What are now considered BAD links?

20 replies
  • SEO
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I have site that was CERTAINLY hit by penguin and I have recovered most of the site.

We built tons of domain style anchors to it and generic anchors. We also cleaned up the site. I also did a press release, and am now adding some high PR links to it from special high PR domains I am buying. I am quite shocked it has recovered, but it has.

But in the midst of this, I also paid some company $1000 to help me find bad links. They came back with a crappy little list and I really dont think removing these links will do much good.

To be honest, I am not yet convinced that there are really bad links. But please, prove me wrong.

I mean...

Are directory listings bad?
Are article directories bad?
Unrelated blog comments bad?

I really wish I knew where the line was -- on what is bad and what is not.
#bad #considered #links
  • Profile picture of the author Brendan Mace
    Most backlinks that appear to be SELF CREATED are being penalized by Google. So if you submit 20,000 unrelated blog comments with the same anchor text to your website, Google is gonna give ya a big ol' SLAP.

    However, if you syndicate your content to relevant authorities in your niche, Google won't be that upset. Although some blog networks have been penalized by Google, that only shows that those networks were effective. Google wouldn't care if they didn't have an impact on a site's rankings.

    Perhaps you should join a legitimately PRIVATE network, or create your own.

    A handful of high PR blogs is far more valuable than 100,000 crappy directory links.
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  • Profile picture of the author retsek
    Originally Posted by The Oilman View Post

    I have site that was CERTAINLY hit by penguin and I have recovered most of the site.

    We built tons of domain style anchors to it and generic anchors. We also cleaned up the site. I also did a press release, and am now adding some high PR links to it from special high PR domains I am buying. I am quite shocked it has recovered, but it has.

    But in the midst of this, I also paid some company $1000 to help me find bad links. They came back with a crappy little list and I really dont think removing these links will do much good.

    To be honest, I am not yet convinced that there are really bad links. But please, prove me wrong.

    I mean...

    Are directory listings bad?
    Are article directories bad?
    Unrelated blog comments bad?

    I really wish I knew where the line was -- on what is bad and what is not.
    Why you would pay $1,000 for a list of bad links ? That kind of information is available for small costs at OSE, majestic and ahrefs. It's completely free and more comprehensive at both Google's and Bing's Webmaster tools. I don't get it.

    To answer your question -- technically the only thing that's died these past few months is public blog networks.

    Article Directories
    Sitewide/Sidebar Links
    Link Wheels / Web2.0
    Low Quality Press Releases
    General Directories
    Forum Profiles
    Comment Spam

    The above all still work right now if you variate your anchor text. It still works because Google allows it and is not enforcing their own guidelines. Penguin barely made a dent and look at the outcry.

    They will likely take more steps to enforce their guidelines and when they do sites that use the above low-quality tactics will suffer. They've already demonstrated they don't care whether you have good content or a good following. If a large part of your link profile is made up of these links, you're gone. If linkdetective.com, can do it ...it can't be hard for them to write an algo that filters sites with that kind of profile.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Oilman
    Brandon and Retsek -- you're saying two different things.

    Brandon is saying that most self-created stuff is being hit.

    Retsek is saying the only thing being hit is public blog networks, something I never used.
    Retsek, you also do not tell me which are bad links in OSE and Majestic.

    I appreciate your help guys.. I just need a bit more clarity as I am trying to get to the bottom of this

    (PS yes it was a ripoff to pay $1000 bucks. Most SEO companies have no idea what they are really doing)
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    • Profile picture of the author retsek
      Originally Posted by The Oilman View Post

      Brandon and Retsek -- you're saying two different things.

      Brandon is saying that most self-created stuff is being hit.

      Retsek is saying the only thing being hit is public blog networks, something I never used.
      Retsek, you also do not tell me which are bad links in OSE and Majestic.

      I appreciate your help guys.. I just need a bit more clarity as I am trying to get to the bottom of this
      Brandon and I are saying the same thing essentially. Read it again.

      The list of link sources I provided are "good" or "bad" depending on how you look at it. In short, they are good for now if you dont go overboard with anchor text. Long term, they most likely will get your site penalized regardless of whether you go overboard or not ...especially if these types of links makeup 100% of your link profile.

      (PS yes it was a ripoff to pay $1000 bucks. Most SEO companies have no idea what they are really doing)
      all due respect, it seems you don't know what you're doing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brendan Mace
      Originally Posted by The Oilman View Post

      Brandon and Retsek -- you're saying two different things.

      Brandon is saying that most self-created stuff is being hit.

      Retsek is saying the only thing being hit is public blog networks, something I never used.
      I said that the stuff that APPEARS to be SELF CREATED is being penalized. Which includes public blog networks, and any backlinking method that is obviously unnatural.

      I agree with Retsek that ONLY blog network links were directly penalized. But other penalties are dished out based on link building patterns.

      For example, there's nothing wrong with an article directory backlink. Google will not penalize you for getting a link from Ezine Articles, Sooperarticles, Article Dashboard, etc.

      HOWEVER, if you submit 10,000 article directory links at your website in a matter of minutes using some sort of software, Google is probably (depending on the authority of your domain) going to penalize your money site for unnatural link building.

      IN CONCLUSION:

      Other than some well known public blog networks, all other link sources continue to work post panda/penguin. Just make sure that you don't FLAG your website by creating an obvious footprint to Google.

      Everything should look natural. Create multiple variations of anchor text, and build backlinks over time instead of all at once.
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  • Profile picture of the author SynLanTech
    Google are hitting the same content.

    It's simple - If you're running link campaigns, spin your anchor text. Simple simple simple.

    Make **** unique.
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  • Profile picture of the author satinderbal
    Some properties of low quality backlinks:
    1. Not related with your website theme.
    2. The backlink website is only used for link exchange purpose.
    3. The backlink page should not have external links over 15-20.
    4. The backlink page should not have any banned website link along with your site link.
    5. The backlink page should not have only external links in it. It should have a little bit of original content which is related to your website theme.
    6. The backlink website should not be banned from Google. Keep in mind a website can have Google page rank even if it is banned from Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author cheapseoplans
    Check for the following kind of links:
    1) Site Wide links (with do-follow attribute)
    2) Too many submissions/links for just your 'money' keywords
    3) Links from banned / known link seller sites (blog networks, etc.)

    Other than that most of the links as you mentioned should be ok ... one other important reason for fall in rankings post the Penguin update is that tough the backlinks remain the same, the value of these links have gone down as the sites that these links are placed on are also affected by the Penguin update (kind of a domino effect.)

    Also as correctly stated by retsek you should not have to pay $1k for such a list ... if anything buy a subscription to majesticseo, seomoz or ahrefs for full access to their link lists.

    Best of Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author The Oilman
    Satinderbal -- You gave the answer I was looking for. Thank you.

    And yes everyone, I know about dramatically varying your anchor text.

    I do have one question about anchor text though:

    Lets say you have these terms as your anchor text:

    dog food
    food for dog
    great dog food
    dog organic food
    food for young dog

    These anchors are unqiue, but they also contain Dog and Food. Since they contain these two words, is G looking at THIS.. or is this healthy variation? (of course there'd be tons more variations in real life).

    To clarify, is G looking at individual words to create penguin penalty .. or is it looking at phrases?
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    • Profile picture of the author Leo Wadsworth
      Originally Posted by The Oilman View Post

      Satinderbal -- You gave the answer I was looking for. Thank you.

      And yes everyone, I know about dramatically varying your anchor text.

      I do have one question about anchor text though:

      Lets say you have these terms as your anchor text:

      dog food
      food for dog
      great dog food
      dog organic food
      food for young dog

      These anchors are unqiue, but they also contain Dog and Food. Since they contain these two words, is G looking at THIS.. or is this healthy variation? (of course there'd be tons more variations in real life).

      To clarify, is G looking at individual words to create penguin penalty .. or is it looking at phrases?
      A "keyword" can be a single word as well as a phrase. That being said, the list you had was fine variation as part of a larger list. These days a good anchor list is probably about 50 or more terms, and includes items like "click here" and the target URLs themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Oilman
    I also didn't pay for the list of backlinks. I paid for a consultation for Penguin. And they provided me a ****ty list of links to try to remove.. and I was wondering what made THOSE links as bad links...


    Cheapseoplans -- I agree with you.. I think the value of these styles of links have gone down..
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  • Profile picture of the author Ali Thunder
    Dont Use Spammy Links

    Try to change choose 4-5 keywords for which you want to get rank

    Use atleast 2 Primary Keywords so Non of your keyword would be over optimized

    DOnt put your Links on unrelated blogs

    get your self updated with New panda updates..

    If you want to do Article marketing go for Ezine articels

    I would recommend you if you dont have much knowledge get outsource. See on warrior which has got more reviews go and hire them
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  • Profile picture of the author streetlegaltees
    nagtive SEO is under the black hat .seo has limited work on a day but if you do more than that limit so it is consider under the black hat.
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  • Profile picture of the author StoneWilson
    Directory listings bad, unrelated blog comments bad and article directories not so bad. The best way to generate backlinks is create valuable contents and wait for your visitors build backlinks for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author peter_jones
    Your link profile must appear to be unique, just as Brendon has pointed out above.

    The following points should help the OP to avoid leaving footprints and get some linking done without worrying about bad links:

    Use random user names for submitted content, dont just use one username on all sites where you can register and post content, randomize the username

    Create links to your money sites over time rather than in blasts

    At a minimum social bookmark all links to your site until they are indexed

    We never worry about related / unrelated as the content you create to get your link will be related in one way or another to your linking page.

    Guest blog post or create your own private network
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    • A bad link is one that doesn't look natural in the eyes of search engines or comes from sites and blogs that have been banned by Google or have a bad reputation. It is important to focus on building high quality links from authoritative sites that are related to your niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vivers
    Lots of great answers. so if your site was hit you probably were doing good with those links until google basically devalued them completely. They way I understand it you have to only build links by commenting on relevant blogs within your niche with low OBL. That is for blog commenting.
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  • Profile picture of the author risingrank
    there are no bad links. only if you have got enough diversified links.
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  • Profile picture of the author gPlayer
    Are directory listings bad?
    Are article directories bad?
    Unrelated blog comments bad?
    1. Keyword stuffing.
    2. Duplicate content.
    3. Low value pages.
    4.Reciprocal link exchange.
    5.Build links with private network.
    6. Paid links.
    7. Low quality directory links.
    8. Non related blog comment.
    These are the main causes of penalty.
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