Background Usual story - spend months working on a website, do all the right google things and find it sits down in the 300's and 400's of Google's search. OK why? because its web hosting affiliate sales and anyone who could link to me is also trying to chase that affiliate dollar and sending traffic to me is the last thing they want to do. Competing cheap and nasty top ten lists that are at the top of the ranking have 22,000 backlinks or so - which makes manual link building impossible. End results no matter how much Matt Cutts goes on about great content - if people cant find the site - they will never see the content. OK so what to do. Walk away or cheat as well? The Cunning Plan So I am thinking along the lines of some cheap and nasty sites that link to my site - they of course would be pumped up. Probably a pretty unimaginative thing to do. The problem is that I don't want to lose the main site. Wayyyy too many hours work. What I don't understand is whether when Google penalizes a satellite site do they penalize the parent site . Do Google check domain ownership? In other words how do I shield myself from Googles inevitable penalty?