Blog Comment Links Targeted in Unnatural Link messages

I've had several requests to remove links in comments and once in a post. Each time the reason they wanted them removed was because their site had an "unnatural link profile". The one letter I have (but agreed not to publish) has the Google web spam team telling them that links in real comments in quality blogs are "bad" and should be removed. 

 

Meanwhile, there are millions of comments in blogs everywhere. I heavily moderate comments, and I have many regular readers who work as SEOs who link to sites. I do NOT consider those spam, or bad. On the one hand Google tells us to get comments because they show content is still useful and on the other they are randomly penalizing commenters. (One blogger I know who is widely respected for her SEO knowledge will never put a link in any comment ever any more because of this.) 

 

The traditional view of the world is to only ever give if you get more in return. In my view of the world, if everyone were giving the world would be a lot better place.  Why should I read your blog if I can't comment?

 

If I have a choice of commenting on a CommentLuv blog where your readers and you can find out more about me and click through to read related content it they choose, or commenting in a blog that wants me to stay in their walled garden and build a profile there because they won't let me link to anything that would already tell you that - which would YOU choose? 

 

Google has far too much power and users can limit it - but they won't unless influential bloggers start explaining why what they do is endangering small business and our ability to make a living outside of a corporation. 

Blog Comment Links Targeted in Unnatural Link messages

I've had several requests to remove links in comments and once in a post. Each time the reason they wanted them removed was because their site had an "unnatural link profile". The one letter I have (but agreed not to publish) has the Google web spam team telling them that links in real comments in quality blogs are "bad" and should be removed. 

 

Meanwhile, there are millions of comments in blogs everywhere. I heavily moderate comments, and I have many regular readers who work as SEOs who link to sites. I do NOT consider those spam, or bad. On the one hand Google tells us to get comments because they show content is still useful and on the other they are randomly penalizing commenters. (One blogger I know who is widely respected for her SEO knowledge will never put a link in any comment ever any more because of this.) 

 

The traditional view of the world is to only ever give if you get more in return. In my view of the world, if everyone were giving the world would be a lot better place.  Why should I read your blog if I can't comment?

 

If I have a choice of commenting on a CommentLuv blog where your readers and you can find out more about me and click through to read related content it they choose, or commenting in a blog that wants me to stay in their walled garden and build a profile there because they won't let me link to anything that would already tell you that - which would YOU choose? 

 

Google has far too much power and users can limit it - but they won't unless influential bloggers start explaining why what they do is endangering small business and our ability to make a living outside of a corporation. 

Social Networks will send messages as though they're you.

Facebook got sued over something very similar >> Facebook Sponsored Stories Implied Endorsements Going WAY Too Far http://socialimplications.com/facebook-sponsored-stories/ WIthout that suit we probably would have been seeing much more of this behavior sooner.

 

Back in May, 2011 I wrote about my concern over the new wording of the Facebook and Twitter permissions. At that time I wrote:

"...these permissions give other companies, Web sites, and individuals permission to post “status messages, notes, photos and videos” to  your wall on Facebook or “Post Tweets on Your Behalf” (the exact wording on Twitter’s news permissions) to your followers on Twitter."

I knew it would only be a matter of time before tweets and shares that appeared to be written by users would appear in our streams that were actually sent by the social network - probably for businesses that paid to have them sent. See http://growmap.com/facebook-end-run-around-your-privacy-settings/

Social Networks will send messages as though they're you.

Facebook got sued over something very similar >> Facebook Sponsored Stories Implied Endorsements Going WAY Too Far http://socialimplications.com/facebook-sponsored-stories/ WIthout that suit we probably would have been seeing much more of this behavior sooner.

 

Back in May, 2011 I wrote about my concern over the new wording of the Facebook and Twitter permissions. At that time I wrote:

"...these permissions give other companies, Web sites, and individuals permission to post “status messages, notes, photos and videos” to  your wall on Facebook or “Post Tweets on Your Behalf” (the exact wording on Twitter’s news permissions) to your followers on Twitter."

I knew it would only be a matter of time before tweets and shares that appeared to be written by users would appear in our streams that were actually sent by the social network - probably for businesses that paid to have them sent. See http://growmap.com/facebook-end-run-around-your-privacy-settings/

Social Networks will send messages as though they're you.

Facebook got sued over something very similar >> Facebook Sponsored Stories Implied Endorsements Going WAY Too Far http://socialimplications.com/facebook-sponsored-stories/ WIthout that suit we probably would have been seeing much more of this behavior sooner.

 

Back in May, 2011 I wrote about my concern over the new wording of the Facebook and Twitter permissions. At that time I wrote:

"...these permissions give other companies, Web sites, and individuals permission to post “status messages, notes, photos and videos” to  your wall on Facebook or “Post Tweets on Your Behalf” (the exact wording on Twitter’s news permissions) to your followers on Twitter."

I knew it would only be a matter of time before tweets and shares that appeared to be written by users would appear in our streams that were actually sent by the social network - probably for businesses that paid to have them sent. See http://growmap.com/facebook-end-run-around-your-privacy-settings/

When the systems all merge, Google will be it.

Charles Arthur is right. Google is The Matrix. I consider it the system of the beast - the most likely candidate for where all other systems will eventually merge. Just as you have a profile on Facebook even if you have never been there, Google tracks you everywhere and creates a G+ account for you.

 

Who hasn't seen Google suggest you circle someone in your gmail - only to find out they're not even on Google Plus? Do this test. Try logging out and see if what you do AFTER you log out ends up in your history. It used to and it may still. (I haven't checked lately, but that was a big issue when I used to log into customer's accounts.)

 

Same thing with Yahoo. You can log out, but they keep tracking as though it is still you. The data these systems are building into a profile of each of us is so corrupted by incorrect assumptions. But they don't care as long as they can pretend it is you. You WILL end up with it in your history and some day that may cost you your reputation, your freedom, even your life.

 

But that is too scary to consider, so most will just label those of us who understand the dangers of data mining and profiling gone wild as crazy, or paranoid, or "conspiracy theorists" and just go back to sleep. I don't care if they wake up. I just wish there were some place to go to escape all this insanity. But since there isn't, just fly under the radar. As John Kay wrote and his band Steppenwolf sings, "Just keep your mouth shut if you find a way out."

 

 

One source of "too many outbound links" theory

Bill, do you agree with this or disagree? http://www.mymultipleincomes.com/363/google-penalized-my-sites-page-rank-and-how-i-got-it-back/

 

Too Many Outbound Links

Part of my early searching helped me discover that too many outbound links can pose a problem.  You’ve always heard inbound links are a good thing, but outbound links can actually hurt you.  Here is the original Google Page Rank Equation from when Page Rank was first being developed:

PR(A) = (1-d) + d(PR(t1)/C(t1) + … + PR(tn)/C(tn))

Basically, it means the Page Rank of Site A equals the Sum of Each Page Rank of Linking Sites Divided by The Number of Outbound Links on the Site.

 

Theoretically, for an inbound link to a site, it can mean that a PR4 site with only 5 outbound links has the same weight as a PR8 site with 100 links.

 

From this, you can derive your Page Rank.  That is why everyone has always preached “get more backlinks”.  And while that is true, you also lose from having too many outbound links that essentially drain your Page Rank.

One source of "too many outbound links" theory

Bill, do you agree with this or disagree? http://www.mymultipleincomes.com/363/google-penalized-my-sites-page-rank-and-how-i-got-it-back/

 

Too Many Outbound Links

Part of my early searching helped me discover that too many outbound links can pose a problem.  You’ve always heard inbound links are a good thing, but outbound links can actually hurt you.  Here is the original Google Page Rank Equation from when Page Rank was first being developed:

PR(A) = (1-d) + d(PR(t1)/C(t1) + … + PR(tn)/C(tn))

Basically, it means the Page Rank of Site A equals the Sum of Each Page Rank of Linking Sites Divided by The Number of Outbound Links on the Site.

 

Theoretically, for an inbound link to a site, it can mean that a PR4 site with only 5 outbound links has the same weight as a PR8 site with 100 links.

 

From this, you can derive your Page Rank.  That is why everyone has always preached “get more backlinks”.  And while that is true, you also lose from having too many outbound links that essentially drain your Page Rank.

Burned either way

Thanks for bringing up this topic, Ann.  I am deep in the midst of assisting my two primary clients recover from penalties. It is all a guessing game. What links are "bad"? Which ones are ok? Links I thought were a problem, Bill Hartzer says aren't. So meanwhile one client's first reconsideration request has already been declined and now we're back to trying to guess what it is Google doesn't like.

 

In your scenario you have the same issue. If you know links are definitely bad I would try to remove them and disavow if I couldn't. But we have to keep in mind that blackhat works. It works really well. The rules are not applied evenly so all we can do is make our best guess. Maybe remove sitewide bad links in footers and sidebars and leave other types of bad links until you get hit because they're bringing in sales. But then so might the others be.

 

Many of the best and brightest minds are wasting their precious time removing links that Google can and should just ignore. They are destroying ethical businesses and much needed jobs. Conveniently, they penalized the one client just before their busiest time of the year - and they do have competitors that would definitely do them in with reverse SEO. So if we do recover, how long will it be before a competitor gets them penalized again? (Probably right before their highest sales time of the year.)

 

Google has openly created a way for businesses to make their competitors disappear. If destroying small business is not Google's intention they need to fix this. I doubt they will, though, because their CEO is on record saying he plans to clean up the "Internet cesspool" by favoring big brands.

 

Burned either way

Thanks for bringing up this topic, Ann.  I am deep in the midst of assisting my two primary clients recover from penalties. It is all a guessing game. What links are "bad"? Which ones are ok? Links I thought were a problem, Bill Hartzer says aren't. So meanwhile one client's first reconsideration request has already been declined and now we're back to trying to guess what it is Google doesn't like.

 

In your scenario you have the same issue. If you know links are definitely bad I would try to remove them and disavow if I couldn't. But we have to keep in mind that blackhat works. It works really well. The rules are not applied evenly so all we can do is make our best guess. Maybe remove sitewide bad links in footers and sidebars and leave other types of bad links until you get hit because they're bringing in sales. But then so might the others be.

 

Many of the best and brightest minds are wasting their precious time removing links that Google can and should just ignore. They are destroying ethical businesses and much needed jobs. Conveniently, they penalized the one client just before their busiest time of the year - and they do have competitors that would definitely do them in with reverse SEO. So if we do recover, how long will it be before a competitor gets them penalized again? (Probably right before their highest sales time of the year.)

 

Google has openly created a way for businesses to make their competitors disappear. If destroying small business is not Google's intention they need to fix this. I doubt they will, though, because their CEO is on record saying he plans to clean up the "Internet cesspool" by favoring big brands.