SEO Sites Taking a Whack in the latest Google Update


I've been getting reports in about this all day today, im not going to name names as i really don't want to draw attention to the victim sites but at least 8 well known SEO sites have been hit hard by the latest Google update.

The key question is, is this part of the overall update and they just happen to be about SEO or is this because they are SEO sites?

The antagony between Google and Search Marketers is well known, so are they taking a direct hand in knobbling SEO sites?

What do you think and what are you seeing out there?



I thought you two had been sworn to secrecy?



Don't tell anyone. I've been cleansing his brain as stealthily as I can, but it's not time to reveal my creation yet. The backlash could kill the poor lad.

Great to see

...that Nick has turned all ethical and white-hattish on us!

Of course

Of course a data centre feeding Russia would be kind. The site that had been linking to me from every page belongs to a Ukrainian :)

Actually you're right, on a U

Actually you're right, on a UK /US IP you're not there.

We're based in Russia - nice to know we get the news first here ;)

You're back there again Quert

You're back there again Querty, have a check - (with my luck this evening though I'm sure you'll be gone again by the time you get this!)

Not me...

Not yet, at least. The number 1 result I'm seeing for raise my rank is the presales page I put up on my friend's site. My own site still isn't in the top 50, according to the DC I've checked.

FWIW, the BL update does have my numbers a bit lower than the last time, but a link: query is still bringing up numerous pages from my friend's site.

Odds are, if this was the cause of the problem, I'll have to wait for the next update.

Spoke too soon

Seems that was just a preview - i only caught it from a simliarly timed google alert. Hopefully that will come into effect fairly soon. If so - there's good news for you Querty, your site was there when i checked.

I disagree, It would be fairl

I disagree, It would be fairly cheap to send them a desist order. In most cases thats all it takes. Once your competitor knows that you are on to them, its very likely they will give up, thats the nature of crime, its fun while you think you are getting away with it, not so much when you are found out. Besides, the chances of a competitor actually going the distance of trying to hurt your rankings by purchasing a ton of sitewides to your site is unlikely at best, which is what my main point was. There are still a lot of people that do not think sitewides will not hurt your rankings, and in some cases they are right. It is too much of a waste of time and money for a competitor to test such a theory, there are better things for them to be doing. Dont get me wrong, there are poeple out there that might do it, but the numbers of those cases are going to be limited, and not worth structuring an entire search algorithm around. It is much better for Google to focus on doing what they see fit to insure the integrity of their data then to focus on a few bad apples that would abuse such loopholes.

Google wouldnt have to worry

Google wouldnt have to worry about policing such a thing, thats what lawyers are for.

How in the world would such a frivolous case be dealt with? You'd need more than "They're linking to me to lower my ranking" to go into court, or force anyone sensible down -- the person linking to you could just swear innocence, saying you were being good natured or that they provided a different enough service to your or whatever, it seems easy enough to cast reasonable doubt.

Sitewide Links & Percentages

When it comes to sitewide links, it's all about percentages. It's okay to have a few sitewide links, but if the percentage of links from 1 site alone is too high, it triggers a penalty.

I was careless with a few sites, and BAM, gone from the SERP's. Still in the database, but lost all their rankings, for multiple keywords. Sad thing is a few of these were grandfathered and ranking for hundreds of keywords.

In every single case, we noticed that about 2 months ago a few of our advertisers added the link to every page on their site. The correlation that we saw with sites losing rankings and sitewide links is 100%.

Obviously the next question is - why not take your large sites and start linking to competitors? If they have few inbound links, and few/no links from authority sites, they may not survive. I'd test it myself, but I hate hurting other people's sites. I like outranking them fair & square.

2much, I have heard the argu

2much, I have heard the arguement that you mention in your last paragraph a million times and I think that anyone that believes that needs to consider this, Linking to your competitors to hurt them is very easy to track and would leave a breadcrumb trail the size of the great wall of China. Google wouldnt have to worry about policing such a thing, thats what lawyers are for. I doubt many people would be that dumb or have that much money to test a theory that could eventually lead them to a hefty lawsuit. In the case that your competitors are overseas and thus hard to prosecute, you would still have a very easy case to make to Google, or you could simply contact the offending site and demand they remove the links. In any case there are many more options for webmasters to fix such a problem then there are for Google to adjust their algorithm in order curb the rampid abuse of sitewide links. In my opinion, it was a very good move for them to follow the path they did.

Theres nothing like announcin

Theres nothing like announcing to the world that you will be offering a very controversial and extremely useful tool to the public while keeping it 100% free, to get some links and traffic.

I am sure Nick has no idea how this works. LOL

The fact..

That we think so alike is scary heh...

This stuff is easy, but Google et al, make it too easy...


Nick, basic viral marketing can still do wonders, as I think everyone speaking in this thread knows very well. I.E. Theres nothing like announcing to the world that you will be offering a very controversial and extremely useful tool to the public while keeping it 100% free, to get some links and traffic. I'm a big fan of controversy, It only took about 3 days of creating that I started recieving threats of lawsuits, but at the same time there were hundreds applauding the effort.

My next little adventure is up yet). A site where webmasters and seo's can list all of the bastards out there pagejacking our sites and stealing our content. I'm hoping it will do some good but im sure that it will cause some sites to hate me.


You've gotta love it

This is why this stuff is so addictive...

I think we will, as time goes by, see more seo's go over to the dark side ie, do stuff for users. hehe....

I think SEO's miss out on a lot of things, one thing is that they concentrate too much on technical stuff and forget to pay attention to equally difficult, but ultimately just as rewarding, basic marketing.

I hate to sound like an ethical seo but i really do believe that if more of our technically gifted folks could combine a little old fashioned marketng into their efforts they'd be a lot better off...

....and if you dint get what i mean, i mean this in terms of people linking to you for genuinely great content, for contraversial, informative, authoratitive etc etc stuff - variety of IP's variety of anchor text - combined with technical skill - gotta be a winner...

Thank God for Niche Markets

Thank God for Niche Markets and for Yahoo and MSN. Im slowly seeing more traffic each month from the smaller engines. The traffic is still negligable but I am still very hopeful about the idea of a site being able to get some free traffic even if Google doesnt rank them well.

I agree Nick

The harder they make it the better it will be for those who truly understand it. I laught everytime I see a new linking service that pops up offering 600 links for 14.95 per month. I've checked out just about everyone of these deals and find that in almost all cases they are coming from a network of sites, heh. :)

>then wouldn't that spell the

>then wouldn't that spell the death of easy seo?

not with MSN and Yahoo! yet. they are rather easy for most people to game right now.

I also think that in smaller niche markets its not as big of an issue, but if you are going for competitive terms it could be a bit more of an issue.

Three Things

Howdy Aaron,

Hope things are going well.

Those are three of the most important things we stress when selling links to our customers.

1. Stay away from too many sitewides unless you are in an industy like web hosting where it is very common to have 100,000 backlinks from only a few sites. Even still, too many links coming in all at once can be dangerous (see #4)

2. Point links from subpages to subpages on your site as much as possible.

3. Mix up your anchor text as much as possible. If you include descriptive words along with your main keywords you will be at less of a risk of an overoptimization penalty.

and heres one more

4. Dont overdo it. Too many links at once is asking for trouble especially with new sites.


The death of easy SEO?

If that's right seobook, and it sounds more than plausable to me...

then wouldn't that spell the death of easy seo? Good. As far as im concerned, the harder they make it, the better off the professionals in this game will be. (and i count myself only loosely among them :-)

It's like the inevitable eradication of blog spam, it wont come yet, but it will come - and when they do tighten up, it will cull the amateurs and allow the pro's a free'r reign...

from what I have been told fr

from what I have been told from a few people recurring themes may be
- few deep links into a site
- sitewide inbound links
- not adequatly mixing anchor text

Site Wide Links?

Post recommending hosting presell pages instead of getting sitewide links.

Not me, Brian

I'm one of the poor schlubs who can't be found for his own name, but I'm not using any external redirects. I suppose it's possible some directory is using a 302 or a jump script to link to me, though.

I'm leaning toward the idea of the problem stemming from having a high percentage of your backlinks coming from site-wide links on one or two sites. That was certainly the situation with me, and while I've removed those links from one site, they're still on another.


For those with sites that rank very poorly for their own names - you wouldn't happen to have any external redirects to those sites, by any chance?

I'm trying to examine the notion that Google may have specifically cocked up on its redirects in certain instances.

Too many sitewides

My observations show that those with a low percentage of unique backlinks when compared to the total # of backlinks are doing very poorly in these updates.

> Either that, or Jill's righ

> Either that, or Jill's right about my guestbook spamming...

No, what should be wrong with that??? :)

I have one site I run for a f

I have one site I run for a friend that links to my SEO site from every page. Time to change that footer, I'd say.

Either that, or Jill's right about my guestbook spamming...

I've seen it...

I've seen this on a few sites that I regularly visit and/or run.

Lots of talk as to what could be the cause...

A more aggressive implementation of LSI.
Coop Networks.
Duplicate Content.
302 hijacks...
[And another 1000 on top of that...]

There are a lot of sites that have been badly hit by this update, and I don't think that SEO sites in particular are being affected.

However I do think that what was once regarded as the best way to do SEO may have changed somewhat, hence the dramatic fall of so many SEO sites.

Not co-op Nets

Not co-op networks. The sites which are using this are rocking.

SEO sites tend to have links from a few sites but a link on every page. Maybe that could be a factor?


Im talking about sites that teach, or talk about SEO, not sites in general....

qwerty you old spammer dog!

Told ya those guest book links and blog spam weren't worth it! ;) [just kidding]

I'm sure it's just a weird blip for ya...

I hadn't noticed

I don't pay too much attention to my own site, but I just looked and I'm not in the top 50 for my company name. There are lots of pages that link to me in the SERP, but no me.

I'm not in the top 50 for my own name anymore either.

I was not one

I have always been very upfront about my optimization and I'm sure anyone who spends any time on the major forums and industry sites knows the site I work for ( and the terms I target. Yet, my site was not at all penalized in the recent SERP shakeup...

That doesn't mean anything, of course, but I've never seen anyone else as forthright about their optimization efforts. It would be sad to learn that SE were specifically targeting SEOs... The relationship should be about helping each other out - we help great content rank and they help sort the wheat from the chaffe. At least, that's how it's supposed to be in my little world.