to terrible indeed for a "lifetime" link, but will the page have PR or will it be a brand new post, like Wordpress system?
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    A LOT of sites solicit guest posts, and they are often authority sites in their niche and have good pr even if they are fairly low profile. They don't require payment, often the owners aren't that IM-savvy, but they are hungry for content. They don't have to be in the exact same niche as you are targeting. There are countless opportunities out there like that.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
      Originally Posted by markowe View Post

      A LOT of sites solicit guest posts, and they are often authority sites in their niche and have good pr even if they are fairly low profile. They don't require payment, often the owners aren't that IM-savvy, but they are hungry for content. They don't have to be in the exact same niche as you are targeting. There are countless opportunities out there like that.
      I do look for them, just finding it hard to land at least 1 post a day without looking for 3-5 hours daily (not worth my time). Mind sharing your process?
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    • Profile picture of the author mosthost
      Originally Posted by markowe View Post

      A LOT of sites solicit guest posts, and they are often authority sites in their niche and have good pr even if they are fairly low profile. They don't require payment, often the owners aren't that IM-savvy, but they are hungry for content. They don't have to be in the exact same niche as you are targeting. There are countless opportunities out there like that.
      The exact anchor match links are still a red flag IMHO. People don't link with exact anchor text.

      Most 'real companies' have branded links.

      Example:

      RealWebsite.com is the anchor text.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
        Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

        Not to terrible indeed for a "lifetime" link, but will the page have PR or will it be a brand new post, like Wordpress system?
        Most of then are posts. But they still gain PR over time and some even stay on the homepage for a month or more.

        Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

        The exact anchor match links are still a red flag IMHO. People don't link with exact anchor text.

        Most 'real companies' have branded links.

        Example:

        RealWebsite.com is the anchor text.
        Not always. Look at some of the most popular blogs out there - they always link out with anchor text. You don't need loads of these. Just 5-10 posts can put you on page one for a $5/day Adsense keyword. Mix in your own network, some quality blog comments, a PR to one of your pages and some quality social bookmarking and you can hit position 1 for multiple keywords.
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        • Profile picture of the author markowe
          Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

          I do look for them, just finding it hard to land at least 1 post a day without looking for 3-5 hours daily (not worth my time). Mind sharing your process?
          I don't think I am doing anything ground-breaking, but I am probably not doing things anything like on the scale you are so maybe you have run out of candidate blogs. The usual type of Google searches for "niche" + "guest post" etc. and then sorting by PR. However, what I do do is look at wider or related niches. So for my own offline translation business (my other line of work) I found blogs that discussed entrepreneurship and small business and wrote some stuff about how to start a translation company - that kind of thing. That gives you a lot more options. But again, I am not doing 1 a day, just a few here and there!


          Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

          Not to terrible indeed for a "lifetime" link, but will the page have PR or will it be a brand new post, like Wordpress system?
          As already said, it can gain PR really quickly, and anyway, just being on a high-PR blog can't be a bad thing.

          Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

          The exact anchor match links are still a red flag IMHO. People don't link with exact anchor text.

          Most 'real companies' have branded links.

          Example:

          RealWebsite.com is the anchor text.
          Hmm, there is some truth to that, but I usually get away with a link like:

          John Smith is CEO of the "FlowRite steel taps company", and link the whole phrase, including the "steel taps" I am trying to rank. I don't get too hung up about exact anchor text, in fact it's increasingly becoming a bad idea.

          The downside IS that most of those links are "author bio" type links, which may well be devalued by Google in comparison to in-text links, as they have been abused so much.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
            Originally Posted by markowe View Post

            I don't think I am doing anything ground-breaking, but I am probably not doing things anything like on the scale you are so maybe you have run out of candidate blogs. The usual type of Google searches for "niche" + "guest post" etc. and then sorting by PR. However, what I do do is look at wider or related niches. So for my own offline translation business (my other line of work) I found blogs that discussed entrepreneurship and small business and wrote some stuff about how to start a translation company - that kind of thing. That gives you a lot more options. But again, I am not doing 1 a day, just a few here and there!
            Yea I use a similar process, but I have quite a few health niche sites to build backlinks to so... Landed 3 posts yesterday, pretty good.

            And back on topic - I'm done with large blog networks. Just not worth it for the relatively small gains they provide - lost around £4k this month when 2 sites got penalised. Definitely wasn't worth it, because both sites were in the top 5 already (without using any blog network blasts). Live and learn.

            Oh and also... as you maybe know I build and sell mini-authority sites. So now those two sites that got nuked I can't even sell (now or in the future tbh, unless they keep steady rankings for 6 months+). I don't like selling ****/unstable sites. ;/
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    P.S. Anyway, we got off the subject of PRIVATE blog/site networks. What I would be doing if I had the budget (and I hope I am not giving away anyone's secrets! The bar is too high on this for most anyway), is looking around for sites with a bit of PR and authority and existing content that their owner has lost interest in, especially "hobby"-type sites that have never been monetised, and making the owner a modest offer to take it off their hands, domain, hosting and all! But I think that's enough said...
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
      Banned
      Originally Posted by markowe View Post

      P.S. Anyway, we got off the subject of PRIVATE blog/site networks. What I would be doing if I had the budget (and I hope I am not giving away anyone's secrets! The bar is too high on this for most anyway), is looking around for sites with a bit of PR and authority and existing content that their owner has lost interest in, especially "hobby"-type sites that have never been monetised, and making the owner a modest offer to take it off their hands, domain, hosting and all! But I think that's enough said...
      Thats how I sold one of my sites lately, for a higher price then I would receive at Flippa. The buyer is part of a large seo company and that's how they build their networks.
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  • Profile picture of the author joetheseo
    The game just started boys. All the newbies preaching "do what google says!" are going to be shocked with what some of us have in development (I'm in no connection /w HKSEO). Better be at your control desk 24/7 to keep up... in fact shouldn't you be emailing people asking for links or guest posts?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ckrismoney
    WOW! reading this thread makes me soooo happy I don't have many backlinks. I think it's a shame to penalize a site for backlinks. How are we suppose to advertise.

    I advertise my sites and of course the sites I advertise on has to link back to my site. Does anyone know what exactly Google calls an un-natural backlink? Who many is too many?
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
      Banned
      After reading a story that someone got penalized or dropped in rankings because he guest-posted a lot and people with poor autoblogs are scraping his content I felt like this can't be for real.

      If Google really made it such that poor links or simply too many links truelly hurt then the hell will break loose and every one will start blasting their competitors. Seems Google made a huge mistake.
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      • Profile picture of the author joetheseo
        Ya... They messed up bad. I proved it to myself. You can too, find a thin longtail site and blast it. No way they can keep it like this. Destroy your competition WSO's coming soon...

        Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

        After reading a story that someone got penalized or dropped in rankings because he guest-posted a lot and people with poor autoblogs are scraping his content I felt like this can't be for real.

        If Google really made it such that poor links or simply too many links truelly hurt then the hell will break loose and every one will start blasting their competitors. Seems Google made a huge mistake.
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        • Profile picture of the author nik0
          Banned
          Originally Posted by joetheseo View Post

          Ya... They messed up bad. I proved it to myself. You can too, find a thin longtail site and blast it. No way they can keep it like this. Destroy your competition WSO's coming soon...
          I already tested it myself a few months ago and back then it took 150k comments and 50k xrumer links on my 3 month old site (in the meanwhile 6 months old) and I totally destroyed it.

          Nowadays it seems to take a lot less links to achieve this, although I have to admit that my sites haven't been hit to hard, the only thing I saw is that for 2 specific keywords for which I used high PR society a lot, have dropped back to where they were before I started the article campaign. I was ranking at #4 for a pretty tough one that went back to #27 and for another kw I ranked #10 that dropped to #15

          A few client sites of mine have had slight drops so far. One had a real tough competition main kw that I had at #21 at it's top time and it dropped to #24 now, and his other keyword went from #1 to #2. Before I started the campaign the tough one ranked somewhere at page 4/5 and the easier one ranked at #9.

          For another client I tracked 2 keywords specifically, an easy one and a tougher one, the easy one went from #4 to #6 and the tougher one went from #19 to #25 (but before I started building links he was at page 8 for the easy one and nowhere to be seen for the tougher one).

          These 3 example sites are all older then 1 year btw and already had a decent portion of links.
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          • Profile picture of the author joetheseo
            I'm in a similar situation. 2 clients got penalties... 1 was a national client (real business) has dropped off the map completely on 2 main kws.. 2 secondaries rank #12-25. The other client got the GWT message and hovering around #14-25.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
              Originally Posted by joetheseo View Post

              I'm in a similar situation. 2 clients got penalties... 1 was a national client (real business) has dropped off the map completely on 2 main kws.. 2 secondaries rank #12-25. The other client got the GWT message and hovering around #14-25.
              This happens every 3-4 years, no surprise there. Once they're done "cleaning up" the SERPs things are going to be back to normal (with a few changes maybe).

              My penalised sites are recovering slowly... still wasn't worth it (using ALN and the like), because I can put them in top 3 with just 20 or so high quality links. once you work your **** out and have a good setup - it gets much easier to rank with quality. If I get blasted by a competitor - so be it.
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  • Profile picture of the author movemaker
    haha...i knew this was going to happen...
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  • Profile picture of the author josephseeley
    Eleva... I'd like the link (I can't PM) so I know who to tell Google is to blame for my "unnatural links"
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    • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
      Originally Posted by josephseeley View Post

      Eleva... I'd like the link (I can't PM) so I know who to tell Google is to blame for my "unnatural links"
      PM sent! It will be good for Google to know about this war they have started even if you weren't affected directly by the service
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  • Profile picture of the author intelinside
    I think this is what Google wanted...A thread full of SEOs at War ..Google winning IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author anwar001
    I have heard the names of so many blog networks going under Google's knife, but don't seem to remember reading the same about UAW network. Has it till now escaped Google's wrath? That would be quite surprising considering it is one of the biggest and oldest networks out there and they used to provide live links list till just a few days back.
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    • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
      Originally Posted by anwar001 View Post

      I have heard the names of so many blog networks going under Google's knife, but don't seem to remember reading the same about UAW network. Has it till now escaped Google's wrath? That would be quite surprising considering it is one of the biggest and oldest networks out there and they used to provide live links list till just a few days back.
      The official word on UAW is that UAW is saying they didn't get hit, but most of their customers who traced it out are saying they did =)
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