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>My site was targeted with millions of low quality links

Are you saying competitors maliciously sabotaged your ranking? Or that you bought SEO services from an unscrupulous company?




Does Google actually punish sites for buying spam SEO, or is this speculation without evidence? They don't publish page rank scores anymore, so how can one know? How does one determine their site is "punished"?

I have seen the consequences of paying for SEO. They spam your site URL on random web forums. If you pay for SEO, you are very likely paying people to use bots and sweatshops to spam your site url via low quality garbage links dumped on Twitter, on web site hosts, in comment sections and forums. A lot of this traffic originates from criminal botnets. Seriously, don't do it.

As an example I just pulled out of our filter, here's what you're really paying for when you pay for SEO: https://twitter.com/karenhall191

Unfortunately, as a web hosting provider (neocities.org), I have to deal with some of the fallout from this. Google's business model creates this problem, but they provide little support and few tools to help us deal with it (reporting API please?), and we're largely forced to go it alone.


>Does Google actually punish sites for buying spam SEO, or is this speculation without evidence? They don't publish page rank scores anymore, so how can one know?

Because they tell us:

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2648487?hl=en

>How does one determine their site is "punished"?

Because it suddenly falls behind in results?


That is not a measurable process. A site could fall behind for any number of reasons, including bugs in their algorithms. I'm never going to say to myself "welp, our pagerank went down, time to use Google's weird tool to clean up the negative SEO attack again."

Without a real way to understand what's actually going on, you're just shooting at the darkness. It feels more like worshiping a cargo cult than doing something actually productive.


>Without a real way to understand what's actually going on, you're just shooting at the darkness.

That's no more a reason to doubt spam links' effect than to doubt any other suspected metric, as all as "shooting in the darkness".

What are you gonna do, lie down and have the site end up as low as it can get? Sometimes you do need to fight in the dark, and gauge any changes you make from the reaction you get.

"I'm never going to say to myself "welp, our pagerank went down, time to use Google's weird tool to clean up the negative SEO attack again."" -- is not really an option.


I have seen people promote several unrelated sites on the same spam network, and watched them rise and fall in lockstep.


I do know a company in India which does this site linking in forums, comment sections etc for their own product. They have large number of guys working on just linking. And does have good revenue as well.


[flagged]


What does that have to do with anything?



A valid question.

So I've never done any "SEO" work on the site outside of Google's own recommendations with regard to site content, ease of use, etc.

In other words no link building, keyword stuffed pages, etc.

I'm still in the dark all these years later, but my best guess is:

a. I had a blog and forum that, like most of that time (2012's), has occasional spam posts.

b. Those posts would often, but not always, be referenced by the spam links pointing to my site.

c. I had very high rank in Google for several years leading up to the penalty.

Because of this I don't think it was a necessarily a competitor, but rather spammers trying to leech off of that high ranking.


Either could be just as true, and you can't always tell which SEO company will be unscrupulous. They are masters of the spin, after all. I have resolved to never use the services of an SEO company. Having both been burnt and worked in the industry itself, I would rather not work on a project that relies on "SEO" for important revenue at all. As noted above, it is a fickle and ultimately brittle way to prop a business up.


Or your competitors bought SEO from an unscrupulous company ... ?




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