Google Still Busy Killing Off the Link Graph, One Link at a Time

Now that big media practices keyword stuffing, engage in link selling, are invested in SEO start ups, and are selling SEO services perhaps they won't publish ill-informed pablum when writing about SEO. :D

Don't hold your breath waiting on that, but...

Now that newspapers are looking to sell SEO services, Google is rumored to be out and about asking them to remove links:

We understand that newspapers are currently being contacted by Google and being asked to remove links (especially those placed after the articles have been written – ie comment links and links that are placed for payment in articles weeks or months after it had gone live). As a company, we have been aware that placing links in articles once they have picked up PR is not an uncommon practice in the industry, and we also knew that it would probably come to no good which is why we stayed well away. However, we do have some legitimate links on these sites that were placed as part of a press release or an interview and these are slowly being removed through no fault of our own. So much for all the hard work eh?

Google is warning newspapers from linking out and is warning webmasters not to do guest posts. It turns out that any and every link is a bad link in their warped mental model of the web. :D

The random surfer must be quite inebriated. And lost.

As Google controls more traffic and the value of a #1 ranking increases Google continues to filter filter filter the web graph.

The good news is that as Google's view of reality is increasingly warped & their guidelines reflect reality less and less they create a greater opportunity for some competing company to come along and build something better. And for any professional SEO who reads between the lines there is value in Google misleading the rest of the herd.

About a decade ago Sergey Brin stated they didn't believe in spam. A decade later they don't believe in the media and don't believe in links. What happened?

Published: May 28, 2010 by Aaron Wall in publishing & media


May 28, 2010 - 7:11am

News papers tried to do PPC too and I think we have started to seem them squander this already. I can't name one paper that hired knowledgeable online marketing staff to do handle this for them.

An IT guy, web developer and some acct rep who doesn't know anything outside of traditional advertising does not often translate well into online marketing success. I've seen skeleton crews similar to this make more bad site optimization decisions than good ones.

I realized agencies are going to beat papers everytime becuase they have GAP certified PPC people who know what they are dong. The papers brand may get a few SEO deals like it did with PPC, but once results are measured I expect them to lose.

As for Google slipping. I think when they opened up SERPS for multiple real-time and web 2.0 results they lost the algorithm that was solid to be more like Ask and Bing.

May 28, 2010 - 4:02pm

There are some savvy folks heading up the SEO efforts for some media conglomerates. Brent Payne works with the Tribune Co. and Marshall Simmonds works with the New York Times.

May 28, 2010 - 3:26pm

This just makes me want to focus more and more on social media marketing and PPC and screw SEO altogether. I posted on Leslie Rohde's blog that it's good to know basic SEO concepts and sprinkle them into your social media marketing efforts. Make noise and have Google chase you, not the other way around.

Your tips on building links regarding free software, contests, etc. is some of the best advice I can think of. I'm getting sick of Google devaluing my links and dropping my site because they *think* they look spammy.

Devaluing or not recognizing guest post links is draconian.

Raza Imam

May 29, 2010 - 6:58pm

I think this is just a misinterpretation of the original answer. Compare that with the later answer in that interview: "

Q 23. I know that inbound links will help my site’s ranking in Google search results but is that true for outbound links as well? I always link to quality websites from my articles where my visitors can read more about that topic but do these outbound links aid search rankings as well?

Kaspar Szymanski: No, they don’t contribute directly towards your site’s rankings; however they add value for your readership and they contribute to the community, so feel free to continue this good practice. On the other hand, being selective and preferring quality sites to link to might help in how Google perceives your site."

What John Mueller in the earlier question said is just they can ID quality content better. So you may as well have it on your site, not as guest content.

May 29, 2010 - 10:29pm

But the quality of content you need to have on your own site to be remarkable and linkworthy is *far* greater than what is needed to make a guest post.

How many unique / original / compelling / remarkable ideas could a single person have in a year? A dozen? 30 maybe? And yet that same person could write multiple guest posts every day without harming their ability to create the featured content ideas for their own website.

June 1, 2010 - 1:15pm using Bing exclusively for your actual searches and sway as many others to do the same. Google=Skynet??

June 1, 2010 - 5:14pm

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