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>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.




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