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Interesting discovery

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by tony_d, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. tony_d

    tony_d Elite Member

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    A keyword penalty does not suppress the authority of a domain, or it's 'rank-worthiness'.
    It is, instead, just a handicap that rides 'on top' of a domain.

    Here's what I mean:
    On two separate occasions now, I've over-done the amount of PBN links with exact match anchors, and I've gotten myself a keyword penalty (ie, my SERPs for that keyword alone are smashed down to page 5 or 6 somewhere).

    In the months after the penalty, I've had the PBN links removed (to reduce OBL count on my domains) and within 2-3 weeks of removing the links, the keyword has shot up to high first-page spots, and has stayed there without any further link building.

    So, I'll be repeating this, expecting the same outcome.
    Build loads of high value, exact-match anchors that flow lots of link juice, then wait for keyword penalty, then remove links after a month or two and wait for ranking.

    The theory simply is that G doesn't devalue it's opinion of a domains quality because of keyword over-op, but instead the keyword penalty just rides over the top of a domain and inhibits its ability to rank for that kw, but does not prevent the domain from accumulating 'juice' - and once those anchors/links are removed, the keyword penalty resolves and the domain rockets to the top.

    As I've seen countless times, and posted about in the past, removing links does NOT (often) result in rankings dropping - and the reason behind that is probably the same reason that the above happens. Moz calls it 'link echoes', and whilst I don't have a name for it, I continue seeing it over and over again.

    Seems like a backwards way to get to the top, I know, but both times, it's accidentally worked.
    Now to see if it can be reproduced, with the same outcome.
     
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  2. jamesjk1

    jamesjk1 Senior Member

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    Interesting indeed. Problem is, accounting for cause and effect in Google ain't easy. As you said, if you can continue to replicate this then that would lend more credibility to the theory.
     
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  3. ChanzGrande

    ChanzGrande Elite Member

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    Agree with jamesjk1. It's difficult to tell from such small sample size if this is a coincidence or a cause and effect. Certainly duplicating your efforts and seeing similar results will keep you very busy making money. I hope you're right.
     
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  4. linkking

    linkking Power Member

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    One of my website was penalized for over optimization of anchor text, that happened on 15th March to be exact. Keyword was on 11th spot when it hit and now it sits on page 5. I thought the same, removed some links from my PBN and powerful sape links. I am still waiting for my rankings to go up. I will update this thread if that happens.
     
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  5. PBN BUILDER

    PBN BUILDER Newbie

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    Really interesting that others have experienced something similar.

    I have a site that was ranked in the top 3. For no apparent reason, the site vanished from the SERPs. My PBN was not exposed because my other money sites (sharing the same PBN) were just fine. My anchor text ratio was on point. I really had no idea why it fell off. So, instead of wasting the link juice from my PBN, I removed all of the links. Within 2 months the site popped back to the number 4 position. There's absolutely no links pointing to this site. It's been at the number 4 position for nearly 2 months now, and it hasn't moved.
     
  6. jak19

    jak19 Elite Member

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    if this constantly works it will be a great bst
     
  7. sandiego6

    sandiego6 Newbie

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    Google always works in mysterious ways, this is a good find.
     
  8. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The problem with that thinking, I believe, is that you are assuming that a domain/page can carry along the authority of a link after the link was removed. This COULD be... but why could this not be explained simply by the links being toxic and their removal relieving that damage. Did you test this by removing ALL your links? It could very well be that the links you left are powerful, well balanced, and AGED links (the longer a link stays the better it gets).


     
  9. tony_d

    tony_d Elite Member

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    Interesting that it was banished to page 5 also... that's where both my over-op penalties landed my keywords, too.

    Bit off the topic, but - we used to arbitrarily rank sites and then call the owner and say "hey, we ranked you, if you want to keep the rankings you can start paying us". For those that said no, we pulled the links - but rarely did the darn sites drop back down to where they started.

    Rand Fishkin (regardless of whether you love him or hate him) did some further testing on this about 6 months ago. His results were much the same as mine.

    I'm not quite sure that I'd use your words that 'a domain can carry the authority of a link after it was removed' to describe it, but, anecdotally it seems that something like that happens.

    In any case - when I make posts like these, it's not usually because I claim to have conclusively nailed something on the head... it's simply that I've observed something, and I share it - because when others read it, it might help to progress their thoughts or ideas on something, which will also then hopefully be shared with the rest of us.
     
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  10. myopic1

    myopic1 Regular Member

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    Very interesting Tony, I have two pieces anecdotal evidence that backs up what you've found. When I first started in IM I hit a website with exclusively exact match anchor text links, got relegated to page 10 but after someone pointed out to me what was probably happening, I went back and modified the link text whereupon the site was seemingly released from the algorithmic penalty and shot up the rankings to page 1.

    In terms of the link echoes you mentioned. I ranked a client's site, despite making him a lot of money he decided he didn't want to pay anymore without giving notice and having done a months unpaid work for him, he figured his rankings were what they were and the money would keep rolling in. Unfortunately for me, he was mostly right, after removing the PBN links that were ranking him for the terms that were bringing in the money his rankings, well...stayed the same and some even climbed. That was 4 months ago and they're still there today.

    An interesting thought that occurs to me is that maybe the links are being counted twice. I'm aware that sounds ridiculous but it's possible that the original anchor text passes 'authority' (if it can be called that) which is retained or 'echoes' and when modified the links pass juice through the second anchor text too which is responsible for the increased rankings after being released from the penalty. Food for thought!
     
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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  11. tony_d

    tony_d Elite Member

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    I agree with your sentiment, just not your wording.

    I'd more likely say they're counted in multiple ways, rather than multiple times.

    There's the anchor text relevancy, and there's link juice, and there's link age, and there's link source, and... probably hundreds of other things. But I think those are the key 4.

    As for the other stuff in your post - it's interesting that yet another person reports the same thing...
     
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  12. myopic1

    myopic1 Regular Member

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    Fair point, your way of phrasing it sounds a lot more logical.

    Slightly off-topic here but link age is an under discussed factor in my opinion, maybe because there's only one way to get it and no way to game it. On a number of occasions I've thrown the metaphorical kitchen sink at some terms and then slackened off to concentrate on other terms/projects, around the 3 months mark (sometimes later/sooner) the original terms really start to motor up the rankings.
     
  13. braindebug

    braindebug Junior Member

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    I really like these threads that give food for thought. What i can understand is that google has two main metrics about ranking a page. Relevancy and link juice. So when a page about blue widgets receive a ton of links with "blue widgets" anchor, google can easilly clacify this page as blue widgets. when then you remove the links or change them, google's algorithm doesn't reevaluate what this page is about, because it already knows. So you get all the power of relevancy minus the penalty. I hope what i hust said makes sense and please note that I have no clues, just my theory about what the op noticed.