Here are my findings about Penguin update

50 replies
  • SEO
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Most of my sites got hit by Penguin update. Some of them still survive. So I made an analysis and here are my findings:
  • Building links by Xrumer is dead. If you have huge amount of profile backlinks you are either deindexed or get slapped real bad.
  • Building bookmarking links is dead. Huge number of bookmarks in a short time results a penalty.
  • Blog networks are TOTALLY dead. Blog networks were hit by the panda update but this time they are even hit worse. Even private networks are hit. If you spin content and distribute to blogs you get deindexed.
  • Article networks are dead. If you spin articles and distribute to article networks you will get deindexed or slapped hard.
  • Anything related to spinning is dead.
  • Any method that brings huge number of backlinks in a short time is dead.

My recommendations:

1- Do not buy anything SEO related till things get cleared. Seems like almost all SERP manipulating methods are dead.
2- Spend your time thinking about other traffic sources other than Google.
3- Focus on your product/services/offers.
4- Consider purchasing sites who are already ranked well about your niche. It might look expensive but if you consider the time and effort you spend on seo it might be a good idea. There are many people who does not know the real value of their sites. Make a search on your favorite keyword, contact the site owners directly and try to negotiate.
5- Do not buy any SEO related tools. They simply do not work after this update.
6- Buy traffic from Google adwords. Spend your time on keyword analysis to lower CPC.
7- Consider non-google platforms to market your products such as Ebay and Amazon.


I hope you find this useful..
#findings #penguin #update
  • Profile picture of the author JeffHylands
    I have to disagree with some of this. Bookmarking if done right has had and still does have good effects on my sites, even new ones. I did a test, I built links fast on one site like 50-100, and around 10-20 per day on another site.

    The site I added links to more got the penalty. My other site that's running strong in Google is being built slowly with all the types of links that existed before, even blog networks without the home page links. I even have spun content out there no penalties whatsoever.

    The results are out of control right now I am getting twitter profiles on page 1 for huge terms it's a damn joke and Google will fall if they keep it up. So much is going on right now I agree with the sitting back and seeing what happens if your a rookie. If your someone who's been in the game just build links slow and make sure you have good diversity and you should be fine.
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    • Profile picture of the author surferman
      Originally Posted by JeffHylands View Post

      I have to disagree with some of this. Bookmarking if done right has had and still does have good effects on my sites, even new ones. I did a test, I built links fast on one site like 50-100, and around 10-20 per day on another site.

      The site I added links to more got the penalty. My other site that's running strong in Google is being built slowly with all the types of links that existed before, even blog networks without the home page links. I even have spun content out there no penalties whatsoever.

      The results are out of control right now I am getting twitter profiles on page 1 for huge terms it's a damn joke and Google will fall if they keep it up. So much is going on right now I agree with the sitting back and seeing what happens if your a rookie. If your someone who's been in the game just build links slow and make sure you have good diversity and you should be fine.
      Being slow can help but I would not do any backlink building till things get cleared. Once you get hit by Google it is very hard to recover.
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    • Profile picture of the author iceman006
      Originally Posted by JeffHylands View Post

      I have to disagree with some of this. Bookmarking if done right has had and still does have good effects on my sites, even new ones. I did a test, I built links fast on one site like 50-100, and around 10-20 per day on another site.

      The site I added links to more got the penalty. My other site that's running strong in Google is being built slowly with all the types of links that existed before, even blog networks without the home page links. I even have spun content out there no penalties whatsoever.

      The results are out of control right now I am getting twitter profiles on page 1 for huge terms it's a damn joke and Google will fall if they keep it up. So much is going on right now I agree with the sitting back and seeing what happens if your a rookie. If your someone who's been in the game just build links slow and make sure you have good diversity and you should be fine.
      I totally agree with you Jeff. I have been using Social Bookmarks, Manual Profile Links, WEB 2.0 Property with Duplicate Content, You will be surprised Duplicate content? Oh Yeah and one the web 2.0 Property is competiting the Money website in SERPs now and my money website is on Page 2. How Google Failed this time? I mean I can't believe it. Google actually Hit this time WHITE HAT SEO people and Pushed Black HAT SEO spammers and importantly to support their Adwords. Quite Strange stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Simond
    Thanks for your posting. This a one of the best thread i have seen yet.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mohan Harianto
      Originally Posted by Andrew Simond View Post

      Thanks for your posting. This a one of the best thread i have seen yet.
      yes, i agree with you... this the best that i think about pinguin... something bad for me
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  • Profile picture of the author edegreeusa
    Agree with Jeff!
    What is not working is backlinks if build from unrelated network. Social bookmarking is still working as you can't bookmark a link twice and so it is relevant.
    Blog networks are working but guest posts went a bit down. Now you not just need to post a blog but a creativity which should be informative or interesting as well along with catchy title.
    Social medias are best for getting visitors and more the visitors will be driven towards your blog more you will climb the ranking. Best if they will click the hyperlinked keywords in the posts. Make sure it directs to relevant site. Short keywords most probably will be vanished as now users are searching with long term keywords that really mean what they want.
    Meta Tags info is very important to be what is in the site or as a user point of view

    Remember relevancy is the only key to success!
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  • Profile picture of the author MarvyDery
    there are better ways of ranking in Google. Do proper seo. Of all the google updates, my website has never been hit. Just practice in what Google believes to be fair
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  • Profile picture of the author Oranges
    8. Find a regular 9-5 job and end this crap once for all.
    Consider that, LOL!
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  • Profile picture of the author webinventaekhlas
    Image Masking was on 3rd page in google. After doing a little linkbuilding it's now showing at the number 8 position in google. So whatever I am doing it's working for sure for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
      Originally Posted by webinventaekhlas View Post

      Image Masking was on 3rd page in google. After doing a little linkbuilding it's now showing at the number 8 position in google. So whatever I am doing it's working for sure for me.
      Did this site take a hit after the update to page 3 and now you brought it back or after the update it shifted from 3rd page to 1st page?
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      • Profile picture of the author DNY
        I kinda Disagree with the OP.
        I have a site i do most of that and it is ranking well since all the recent updates.
        You just won't know what google wants sometimes. Iam glad those were just your findings. However one thing i know for sure is that google is penalising for over optimization. All my sites that i considered to be perfectly SEOd were blasted. Iam trying to change them here and there but i totally don't think it has alot to do with backlinks.
        Like you said, we just have to wait and see what happens in a few weeks time.
        I see my compitetors who moved up have lots of spammy links.
        You just can't know what google is after unless they let us know which by the look of things they are not about to:confused:. It's just so selfish sometimes. But who cares it is their company and they are after making profits and i guess they will do anything they think will work for them.
        I agree with your point of getting other traffic sources. It may take time but it think it is the best method now.
        With google you can't be sure!
        My view; I will keep building backlinks from whatever source i find slowly and steady.
        Google can't defeat us all, we shall crack it untill it gets out of business

        David
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  • Profile picture of the author kochtgr
    Actually the best way to rank high on search engines on the long run is to not care about them. This doesn't mean that you should give up SEO but you should have a more holistic thinking in marketing your site.
    This means that you should continue to build links but not for search engines you should try to build relationships with each link with the site owners and their readers...
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  • Profile picture of the author itlnoor
    Let the dust settle. I think Google is doing something Crazy. The pages that tops the search ranks just cannot stay there because they dont deserve to be there. Let the things settle.
    Always hope to make optimum use of Social networks and Twitter.
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  • Profile picture of the author bwnet13
    Building links in general is not dead. Building quality links is doing the same as it always did, maybe even better now that crappy links are getting slapped. As long as you make sure all your links are from High PR Trusted authority type domains you link building campaign will be successful.
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  • Profile picture of the author RightGood10
    I disagree entirely with the OP

    So you really believe that if I blast a sh*tload of profile links to my competitor that Google will slap them and/or de-index them? (Awesome my SEO tasks have just become a piece of p*ss overnight) <--sarcasm

    Surely Googles algo hasn't become that brainless overnight, I mean come on man, think about what you're saying here.
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    • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
      Originally Posted by RightGood10 View Post

      I disagree entirely with the OP!

      So you really believe that if I blast a sh*tload of profile links to my competitor that Google will slap them and/or de-index them? (Awesome my SEO tasks have just become a piece of p*ss overnight) <--sarcasm

      Surely Googles algo hasn't become that brainless overnight, I mean come on man, think about what you're saying here.
      Hey OP...read this article from Google regarding their latest algo change:

      Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Another step to reward high-quality sites

      Where exactly does it say anything about offpage seo?

      Your rankings dropped because of your onpage seo.

      There is no such thing as negative SEO. Period.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Originally Posted by surferman View Post

    6- Buy traffic from Google adwords.
    We'll see this advice more and more.

    Told ya so...
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    • Profile picture of the author RightGood10
      Originally Posted by Fernando Veloso View Post

      We'll see this advice more and more.

      Told ya so...
      Haha word up man, I stated this fact on another thread yesterday and people were still convinced that Adwords PPC has no relation on the algo updates for the organic results, they are clearly deluded and don't realise that Google is a profit making organisation not a charity.
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  • Profile picture of the author Greenfatman
    Sure...Google wants us to buy traffic instead...
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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    lol... wouldn't have thought so but tell that to dan theis... hear he got negative seo'd

    look at the link above me from Jill.

    all i know is my site got SLAMMED.

    all my page 1-2 rankings are gone. uuugh.
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    • Profile picture of the author tylerherman
      This is a pretty broad and generally unfounded list of statements.

      Where you doing split testing?

      Did you have sites that just did article marketing and still got hit? My guess is no.

      Article marketing still works.

      Social bookmarks still works just not the spammy garbage.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by davemiz View Post

      lol... wouldn't have thought so but tell that to dan theis... hear he got negative seo'd

      look at the link above me from Jill.

      all i know is my site got SLAMMED.

      all my page 1-2 rankings are gone.
      I say he got more free publicity/traffic than negative SEO.

      Some guys know how to work the crowd.
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  • Profile picture of the author dp40oz
    Unfortunately most of your statements are just false. My sites are still ranking very well and a lot of them used many of the techniques you described.
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  • Profile picture of the author GaWd
    I have a website still ranking at #1 for a 7k global term which has loads of **** links as it was my first ever website that i learned SEO on. I remember blasting the **** out of it with poor quality spun articles and blog comments but it still remains at 1.. so idk.
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  • Profile picture of the author ktonline
    Doing SEO as natural as possible is far better than rushing into building backlinks too quick. I know it takes longer to rank higher but end result is fruitful.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    Originally Posted by surferman View Post

    Most of my sites got hit by Penguin update.
    My recommendations:

    1- Do not buy anything SEO related till things get cleared. Seems like almost all SERP manipulating methods are dead.
    2- Spend your time thinking about other traffic sources other than Google.
    3- Focus on your product/services/offers.
    4- Consider purchasing sites who are already ranked well about your niche. It might look expensive but if you consider the time and effort you spend on seo it might be a good idea. There are many people who does not know the real value of their sites. Make a search on your favorite keyword, contact the site owners directly and try to negotiate.
    5- Do not buy any SEO related tools. They simply do not work after this update.
    6- Buy traffic from Google adwords. Spend your time on keyword analysis to lower CPC.
    7- Consider non-google platforms to market your products such as Ebay and Amazon.


    I hope you find this useful..
    This is the biggest nonsense i have ever read. Basically, you are saying quit SEO, do something else than SEO and buy traffic from Google Adwords instead or go on ebay or Amazon.

    Sorry..i don't buy any of this. Is this Matt Cutts in disguise fear-mongering on a webmaster forum?
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    • Profile picture of the author akazzz
      Originally Posted by surferman View Post


      My answer to 2 of your recommendations:

      1- Do not buy anything SEO related till things get cleared. Seems like almost all SERP manipulating methods are dead - My websites are ranking fine
      5- Do not buy any SEO related tools. They simply do not work after this update - Sorry but this information is so misleading
      1. I have to agree that profile links are dead but they've been dead when they release the panda update.

      2. Bookmarking links is not dead. They are just "low-quality links"

      3. Private networks are not dead. Only smart private blog network owners who know how to keep their network 100% anonymous are surviving.

      4. Can't comment on this. Never believed in them & never use it in part of linking strategy.

      5. Spinning isn't dead but Google prefers unique content than spinned but providing unique content for every one of your backlinks takes forever !

      6. Link velocity
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Originally Posted by surferman View Post

    [*]Blog networks are TOTALLY dead. Blog networks were hit by the panda update but this time they are even hit worse. Even private networks are hit.
    News to me. I am in contact with well over a hundred people who are building their own networks and none of them have reported being hit. I doubt very seriously you have ever used a truly private network so how could you make such a statement? If you are referring to BMR, SEolinkmonster etc - these are not private networks they are public rental networks. It is simply IMPOSSIBLE that all networks have been hit. the entire Internet is a network and every site presently ranking is ranking from links from other sites

    If you spin content and distribute to blogs you get deindexed.
    True but not all networks spin content. You are sorely misinformed.
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  • Profile picture of the author satrap
    Originally Posted by surferman View Post

    Most of my sites got hit by Penguin update. Some of them still survive. So I made an analysis and here are my findings:
    [LIST][*]Building links by Xrumer is dead. If you have huge amount of profile backlinks you are either deindexed or get slapped real bad.
    [*]Building bookmarking links is dead. Huge number of bookmarks in a short time results a penalty.
    [*]Blog networks are TOTALLY dead. Blog networks were hit by the panda update but this time they are even hit worse. Even private networks are hit. If you spin content and distribute to blogs you get deindexed.
    [*]Article networks are dead. If you spin articles and distribute to article networks you will get deindexed or slapped hard.
    [*]Anything related to spinning is dead.
    [*]Any method that brings huge number of backlinks in a short time is dead.
    I love it when people take a week worth of data and translate into real facts!
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  • Profile picture of the author JeanneLynn
    I'm still confused about Penguin. I have two main sites. I used BMR on both. The better site is penalized, but the other site is doing fine, ranking for many keywords. I actually did worse things to the site that's doing okay. I used a link wheel and some Fiverr gigs on it. I don't understand why that site is flourishing and the other is failing. It's really strange.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by JeanneLynn View Post

      I'm still confused about Penguin. I have two main sites. I used BMR on both. The better site is penalized, but the other site is doing fine, ranking for many keywords. I actually did worse things to the site that's doing okay. I used a link wheel and some Fiverr gigs on it. I don't understand why that site is flourishing and the other is failing. It's really strange.
      Thats interesting.

      All my sites are clean. I never used any link building services and mine got hit. All of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author micromike
    Regardless of whether you think negative SEO exists (and if you can screw up your OWN rank by incorrect linking, why couldn't someone do it for you?), there is one very clear message that no-one should be able to disagree with...
    Google should NOT be your primary traffic source. Period.
    They ARE too big to be ignored, but you can't count on them. "Over-optimized" is exactly what a good site (or written article) does - focuses on its topic. So they can trash your site for not being optimized enough, or too much, or because (this is next, I think) your site color themes are not compatible with your topic?
    Even the customers are starting to notice that Bing/Yahoo are giving better results for their searches than the mighty G, for many common topics. Its time we realized the same.
    I won't be ignoring them, you can't..but I damn sure don't need to gently lay my cojones in their hands and invite them to squeeze. Time to focus on social and direct, and doing stuff like article marketing... that's another source of direct links that folks are discounting. Forget backlink rankings; it's PEOPLE that read a good article..and will follow that link at the bottom for more.
    Google has never even OFFERED to buy any of my stuff, but PEOPLE have, and do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Natlex
    Negative SEO definitely works easily now, especially on domains owned by other IM'ers. I tried it on competition sites and some of my own that I didn't care( because I have multiple top 10 listings due to web 2.0s ranking high for some reason now) and I was deifnitely able to kill my rankings from top 5 to under or further.

    Also, as for OP, that's a lot of BROAD statements that are more or less true. I'm pretty sure after looking at this for a few days and my sites that are still ranking and those that are not what changed with this update and blog networks/articles/bookmarking are definitely not simply "dead". I'm not sure if I can revive my sites that got heavily affected though... But going forward I think I have a good idea of how to rank my future sites (most likely I will remake the ones that the rankings tanked).
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  • Profile picture of the author extremejava
    1)Improve page loading speed
    2) Provide more content over the fold
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Originally Posted by surferman View Post

    Most of my sites got hit by Penguin update. Some of them still survive. So I made an analysis and here are my findings:
    • Building links by Xrumer is dead. If you have huge amount of profile backlinks you are either deindexed or get slapped real bad.
    • Building bookmarking links is dead. Huge number of bookmarks in a short time results a penalty.
    • Blog networks are TOTALLY dead. Blog networks were hit by the panda update but this time they are even hit worse. Even private networks are hit. If you spin content and distribute to blogs you get deindexed.
    • Article networks are dead. If you spin articles and distribute to article networks you will get deindexed or slapped hard.
    • Anything related to spinning is dead.
    • Any method that brings huge number of backlinks in a short time is dead.
    My recommendations:

    1- Do not buy anything SEO related till things get cleared. Seems like almost all SERP manipulating methods are dead.
    2- Spend your time thinking about other traffic sources other than Google.
    3- Focus on your product/services/offers.
    4- Consider purchasing sites who are already ranked well about your niche. It might look expensive but if you consider the time and effort you spend on seo it might be a good idea. There are many people who does not know the real value of their sites. Make a search on your favorite keyword, contact the site owners directly and try to negotiate.
    5- Do not buy any SEO related tools. They simply do not work after this update.
    6- Buy traffic from Google adwords. Spend your time on keyword analysis to lower CPC.
    7- Consider non-google platforms to market your products such as Ebay and Amazon.


    I hope you find this useful..

    You forgot to sign off as "regards, Matt Cutts" :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Heres an interesting case study on negative SEO.

    Definitely worth a read.

    Successful Negative SEO Case Study - Main Backlinks/SEO Discussion - Traffic Planet
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    • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
      I had my 2 main money sites hit. One disapeared and has now came back from position 2 to position 4. The other site went from position 4 up to 1 and is now sat at 2. I lost £100 a day on one but the other gained £100 a day so far on the other so there is no overall effect for me but not sure how it will go in the future.

      Both sites are spammed to death directly by Xrumer, Scrapebox and a few PR4/5/6 pages with low outbound links (easy to find when you know how). I don't use the 80/20 keyword rule that most people use I just grab by main keyword and put it in the google keyword tool and grab the top 100 keywords and use them all (1% each).

      The site that rose also has a 301 direct which is also spammed to death. Then I moved alot of the text to the top of the page so it appears above the fold as Matt Cutts states should be done. But it is not really 'above the fold' it's just coded in a way that it apears to Google that way and my main offers still apear at the top.

      Here's the thing that I think worked the best though. I studied my analytics and tried really hard to lower the bounce rate. Removed page links that were not gaining much interest and replaced then with new links that were more interesting and as a result got a better bounce rate by about 10%. I think Google are looking more at your site stats now more than ever.

      All affiliate links were removed and replaced by no-follow - no-index redirect pages (even more reduced bounce rate). I think Google are paying more attention to what is going on within your site now than trusting other site that are linking as they know that anyone could build artificial link to your site and do so.

      I'm no in any way telling anyone that I know the answer to this latest update and I'm no SEO expert - just saying what works for me (for now). I would never recommed spam links but I don't have the time to create manual relevant links.

      Just my 2 cents and I hope I helps a few who have been hit but then again I don't recommend this as I say it is what has worked for me until the next update which is when I think I will really get hit.
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  • Profile picture of the author radivoj
    Originally Posted by surferman View Post

    Any method that brings huge number of backlinks in a short time is dead.
    Ok so your competition can buy fiverr Gig for $5 and blast over 20K backlink to your site with single anchor and your site will get penalized...
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  • Profile picture of the author sackboy127
    It's really a strange update, some of my sites disappeared from top 50, while a few climbed a few spots. One of them is really interesting, it climbed from #3 to #1 three days ago, and it's still there. What's strange about that one is that I stopped building any kinds of links to it more than 2 months ago, and it only has a bunch of Web 2.0s (with manually spun, readable content), bookmarks and some wiki links. I did however greatly vary the anchor texts, and not only linked to the homepage, so these aspects might have helped.

    The best thing we can do know is definitely wait and see if any additional movements occur.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris-
    Interesting how some people experience such things as "dead" and others post how they use slightly more intelligent uses of the same things (such as using such "dead" strategies to backlink 2.0 pages which in turn point to your main site), and get good results post Penguin

    Obvious un-natural backlinking stratgies are a bad idea, and will get penalised (you can even get a site completely de-indexed if you use that approach badly enough), where-as more natural, and more intelligent backlinking strategies are being reported to work well, post-Penguin. Which I think is a good thing, as it rewards quality and intelligence rather than "brute-force" approaches

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author christopherk
    I don't know how, but seems like Google fails this time. Most of my "semi" whitehat sites are penalized, but some totally spammed (multi tiered xrumer) sites are still alive

    Some totally white hat sites in whole world are certainly penalized!
    Google, this is your epic fail!
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  • Profile picture of the author ishuvonet
    Well I also observed that one of my client site badly hit by Google and listing disappeared from Google for its targeted keywords although I did fairly good SEO on that site and have backlinks from almost all backlink sources.Certainly Google is doing something wrong for the good SEOers This will obviously effect people who have SEO clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author RatRaceWatch
    In regards to the negative SEO denial (which made me laugh), here is someone elses findings on the webmaster forums in regards to google's answer to competitors harming ranking (aka Negative SEO):

    "Can competitors harm ranking?
    There's nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you're concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don't control the content of these pages."
    Then, in November, it got "slightly" modified... just a TINY fraction too:
    "Can competitors harm ranking?
    There's ALMOST nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you're concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don't control the content of these pages."
    Wow, what a difference one word can make! So hang on, saying "almost nothing" means "can", no matter which way you spin it.
    Then on March 14th, they caved.
    "Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you're concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don't control the content of these pages." -http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66356
    In case you missed it, the key difference is in that first line:

    You can see it's changed from "nothing" to "almost nothing" to "perfect political answer"
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  • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
    If you can harm your own site, than others can harm your site too, unless Google are using some super intelligent way of knowing who built the backlinks.

    Google are very vague and have changed their stance a bit, but it is possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author plsearch
    Of course no one knows exactly what the penalties are yet, but I'd agree with the OP that best thing to do is sit tight right now on anything potentially easy for Google to find; links from spammy article sites, spinned content links anywhere, even social bookmarks from accounts with no real authority.

    I'll continue to build links but with non spinned content on high PR web 2.0's, guest blogging, and press releases for now. Everything else is on hold.
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  • Profile picture of the author John F Kennedy
    I too so disagree with your statement about bookmarking, it is one of the few ways that are safe to do at the moment!
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