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SEO Myths and Legends - Theory vs. Experiment

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Micallef, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Micallef

    Micallef Supreme Member

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    Every time somebody asks for advice on their link build speeds, I see multiple members coming in and dropping the following "tried and tested" nugget of wisdom:

    Always be consistent with the number/rate of links built over time.

    This is one of the most common, if not the most common, pieces of advice given on the forum. It just makes so much sense, doesn't it? How could it be wrong, what better way could Google have for identifying unnatural behaviour?

    In fact, it seems to make so much sense that I am beginning to feel foolish for doubting it already.

    However, there is one quite serious problem with said nugget of wisdom - what has actually happened with my own sites.

    Here is the simple truth from my not so insignificant experience:

    Most of my top-performers have undergone erratic, unsustained and spiky patterns of linkbuilding. Many of my others share similar profiles. I have repeatedly broken the consistency rule, and repeatedly have not been punished for it.

    It is indeed a wonderful thing to delve into Google's patents and theorise until the cows come home about how it all works.

    Just want to state here too that some of the discussion that I've been seeing on this forum lately has been conducted to an extremely high standard, and this has reaffirmed BHW's place as the best IM & SEO forum by a country mile.

    However, I just want to remind you all of something which is indisputably true:

    No matter how good a theory looks on paper - and no matter how well it seems to fit - it may well be partly or completely incorrect if a reliable base of solid evidence has not been collected.


    This is especially true in the game we are all playing here on this forum, which is trying to decipher the internal workings of what is quite possibly the most complicated corporate entity in existence today - Google.

    :beerglass To the game, gentlemen. Good luck to you all.
     
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  2. MagicMike

    MagicMike Power Member

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    What Micallef said reminds me of my favorite phrase that should be universally applied:

    "Don't Confuse Sincere Belief With The Truth!"
     
  3. J0kerz

    J0kerz Supreme Member

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    Well, it really depends.

    I experimented different thing. With my latest website, I went to 15k links within a month, and guess what, I wasnt penalized at all. Im standing on top for my keyword.
     
  4. MarketerMac

    MarketerMac Regular Member

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    Even if you think about it being true - building links to quickly and bad stuff happening etc. etc. it doesn't make any sense.

    There are tons of mediums for having your content go viral. And more often then not it's only one piece of a project that goes viral, making it incredibly likely that even a whitehat site would generate tons of links in a short period of time, and that short period of time being very far from the 'norm' for that site going forward or looking at it's history.

    Think about something like Digg for example. Build a blog, get tons of posts, maybe a few readers, and occasionally some links. Get a post on that blog to the front page of digg with whatever content, and you'll get a shit ton of links in a very short period of time, and afterwards go back to just getting a few links here and there...google doesn't like to deindex good content, or penalize it. And lots of links screams that the content is good.
     
  5. bertbaby

    bertbaby Elite Member

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    So let's ask this question: has anybody at BHW been penalized or sandboxed for adding links at too fast a clip?
     
  6. CasinoJack

    CasinoJack BANNED BANNED

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    Yes of course there have, but there are to many variable to say why.


    As Micallef said, he has seen things with his own eyes that break these so called rules. I myself have a site ranking number 3 for a term with over 1 million results in quotes. Not one relevant link, and has been there 3 months+

    On the other hand, i have a site , number 2 with about the same results with ONLY relevant links, but all have ZERO PR.

    I see this and believe it. you don't have to, but what conclusions can one make? Which is better PR or relevance?

    I also have a site that got sand boxed for a bit. Since I been buying 3 year old domains and a few other tips, never happened again, and I do NOT do what they norm says, I do "spiky" link building not consistent.

    Great thread.
     
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  7. Micallef

    Micallef Supreme Member

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    This is an extremely hard question to answer. If you were penalized, how would you know the exact reason?

    About 9 months back I created a new website and devoted many hours sending huge numbers of links towards it. This is the only one of my sites which has been a spectacular failure. Google simply hated it - there was a penalty applied and here's how I know:

    I would search for the exact title of page A, and on page 20 or below, page B, C, D etc might appear but page A never did. Google was suppressing the rankings of my individual pages - a rare case of an actual penalty being observed, rather than a misinterpretation.

    Why did Google hate it?

    Well, content-wise it was similar to several other sites I've made (but definitely not too similar).

    Link build rate was quite variable and spiky but no more than my other sites.

    The difference was that I had been using lower quality links - from pages with little or no PR, some of them chock full of viagra spam. These links were pretty rotten but I wanted to test the effect of using them in large numbers.

    So, on the only site I made which has stayed in Google hell permanently, I do not believe that link build rate was responsible - it was probably the quality of the links.

    Again, I'm speculating. The intricacies of the algorithm are beyond any of us here. It may have been that link build rate was to blame after all, I just randomly happened to do it in a particular way that raised a red flag and got unlucky.

    It would be good to hear from those who build 10,000+ links a day. I have never done this as I go for manual/quality in my backlinks usually.
     
  8. killahbee

    killahbee Regular Member

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    I wonder how someone can say he has been penalized for building links to fast. Normally if you do that there are a lot of factors that can get your website penalized. For example rubbing to many forum owners the wrong way with your link building techniques and substantial number reporting your website as spam. The guy who build the link could think oh I build to many links to fast but in truth zhe reports of the blog owners was the only reason getting his website penalized. This is just an example and I think there are a shitload of other factors that can be the cause for getting your website penalized with lets call it the link building techniques you learn here. Not a Seo expert by far, just some thoughts.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
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  9. Micallef

    Micallef Supreme Member

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    Nice response.

    In many cases we all actually know a lot less than we think we do. This does not mean that we should stop trying to figure it all out. It just means that it's better to step away from grand theories (which depend on too many unknown assumptions) and focus on members' well documented experiences & experiments in the hope that they are being honest.
     
  10. tygrus

    tygrus Supreme Member

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    Because google cannot physically index your links all at once, they have no idea of the link velocity.

    I have built a few hundred in a day before, but it usually takes google a couple weeks to find and index them all. The internet is a big place and google cannot be everywhere.
     
  11. ToTheWall

    ToTheWall Junior Member

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    Now that is an interesting thought...never considered it that way.

    Maybe, if all your links are high quality and your comments/content are decent you can throw out 50,000 links in a few days and it will only help because Google will index at it's own pace? :eek:

    Assign your links a score representing quality (QS) as follows:

    1: Spam blogs with gibberish content.
    2: Small or outdated blogs/forums/sites with very low PR that is unrelated to your topic.
    3: Small or outdated blogs/forums/sites with very low PR that is related to your topic.
    4: Blogs/forums/sites on pages that are more frequently updated and get low traffic.
    5: Blogs/forums/sites on pages that are high quality, frequently updated and get good traffic.

    It seems you'd do best focusing on quality 3,4 and 5 links.

    N=Number of Links
    QS=Quality Score
    R=Ranking Increase or Decrease

    Instead of N/time=R the formula could be adjusted to N*QS/time=R

    The lower quality your links, the slower you should build them?

    Then again, you have to consider that Google certainly (it would seem) crawls some sites more often than others. If all of your new links are at places like wordpress.com or blogger...I'd bet Google will index them much faster than if they were spread out among many smaller properties.

    You could divide your links up into two categories (1) Mass Blog/parasite hosting sites with high PR (2) Stand alone blogs, sites and forums and experiment to try and find some ratio that works best.

    A=N1*QS
    B=N2*QS
    A/B= C

    C is the golden ratio. Perhaps time is the least relevant factor in the equation. If this is the case then the quality "3" links can be developed as quickly as you want while the "4" and "5" links should be built a little more slowly.

    Than again...I am suffering from a horrible bout of insomnia this week and am talking out of my ass. :cool:
     
  12. Micallef

    Micallef Supreme Member

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    Post something useful and stop craps....
     
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  13. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    My link building is always spiky too. I always tell people it's best to be inconsistent a little because it will appear more natural. But the truth is I'm just pretty inconsistent with it just because I'm kind of inconsistent anyway. lol

    I do think relevance is the more important factor, but that's also just another theory. There are a lot of people that still get great results both ways.

    I also think this is a great thread. Micalleff makes a great point which is the only real way to know what works best is to try it yourself. There's a lot of basic info that has really been tried and tested that can be given out as good advice, but there's a lot more things that really aren't absolutes.
     
  14. Disposable

    Disposable Registered Member

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    Your formula is an interesting way of understanding the relationship between link building and rank. It poses some interesting implications.

    1) "/time" means that the value of the links degrades over time. This seems plausible given G's recent emphasis on fresh content in rankings.

    2) "N*QS" means that ranking can be achieved with EITHER volume or quality. For a long time, both sides of this argument have had evidence to support their positions. Maybe both are correct.

    3) "/time" means that maximum ranking is achieved by a spike of crawled links (assuming that the formula does not include "-P" for a penalty). It also means that you will need to continue to get links to maintain your ranking.

    This thread started talking about evidence versus theory. This theory can be easily tested by one of our members with Scrapebox.

    (A) Create several throwaway properties within a single niche.
    (B) Use SB to create various packages of low PR and high PR blogs to comment on. For example, low PR volume could be 100/200/500/1000/10000 blogs. High PR volume would be lower.
    (C) Blast each of the throwaway properties with a different package and ping the links.
    (D) Monitor the rankings (incl the volume of indexed links) over the next few weeks.

    Similar tests could be constructed to determine whether rank declines over time, whether there is a penalty for link velocity, and whether there is a penalty for a high volume of crappy links.

    This formula is a robust encapsulation of some factors in ranking. It would be nice to have some experiments to confirm or refute the theory.
     
  15. razorfish

    razorfish Registered Member

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    What you can do to come to a conclusion about link building velocity and probability to be sandboxed by Google is to observe sites that have lots of backlinks built in a short period of time...

    Go to those hardly spammed and unadmined forums and find spam posts, bookmark the domains being backlinked on those posts and observe them in a long period.

    From what I have understood observing ONE one-page-site, when I first found it it had 40k backlinks and PR4 . After two or three months it is still index in google, it has 4k backlinks on yahoo and the pr is still 4.
     
  16. grayven

    grayven Newbie

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    Very interesting thread. I have used certain software to quickly provide thousands of backlinks to a particular page or site. Most of the time I make it to page one or two of Google. However, the site never stays there for more than a couple of weeks. Invariably, there is a precipitous drop. On the other hand, I have sites that are pagerank 5 or 6 with only 30 -40 backlinks.
    My experience with linkbuilding is that it is more effective to follow a method that is somewhat random. While I don't claim to know more about G than anyone else, it seems to work better for me if I mix up the rate of linkbuilding, rather than add 50 links/week each and every week. It is also much more effective when I build deeplinks and random internal site links. But really, who knows? Sometimes things work well, sometimes they don't.
     
  17. Brutus69

    Brutus69 Newbie

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    Micallef is SO true. As a data veteran I've seen it over and over - in IM and in traditional corporate world - "opinions" are often crushed by the reality of data.

    Data is real. Everything else is just an opinion.

    AND let me stress the data for one person's site IS different than another's. It is mathematically improbable 2 site would ever look the same from a data standpoint. They can be close. But in this game it's the subtle underlying differences that separate us.

    In God I trust... Everyone else bring data.

    Mike
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  18. ultimategamechain

    ultimategamechain Power Member

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    My simple answer is that I dont believe in sandbox unless the problem is in your site itself. But if its just because of external factors like some build many porn links to your site, I dont believe that will sandbox your site. Because if it will, I would have blasted my competitors away.
     
  19. kounamouta

    kounamouta Regular Member

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    this is some good info, so is anyone sandboxed ??? i have searched about sandbox and i found a post at wikipedia :rolleyes:

    i personaly start to not belieave in sandbox anyway
    im making two Experiments now with a 1yr old domain
    and a fresh one :cool:
     
  20. ipopbb

    ipopbb Power Member

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    Agreed. I'm wrong more often than I'm right. My results are better than most. It works because I test and shatter my own beliefs and I prove things for myself... SEO is not a religion, or at least it shouldn't be. No sacred cows... In SEO its all tasty burger! Now go sacrifice a goat to Googlhotep.

    I would add one thought to the OPs claims: He is right for almost all practical purposes. Link building, "in the past, because I don't know now", could delay when you start showing PageRank. If your site is "Very Blackhat" it could get you reported faster by "White Hat Snitches". Accept for getting reported for violations... there is no punishment for link building. The worst case scenario is for brand new sites and If you hang in there long enough everyone comes out of it... the truly crazy thing is when people quit because google wont recognize their backlinks for a few months... Google is tuned to make the majority of fly by night website creators want to quit... The sad truth is thats most websites never see their pagerank because people give up when they just need to sit back and chill.