Home > Affiliate Marketing > Google Wants You to Delete Your Spammy Links ASAP!

Google Wants You to Delete Your Spammy Links ASAP!

Some big shake downs in the SEO world recently.  If you do any type of organic site promotion you owe it to yourself to read this entire post.

What Went Down?

Some 700,000 + webmasters received a little “how ya doin” note in their Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) account over the last 2 months.  The purpose of the note was to inform them that they had a site(s) with “unnatural links.”

Here’s what the note looked like:

Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links to http://example.com/

Dear site owner or webmaster of http://example.com/,

We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside GooglesWebmasterGuidelines.

Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buyinglinkstopassPageRank or participating in linkschemes.

We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submityoursiteforreconsideration in Google’s search results.

If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.

If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our WebmasterHelpForum for support.


Google Search Quality Team

Why It Happened

We could argue and throw conspiracy theories back and forth all day about whyyy it happened.  And trust me, there are a couple that have good arguments.  But I digress…

The simple fact of the matter is Google put the kibosh on the spammy link builder’s delight known as “Blog Networks.”  And they came down hard on one in particular called Build My Rank (BMR).

Here’s a snippet from BMR directly:

Unfortunately, this morning, our scripts and manual checks have determined that the overwhelming majority of our network has been de-indexed (by Google), as of March 19, 2012. In our wildest dreams, there’s no way we could have imagined this happening.

souce – http://www.buildmyrank.com/news/itsbeenagreatrun

Don’t know what a blog network is?

In short it’s a network of sites that allow you to post short snippets of text including anchor text links.  It worked a treat (til now) for quickly building decent quality (only technically speaking) and quantity of backlinks to your site.  But there’s no doubt it was the exact type of artificial crappy spam links Google doesn’t want to see.

Here’s a screen shot of a typical blog network blog

“You Worry Not About Payment As You Sell House to Denver House Buyers”

Um, what?

That’s an example of spun article title.  Complete crap.

No human in their right mind is going to want to read this stuff.  It exists solely to attempt to game the search engine rankings through the accumulation of anchor text links.  Exactly the kind of stuff Google is trying to move away from.

What’s Next

Start off by getting rid of those spammy links to the best of your ability and resubmit your site in GWT.  Hopefully your rankings will come back if they have been tarnished. Next step is to start using some critical thinking when it comes to link building.  It’s going to get a lot harder to get great links in the coming months and years.  Start thinking about how you can obtain them in an ethical white hat way and stay ahead of your competitors.

In Closing

This is a step towards making content quality more important and that’s great.  It means more sites will publish more and better content. Is that enough to rank right now?  Absolutely not.  Links still matter and they just got harder to come by. What concerns me is that Google may be punishing webmasters unfairly… giving birth to “reverse seo.”

What’s to stop your competitor from slamming your site with crap links and bam another friendly letter from the Google team shows up?  Hell you could outsource 5,000 dubious links for $5.  What’s to stop your competitor from buying 25,000 just to really jam it in your craw?

I hope time will give us the answer to that.  As of right now it’s a concern.

What do you think?  What link building tools are you using after this shakedown?  What do you think about this move by the big G?  Let me know in the comments below.



This article was brought to you by: Dustin Bow

Dustin Bow is on the cutting edge of Internet Marketing.  His 8 years of experience in SEO, affiliate marketing, teaching, and consulting combines to create a unique voice in our industry.  He writes from an “in the trenches” perspective any level of marketer could find useful in their own campaigns.

16 thoughts on “Google Wants You to Delete Your Spammy Links ASAP!

  1. So does that mean BMR will be providing a refund to all the spammers that bought links then ?

    Seems a nice business to be in , providing a service that actually harms a persons site , and you still get paid .

  2. Google always tells us what not to do. Spam will aways be around becuase people are always guesing what they need to do to get on top. I would of put my web site link in the box but I didn’t want to contribute to the spam.

  3. This is the kind of stuff that makes you re-think gigs on Fiverr. Good question as to what is the best way to get eyes on your affiliate offers? I’m all ears…

  4. Some important lessons can be gleaned from this.

    1. Don’t put all your power in Google (or anywhere) alone but build a system instead.
    2. Consider the power of social media when building your online marketing campaigns.
    3. Play above the board to reap the greatest rewards from your efforts online.

  5. re: What’s to stop your competitor from slamming your site with crap links and bam another friendly letter from the Google team shows up? Hell you could outsource 5,000 dubious links for $5. What’s to stop your competitor from buying 25,000 just to really jam it in your craw?

    this is done on a daily basis, and hard to prove who did because of proxy tools to hide their tracks.

    I was #1 for about 2 years on google for keyword “celebrity public relations” when some competitor paid for reverse seo, and pharmacy links, drug links. (perhaps 25,000 links or more) they also hacked into my gwt account and created unfollow commands in robot.txt

    besides the gwt hack, which i fixed with 2 step verification, i am now buried in google, deep (if i show up at all)

    someone told me to allow the links to go to error pages, instead of sending the traffic to a real page.

    any suggestions?

  6. Google is only trying to do what they see is the best for their business model. Spammy links as everyone knows is a trick to fool the SERP’s into giving the pages higher rank value. The focus should be on quality of content and seeking out link partners that have a decided interest in your content. There will always be services offering backlinks, but nothing replaces the strategy of quality focused content being released on a regular basis. For affiliate marketers, it is a much more profitable strategy to build an email and sms list, which is a long term asset and not subject to the whims of Google. I am always amazed at the number of webmasters who actually believe that Google will just sit back and allow them to game the system. The number of “updates” Google has made over the years makes it obvious that anything other than following their guidelines will end up costing them time and money they will not recoup in the long term. Short term thinking is not going to build a sustainable affiliate business.

  7. well, away with plagiarism and article spinning, there should be some other new technique with online writing to keep content redundant without being noticed

  8. Most of this is just google trying to scare people to stop doing SEO/backlinking to their sites and also trying to get people to show google where the paid/built links are coming from. If you delete links then you’re showing them that you indeed did buy/build links and you’re also showing them where you did it which gives them more power to find those sites and take more of them out. Google wins, you lose, we all (SEOs) lose!

    It’s laughable–google wants everyone to think that their algo is so powerful and that their system is so smart blah blah blah, but what they’re actually showing here is that they know they’ve lost the war and so they’re trying to get people to do their dirty work for them. They’re admitting defeat and trying to scare people into helping them.

    Sure they can find things here and there, and this clobbering of the blog networks is just another in a long string of battles, but SEO and linkbuilding go on and will continue to dominate the serps.

    They built the whole backliking monster–it’s the backbone of their entire ranking system, and they can’t control it and so they’re trying to scare people into not doing SEO. Screw them!

    Unless they completely eliminate backlinks as a part of their algo (which ain’t gonna happen any time soon) then this is the way it is and will be. Be smart…reduce your footprints, keep building links, massively diversify the types of links, massively diversify the anchor text and you’ll be back in top rankings before you know it.

  9. Thanks for the update in this article.

    I am always confused by some of the horrible websites that show up in some of the searches I do.

    The internet is full of crap – spammy websites, dead websites, etc. You have to learn and play the Google game…but Google is not the only way to get traffic.

    Learn multiple ways to get traffic to your site, and learn multiple ways to monetize your site.

    Most importantly, nothing can substitute for good, quality content.

    Do it right, and you have nothing to worry about.

  10. I agree Tim.
    Diversification is the key element here.
    Get your backlinks and traffic from multiple resources, while creating quality content that both your reader and Google loves.
    it’s always been the case.

  11. I have many blogs and found the ones that really do ok I have never done any backlinking at all.I put the success down to the quality content I write myself.Other blogs I have used bought articles just died a death.I have one blog that gets around 50,000 hits a month,referred sites add up to about 6% the rest is from organic searches from Google,Yahoo etc. I wonder if backlinking is really the way to go any more.

  12. Inbound links from updowner are not going to knock you out of the rankings. If they could, then every blackhatter within 10,000 miles would be submitting sites to them for de-indexing as a way of knocking out the competition.

    Do you believe you’re being penalized? If so, what kind of penalty?

    30 place drop – for light content sites used as Made for Adsense (often)
    50 place drop – for paid links that haven’t been rel=nofollow
    950 – for those felony offenders, a massive drop
    Sandbox – new sites with too many links too fast (often un-natural). You get to play in the sandbox awhile as they figure out if you’re for real

    If you search for yourdomain.com do you come number 1? If not, it signals a penalty

    Does a search for site:yourdomain.com return more than 0 results? If not, it signals a penalty

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