High PR Society Busted

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Remember fellas, snitches get stiches.
      Signature
      SentientAds.com - The Evolution of Display Ads
    • 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!
      Signature
      We have the technology.
  • 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 .
    Signature
    > $164 Earnings In Under 48 Hours ? Click Here for More Info
  • Profile picture of the author jeromie
    Don't leave out the good news cssitkt

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

      Don't leave out the good news cssitkt

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

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

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

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

      Don't take the bait!

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

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

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

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

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

      Think about it this way.

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

      Now there are two possibilities.

      #1 Apply manual penalties (makes little sense).

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

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

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

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

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

      inb4 you give Google too much credit.

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

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

    Hard to say moving forward.
    Signature

    No signature here today!

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

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

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

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

      Of course google may not be able to recognize your links as bought, even under manual review and with a bit of luck that would be the case.
  • Profile picture of the author giseo
    Google sounds a bit desperate.
    Signature

    Tired about blogging about tedious subjects like blue widgets and four slice toasters? Learn how to have fun and profit blogging about a continually growing massive multi-billion industry. Find out how to do it for only $5 here!

  • 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.
    Signature
    *** Affiliate Site Quick --> The Fastest & Easiest Way to Make Affiliate Sites!<--
    -> VISIT www.1UP-SEO.com *** <- Internet Marketing, SEO Tips, Reviews & More!! ***
    *** HIGH QUALITY CONTENT CREATION +++ Manual Article Spinning (Thread Here) ***
    Content Creation, Blogging, Articles, Converting Sales Copy, Reviews, Ebooks, Rewrites
    • 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.
    • 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
      Signature

  • 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.
  • 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.
    Signature

    Discuss your favorite cancelled or ended TV shows in a fun friendly community.
    Check out this political debate forum.
    Also run an awesome community where you can get FREE Tech Support.

  • Profile picture of the author AnythingMarketing
    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.
  • 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?
    Signature
  • Profile picture of the author ashish123
    [DELETED]
  • 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
    Signature

  • 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..
    • 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....
      Signature
    • 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.
      Signature
      OneHourIndexing.co - Fast indexing of your backlinks.

      VisitMetrix.com - Amazingly detailed SEO blog
  • 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.
    Signature
    *** Affiliate Site Quick --> The Fastest & Easiest Way to Make Affiliate Sites!<--
    -> VISIT www.1UP-SEO.com *** <- Internet Marketing, SEO Tips, Reviews & More!! ***
    *** HIGH QUALITY CONTENT CREATION +++ Manual Article Spinning (Thread Here) ***
    Content Creation, Blogging, Articles, Converting Sales Copy, Reviews, Ebooks, Rewrites

Trending Topics