djbaxter

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Disavow & Link Removal: Understanding Google
by Aaron Wall, SEOBook.com
January 26, 2014

Fear Sells
Few SEOs took notice when Matt Cutts mentioned on TWIG that "breaking their spirits" was essential to stopping spammers. But that single piece of information add layers of insights around things like:

  • duplicity on user privacy on organic versus AdWords
  • benefit of the doubt for big brands versus absolute apathy toward smaller entities
  • the importance of identity versus total wipeouts of those who are clipped
  • mixed messaging on how to use disavow & the general fear around links

.... A buddy of mine mentioned getting a bad link example from Google where the link was in place longer than Google has been in existence. Risk can arbitrarily be added after the fact to any SEO activity. Over time Google can keep shifting the norms of what is acceptable. So long as they are fighting off Wordpress hackers and other major issues they are kept busy, but when they catch up on that stuff they can then focus on efforts to shift white to gray and gray to black - forcing people to abandon techniques which offered a predictable positive ROI.

...Hiding data (and then giving crumbs of it back to profile webmasters) is one way of doing it, but adding layers of risk is another. What panda did to content was add a latent risk to content where the cost of that risk in many cases vastly exceeded the cost of the content itself. What penguin did to links was the same thing: make the latent risk much larger than the upfront cost.

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djbaxter

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And it's very clear from link removal requests you and I both get, Linda, that the average webmaster clearly doesn't understand the messages Google is sending them about "unnatural linking patterns".

I just had another request this morning from a site on Bipolar Disorder to remove a link on a bipolar forum thread where I recommended their site as a resource. How on earth is that "unnatural linking"?
 
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