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It sometimes sucks, being a publisher in a post-Penguin, post-Panda world. It’s great that Google is cleaning up webspam, but it’s not so great to be on the receiving end of stupid demands from people who give the SEO industry a bad name.

What am I talking about? Dubious links, that’s what. Or should I say dubious links on a supposedly authority website (ours), that have been flagged up by dubious SEO tools. Emails with ‘please remove this link’ make our hearts sink. 

What else? Dubious expectations. Why is it that publishers like Econsultancy are expected to clean up the mess? This is the last thing I want us to be doing. “It will be good for both of us,” they say, with various degrees of menace. No it won’t. It’s a cost to our business, and to the publishing industry more broadly. 

We have always been hugely supportive of the SEO industry, and as a web business we’ve always tried to stay on top of SEO best practice. As such it is deeply frustrating to be on the receiving end of requests to remove ‘suspicious’ links, or to add no_follow to links that I think are perfectly acceptable. 

I’m not planning on revealing any names here, but let me explain what I’m talking about. There are three areas for concern. The first two are linked to stupid, short-term thinking, and needless panic. The last one might indicate that Google is changing the goalposts around guest blogging. 

Is this the tip of the iceberg, or a few isolated incidents that we’re experiencing?

Emails from SEO agencies that want us to remove old links

We recently heard from an SEO agency that had taken on a new client. The client’s old agency had published a press release on our site, seven years ago. The press release included a link to the client’s website, within the opening couple of paragraphs, but no shady anchor text. 

The email we received went along these lines:

Please can you remove or no_follow the link?

Our stock response is ‘no’. Why? Because there are better things to be doing, mainly, but for a press release that is more than half a decade old we simply refuse to do this. It’s a waste of everybody’s time, and is unimportant, archived content. Furthermore the press release distribution tool did not include ‘free post-publication editing services’, and we don't want to undertake link sculpting of any kind.

So, having told the SEO agency that we don’t edit old press releases things escalated somewhat…

If the link cannot be removed we will add it to our Google Disavow list.

Great. So now we’re being threatened. Clearly we don’t want to find our way onto a Google shitlist, but I hate this kind of shakedown. It is completely unreasonable for SEO agencies to expect publishers to clear up their mess, especially when the link in question seems perfectly valid. As I pointed out, if we were to receive 100 similar requests every day then we’d get nothing done. 

In some cases guest bloggers have heard from SEO agencies that want links removed… links that have been earned, that they have naturally placed in their articles, and that are perfectly acceptable. I find it mindboggling. It seems that a lot of folks have a bad case of The Fear.

Emails from brands that want us to remove links to infographics

We’ve also heard from brands that have created and shared infographics with us, and presumably with the whole world thereafter. I know that penalties have been meted out for excessive infographic sharing, and in some cases there is concern about link profiles (or perhaps, more accurately, with link velocity, as successful infographics can sometimes accrue too many new links too quickly, for Google’s liking at least). In short, I think publishers and brands alike need to be more careful with infographics. A win isn't always a win.

We have been pitched thousands of infographics over the past few years, and we’ve always viewed them with a certain degree of scepticism. Some of them have made it onto the site: the ones that contained interesting content, and that weren’t terribly designed. This is what editorial people should be good at.

Last summer Google’s Matt Cutts said that he: 

...would not be surprised if at some point in the future we did not start to discount these infographic-type links to a degree. The link is often embedded in the infographic in a way that people don’t realise, vs. a true endorsement of your site”.

It now seems that this has happened / is happening, so be warned. 

The above quote seems to directly reference embed codes, which provide writers with a quick and easy way to share content. They essentially point at third party websites to access content, so they’re a great way to build links. But if they have a habit of breaking then we publishers will stop using them. That aside, we a) perfectly well understand how they work and b) do not publish rubbish on our website. Embed codes do not suck… only low quality content sucks. Smart publishers do not publish low quality content. 

But now it seems that some people have started to freak out, and in their state of panic they have – in some cases - removed the infographics from their own website, along with everything that goes with it. That means that some embed codes that we have used to display some infographics no longer work: they simply point to a 404 page. 

It is these ‘404 links’ that people ask us to remove, which is fair enough. But from a publisher’s perspective it is akin to an act of vandalism. Posts that contained these (now AWOL) infographics by way of an embed code now display nothing at all, or a missing image icon. It leads to the disfigurement of our blog. It also makes us look rather silly, and it gives us a very good reason to avoid using embed codes in the future. 

It is deeply frustrating to have to spend time cleaning up these pages (the very same pages that PR / SEO / marketing people wanted us to create when pitching us in the first place). Must we keep an eye on all pages with third party infographics or embed codes, as a kind of hygiene factor? Boring. I’d be more inclined to ban infographics completely, and get on with creating new, unique content, but that seems like a kneejerk reaction to a relatively small – though potentially worrying – problem.

Emails from guest bloggers, who have been notified about suspicious links from Google

Now, I haven’t heard from Big G directly, but I have heard from a couple of our guest bloggers that they have received warnings from Google about suspicious links. Among the examples shown to them were their ‘signatures’ on the Econsultancy blog. 

Their signature is a brief bio that can be found at the foot of each post, in a little box that sits separately to the main body of the article. I see no reason why these signature links should be considered in any way sketchy. 

Here’s what a bio looks like, and we’re very much into standardisation - a name, role and company, and a few social profiles. I've chosen Mark at random - as far as I know he hasn't been contacted:

This is just good manners, from where I’m sitting. I simply cannot believe that this sort of thing poses any problems for Google, so I’m very surprised to learn that these links have raised eyebrows.

We have some firm rules about the signatures. Firstly, they should follow our standard format, and we never allow bloggers to use descriptive anchor text: a company name will link to a company website, but we won’t allow them to write ‘amazing digital agency in London’. Frankly we think worse of people who think that sort of thing is a good idea.

We are also have some clear guidelines for guest bloggers, in order to maintain the quality of content on this blog. One of those rules is ‘no promo’, and anything deemed too self-referential will not be published. Guest bloggers are invited to talk about the subjects that they know about, rather than the amazing things they have done for their clients. All posts by guest bloggers are unique to Econsultancy: we do not allow cross-posting. All posts are edited prior to publication. It is not in our interests to lower the quality bar. Google needs to recognise that not all guest blogging operations are the same.

In January we asked a few search experts about the future of SEO. Rishi Lakhani, who is often ahead of the curve, called it:  

I am pretty sure that Google will target guest posting soon. As a result, am staying away from author signature / profile links at the end of the post. If it isn’t in the main body, I don’t want it.

This may now be the case, and we may have to review what we’re doing in this area. But I for one think it is ridiculous: I don’t believe that the Google algorithm is that stupid. We’re led to believe that it can identify different types of links on a page, and apply different weightings. Do we really think that a link in the comments area of a blog that does not adopt no_follow will be given the same value as a descriptive link in the opening paragraph? No.

Does Google really want writers to shoehorn a link into the body text of a post, every time they submit a guest blog, because they don’t have a valid link in their signature? That’s only going to worsen the quality of the content. So much for our ‘no promo’ guidelines.

I guess we’ll wait and see. If other guest bloggers from this or any other publication have had a word in their ear from Google then now is the time to shout about it. Is this actually becoming a thing? Incidentally, I'm not alone in worrying about guest blogging, and I also consider the many 'guest post' requests we receive to be akin to reciprocal link spam.

This post is something of an open letter to Google, and it would be good to get some guidance. I don’t think we’re doing anything wrong, far from it, but if Google is narrowing its eyes in our direction then like to find out about it sooner rather than later, and preferably in an open and transparent way. 

Any insight from search experts and fellow publishers – and Google itself - would be great. Do leave a comment below.

Chris Lake

Published 18 April, 2013 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (43)

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Tim Aldiss

Tim Aldiss, Consultant/Director at ThinkSearch

Well said Chris. Really interesting to hear the story from your side of the fence.

I agree with you - Google can't be that stupid.

Even if it can now see the whole web and therefore know the exact average percentages that represent 'normality' it would be foolish to push these elements of the algorithm too much further.

If they do they'll be breeding mediocrity - a world in which your marketing attempts need to not be so good as to go viral, but not so poor as to only target low authority blogs!

about 3 years ago

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Nicola King

I'm very concerned to read about this, Chris. Particularly that Google may be targeting guest blogging links. How can they justify that? I'll be interested to hear more if others have more information.

about 3 years ago

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rishil

Sadly a lot of people are culling links they SHOULD not. Others are being hammered by bad links. The primary is that google is trying to do one thing and one thing only:

Devalue EASY methods of acquiring high quality links.

I had warned many people as you rightly point out Chris, and a load of them just laughed...

about 3 years ago

John Smith

John Smith, Marketing at ABC

I can't believe people would have the nerve to ask you to waste your time editing old content. All this Google worship is also getting incredibly annoying, so let's hope that we get some more healthy competition in the search domain.

about 3 years ago

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Amit

Excellent points indeed Chris and I cannot for the life of me imagine content on E-Consultancy being classified as spam or for the site authority to be challenged as being dubious.

If that is the case, I am not sure what role other blogs and sites with lesser authority and resource have in this new web "Gooniverse"!!

about 3 years ago

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Patrick Altoft

Looking at the press release example from an SEO agency perspective, if the release had a keyword anchor text link then it has to be removed or the site will not recover from the penalty. If you won't remove it then the agency should certainly disavow it. Appreciate that threatening you isn't the way to do it though.

The main problem is that most people doing link removal work can't tell good links from bad links. We've helped 35 brands recover in the past 6 months and it's pretty tough work at the start but once you get an understanding of the links then it's not too bad.

about 3 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

@Tim - Imagine a client request: "We want to go viral, but not too viral!" Bonkers!

@Patrick - We have never allowed descriptive anchor text within press releases. So the best you could do would be to write "Econsultancy (www.econsultancy.com) today released blah blah...", if you wanted a link included. It's why I find these kinds of requests so baffling. They're not particularly special.

I do understand, and I empathise to some degree, though from a publisher's perspective, an SEO agency is being paid - in some cases considerable amounts, over a period of months - to fix up link profiles. The publisher is not being paid to undertake this sort of clean up work. It is direct cost to our business, and an unacceptable cost if things scale up.

about 3 years ago

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Luke Glassford

I think Patrick has made the key point here:

"The main problem is that most people doing link removal work can't tell good links from bad links."

What Google has been doing over the past 18 months or so has got a lot of slightly informed people very worried about 'link profiles', when in a lot of cases they don't need to be.

The press release example you've used is a clear illustration of this. Just because it is an anchor text link, doesn't necessarily mean it HAS to be removed. All their other anchor text links on less relevant sites is what they should be focusing on.

I think any link from econsultancy to an SEO agency would be considered a 'good' link by Google.

about 3 years ago

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Simon Sanders

Chris,
First of all, great post. It nicely articulates a fascinating but clearly frustrating SEO development which places an 'admin burden' on everyone downstream from Google.
One of Econsultancy's great stances has been how you have always talked about things as they affect your own business, so really appreciate this honest and open insight on your part.
Isn't this avoidable by clarity from Google (or as close as they want to get to this) on the effect of time on links so that those from seven years ago, don't need to removed as will not be regarded as toxic?

about 3 years ago

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Filip Matous

First time I've heard of guest post author bios being an issue. Sure, a contextual link higher up in the copy seems to pass a stronger amount of juice, therefore preferable from an SEO standpoint, but cannot see how signature links are in any way sketchy.

1. Econsultancy is a legit brand and has a high bar for content so doubt it's on any shitlist. Right?
2. Guest posts, if they offer value (measured roughly with time on page + engagement), seems to work wonders SEOwise, more so now that many other links forms dropped in value. Anyone guest posting here won't be spamming - so how is a link from this site negative?

about 3 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

Thanks for all of your comments.

@Nicola - Guest blogging is definitely used and abused by shady SEOs and shady publishers alike. So I'm not surprised to see it come under review, but our editorial rules are so stringent that I don't see how we could be affected by any sort of clampdown. A non-descriptive link in an obvious bio should not be a cause for concern, from Google's perspective.

@Rishil - He who laughs last...! You are bang on, again.

@Kaveh - You'd be surprised how often it happens. I'm sure lots of other publishers are on the receiving end too. It's just not cricket.

@Amit - I don't think Google has a problem with this site, but if signature links are being looked at then we may need to do something about it. If that is the case it says more about Googlebot than it does about our site.

@Luke - Yes, I agree. I understand that a Google update can instill fear into people, but I think some folks are starting to panic unnecessarily.

@Simon - Thanks. As you know, we like to be our own case study, partly for the benefit of others, and partly so that we can find out some answers. A problem shared! Do links have a kind of half life? I'm not so sure that they do. Indeed, some links may accrue value over time. Interesting concept though, and one that merits further discussion.

@Filip - Me too, I was shocked to hear that non-descriptive links in bios had been flagged as potentially dubious (or whatever the label was). I hope we're not on a shitlist, and I agree that guest posts on this site could not remotely be considered 'spam'. But it's a worry to hear that bio links have been highlighted.

about 3 years ago

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Rob Hammond

Thinking about it from Google's perspective though, it does make sense to do this if you consider their moves towards a canonical authorship model hosted on Google+.

If you were using rel=author to point to your Google+ page in guest posts, in theory you wouldn't need any footer links (or in-content links for that matter) right? Hence by devaluing this type of link, they would be providing an incentive to use their identity model, rather than the more 'primitive' links to various web pages.

about 3 years ago

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Alan Grainger

Maybe someone more technically minded than me will know of a way, but would Google be able to algorithmically distinguish between bio links and body links?

It seems more likely that signals would be used to evaluate the quality of the website hosting the article rather than segment a section of the page to downgrade a link.

For example, Google recently downgraded page rank for news websites that accepted paid editorials across the whole website - surely they would just do this on sites that it thinks are abusing guest posts rather than just target bio links?

More than happy to be called wrong on this!

about 3 years ago

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Charles Taylor

It's only going to get worse for publishers. Wait until SEOs start asking you to add Authorship Markup to your sites because Google only trusts content/links from verified and trusted authors.

I regards to the article, personally I think most SEOs completely overreact to new "guidelines" from Google.

Just my two cents.

about 3 years ago

Gareth James

Gareth James, Freelance SEO Consultant at SEO Doctor

"Among the examples shown to them were their ‘signatures’ on the Econsultancy blog"

WMT warning emails never include examples they are always really vague. Where are they getting the examples from? Can we see a copy of the warning?

about 3 years ago

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Dustin Verburg

I liked this post because it's not the typical doomsday crap that everyone throws around. Instead of wearing a sandwich board that says 'the end is nigh' and a tinfoil hat, this post offers a rational analysis and asks valid questions.

It'd be a bummer if the bio box and guest posts were targeted-- not because all guest posts are great (we all know how much rubbish there is), but because I think the bio box is the most organic, nice-looking, sensible way to feature someone's bio. Anchor text or branded link or whatever else. Targeting bio boxes would be making the web a worse/less searchable place.

I like Stay on Search's idea, but they're big enough for it to work for them. Page One Power isn't. I have pretty strict criteria for who I'll even respond to re: guest post pitches, and so far we've only published one. I get it, everyone wants a link. But I want there to be something relevant and something I can actually bear to read (even enjoy) around the link, because I feel like that's what the web should be.

Sorry for writing a novel, Chris.

about 3 years ago

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Donna

It's easy to get frustrated or laugh at the requests to remove links when you're on that side of the fence. However, once econsultancy sits on the other side of the fence (and it can happen to even the best of sites), then suddenly you feel the pain of trying to determine which links to remove.

It's not as easy as it may seem, and when desperation hits - i.e. when the bottom drops out, traffic and revenue dries up, and month after month goes by with no recovery...well...at that point, you could very likely be the one someone complains about. At that point, you'll do just about anything to solve the problem, and you'll probably inadvertently ask for some links to be removed that aren't hurting your site. It happens.

It also happens that many site owners will ignore your requests or refuse your requests. If it's just one...not that big a deal. But when many or most of them do, then you see your chance of recovery getting slimmer and slimmer, and you know that the only next best solution is to use the disavow tool. And you will.

Never assume that Google would not be stupid enough to make this or that decision. They have and they do...all the time. I'm sure it is frustrating to have to deal with these chores, but if the shoe is ever on the other foot, you'll be grateful when a publisher doesn't refuse your request. Just sayin'...

about 3 years ago

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Hilary

Number 2 and 3 are valid. Number 1 is just stomping your feet. There's this short-sighted behavior where every publisher rolls their eyes and complains about how these same SEOs were begging to add their links four years ago. This is great...assuming it was the same people that did it. Lumping them all together is convenient hand-waive to demonize your target and excuse your righteous indignation.

And for the record, I'm an in-house who doesn't do any of the above. I'm just really sick of publishers venting about things that aren't so simple.

about 3 years ago

John Braithwaite

John Braithwaite, Managing Director at Ergo Digital

One small observation - I have noticed that eConsultancy has been targeted relatively frequently by comment spam. Perhaps this is a contributing factor to this issue as my guess is that comment spam may draw more attention to this issue and, possibly, eConsultancy.

about 3 years ago

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Nic Cohen

Hi Chris,

A good read and an interesting take on the situation!

I wouldn't worry too much about the Press Release/News based websites as Google implemented at the end of the year a no follow policy in one of its many algorithm updates to no longer follow the links on these websites as too many SEO Companies and individuals were utilising press distribution services for theirs, and there clients benefit... They are still however an incredible branding and awareness device if utilised correctly, basically creating content people actually want to read...

I would personally consider checking what kind of information was left on your website in more recent years as this could have an adverse effect on you Domain Authority, Page Rank and if you are doing some form of SEO can effect your positions within the search engines.

Good luck!!

Nic

about 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@John - we certainly get plenty of comment spam.

about 3 years ago

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Dave

Chris,

Bravo, I wish more would take a stand against Google. They seem to put no thought into what they do, resulting in people following guidelines that then suddenly change in the future.

Why should Google be able to have an opinion on what or is not spam on somebody else's website? I allow guestposts on my site, I certainly don't allow spam posts and why should I not allow a link within the post or one within the bio box?

All this talk about varying anchor text, I really have no idea what to do anymore (I'm not an SEO, just a small guy running his own business), on the talk of anchor text, go and look at how links are configured over on Google plus, it's certainly not just branded links, it puts in the Meta tag title - which can be anchor text rich if you set it up so!

They have no idea anymore, Matt Cutts supposedly gives helpful answer through his videos, yeah right Google's Minister of dis-information who seems to take delight in warning of impending updates to come.

A disgruntled small business owner who tries to do everything the right way!

Dave

about 3 years ago

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Paul Rice

I completely understand your frustration however it is Google that changed everything, not the SEO industry and they can do just about anything that they want with no recourse.

If Econsultancy suddenly vanished from Google one sunny Friday morning with disastrous affects to you, your staff and clients and an investigation by yourselves led you to believe that a link to your site from a previously Google 'trusted' source and manner was one of the likely the reasons, would you sit back and just say 'oh well' out of principle or would you reach out and try to salvage your online business? Whilst you use 'nofollow' in blog comments, what if Google decides that there is case to penalise this next year or they deem that your premium agency listing links are paid links?

Most agencies will have had to carry the burden over the last year of tediously identifying and requesting links be removed on behalf of clients that don't feel that it is their responsibility to pay for the time incurred regardless of how long ago or who created the link in the first place. In my opinion, distributing AND publishing are both stuck with a potential resource overhead and Google is responsible.

about 3 years ago

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Mogens G.

The root of the issue is that Google is not clear when it comes to what is good and what is bad, they have everyone guessing and fighting the link scheme / bad link issue in the dark. If the rules were CLEAR, then people would NOT overreact.

about 3 years ago

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Pete Gronland

Great post thanks Chris,

It's nice to see the other side of the equation and I can empathise with your frustration.

I find it rather disturbing that Econsultancy have been receiving so many "please remove my link" request.

Econsultancy are an authoritative site within their vertical, they only give a site link (no anchor text). Also the content will bear relevancy to the site link.

These are the types of links that you strive for, these are not paid, the posts are selected on merit, no guaranteed inclusion and no anchor text; unless I have been misreading this post.

I would say that the link would be relevant, hence valuable to the user, not bought, no optimised for anchor text, so what could be considered "dubious"?

about 3 years ago

Chris Gage

Chris Gage, Digital Marketing Executive at Hallam Internet

Thanks for a great article and an interesting perspective.

It is sometimes necessary for us to clean up a client's link profile.

When a client receives an 'unnatural' links penalty it can have a real impact on their business, as traffic can drop considerably.

We use tools to shortlist the links which are most likely to be of poor relevance to the client, then review each site manually to make our final outreach list. Sometimes you can just tell from the url... but often we will visit sites and make a decision.

Finding contact details for sites on our list can take time and is sometimes impossible.

A 'soft' approach, asking ever-so-nicely for the link take-down, just doesn't seem to encourage as many responses, as explaining that as part of our reconsideration submission, the site will be included in a disavow report if the link isn't removed. It isn't intended as a threat, but is intended to create some impetus to act in the interest of both parties. We get the link removed, and they don't go on our disavow report.

Sorting wheat from chaff is a tedious and time-consuming process for us too and hard to 'sell' to clients. Getting a client site successfully reconsidered by Google requires evidence of effort as well as outcomes.

about 3 years ago

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Michael

The issue over links in author bios is just Google forcing your hand to use authorship mark up. And if you use authorship you might as well use G+.

G+ got slammed when it first launched; people didn't like it, people didn't want it and it didn't get used as Google had hoped. Google's reaction - you'll use it one way or another! This is their back door to squeeze everyone through.

BTW I actually quite like G+ now

about 3 years ago

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Gareth

Chris, great piece, and I apologise on behalf of the SEO community for the idiots who try to pass themselves off as SEOs... they give us all a bad name.

On guest blogging - I can foresee an update targeting the worst abuses, but the abuses are so blatant, it's akin to article marketing circa 2005. There's so much rubbish being posted on rubbish sites, I'm sure Google's clever enough to sort the wheat from the chaff.

On removing links - only a fool would try to disavow a link from econsultancy.com. You're doing the right thing (and a favour) by telling them to 'do one'. :)

about 3 years ago

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AZ

I think it is quite unfair that because some people get scared of the update and since they can't influence Google's decision, they turn to the publishers. This is overreaction.

about 3 years ago

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David Burdon, Director at Simply Clicks

I find amazing that so many people feel that the link profiles they were recommending on behalf of their clients only a few months ago are now deemed worthy of removal. Couldn't people see this coming? After all Google's guidelines have been pointing this out, to my recollection (I thought about a URL) since last October.

Corny looking links = Corny SEO.
Sensible looking links = Sensible SEO.

about 3 years ago

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Chelsey Evans

Hi Chris, great article thank you!
I don't understand why Google would be concerned with signatures when they are promoting and ranking content with authorship links to Google+.

about 3 years ago

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David Burdon, Director at Simply Clicks

Chelsey interesting point. Have you noticed how many of the SEO forums have gone very quiet since the issues around signature links surfaced?

about 3 years ago

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Benedict Jephcote

I don't suppose this is in response to the recent headline article from the 10 April econsultancy newsletter is it?

http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/62488-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-head-of-seo

When Matt discusses Scrapebox on this page, it includes the line: "hundreds of other awesome jobs that this can automate." made up of 4 end to end links.

My thoughts on reading that part of the page was "blimey, that doesn't half look spammy to me". If Google thought so too, I wouldn't be knocked over in surprise.

Econsultancy is extremely well written and I was a bit taken a-back by seeing those end to end links.

about 3 years ago

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Don Sturgill

Matt Cutts farts and the world thinks a new symphony is born. He may be getting more scrutiny than Ben Bernanke (Chairman of the Federal Reserve). That has to be a tough job.

about 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@Benedict - No connection with that - the link mentioned by Google was in the author bio of a guest post. I take your point about the end to end links, but the purpose on this occasion was to get the links in without taking up much space.

@ Don Nice quote!

about 3 years ago

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Benedict Jephcote

Thank you Graham, useful to note.

about 3 years ago

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Sofia

Those are great tips by Chris Lake and thank you very much for the sharing. Can't wait to share your post with my Google+ readers!

about 3 years ago

Heledd Jones

Heledd Jones, Head of Search Marketing at Confused.com

Hi Chris,

Loved reading this blog, and all the comments with it.

As some of the other people have already mentioned, baffled by the first 2 points as eConsultancy has such strong authority - I'm sure you get so many people chomping at the bit to get links from you, as opposed to removing them? I only imagine that some companies are trying to remove all of their links without a proper strategy as @patrick and @luke said.

The whole thing got me thinking about how reliant eConsultancy is on Google. Obviously in a commercial/ competitive market like ours, having good visibility for unbranded keywords is imperative , but for you guys, even if the big G did strike you down for the 3rd point re: bio links (highly unlikely but I'm just pondering) then I imagine most of your customers would still come back time and time again via your daily emails, daily twitter updates etc? i.e. you must have a very loyal base?

Thanks again for a great read,
Heledd

about 3 years ago

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Abdi Mohammed

Really good read and a lot of food for thought, especially within the comments. It seems like quality publishers are stuck in the middle of the firing line. But after reading the few comments above mine, maybe there is more cause to combat blog spam :)

almost 3 years ago

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Joana Ferreira, FWM Marketing Executive at Fast Web Media

HI Chris,

I only just came across this article- very well said by the way all the points you made are valid and perfectly understandable! I'm wondering, did anyone from Google every contact you in the end? If so, did they enlighten you?

Thanks

almost 3 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

@Joana - Thanks. No, not as yet. I've tweeted in the direction of Matt Cutts for some clarification, so we'll see.

@Abdi - All cleared up now. The bastard spammers are more cunning than ever. We're working on better tech in this area.

@Heledd - We attract more than a quarter of a million visits a month from Google, which is great, and which we clearly don't want to lose (having worked hard to attain decent search positions). It makes for a chunky slice of the inbound traffic pie chart, and is why we take these things seriously!

almost 3 years ago

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Millie Perkins, SEO Specialist at Empyreal Energy

Cleverly written post Chris!

I am one of your readers but I don't comment much. But right now, I just wanted to ask why's it that everybody always goes on panic whenever there's a Google (Panda/Penguin) update coming out? Who is to blame? Is it Google releasing updates that bring confusions to people or is it the people (SEO agencies and other concerned) who are just overreacting?

almost 3 years ago

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ronald fedkiw, Developer at prologic

Panda will be updated from time-to-time. At these times, websites formerly hit may well escape, in the event they’ve manufactured the right alterations. Panda could also catch websites in which escaped prior to. http://members.1seo1.com/link-detection-and-removal-made-easy-free-download/

over 2 years ago

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