Early on Tuesday morning Australian time Matt Cutts announced via Twitter (in his own sarcastic way) that the Google web spam team had taken down yet another link network – this time it is Backlinks.com. This in addition to the recent takedown of Anglo Rank plus the numerous networks including Build My Rank and quite a few more over the past 18 months is a clear indication that Google are continuing their war on link spam techniques.
In the past I have had experience with Backlinks.com and there were and no doubt still are many very obvious issues with it which made me extremely nervous for the very small period of time I had used it for. The network is made up of websites which “publishers” submit to the network. A set of code is then provided which gets embedded into the websites which allow the automation of link placement when “advertisers” choose to use that site for link building. A major problem with the sites within this network is the quality of the sites being used. More often than not the titles of the site in no way match the content being provided. The domain names being used are clearly recycled, repurchased domains that again have no relevance to anything contained within the sites. The content on these sites is made up of junk, spun content. More often as not the links were places in weird positions in the footer or header of the sites. And the links themselves all used the same fonts and text size across all of the sites and they simply did not look like they belonged in the sites.
I also still do not understand why the owners of networks like these are advertising them as having “no footprints”. I have personally discussed this exact fact with many network owners in the past (including Next Media who own Backlinks.com and many other services) and no matter how much effort goes into the overall architecture of these networks, the client’s links themselves provide a glaringly obvious footprint which can easily be detected by very minimal research, never mind the world class mathematical minds that Google deliberately fill their teams with!
My advice for those that are still looking for these cheap, quick and easy ranking gains provided by similar publicly available link networks – do so at your own risk. If a link network guarantees “no footprints”, “panda or penguin friendly” or any other type of rubbish marketing material, or advertise on any of the more popular SEO forums such as trafficplanet.com or blackhatworld.com do not use them. You will eventually get caught. Do you think Google are not aware of these forums which are used to advertise these types of services?
Google have really stepped up the game and are sure to continue combatting link spam methods. This is a very clear and obvious sign that links themselves will continue to be a major ranking factor. If this was ever going change, Google would not be wiping these networks out one by one.
Now lets just sit back and watch each of the other services provided by Next Media get taken down one by one.
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