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Is the Google link farm penalizer at it again?

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Posted 17th May 2013 at 07:32 PM by mattlaclear

Some webmasters feel that it is, and Barry Schwartz, author of "Did Google Just Penalize Another Link Network? SAPE Links," has his suspicions as well.

Although Google never does mention SAPE by name, it has made no secret of its plans for future downgrading of sites that deign to traffic with link farms in general. Many webmasters, particularly those of the Black Hat persuasion, have recently reported huge drops in page rank after having dealt with this one.

The presence of smoke does not always indicate fire, but a number of smoldering embers do glow in the shape of an arrow that points directly at SAPE. When a number of sites suffer a serious downgrade following a purchase from the same link farm, anyone would be suspicious.

This latest flap is nothing new. Over the years, Google has earned quite a reputation for penalizing any website that relies on purchased links to inflate its page rank artificially. It makes you wonder why anyone who cares about his site's ranking would bother with link farms at all, especially when Google has openly stated its intention of slapping the hand of any site that deals with them.

These penalties fall in line with Google's latest emphasis on promoting only quality sites that provide Web surfers with worthwhile content. To do this, it needs a way to separate the sense from the nonsense. Investigating the worth and validity of inbound links is just one of the many ways in which it tries to do this.

Google's restrictions should not surprise anyone. Street cred is critical to any search engine that hopes to preserve its good name, and few serious Internet searchers will rely for long on one that turns up copious quantities of claptrap.

The benefit goes to the many users in search of worthwhile information, and the honors go to the search engine that provides them with it. It's only fitting that the penalties should fall directly on the heads of those careless webmasters who try to buy their way to the top using paid blog network links.
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