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  1. #1
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    Google Blacklisting for Link Exchanges?
    I wonder if anyone has heard about this, and what the deal is. I had read that Google is trying to check quality of links - but it didn't occur to me that this was something they would blacklist you for. We just got this email from a link exchange partner:
    Dear Webmaster,

    As you are probably aware, Google has changed its algorythm and now removes sites from its search results when they have exchanged links with sites that are not in EXACTLY the same category.

    To prevent being from blacklisted in Google, it is imperative that we remove our link to you and that your remove your link to us!

    We are removing our link to you now. PLEASE return the courtesy and remove your link to us!

    Note that Google is updating its results this week and failure to remove these links immediately will likely mean not showing up in Google for AT LEAST the next 4 months!

    Thank you for understanding,

    Any thoughts? Or can someone point me to another thread if this has been discussed? I'm interested in confirming this.

    Thanks.
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  2. #2
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    As I understand, it they are either ignoring or greatly discounting direct link exchanges. They are trying to get rid of the influence of the "I will link to you if you link to me," and circular links in their algorythm. I don't think you will be penalized exactly, you just won't get credit for them in your PR nor will they help you come up in searches anymore.

    They are also trying to purge the bought and paid for links but I don't know how they can know that, entirely. You just have to buy them where there not a lot of others buying them.

    Too many people were running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to do link swaps and the links had no real meaning as a "vote" for the site linked to.

    Now, for link swaping, you have to mix up the sites and don't do direct swaps or let it be too much of a pattern.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  3. #3
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    Sounds like you traded links with Chicken Little.

    They probably have ways of filtering out for some instances where strongarm spammy linking tactics are used, but if they took the steps you mentioned above to their logical conclusion, they would have to filter out 99.99% of their results and would have nothing left to deliver. They don't call it the inter-net for nothing.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I got one of those from a link partner also who think they are going to be blacklisted. I guess this is just another thing for people who are dependent on google search to freak out about.

    Okay, I feel a rant coming on. Better go get some coffee.
    LeDonna
    Those who think they know everything annoy those of us who do

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    It's not a stretch to imagine the Google humans can just map out all the spammy free links exchanges out there with a few keyword searches.... and whack those linkfarm domains.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  6. #6
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Well, I never felt like going around begging for links, myself. Hey, if you like my site, link to it. If you don't, your mother wears combat shoes and I hope she kicks your rear!

    Who has time for that nonsense?

    I would rather make pages than beg for links and run around looking for cheaters.

    Frankly, I am glad to see Google putting a halt to the silliness.

    That may have a lot to do with my site going back where it used to was.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Doing *exchanges* may be too obvious, but the line I quoted below seems like the person thinks s/he will be penalized just for having off-category links coming in--hence her request that the in-link be removed.

    and now removes sites from its search results when they have exchanged links with sites that are not in EXACTLY the same category.
    That's GOT to be baloney--because that's not how *natural* linking patterns work. I doubt that even Goofle wouldn't be smoking that much of a doob...

    Think of all the links posted on ABW that aren't directly related to "affiliate marketing." Then multiply that by every forum on the entire Internet! Add some blogs to the mix for good measure. And the noncommercial (info-content) sites that aren't tightly themed (there are plenty with only a page or 2 about any particular thing).

    I'm sure the sites on the other end of those links aren't going to be penalized for being mentioned in normal OT conversations.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  8. #8
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    "Google has changed its algorythm and now removes sites from its search results when they have exchanged links with sites that are not in EXACTLY the same category."

    That line gave it away that they don't know what they're talking about. Probably read the nonsense somewhere and accepted it as fact. There's also something about Google Bowling. Where you link to your competitors sites with a mass amount of links from bad places or forums or whatever and get them bowled out of Google. SEO Chat tried it as an experiment and it was inconclusive. I would think the better way would be for Google just to discount the links, or just count 1 link per domain instead of penalizing. But back to the original discussion, i doubt your sites will be removed from the index because you exchanged links with another site not exactly like yours.

  9. #9
    Full Member bwc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Google Bowling.
    That sounds like fun . . .

  10. #10
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    This thread screams of wmw henny penny's screaming the sky is falling again!
    Build good sites and dont worry about this stuff. If it was true not one person would have a good site. I would imagine I have 50,000 links to sites that are banned by google.

    Link exchanges are so 1980's
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  11. #11
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    As you are probably aware, Google has changed its algorythm and now removes sites from its search results when they have exchanged links with sites that are not in EXACTLY the same category.
    That is a lot of happy horsehockey. Google is going to remove and put a HAND BAN on sites that haven't linked to EXACT category sites?

    Huh? Exact category? What's that? Gifts - is a new car or a diamond ring as a gift for the wife the same as a hand-knitted baby blanket for a newborn? Or golf clubs given as a gift to the sweetie? And what is a bow? Is it bowing in square dancing, something you tie your shoe-laces in, is it a baby hair bow, is it a violin bow? They are all gifts. How about apparel? Is a dog sweater the same as a mink coat?

    Sure, there's topic distillation and on-topic analysis but on-topic would increase value, not prevent getting BANNED.

    Dear Webmaster,
    That's the first clue that they didn't hand-pick their link partners to begin with. Chances are that very few, if any, will act on that email and then, when THEY pull THEIR links off the site, they'll end up with a ton of one-way inbounds and think it's because they stopped recip linking when they're not banned and go announce it as FACT in forums instead of what it is, which is a bunch of clueless hooey. What it will amount is the same end result as the old bait and switch trick of doing recips and then pulling the links so they'll be one way.

    Sure, one-way inbounds are bound to carry more weight and there any number of other characteristics about some links that they can carry more weight for. But this is coming from one of those clueless wonders who's no doubt partaken of the latest update mosh-pit.

    SURE - pull their link, why give them a one-way link?

  12. #12
    Internet Cowboy
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    I agree. I'd bet the same person who wrote this email forwards chain letters about the little boy who will win a trip to Disney if this email is sent to 50,000 people.
    Google is not TOTALLY stupid....yet.


  13. #13
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    Still thinking about this and the kinds of hysteria people get into with updates. So, link farms and heavily cross-linked networks of sites can easily be detected - or linking to bad neighborhoods; we know that. But linking from a dog sweater site to phentermine, credit repair, body parts enhancement and used car sites is beyond not being on-topic.

    Neither is a row of obviously paid for or in_the_network links of that nature at the bottom of "Directory" pages too swift either - which may have come as a bit of a surprise to the people in the directory and links_for_sale business who were running around self-promoting for themselves and their business associates and friends all over the webmaster and seo forums (ok, spamming the hell out of them) before they got hit a few months ago.

    But those aren't off-topic or reciprocal links that normal webmasters do.

  14. #14
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    Still thinking about this and the kinds of hysteria people get into with updates. So, link farms and heavily cross-linked networks of sites can easily be detected - or linking to bad neighborhoods; we know that. But linking from a dog sweater site to phentermine, credit repair, body parts enhancement and used car sites is beyond not being on-topic.

    Neither is a row of obviously paid for or in_the_network links of that nature at the bottom of "Directory" pages too swift either - which may have come as a bit of a surprise to the people in the directory and links_for_sale business who were running around self-promoting for themselves and their business associates and friends all over the webmaster and seo forums (ok, spamming the hell out of them) before they got hit a few months ago.

    But those aren't off-topic or reciprocal links that normal webmasters do.
    Getting paid $5 bucks per link to add a directory page of links to my site was sure tempting but I just couldn't bring mself to trust it. Glad I didn't. Google has always loved me. No matter what happens with updates, I never see an obvious decline in traffic. I prefer not to mess with the Google Gods.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
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  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    But linking from a dog sweater site to phentermine, credit repair, body parts enhancement and used car sites is beyond not being on-topic.
    But it's just as far out as some of the links that show up on ABW. I'm sure every store with an aff manager posting has lots of links from here, not only to their program, but also to their store (so people can see whether they want to promote the stuff at all). And there's a whole section of webmaster-related stuff, that's not related to "affiliate marketing" in particular.

    Not to mention the fact that there's all kinds of political links (from the now-closed political forum), joke links, etc.

    What I'm getting at is that there can be links that are WAY "off topic" as a perfectly natural event, at least on a "community" site. The difference between spam links and normal topic-drift may not be as obvious as it seems, when trying to code for it...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  16. #16
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    Teehee! I started a nice thread here, eh? I never spend any time on link exchanges, but my husband has some set up for our smaller sites. Our main site has no crap links on it. I don't care how much somebody is willing to pay. I don't care about this schmuck, but it just seemed really unbelievable to me. There are forums out there on blue widgets, where people post links to my cosmetics site. I don't see how Google could justify blacklisting me beacause someone posts a link to me on an unrelated site.

    I say good riddance to bad rubbish. This person is obviously a twit...
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  17. #17
    Affiliate Marketer Rogi's Avatar
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    If it were true.... there goes the whole concept of 'niche'.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogi
    If it were true.... there goes the whole concept of 'niche'.
    I get more visitors from my link exchanges than I do from Google. The decision for me would be an easy one! MSN loves me, Yahoo is starting to, and my Google hits are on the rise but still the weakest out of any marketing method I use. (Unless I pay them for hits...) I'm not going to worry about it.

    Of course, I don't link to "link farms," just other related sites that I feel are high quality and useful to my visitors. I would say the link exchanges account for about 50% of the links on my links pages. I also check ranking before I agree to swap links with any site.

    My visitors also tend to check my links page. I assume I am sending these sites traffic in return. I also do one way links to my other sites, making sure that they aren't "circular." I know I get some traffic from these links. And, why shouldn't I?

    A relationship I could buy into that pertains to page rank would be having affiliate junk on the homepage.

  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    A relationship I could buy into that pertains to page rank would be having affiliate junk on the homepage.
    If you think it's junk maybe you should try another biz?
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    If you think it's junk maybe you should try another biz?
    I was trying to get at people junking up their pages with affiliate ads, not that all affiliate ads are junk. I don't necessarily even agree that affiliate ads should not be on the homepage under every circumstance, just that some search engines penalize for it. MSN doesn't seem to discriminate against it, but my observations are that Yahoo and Google do.

    Take DMOZ for example. There are hardly any affiliate ads on the sites for my categories. The pages in my categories also range from "bad" to "terrible." Who wants to spend their time building a great website and then pay $150/yr to host it with no compensation in return?

    Anyway, sorry if I came off the wrong way.

  21. #21
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Exclamation
    Some really good answers to a pure BS proposition.

    Today I saw a #3 listing of some idiot's myspace page for an item ... and if they [myspace] aren't considered a cross linked farm of shoot, then how in the world can anything be?

    Goofle hates affiliates, this we know, but it ain't this damn stupid!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

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