Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Deepak Rajput - Google Penalizes Blog Networks, Did SEOs Use It To Hurt Competitors?

As I reported at Search Engine Land, Google has caught another blog network in action after that blog network worked magic for a long long time. Those sites and webmasters who participated in that network reaped the benefits of good rankings and now find themselves penalized and some deindexed by Google completely.

BuildMyRank.com confirmed they were hit and is offering refunds to customers. There are rumors that other networks have also been hit but none of come out saying so, outside of BuildMyRank.com. What is funny is that they said, "in our wildest dreams, there’s no way we could have imagined this happening." And I am thinking, wow - people really think this will work in the long run?
When I posted this on my Google+ page I received a lot of questions on what is to stop someone from doing this to their competitor? Add them to a link network and them bam - good bye? Google says it is rare for links to hurt you if done by a third party - but anything is possible.
Which is why Google probably offers
@danthies ah, glad you noticed that. Good to see at trafficplanet.com/topic/1885-aln…that it's on peoples' radar that they're on our radar. :)
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 15, 2012
So which other networks were hit? Which will be hit in the future? Have you used this method to try to get short term gains and then sell it off? Have you used this method to try to hurt competitors?

Deepak Rajput - Google Panda 3.4 Rollout

Google rolled out a Panda update late on Friday. Google announced the update on twitter saying:

Panda refresh rolling out now. Only ~1.6% of queries noticeably affected.
Looking into the wording on this tweet, we can learn a few things:
(1) 1.6% of the search queries were effected, which is small but large for those hit.
(2) This is specifically a "refresh" and thus it seems like no new signals or algorithm changes were made to this Panda update. In short, they simply reran the algorithm on their index.
There was speculation that this update was being rolled out earlier but I am not sure if it was specific Panda related or not.
The previous Panda update was 3.3 taking place on February 26th or so. Here is the timeline:

Past Panda Updates:

There is a lot of discussion around this announcement.