Digital Marketing • SEO • Web Design

Google Slaps Blog Link Networks as Public Service


Blog Link Networks Crash & Burn

Perhaps by now you have heard that Google just released a major update to their search algorithm that has “slapped” blog link networks. This update has resulted in many thousands of sites dropping in ranking, and several major websites (including being de-indexed.

I’ll get into this in a moment in more detail, but first I want to assure all of our SEO customers that (unlike many search firms), TruBlu did not rely upon (nor even use) the methods that Google recently penalized, namely blog link networks. So if you are TruBlu SEO client, your ranking will be unaffected (at worst) or benefit as your competitors’ sites drop down.

You see, in the last few weeks, Google has been de-indexing private blog link networks. These are services that sell links and let you post to hundreds of blogs at a time. It doesn’t matter if they are on separate IP addresses or not. (Reference: click here) De-indexing means what it says — removing a website from Google’s search index, so that even if you search for the site by domain name, none of the site’s URL’s will appear in search. The site is gone — as in GONE gone. Digression: it reminds me of the Monty Python’s “The Dead Parrot Sketch,” as in, this site is no more. It is a deceased website.

Blog Link Networks = Can You Say “Spam”?

Most of the content posted on these “blog link farms” were spun articles that created  several backlinks from unrelated content in the same article. Even if the content and titles were spun up to 50%, Google found three word fingerprints, as well as sudden link growth, and penalized the whole group. (Reference: click here)

Google publicly stated they are, “… turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years.” It appears to be link popularity – the shear number of links – that won’t matter anymore. What will matter is what has always mattered:  quality links, and deep links, in context, from topically related content.

So if you’re not a TruBlu SEO client, the question you may be asking is, how do I know if my SEO provider is using a blog link network in marketing my site?

  • The first thing you might do is get a ranking analysis immediately now that the update has been made by Google and compare your across-the-board rankings; if there is unanimous loss of rank, that’s a potential clue that your provider is using blog link networks.
  • Next, ask your SEO provider if they use blog link networks as any part of their strategy, and if they do cancel their service immediately and find a qualified SEO provider! 😉
  • Third, if you feel like you’re getting the runaround and can’t get a straight answer, euphemisms like “Tier 1” and “Tier 2” network sometimes implies blog link networks are at play — not always but sometimes. This same terminology comes into play with legitimate Link Wheels, which (when done properly and conservatively) are part of an effective and legitimate linkbuilding strategy.
  • If your SEO firm is using any kind of automated posting software like SENuke X, there is a very good chance they are involved in blog link networks.
  • If your SEO firm advertises they can get X number of thousands of links almost overnight to your website, they are most certainly using blog link networks as part of that strategy. There are only a few ways to legitimately get that kind of traffic to a site in a short time frame, and none of them involve posting thousands of spammy articles to blogs around the world.

How to SEO without Blog Link Networks

The fact is, blog link networks were never a permanent method for marketing a website. Blog link networks were a shortcut that would only lead to disaster — deciding to arrive at the ground floor of a building by leaping from the window rather than take the elevator. Blog link networks would never end well, and we feel bad for the business owners who hired SEO firms that deployed their sites on blog link networks; it will take months to recover their rankings in the search engines and undo the damage of their blog link networks’ linkbuilding.

Blog link networks are not the worst thing a business could do… But let’s consider what can be done by a business to rank their website properly. The best way to attain search ranking is what TruBlu has been doing and recommending all along — real content by real people, originally written by people who are authorities in their niche, that is not only relevant but valuable to your audience. And then slowly and methodically doing whatever is possible to attract an audience to that content — in a natural way.

It may be cliche but true — the only way to success is consistently mastering the basics over & over. There are no shortcuts. We applaud Google for cleaning up search; there are a lot of angry people screaming about how bad this is. And we have seen on professional marketing forums people announcing they are leaving SEO because their entire business just got canceled. No one is pleased to see someone’s livelihood dry up, but the fact is that “search” (in its greater context of Google, Bing, Yahoo and hundreds of other search engines) provides a function and implies a level of trust — gaming the system completely violates that trust. If that means deleting blog link networks from the online universe so be it.

If you found this article helpful, please forward it to your business associates, share it on Facebook or Tweet about it. Thanks for spreading the word about blog link networks and what to do next.

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