camcamcz

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I noticed my competitor got a big jump up when Penguin 2.0 hit a few months ago (and my site went down :-|) and I have been doing a lot of research and noticed that they are using a service called http://www.linkmarket.com ... how in the heck has their website not got slapped with penguin but instead get a boost?
 

sergiuliano

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link building strategies always work on short-term, If all his strategy is based on this then you shall just wait for the next Google Update
 

camcamcz

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Well, they have a couple thousand backlinks and I'd say half are from this link farm. Isn't google smart enough to find this out?
 

sergiuliano

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thousands of links you say ? then is easy, just implement a good OnSite Local SEO strategy, get some citations and you'll easy outrank him, as long as it is a keyword that generates different SERPs depending on user location
 

camcamcz

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What are quality backlinks these days? My site has a lot of local citations which also give you a backlink and I have a couple unique articles on a few blogs out there with backlinks which I'm assuming those are my best backlinks. The problem is, it's hard as heck to get those blog posts on other peoples sites. I don't understand if you are a small local business how you would get a lot of quality backlinks.
 

sergiuliano

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@camcaz

Thats the idea, small local business doesn't need lot of quality backlinks. What you do need is strong On Site SEO + Citations + Reviews
 

Linda Buquet

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Well, they have a couple thousand backlinks and I'd say half are from this link farm. Isn't google smart enough to find this out?

Thats the idea, small local business doesn't need lot of quality backlinks. What you do need is strong On Site SEO + Citations + Reviews

You don't know the backlinks is why they rank so high. Correlation is not causation.

Sergiuliano is right. Could be their on-site is stronger and those links are not even being counted if spammy. The links could be a coincidence and they outrank you due to other factors. We'd be shooting in the dark to guess without seeing both sites.
 

Laustin1878

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Quality links over quantity of links any day of the week. There are over 200 ranking factors for Google. On-site seems to be gaining more strength as of the latest updates but I still firmly believe it comes down to links. Link farms will likely continue to be the target of Google so it will only be a matter of time before the said site gets a slap.

Stick to legit tactics where you earn QUALITY links. Giving people something worth linking to is probably the best approach. Videos, articles, images, info graphics, etc. will help retain visitors. My personal belief is that Google is using data from Google Analytics to see how visitors are interacting on a site or page. I have yet to find anything supporting this from Google but if you think about it, they have the most inside view of your website.
 

Linda Buquet

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Very true about G Analytics and good point Luke!
 

Dave

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I am a big believer in links. Now I've been getting them for local sites since at least around 2003 or 2004. I have some sites that reflect the upside value of them with sites that rank above the PAC and get a lot of traffic for those phrases.

BUT!!! there are very significant caveats to the above paragraph including:

1. Now google penalizes the cheap easy links that they used to reward. I have to deal with those penalties.
2. Essentially google has devalued myriads of ways to obtain links. Sooner or later they tend to crack down on one kind of easy method or not.

I also work on very LOCAL methods to get my sites ranked in Local. I work hard on citations by example along with other on page techniques.

I glanced at the site that is helping your competitor but didn't read it in depth and don't know what they are promising or doing.

Google does crack down on the low hanging cheap fruit of links...but it doesn't catch everything immediately. I'm sure there are clever methodologies that are working now. Maybe they'll be snagged later...but who knows when.

I still get links. I'll get easy one's but the ones that really work well are usually out of the box stuff that the local competitors can't touch.

For instance if I had a bike shop in a metro area...maybe I have to write things that are targeted for a world of solid websites with a lot of "page authority" or "domain authority" or PageRank (to use a variety of names of measurement that try and assess how google weights links). those articles or sites might have no relevance to my local community of bikers, bike customers, etc. but those potential linkers are the types of sites on the world wide web that give authority for heavy links.

There are some local websites that have managed to do this. There are other local strategies that have worked. Hooking into charities with strong domains can work..but you can also get linked to via poor pages or in poor ways. One has to act on that in a clever way to get the full power of strong domains such as some charities.

Today with much of the easy cheap links of the past having been devalued and carrying penalties it is infinitely harder to do this...at least in my experience.
 

PaulSh

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How do you know they haven't disavowed those links already?
By the way, did you check if those backlinks are still live?
 

JoshuaMackens

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Saying it's just the links may not be incredibly accurate but it wouldn't surprise me if they are the reason for their ranking. Many times, we give Google too much credit. Blog networks are still working quite well apparently. Although it's easy for us to spot a blog network, it's not as easy for a computer (Google).

However, there is good news. Their linking strategy is not a long term solution. Sooner or later, they're going to get hit and they won't recover. Or if they do recover, it will be after months of hard work and including a reinclusion request from Google and even then, they'll be back to square one. And guess who will be ranking ahead of them? People who built quality, long term links. And if those people continue to build those links, that other company can't catch up.

Contrary to popular belief, I have not seen the disavow links options work just based on filling out the request. You need to do some work in trying to get the links removed yourself and prove to them you did that work in order to have your disavow request go through. At least, that has been what I have read. I also have had a little experience with disavow, as my client worked with another SEO company before me that built these type of links. They are hurting us and our disavow request has been filled out for two months now. No positive movement as of yet.

To comment on one more thing, on-page SEO, while effective and a basic building block of your SEO strategy, has a very concrete ceiling. It can only do so much. That's why people focus so heavily on link building. There is no ceiling. You may have the best on-page SEO in your area but your competitor can easily replicate it. They can't as easily replicate your links, especially links built on relationships. In many cases, maybe on-page will be enough but eventually, as people catch on to the power of SEO, it won't be.

Get a head start now while you can.
 
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