Originally Posted by YMC
So, if I charge someone to add links to my site or charge them for my time when they have requested that I remove content from my site, Google is going to ASSUME that I am link spamming???!!!! I guess we're all supposed to be working for free for Google now? I've never charged for link removals but that should be MY decision, not Google's.
This is why the words they use when communicating are so very important. Because how it is then interpreted, is how the entire community reacts.
There is a hell of a lot of websites, who technically "charge to add links". Google does it themselves with adsense/adwords. They charge money, to add sponsored links. The majority of the web, charges money for advertising-style links.
I don't think that's what they meant, it has to be taken in context, and they are referring to the whole "link removal" situation which is based around receiving a warning from Google.
So what they are saying is, if you have received a penalty, and one of the websites you believe is spammy, won't remove your link, let us know. Then Google will decide what action to take. Personally I think that just turns the whole exercise into pointing the finger, and makes it schoolyard tactics.
Google are trying again, to get themselves out of the quicksand by immersing their hands to pull their feet out. Now all that's visible is their head and it continues to babble.
They need to roll back the update, and stop warning people. It's ridiculous the panic they have caused when the new message comng from them is basically read the warning but you can pretty much ignore it in terms of doing anything
As Danny Sullivan stated in the article. That's not going to placate people. They are still going to panic, especially if they are temporarily penalised (whether that's a few days, few weeks or a few months).
When websites goes offline for 5 minutes, it creates panic. So being penalised in Google rankings even for 5 minutes, causes panic. Why create the panic in the first place?
Google shouldn't be interacting with us in this way. I think it's wrong. They should say nothing. Put out a press release that they are tackling webspam, and discounting certain types of links.
The second they try and get "us" involved, they create a massive panic, and blog posts calling the end of everything from forums to directories to blogs.
As was mentioned on the Google Blog post, what happens to those of us with contractual obligations to maintain links, listings, reviews, etc? If one party emails asking for their link to be removed, would that be tantamount to agreeing to release the other party of the original contract? This whole thing is just getting messier and messier and the brainiacs at Google continue to think everyone does everything to game their system rather than conduct normal business practices.
There's a very fine line here. In one instance, you could view a rejected request for removal and then turning around and demanding a fee as extortion. There are companies, in Barry Schwartz post, that are basically saying "pay us $25 and we will remove your link from all our directories". That's bordering on that extortionate level.
The thing is, what if someone never paid you for the link. What if you decided their website suits your content and you naturally linked to them. That's supposed to be what the web, and Google in particular encouages.
If the person then comes to you wanting their link removed. They are removing a natural link. Do you remove them or not? It's almost like you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don't. Is Google now saying they can decide your content for you?
Are they saying "You can link to this person but not to that person?"
Are they saying "If someone asks you to remove something from your website you must do it?"
What happens if the person contacting you is a competitor asking to remove their competitions links. What if they aren't able to give you the information you need to identify themselves as the owner of the website you are linking to?
What if you tell them to get stuffed because they won't identify themselves, and they threaten to report you to Google for not removing their link if you don't comply?
What then? It's a lot of what ifs based on the Google claim, because what they've said can be interpreted so broadly, or in a very strict sense. If it is that very strict sense it would be fine. The problem with Google is they throw out broad-based penalties that hit everyone but the target.
So it is hard to trust that they will do the right thing. Chances are they will BUT that it will come with an unacceptable amount of collateral damage.
And, if Google decides to flag enough listings on my directory as part of a link spamming campaign, how long before my whole site gets penalized? How the heck am I supposed to know if a site obtained too many links with the same anchor text?
This is where the domino effect comes into play. If you get penalised because of this silly situation, then a site like Info Vilesilencer is bound to because, by our very nature, linking to directories who are enduring a salem witch hunt is going to mean we are linking to a range of penalised sites.
Then, what happens to everyone linking to us? We have 2 million+ in-bound links. Is this a 6 degrees of separation thing where everyone on the web, who is within 6 links of your website will get banned/penalised? Will there be any websites left to look at?
Google are creating panic. This is exactly the sort of panic they are seemingly wanting to douse, but they are dousing it with petrol.
Whether they want to address it or not, I have little doubt that there are folks in highly competitive niches who are now aggressively engaging in negative SEO against competitors. From the comments I'm seeing, Google is ignoring those claims and simply expecting the victims to clean it up.
AND... You can consider people who have spammed, by engaging in poor submission technique (the anchor saturation you spoke of) who have been penalised, to lash out and punish the places they obtained the links from. Including the submission services they used, any directories involved, any blogs involved, any forums with link anchors via signatures...
Again, it's a situation with a domino effect. If you get red flagged by 20 people and have 10,000 listings, is that a big enough number for Google to say, well... we've received a number of requests regarding that directory, we can't ignore that we must penalise them.
Are Google *really* going to investigate? If they could investigate wouldn't they just do that all the time and manually clean up their results instead of bothering with an algorithm that makes massive mistakes?
If they could human edit 10 billion pages wouldn't they just do that all the time?
In the webmaster forums, I saw one fellow who claimed to have 27,000 new links to his site that someone else obtained and are now flagged. The webmaster said people are refusing to remove the links. He was told that to "prove" he attempted to have them removed he would have to forward Google copies of certified mail receipts. That's a hell of a lot of time and money just to prove to Google that they didn't generate the links themselves. And, at the end of the day, sending out that much expensive snail mail still doesn't make the distinction of who generated the links in the first place. If someone is actively campaigning against this fellow, how long before they just get another 27,000 spammy links?
[one perspective]: If they even obtained one of those links themselves, does someone having proof of that mean the person is lying? How many does it take to prove they are lying?
[another perspective]: If they are being negatively SEO-d, how much proof does Google need? Are the places they have been negatively SEO-d at immediately penalised or does investigation take place?
[third perspective]: Are we expected to check WMT everyday and audit our links? Does Google realise that I would literally spend 24 hours a day every day for about 2 years just to audit the links I currently do have. The vast majority (like 98% of which) I never added myself, and have absolutely no control over, and have no intention of having any control over???
What about businesses who don't even use WMT? Who don't even know it exists? Who don't even know about Google penalties, and who now find themselves banned because someone decides to negatively SEO them to take them out of the game?
What then? How would they know how to get out of penalty if they don't even know what WMT is, or that Google can and does penalise individual websites based on who links to them?
Webmasters have no control over who links to them. Google has gotten that right for years. What have they been smoking lately to make them forget this?
They must have someone in control of this situation who doesn't understand linking. They really must. It's the only way it could happen.
The panic, and confusion and the range of ways this could go (based on my ponderings above) is the reason why you would avoid giving people the power in the first place. The second Google penalises for who links TO YOU, is the second that negative SEO suddenly has a big big market.
If people are offering services where a company can take out
all its competition for a few hundred or thousand. Why wouldn't that company take advantage? Companies are, by their very nature, not above those tactics. They are in business to make money, and to beat their competition. Heck, they will probably use that very excuse if they are caught... It's not personal, it is just business
All of this crap to protect a flawed page rank scoring system? People were exchanging business cards and referrals long before there was such a thing called the Internet. People link all the time to sites they like or think their visitors will like and it has nothing to do with SEO. Not every damn link on the web is about Google, PR and SEO.
And linking, is the webs way of networking. If I meet you on a golf course and we exchange business cards, we are probably going to do business together.
Before all this nonsense (yes the pagerank nonsense) I would've linked to you from my website too. I've met you personally on the golf course, we've spoken business, our websites and industries are related and I want to link to you and refer business.
Nope. Can't do that. You're gaming pagerank... That's how ridiculous it all is.
Yes people ARE gaming pagerank, but its because its a stupid number that Google allowed people to try and obtain. Get rid of that number and so many problems go away. Pagerank is ridiculous. I get why it was important for Google initially. But it has served its dubious purpose, and it needs to go.
What's the big deal here? If Google doesn't like a particular link, why not just ignore it? Simple as that. No drama. No extortion. No chaos.
That's what, practically everyone, agrees on. SEOs, directory owners, blog owners, business owners, all agree that if a link is considered dangerous/spammy/crap, by Google, then why doesn't Google discount it?
Because what you consider a spam link, and what I consider a spam link, could be 2 totally different things, so why give us both a voice? If 10 of us were given a list of 100 links and asked to find the 20 bad ones, and we all came back with a different list (with some overlap) would Google even bother to look at the ones we didn't agree on?
This current situation just creates an endless list of questions...
But one thing does remain certain...
DO NOT PANIC!