Google’s Hit Squad went after another link network this week, after naming and shaming backlinks.com and discouraging SEOs from participating in their network.
Matt Cutts, Head of Search Spam at Google, revealed on Twitter that his team had backlinks.com in their sights. He did the same a week earlier with another link network, Anglo Rank.
Cutts quoted from backlinks.com's own marketing spiel, and then directly refuted it, tweeting:
"Our installation code/software used to publish the sold links is not detectable by the search engine bots." Au contraire!
Just like last week, when he took the same tact with Anglo Rank’s claims, tweeting:
"There are absolutely NO footprints linking the websites together" Oh, Anglo Rank.
In 2013, Google has launched an all out offensive on link building for fast search ranking gains. They've torn down entire link building networks and businesses have been either rightly, or wrongly, penalised for links and seen their rankings on key phrases plummet.
Some think that the best course of action is to forego the link building process altogether, but there are ways to take advantage of links which can still benefit your site and rankings; with good quality content, in the right places online.
Stuart Brandwood, Search Executive at Hit Search explains: "If you were a link builder in early 2013, you might have seen what was coming a mile away.
"The guys at Google are smart. They were always going to catch up with these sites because, fundamentally, they only existed for link-building purposes. These link networks might boast about being undetectable, and having no footprint, but they were the online equivalent of a Potemkin village. They only thing Google needed was the will to push it over.
"For sites to affect rankings in any way, they must be readily indexable by Google. Even if these networks of sites were utterly undetectable, the fact that customers were using them to gather links will have made them traceable. That will always be the flaw.
"Google has always been at war with this sort of link building, but in 2013 it became bolder and more confident at punishing this 'fake' web. This has left reputable online agencies to focus on solid, ethical and high quality promotion.
"Google rewards interesting, informative content. It will be no coincidence if 2013 is seen as the year of the funny infographic or the interesting article. By cutting the mechanical, industrial link builders out of the loop, we make the web better for all of us whilst still allowing Google to judge and rank sites based on their place in the online community".