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Re: Unnatural Links, Webmaster Tools, and "Negative SEO"


Marc Lindsay Apr 18, 2012 1:59 PM
Posted in group: Webmaster Central

Categories: Chit-chat :

I think Distilled summed this up nicely in a post of theirs.

Also if you look at the changes Google has made to their guidelines, it paints another picture again.

"Can competitors harm ranking?

 

There's nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you're concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don't control the content of these pages."

 

Then, in November, it got "slightly" modified... just a TINY fraction too:

 

"Can competitors harm ranking?

 

There's ALMOST nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you're concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don't control the content of these pages."

 

Wow, what a difference one word can make! So hang on, saying "almost nothing" means "can", no matter which way you spin it.

 

Then on March 14th, they caved.

 

"Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you're concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don't control the content of these pages." -http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66356

 

In case you missed it, the key difference is in that first line:


You can see it's changed from "nothing" to "almost nothing" to "perfect political answer"

Copy and pasted from something we wrote elsewhere regarding this.

Unfortunately Dan, according to that message, you should do a manual re-inclusion.

My experience tells me that you ARE responsible for those links regardless.  This is assuming no favors from people you know to look into it (aka a standard webmaster).

My own reply on a domain of mine that I voluntry went into re-inclusion request for (hands up, we did the wrong thing and didnt put restrictions on the team we were using for this.... but we are cleaning it up), was an indication of this.

Given links they showed me as inorganic, just happened to be links that were from sites that decided to organicly republish some of my content from EzineArticles.  A site owner, making a decision of their own accord to re-publish the content we wrote.

That was considered an inorganic link.

Now it tells me that, the data the reviewers have in front of them is dumb data and they are simply making their best judgement call, based on whatever criteria they follow.

I know people are sprouting their karma stories about your tweets... honestly who f*# cares, they missed the point of this.

The point is.  Dan, typically as far as I know you (and especially for seofaststart, given I link to it or recommend it as one of the best free starting resources for someone to get, have done for many many years now) have a very "white hat" model to the point of not purposefully building links.

So you receiving these notices, in my mind, shows just how "untargeted" these seemingly "targeted" messages were.

Fun times, what a great opportunity to learn more about what Google is up too.