1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Case study and request for advice - manual action possibly uncovering site network

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by NoRankingsNoCry, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. NoRankingsNoCry

    NoRankingsNoCry Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello ladies and gentlemen of the black hat world, I?d like to provide the community with a case study with what we?ve been doing lately, and would also love some advice on how you folks think we should proceed. We had a lead gen site get whacked with a manual action which we have been boosting with a manually curated network, and would love to hear if anyone has experienced anything similar. Bear with me on this post, I?ll try and lay out some good background first.
    > Our ?quality network? ? though it?s really just a relationship network - has about 200 sites we have developed relationships with to place links on, primarily for their high Domain Authority and or PR. We install no code on these sites to monitor placements and we do not spider the sites ? the entire placement process is conducted by email with the individual webmasters and monitoring is manual.
    > Of our 200 site quality network, we had 32 links up, all on unique C-blocks, to a lead gen site that had performed well in the past but slid in the rankings last December and has slowly been bumping along at low rankings. However, there were no penalties and we were getting some traffic and conversions, so we left the links from the quality network up.
    > We boosted the crap out of the lead gen site?s PR a while ago as an experiment to see if we could override the rankings drops, it went up to a 6 on the toolbar back in Feb and stayed up, hasn?t dropped since, but there was no effect on traffic.
    > There were also some spammy scraper links we had built in the past, but we thought nothing of them and really didn?t focus much on the site due to the fact that they would be impossible to remove (god knows how to get ahold of those webmasters now) and it wasn?t really pumping out a lot of cash.
    > Two weeks ago, we received a notice of a manual action on the lead gen site against a portion of incoming links. We assumed it was those damn scraped links, and figured that the best way to deal with it would be to disavow them since we can?t get ahold of the builders to get them down. We aren?t a fan of using any of big G?s tools like that, but just wanted to neuter those links and get back to business. We didn?t cut any of the links from the quality network since they had already seen them if they actually did a manual review, and we didn?t want to have to take them down if it wasn?t necessary. We were hoping someone over at G had just looked at a trust readout and targeted our spammy links and levied the manual action.
    > So we thought all was good and then placed a reconsideration request.
    >>>>We got another notice saying that there were still unnatural links up, and they listed 3 SITES FROM THE QUALITY NETWORK. F*$%.<<<<
    > SO, this brings us to my question, which relates to the quality network. We have many of our other sites linked to from the quality network, and some of them are linked to from the SAME SITES as we had linking to the lead gen site in question. If big G has now found the sites in the quality network that linked into the lead gen site, they can easily look at those sites and see the links to all the OTHER properties we use the quality network on, which is a ton of other lead gen sites. SO, we cut the 32 links to the lead gen site we are talking about, along with all other links to other lead gen sites on those 32 sites. If they look at some of the links to the other lead gen sites, and then spider those lead gen sites link profiles, they are going to be able to see our entire 200 site network. We don?t know if they are going to do this, and want to know if anyone has ever had this experience, where Google went and just kind of busted an entire manual network like this. Should we just toss this network, or wait and see what happens? The network was super expensive to create, but we don't want our other sites getting busted.
    > Thanks for reading all of this, and thanks in advance for any advice from anyone who has experienced something similar guys!!!!
     
  2. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    8,762
    Likes Received:
    6,302
    Home Page:
    1.please use paragraphs.

    2.google aren't going to personally go after you or your network.

    3.be sensible - if google picked up on your links, then chances are the rest of your sites will get hit if they use the same sort of links - not manually targeted, just know that google obviously doesn't think highly of the sort of sites you picked for your network - maybe the pure fact those sites accept random links is enough of a reason why google doesn't rate them.

    4.build a private (internal) network, it will benefit you much more.
     
  3. NoRankingsNoCry

    NoRankingsNoCry Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the input davids355 - response to above - just some questions, interested in your thoughts on them, not trying to be combative! : )

    1 - Will do, yeah, those > don't really look that good now that I look at them above.

    2- Well, not worried about them going after me, but wondering why would you think they won't go after the network? I'd assume they have to have some specialists on the manual review team who are interested in busting networks. Has anyone heard of this?

    3 - Regarding this one, not as worried about them picking up our quality link network with Penguin or another filter, since I'm almost positive it was the spammy scraped links that directed them to the lead gen site in the first place instead of the quality link network. That was a dumb call on our part not to pull the quality network off that site since we knew about the spam links up there, but what's done is done. The quality network is a vey carefully built network. Regardless, it isn't going to hold up to manual review, and that's what we're worried about - has anyone out there experienced a domino effect of properties getting busted one after another after a network that won't trip an algo filter has been partially manually detected? Or is the consensus more that we are safe in leaving those sites on there? I'd be quite reluctant to remove the other sites from the network if they probably aren't in any immediate danger, since the network transmits a ton of juice for them currently, and they are all rankings extremely well.

    4 - Totally agreed, c-blocks purchased, private network is underway - definitely the way forward.

    Thanks!
     
  4. CosmicSoundz

    CosmicSoundz BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    1,296
    quality network or not if the sites your links are on are not relevant to your niche they know damn well that its not a valid link.
     
  5. TheLinkGuy

    TheLinkGuy Power Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    627
    Likes Received:
    128
    Location:
    EU
    this isn't how he got caught.

    the myth of relevancy in relation to links is a joke. Do you really think GOogle would overlook the "relevant" network links that this guy had created because they were relevant?

    The fact is that he received an unnatural link warning, and instead of removing links from his network before filing a reconsideration request he filed one anyways. THen someone at Google reviewed his backlinks and likely just found his whole network.

    AT this point it's safe to say most of the network is probably toast. However here is what I would do. I would remove ALL of the money links from your network, I would try and make those network sites look as real as possible.

    Then go out there and remove all other links that violate Googles T.O.S. Be sure to do this or your next reconsideration could be your last if they dont see enough work done. Explain to them that you used an SEO company and they have removed links that you weren't aware of being built.

    THen, let you network sit for a little bit. Create some content on it that doesn't include links. Chances are your network is probably a goner but if youa re serious about saving it theres still some hope. Just make the network appear like it isn't one.

    In the future when building links from this network make sure you diversify everything.
     
  6. NoRankingsNoCry

    NoRankingsNoCry Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks TheLinkGuy, this is really good input, and much appreciated.

    Yeah, the reconsideration request was filed without consulting me (unfortunately), and that is how those links were uncovered, for sure.

    We were thinking of doing something similar in terms of the network to keep it clean and rehab it for a while.

    I'm quite surprised that other sites that are linked to in our network haven't dropped in rankings - it's been a few weeks at this point. Has anyone actually seen them go through and bust an entire network in this fashion?

    Thanks again folks!