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Big Backlink campaign causes Google slap

  1. Pcunix profile image89
    Pcunixposted 5 years ago

    rebekahELLE posted this link in another thread: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/busin … r=2&hp

    It tells the tale of how J.C. Penney has been SERP punished for excessive backlinking.

    We've been told over and over again by certain Big Names here that Google can't do that.

    They can and they did.

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Nor is Penneys the first; the article references action against BMW as well.

      My hat is off to google; their focus on long term income rather that instant gratification will pay off big for those that stay the course with them.  This kind of action will help not only google but the searchers and those with sites valuable to readers as well.

      Now if they can only address the problem of theft as well!

  2. Pcunix profile image89
    Pcunixposted 5 years ago

    Here's an example of exalting big backlinking:  http://blog.hubpages.com/2010/09/the-pa … r-day-hub/

    Quite:

    Once the hub is published, here comes the hard part—promotion. Frankly, I don’t bother with the usual forum favorites like shetoldme and other stuff of that kind. The money they promise are illusive and elusive and they require the amount of time per single backlink I can not afford. I use several free and paid services to do the job, and if I decide to promote a hub, backlinks are measured in hundreds if not thousands.

    Oddly, HP said on that same page:

    We will be detecting and banning accounts that use spammy techniques to get backlinks to newly-published Hubs, so Hubbers should opt for a conservative approach to any backlinking effort.

    Did they ban his account?  Nope.. I guess the "newly published" was the qualifier?

    1. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image94
      Wesman Todd Shawposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Wow!!!  Great info, and thanks for paying so much attention to these things, pcunix!!

      I agree with banning people who use some sort of software or service to create backlinks for them.  With that kind of crap out there, it's like there is an incentive to just create crappy content, and have it backlinked everywhere.  Why would someone take the time to create something really good with the ability to just "blow and go" like that?

      1. Pcunix profile image89
        Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        It's not necessarily crappy content. It's just artificially promoted content.

        And their argument is that their competitors do it - and they do.

  3. 0
    ryankettposted 5 years ago

    One of the major problems was that they anchored text but redirected all of the traffic to the homepage. A backlinked anchored 'skinny jeans' probably wouldn't be an issue if it led specifically to a product listing for a pair of skinny jeans, this was repeated for thousands of products. It would be like me anchoring text saying 'Read more about timeshares here' and then leading a viewer to the Hubpages homepage, it is misleading and unethical. But I do believe that there is a huge difference in obtaining thousands of misleading backlinks, and obtaining thousands of relevant and honest backlinks. A few thousand backlinks is small fry in the big world of corporate SEO, the problem seems to have been the technique used, unrelevant anchor text leading from unrelevant sites, possibly even link farms.

  4. Smart Rookie profile image74
    Smart Rookieposted 5 years ago

    A spokesperson for J.C.Penney said the company didn't authorize all of those links. Whether or not that's actually true, it brings to mind the hypothetical situation - if a competitor wanted to damage a company's SERP, couldn't they use this technique? How would the company be able to redeem itself if it couldn't control the source of the backlinking?

    1. TomC35 profile image59
      TomC35posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I think their competitors are more worried about self promotion rather than spending lots of time and money trying to sabotage Pennies.

  5. Mark Knowles profile image62
    Mark Knowlesposted 5 years ago

    Wow! Not sure I am too impressed now I know my competitors can have me penalized by building spurious links to my pages. Because that is the next logical approach of the black hat brigade. sad

    1. Pcunix profile image89
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Exactly my point.

      1. Mark Knowles profile image62
        Mark Knowlesposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        But - there is no defense against this. None.

        Which - if you think about it - makes this extremely unlikely to be part of an algorithm change. Big link farms will be all the rage again - this time pointed at the competition. sad

        In which case - I will be looking for an offline income ASAP.

        1. frogdropping profile image86
          frogdroppingposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          But - doesn't this just make sense for the SE's to wipe the farms off the net? De-index them? Or is that another thing altogether? Another problem that isn't so easily dealt with?

          1. recommend1 profile image72
            recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            This was my first reaction to the news item - surely a link farm by definition is breaking the Google rules ?  unless the farms are all set up by ex google employees big_smile

        2. Pcunix profile image89
          Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          An algorithm that detects doesn't have to punish. That part can be left to humans.

          I wouldn't argue that small operators like Misha cannot probably skate by under the radar.  But if detection gets good enough (both in the sense of detecting and avoiding no many false positives), eventually all the big operators give up and Google might get to the little guys.

          Proving that someone else placed the links is rather hard, but if the stakes are large enough, it could be done.

          Or maybe Google has something else up its sleeves.

  6. rebekahELLE profile image91
    rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago

    reading through the article, that does appear to have been the issue. Penny fired the SEO consulting firm they had hired.

    I do remember over the holiday period often seeing them at the top of various searches, kind of scratching my head.. and wondering why. Those redirect pages are ridiculous. I can't stand them and never click on any of their links.

    you still have to wonder about the power of google, is it too powerful?

    1. Pcunix profile image89
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Well, was J.c. Penney being disingenuous?  Is the implication here that the SEO firm was responsible or that Penney thinks they should have been aware of what was going on and worked to combat it (how, I can't imagine).

      1. rebekahELLE profile image91
        rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        there will most likely be a lot of businesses checking with their ecommerce dept/ seo consulting firms in regard to this article.

        I would imagine there may have been a few pink slips distributed internally at Penny's. I noticed it's the top article emailed or viewed right now on NYT front page.

        this is another recent NTY article talking about searches. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/11/busin … f=business

  7. skyfire profile image73
    skyfireposted 5 years ago

    Spot On. This is not algorithm change but more of manual slap from webmaster spam team. You can read similar cases on their forum. If this is algorithm change then it's high time to slap your competitor wink (j/k)

    JCP looks to me violated these guidelines.

    -Bad redirects.
    -URL Anchor Deception.
    -Doorway pages.

    1. recommend1 profile image72
      recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      what do those three terms mean in normal speak ?

      the bad URL is self explanatory, but the other two ?

    2. Pcunix profile image89
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Amazing.

      So because it required manual intervention, it's fine?

      1. skyfire profile image73
        skyfireposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        This type of baiting will work on theists in religious forum Mr Lawrence. Not on me. smile

        I just found ryan's observation in same wavelength and also noticed that it's not official algorithm change and that's what is reflected in my post.

        1. Daniel Carter profile image90
          Daniel Carterposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          As knowledgable about SEO and all things internet as you are about human nature...

          I like that about you, Skyfire.

      2. 0
        ryankettposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        No, he is just stating that it was much more than just a case of a too many backlinks. Black Hat SEO does not relate to quantity of backlinks, but deceptive backlinking (particularly unethical redirects and doorways) is effectively the very definition of black hat.

        J.C. Penney were penalised for using black hat SEO techniques, but.... I bet they rinsed out at Christmas and they have enough time to recover for next Christmas lol

      3. frogdropping profile image86
        frogdroppingposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Pc I think you're reading too much into what Skyfire said. He simply made a statement - he wasn't advocating.

        That's what gets you reaction it does - you do kinda jump on things in a very black and white way. You put words where there sometimes are none to be put.

        Sky is a great help to the Hubpages community in general, he pops up with answers to some of the more difficult to understand aspects of writing online. He's one of our good guys.

        As for your OP - well sometimes the crap hits the fan. And if they were wholly responsible then they're now paying the price.

        If they weren't - it does open the door to a very simple and effective method of wiping competitors out.

        1. Pcunix profile image89
          Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Skyfire and I see eye to eye on some things, but not on others.
           
          I agree Skyfire is most definitely one of the "good guys".  Does that mean I can never disagree because I am not?

          smile

          Just teasing you.  Yes, I absolutely overreact.   I must need more coffee.. wait, no, that's not it... is THAT the problem????

          1. frogdropping profile image86
            frogdroppingposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Can't be the coffee. I drink it by the quart smile   

            I'd leave the SE's to do what they do best - make money. Perhaps your issue should be with them more than the gamers. The SE's know they're out there, doing what they do.

            You'll never win a crusade snapping at the ankle biters. When you want to win a fight you always take aim at the source.

            1. Pcunix profile image89
              Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I don't expect to win.

              The world is corrupt. I'm honest.  The world has an excellent shot at changing me. I have no chance at changing the world.

              I've said before that I can afford to be honest. I have much more than I need. Well, not MUCH more, but I'm a long, long way from uncomfortable.

              If my circumstances changed, I'd have a moral dilemma in my hands. I know HOW to cheat and could do it far better than most can even imagine. The question is, would I?  I'd like to think not, but I'd rather not see the day I'd have to test that thought.

              1. frogdropping profile image86
                frogdroppingposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                It is. Always has been.



                And even though I'm not I still walk the line.



                You'd do what you have to to survive. Morals don't mean squat when you've got to hit the ground running and something just pulled your legs out from beneath you.

                1. Pcunix profile image89
                  Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't know.  Morals are important to me.  I might just suffer whatever has to be suffered.

                  It would be very hard for me to cheat, even with something as unimportant as this.  I wouldn't like myself.  I just do not know.

  8. ThomasE profile image81
    ThomasEposted 5 years ago

    Maybe this is the terrible influence in me, but, the fact that that a massive backlinking fraud involving hundreds of thousands of links that were obviously spammy, and which had been going on for months, by a company that google already knew were crooked...

    and which worked, because their site was in the top place for loads of really lucrative search terms...

    and it took a manual intervention by Google to penalize it...

    tells me that perhaps the google algorithms are still not so hot?

  9. Will Apse profile image91
    Will Apseposted 5 years ago

    You can check out peoples backlinks easily enough. If you do, you soon realize there are plenty of Hubs doing nice business at the top of the SERPS for significant terms with no backlinks at all.

    Then you notice someone has built a complete website with maybe thirty or forty pages just to link to one Hub. That might be a profitable Hub but it would probably have got to the same place without the backlnks- so many others have.

    It's like a superstition. Some people cannot go without the reassurance of a rabbits foot and some people need backlinks...

    1. ThomasE profile image81
      ThomasEposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Er... so, you think JC Penny spent tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on a campaign that worked because of superstition? Wow.

    2. thisisoli profile image62
      thisisoliposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Heh, you might want to use a full on backlink checker tongue

      If people are creating sites all linking to one hub they are probably looking to direct traffic more than GT, I know it is a technique I use to increase sales on many of the clients I have had, and it works.

  10. tritrain profile image74
    tritrainposted 5 years ago

    The lesson there is to not draw obvious attention to yourself.

    JC Penney probably raised concerns from its competitors.  I don't know that Google caught it algorithmically or by looking at its various reporting tools.  We probably will not ever know.

    The fact that so many other major sellers is VERY interesting to me. 

    - Matt Cutts

    1. Pcunix profile image89
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Agreed. We do not know.

      But you can bet that Google WANTS to catch this stuff algorithmically and ultimately wants to stop it the same way.

      That's the point.  Not that this was manual not that the benefit lasted so long.  It is Google's obvious intent that matters.

      1. ThomasE profile image81
        ThomasEposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Of course it wants to. That has been its stated aim for the last decade. But so far it actually has failed to do so. And I find that significant... 

        If google had succeeded I don't think Bing would exist today.

        I will go so far as to say, I am not convinced google will ever solve this problem, and may well be dust in a decades time.

        1. Pcunix profile image89
          Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I admit the possibility.

          But they will spend billions trying to avoid that fate.

  11. Will Apse profile image91
    Will Apseposted 5 years ago

    I was thinking of the relevance of the debate to Hubpages- not such a massive leap

    The fact is you certainly don't need backlinks to do well on Hubpages.

  12. Will Apse profile image91
    Will Apseposted 5 years ago

    Is that :p a typo Thisisoli, or does it mean something? I ain't never been in the groove..

    1. thisisoli profile image62
      thisisoliposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      haha it is a sticking out tongue, turn you head to one side and observe

      smile big_smile :p sad :'( wink

      *Edit* Damn auto conversion changed my text smilies sad

  13. thisisoli profile image62
    thisisoliposted 5 years ago

    One thing I like about htis is that JC Penny has probably been using an SEO service provider that uses spam techniques.  While I do believe in a good backlinking strategy, spamming the web with comments and forum posts is not the ay to do it, and judging by some of the examples given, this is probably what was being done.

    It also appears that they have been buyign links on some of these sites, something that GOogle HAS stated is something they will penalize for!

    1. Pcunix profile image89
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Again, we have Big Names here who insist buying links is perfectly fine.

      1. thisisoli profile image62
        thisisoliposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I dont think one or two will hurt, hell, I've sold a few on my own sites.  But going against the word of Google is bound to get you in trouble if you take advantage!

  14. Will Apse profile image91
    Will Apseposted 5 years ago

    Well, p's or no p's there is no need to pollute the web with junk backlinks or undermine Google's search integrity for the sake of a Hubpage. Get the right topics and Hubs do well enough on their own.

    1. Pcunix profile image89
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Misha apparently disagrees.

      I quote from http://blog.hubpages.com/2010/09/the-pa … r-day-hub/

      Once the hub is published, here comes the hard part—promotion. Frankly, I don’t bother with the usual forum favorites like shetoldme and other stuff of that kind. The money they promise are illusive and elusive and they require the amount of time per single backlink I can not afford. I use several free and paid services to do the job, and if I decide to promote a hub, backlinks are measured in hundreds if not thousands.

    2. recommend1 profile image72
      recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      But they do well enough on their own because of vistors and the links they bring with them - and others linking back to you I would guess.  The links are still the biggest part of Googles algorythm as it is the only part of the web it can count mechanically and constantly.

      1. Will Apse profile image91
        Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Sadly, you have no idea what the biggest part of Google's algorithm is. Neither does anyone else outside of Google.

        Onpage stuff is also very easy to measure- the number of words, pictures and videos etc. The time people spend reading a page is measured and other things like bounce rate (not so relevant here). The degree of interlinking of pages is also measurable. In fact, hundreds of things are probably measured and used by Google.

        1. recommend1 profile image72
          recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Well - I would disagree.  Bots can't read, all they can do is count words etc as you say.  thre arenot hundreds of things that can be measured, there are relatively few that I can see, and they all come down to counting things mechanically - and the links bewteen sites are one part of the web that can be measured easily.  Also Google themelves say that links are a 'significant' part of their algorithm.

          Love em or hate em - you are not goin gto lose them until a machine learns how to read and reference to other works.

          Don't get me wrong, I am all in favour of anything that improves that makes it easier to find the little nuggets in the internet trash pile.

          1. Pcunix profile image89
            Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Google speaks with forked tongue, it seems.  Links are a significant part, but PageRank (which is weighted links) is not..

  15. BMG profile image60
    BMGposted 5 years ago

    i think this is the most hot topic discussed....but it also useful as others hubbers guide...greats...i like...

  16. Bill Manning profile image71
    Bill Manningposted 5 years ago

    I think buying links is fine if done right, and actually has nothing to do with ranking higher, again if done right.

    For instance, there is a very large tourist site I am thinking about buying a link from. NOT to rank my site higher in SE's but simply because I can get lots of targeted traffic directly from that site.

    In that case it should be NOBODY'S biz, even SE's, if I want to do that. It's a biz transaction that has nothing to do with Google at all.

    1. Pcunix profile image89
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Then you wouldn't care if the links are no-follow.  In fact, if you are truly following Google's wishes, you should demand that they are.

      1. Bill Manning profile image71
        Bill Manningposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Sure, no-follow would be fine. Many seem to overlook the fact that you can get lots of highly targeted traffic from paid and bartered links from other sites relevant to yours.

        I have a site that gets over 2,000 uniques a day all from traffic straight from other sites I swapped, bartered or paid for. Like banner spots and so on. I've never even checked to see if they are no or do-follow links because that is not my reason for getting them.

        If they are all no-follow I'm fine with that. It's the traffic from those sites I want, nothing else. smile

  17. brimancandy profile image82
    brimancandyposted 5 years ago

    Not sure if this would be considered the same thing. but, wouldn't it be possible for someone who is internet smart to get in the JC Penney network, and use it's links to promote something that has nothing to do with the company? I mean, if you wanted to get something out fast, what a better way to do that than latching onto a major company, who might have a huge network of potential customers. For example, looking for an item that you would assume JC penney sells, and ending up with endless internet porn.

    I also notice that there is a lot of passing around of links on facebook. There was this thing called "Creeps" that is supposed to check who is stalking your profile. Well, I clicked on it to check it out, and it automatically sent the same site to all of my friends, saying that I recommend that they check it out. And, all I did was click on the link.

    The only reason I noticed the Facebook thing, is because I had one message that said, brian shared 97 links today! I said, whoa! I sure as hell did not! How do we know that The JC Penney issue didn't come out of someone doing the same thing?

    And, what can you do to stop it?

  18. lrohner profile image83
    lrohnerposted 5 years ago

    This may be a bit simplistic, but aren't the ads that people run with AdWords nothing more than paid links?

    From a consumer perspective, I could care less where a link came from or how much someone paid for it as long as it takes me to the information that I need. I'll bet if JCPenney's anchor text for their links had been "crappy department store that no one would be caught dead shopping at which is why their catalog biz was such a hit," no one would have given a hoot. smile

    I consider crappy content a bigger problem than questionable linking. When I do a search, I shudder when I see Buzzle, Yahoo Answers, etc. show up at the top. Those articles could very well be excellent pieces that give me the information that I'm looking for. But because the sites themselves are known for pure garbage, I'll never look at them.

    1. Bill Manning profile image71
      Bill Manningposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Excellent point. Supposedly Google hates people buying paid links. Yet Google is the number 1 site on the net that sells paid links and ads! tongue

      1. Pcunix profile image89
        Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        A common argument, but fallacious.

        Google doesn't sell links for the purpose of SEO.  People buying Adwords wouldn't care if the links were nofollow (as they effectively are because Google knows they are Adwords links).

    2. Pcunix profile image89
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      No, they are not.  Especially not when done with Adwords, because Google KNOWS what they are and does not count them as links.

    3. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I have to agree with PC here, Irohner.  The bulk of Penney's links were apparently in places and in forms that would never be found by anyone actually wanting the product or information; rather they were place solely to raise their standing in the search engines. 

      This does not benefit the searcher in any way - on the contrary it causes the searcher to click on a link that likely is not the best possible result of their search.  If it were the best result it would already be high on the list without all the extra links.

      The purpose of google is to benefit the searcher, not the advertiser.  That mass of links does just the opposite.  The end effect will be to turn google into another Buzzle (whatever that is) for the very reason that you won't go there.

      1. Pcunix profile image89
        Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Oops. Never, ever agree with me. That just leads to uncomfortable situations and other people averting their eyes when they see you.

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          lol  Let them avert then!  When you're right, you're right, funny hat and all!lol

  19. Bill Manning profile image71
    Bill Manningposted 5 years ago

    But they ARE paid links, regardless what the purpose of them are. Sure, they are not used as an SEO tool, your right about that.

    However they are links to your site, for the purpose of driving traffic to your site and your items. You pay for them, even bid on them. PAID LINKS.

    I know your mindset goes back to links as an SEO gaming tool. And I admit buying links solely to rank higher on Google is wrong, regardless if most all big sites do it.

    Buying links to your site via Google adwords, yahoo! clicks, Nextag, banner ads on CNN, Times, online newspaper ads and so on are paid links and there is nothing wrong with them.

    That would be like saying it's wrong for stores to buy a full page ad in newspapers or to print out fliers. It's a way to advertise, nothing more.

    Buying a banner link on a relevant site for the sole purpose as an ad to get traffic to your site is fine, nothing wrong with that.

    As such Google or anyone else has no business sticking their nose in it. In fact those same sites that sell banner ads use adwords themselves to get traffic.

    However using them as a way to rank higher in Google should not be allowed I agree, and is not as most all banner ads are no-follow.

    1. Pcunix profile image89
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      As we have already established, Google has no reason to complain about purchased nofollow links.

  20. barryrutherford profile image32
    barryrutherfordposted 5 years ago

    All this chatter makes me feel so pure and virginal i dont worry about making sure  I have lots of backlinks

  21. prettydarkhorse profile image64
    prettydarkhorseposted 5 years ago

    I think that Google is serious in eliminating deceptive linking but they can't catch up with bad linking activities, just like HP, they have limited manpower comparing to the bulk of jobs needed to be done for the clean up operation. Plus for those who are doing deceptive schemes, they treat it as a work for them. It must feel good for them that they can manipulate the system. Change of algorithm by the Google, there is a corresponding change of ways by the black hat SEOs to match it

    It is good JC Penney fired the hired SEO company, it was good while it lasted.

    1. Pcunix profile image89
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Assuming it was their doing and assuming they aren't scapegoats falling on the sword at Penney's request.

      1. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        And it probably was.  Few CEO's (or lower functionaries) would understand the ramifications of what was being done.  They did, but the effectiveness was all that counted.

        Perhaps if google simply ignored all companies performing a backlinking service and refused to show them at all...

  22. IzzyM profile image84
    IzzyMposted 5 years ago

    I don't really have anything to add because I'm not an expert, but I do know that one away of building backlinks to a hub is to join a forum on the same subject.

    So I had a hub that was at #2 in the SERPS and I wanted to be #1.

    It was on a topic I knew a lot about, so when I joined two or three dofollow forums, I put the link to that hub in my username, and made relevant comments on the forums. I would have stayed/returned/added more, but I noticed an odd thing. My hub dropped from #2 to #28 or lower.

    It is now round about #10 and I have a feeling I have been google-slapped. Have I? What did I do wrong? It's not as if I used paid software, or spammed this link around 100 sites. It was only used in forum posts where I wanted to stay, in all honesty, it's my forte, so to speak.

    1. thisisoli profile image62
      thisisoliposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      If you were google slapped you would not be appearing in the main rankings at all, you would be in the supplemental results.

      1. IzzyM profile image84
        IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        So perhaps you can explain to me what happened? For months I was neck and neck with this other article, yet when I obtained new backlinks through the forums, it fell by the wayside.

        It's the only hub I have used this way and all the others are doing OK or not, but have not lost ground this way.

    2. recommend1 profile image72
      recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      My guess would be that your 'forum' friends are doing what SEO sites tell you to do, they 'look at your ranking, find your links', then write similar stuff to yours, or spin your stuff, check it has exactly the right amount of keywords stuffed into it, then link it to all your links - and when several people do this you become the least effective article in the group!

      I have decided that - on your own - there is no defence against this kind of tactic - or many types of direct assaults by assault experts - because it is quicker and more profitable than writing original stuff with all the research and finding just the right image etc. To me this is a more serious issue than backlinks,
      backlink 'stuffing' cannot be really identified any more than infromation quality can - because it almost MUST be read by machines that can only count, not quantify.

      If Google was actually serious about controlling this they could stop it really quickly. A relatively small team of people manually checking x amount of sites per day and hitting just a few perpetrators every day with some kind of terminal exclusion from their search engines would stop the more gross miuses of the practice in its tracks.  The perpetrators are easy to find, you start with the biggest sites and work down.

      This is why they have acted in the way they have over the J C Penney thing, it is more about publicity action than a real effort at policing, if they did that all the main keywords and Google pages would dissapear - almost all the big sites are doing this.

      With respect to your original point about your 'links forum' I think I have a 'band aid' solution to those problems, both issues of stealing your stuff, giving it a dodgy respray and then using it to steal your links, and link building that directly complies with the intent of Googles loud noises with little real action.  I have a hub on it rather than stretching this post any longer.

  23. IzzyM profile image84
    IzzyMposted 5 years ago

    I doubt if it was my fellow forums users. You never know of course, but Hubpages can be be pretty hard to beat out there. I think it was some google algorhythm that I'm not willing to repeat to find out. I lost one hub this way, I don't want to lose others. I just posted to warn others really. And to say that forum posting with your link in your profile maybe isn't all it is cut out to be, even when what you post is relevant and intelligent.

    1. Pcunix profile image89
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Did you look into the stuff that usurped you?  Was it good?  Are there suspicious links pointing at it?

      1. IzzyM profile image84
        IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        No I didn't...but then again my article dripped overnight from #2  to the end of page 3 or deeper, so of course the other articles took what ha been my place as everyone moved up, bar me.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image94
          Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Izzy, are you taking into consideration the "freshness bonus?" How new/old was the Hub?

          I started a website in late October and couldn't have timed it better.  It flew!  I made a very nice bucket of eBay money from it in November - no doubt people buying for Christmas.

          I was expecting to do even better in December - but it didn't.  It simply dropped off the radar, and was getting half the amount of traffic.

          People have told me I was just lucky to get that "freshness boost" from Google at exactly the right time, and now I've got to wait for it to find its rightful place (or do some promotion to give it a hurry-up).

          Might be relevant to your situation?

          1. IzzyM profile image84
            IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            No it wasn't the freshness boost which is very nice if you time it right! I wrote a few hubs mid-December that did very well for Christmas because the freshness boost catapulted them into the best possible position for Christmas buyers.

            No this is an early hub, already an PR 3 at the time of its collapse.

    2. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Izzy, is it possible that you got too many backlinks too quickly?  I'm certainly no expert (I don't backlink), but have read where that can raise a google flag.

      1. recommend1 profile image72
        recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Surely if that were the case all the backlink farms would be out of business. ?

        Whatever the issue the winners are those who are best at the system - not best at the writing.

        1. Pcunix profile image89
          Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          You are a bit behind the times.  Fast and furious back linking is likely to be noticed and it can be counter productive.

          And then we have the new wrinkle noted in the OP.

          1. recommend1 profile image72
            recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            I would argue that I am in teh now and you are ahead of the times a little.  I do not disagree with your take on the whole thing generally, but Google is not going to seriously tackle this problem when the big revenue is tied in with big companies, big SEO money and so ultimately their own profits. This kind of big n oise stuff we are hearing is a public hit on one of the big boys in the net business to create the impression of action.  When the realities of the net catch up to what you and I might like to see - then I will be old fashioned smile

            1. Pcunix profile image89
              Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Believe what you like. This is not the first case and it won't be the last.

        2. IzzyM profile image84
          IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I agree with this. The trouble with backlinking is that no matter how well-written your hub is, you are competing against the internet crap that use backlinking to gain a place on the first page.
          I was researching a subject today and getting quite frustrated. On page one were two empty wiki pages, both mentioning the keyword terms, and asking for people to fill in the missing knowledge.
          The rest of page 1 was filled with crap, with nothing having the information what I was looking for.
          But on page 2 and 3 I found loads of well-written informative pieces with exactly the information I was looking for as per the words I typed into google.
          Why weren't they on page 1?

      2. IzzyM profile image84
        IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I wonder if that was it. This all happened months ago, by the way, my hub gained something like 30 backlinks all from my postings. In the end I wasn't posting for backlinks, I was enjoying myself. It dropped out of sight and when I checked the other day it was creeping back up, but still nowhere near the position it was before. Now I don't want to forum post anywhere with a link, yet it has been said all along that this is an acceptable practice, but is it?

        1. Pcunix profile image89
          Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Who knows any more?

          It certainly used to be.

  24. lrohner profile image83
    lrohnerposted 5 years ago

    @Izzy -- FWIW, my best-earning hub went through something similar. I was getting hundreds of visitors per day for months and then my hub dropped almost out of sight. I did post a link on a forum I've always been active on, but now I know that was sort of coincidental. 

    Anyhoo, the hub went from #3 for its keyword to something like #128 after that post. A few months later, it mysteriously came back to #2 or #3. It stayed that way for a few weeks, and then it dropped off the map. It didn't even show up on the SERPs for almost six months. But then it came back at #1 for its keyword and it's stayed there for roughly one year and shows no signs of moving. I did tweak the hub by adding tags and removing keywords, and I don't know if that made a difference. But I'm solid in the #1 spot now.

    1. IzzyM profile image84
      IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Am pleased to hear that, lrohner, congrats smile
      Actually the hub I was thinking about has never had hundreds of hits, and probably never will have even in the #1 spot. But when you see a hub up there you just want it to get there, don't you? Well I do anyway.
      It's not even worth much. It's just the whole idea of dropping away and I want to know why, more as a learning experience than anything else.

      1. lrohner profile image83
        lrohnerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Well, my badly worded point is that I never found out why, I never had that learning experience, but it did come back eventually. smile

  25. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 5 years ago
    1. IzzyM profile image84
      IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Don't worry be happy - couldn't even listen to it Misha as my internet is too slow at the moment to download a youtube video. Pity!

    2. recommend1 profile image72
      recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I can't see Youtube, can anybody give a brief explanation of what is in the video ?

      1. IzzyM profile image84
        IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I did...two posts above. Bobby Mcferrin don't worry be happy lol

        1. recommend1 profile image72
          recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Thanks Izzy - that is my signature tune !

  26. Rich McKelvey profile image71
    Rich McKelveyposted 5 years ago

    nk that Google is going to slap JCPenney for their black hat tactics, you are just kidding yourself, they are to big of an advertiser.

    1. Pcunix profile image89
      Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      They already did.

      You didn't bother to read the linked article, did you?

      1. Rich McKelvey profile image71
        Rich McKelveyposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I did read the article, and JCPenney is still showing in the #1 spot for all the keywords it was "slapped" for.

        1. Pcunix profile image89
          Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I don't see that.  I see they have ADS in the top Ad spots. That's not being #1 in SERP.

        2. lrohner profile image83
          lrohnerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Deleted

          1. ThomasE profile image81
            ThomasEposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Has anyone had a look at what is now top spot for area rungs?

            arearugs.com

            In yahoo site explorer, it has 4,500 links from such obviously natural sources as fourhourworkweek.com, forum profiles, and blog spam.

            Yep. Gotta say, google did a great job of clearing the spam out of that keyword.

            1. Pcunix profile image89
              Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              smile

              True.

              That's the problem, isn't it?

  27. skyfire profile image73
    skyfireposted 5 years ago

    Izzy, google slap means out of search results. In that case you'll have to deal google webmaster team for further resolution. Your hub is still in search result means it got temporary boosting and now it is going down to gain it's natural credibility as per google algorithm. For example, many christmas/halloween hubs are on page 2/3/4 even though search queries made for those words are still high in this off season.


    Nothing wrong, IMO. You and the rest of us have no clue how many links are needed to boost any page to SERP. So we all make guesstimate and based on that try to push the page. There is no exact number revealed for backlinking to boost any page on SERP.

    1. recommend1 profile image72
      recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      It is possible to get a fair estimate of the links from SEO programme searches (Netsamurai does this and recommends linking the feet out from 'beneath' your opposition) the only people this practice actually benefits are people doing SEO for money who can show a client stats that back their efforts and increase their paycheck.

      1. skyfire profile image73
        skyfireposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Word : Estimate

        1. recommend1 profile image72
          recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Of course you are right - but mostly the HIGH END show 5000 -20,000 links or just a few, and it is possible to get detailed reports of links to and from a target site.

          But you are correct in the essence of what you say because high page rankers vary from those with a few links to those with mega shed-loads - in the exact same search parameters. Although big linkers tended to be above less linked pages in the main.  I concluded that it is mostly about what kind of links they are and decided that there must be a weighting system that values each link in terms of hte weight of the subordinate linker - so If I have an article that a couple of Universities link to regularly for information, I will get a higher ranking than another article thats gets 5000 backlinks from a linking machine.  And so PCUnix who has an article that is referenced by Wiki will get a much higher value from just that one link.

          I could be wrong, but I am betting I am in the ballpark smile

  28. Mark Ewbie profile image83
    Mark Ewbieposted 5 years ago

    Well guys, I've managed to hit all my targets simply by writing stuff.  No back link farming involved.

    My secret?

    I have very low targets.

 
working