Did Google Just Penalize Another Link Network? SAPE Links


Unconfirmed reports are surfacing throughout the SEO community that Google has penalized yet another link network. The rumors within the industry are that the link network targeted by Google is named SAPE links.

Webmasters who have used the SAPE link network are reporting that their sites have taken hard penalties within Google, resulting in a huge downgrade in ranking. Not all webmasters agree it is the SAPE link network but feel it may be a different network all together.

There are forum thread discussions at Black Hat World and Black Hat Group that have webmasters and SEOs claiming it was SAPE. One webmaster wrote:

Anyone that use SAPE links see huge drop in rankings today?

Many agreed, but not all.

This would not be the first link network targeted by Google. Google has penalized link networks several times over the years, most recently the BuildMyRank.com link network. As I said then, I am surprised webmasters and SEOs still use these types of networks. To build your rankings on networks of links that can be penalized in a second by Google, just doesn’t seem wise to me. It is a short sighted SEO technique that I wouldn’t want to mess with.

Google has gone on record over and over again that paid links can result in a penalty. Google penalized a major floral website just recently for advertorial links. If Google made anything clear, they will ruthlessly go after link networks and paid link techniques.

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, tweeted about a month ago that he was investigating “naughty Russian link selling software.” SAPE link network is run by Russians.

We have emailed Google for a comment about this story and are waiting to hear back.

Related Stories:

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Penalties | Google: SEO | Google: Web Search | Link Building: General | Link Building: Paid Links | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • https://twitter.com/#!/kmadhav Sourabh Rana

    You don’t think Google has came very late to cleaning these spammy link networks.

  • Lilacor

    I found much info on sape links in English here: http://seofen.com/. No news on the topic there yet. Probably just another speculation…

  • http://www.v2interactive.net/ Josh

    Better late than never.

  • http://twitter.com/Yakezie Yakezie

    Never heard of SAPE. I’m surprised there Re still paid link networks after BMR.

  • Lilacor

    More info has been released on this website. It’s from one of the most respected SAPE experts in Russia. He denies the information!

  • misterzorro

    we don’t use anything and our site got penalised anyway :d the funny thing is that our backlink count is going up like crazy and we absolutely do nothing, we suspect a negative seo…

  • http://twitter.com/abdulisbest Abdul Wahab

    I think this is good decision because this gonna improve work quality.

  • ekleeber nadine

    my website went from #6 for a VERY competative keyword all the way down to… DEINDEXED…

  • http://twitter.com/thejosetinto Jose Tinto

    The kind of forums it discussed shows what kind of strategy it is. SAPE is there since a long time and who used it well cashed it well too.

  • Lilacor

    It’s probably update related problem! Write to this guy: http://tinyurl.com/bc8gjqf, he helped me a lot in the same situation a month ago.

  • http://twitter.com/JamieKnop Jamie Knop

    Talking to a few people I know from BHW it doesn’t seem to be related to SAPE as the comments coming through are more or less split 50/50 positive and negative. No network is Google proof though, its called a “network” for reason. People using such links for clients are playing with fire unless they clearly state this to their clients or are after shot term high return gains.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/kmadhav Sourabh Rana

    I Think we should wait to hear more penalization of more link networks coming soon. This news would not be good for link sellers on Warrior forum like paul & angela’s backlinks networks ;)

  • http://www.v2interactive.net/ Josh

    Two spammers, one stone, I say.

  • Harrythespider

    I have been using these, interesting though, i googled sape links and bought some of the website that came up first, because they are UK and i am i thought what the hell, i seen an increase straight away, i am still using them too and have not seen any drops, i use these guys http://www.sapelinks.com not had any problems so far but if i do see a drop in rankings i will drop them like an hot potato.

    I think its the same old Google just keeping everyone on there toes so we start using adwords, i will never do that, i will always look for a way to benefit my own sites before i use pray per click.

  • Max Webster

    What about Xrumer? That is the famous Russian software that is as Blackhat as you can get and is very well known in the Black Hat industry, wouldn’t be surprised if Matt Cutts actually means that

  • https://twitter.com/#!/kmadhav Sourabh Rana

    exactly :)

  • http://www.couponzguru.com/ Vikash Khetan

    They are busy cleaning the mess which they once promoted! Anyways better late than never!

  • Lakisha Caudle

    upto I looked at the bank draft of $7725, I didn’t believe that…my… brother truley erning money part time from there computar.. there great aunt had bean doing this 4 less than a year and by now cleard the loans on there villa and bought Citroën 2CV. go to, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • Вячеслав Сочка

    rumors and nothing moreRumors of war with Google Sape slightly exaggerated

  • mauzer

    Statistics on my web-sites in SAPE:

    46 PR3 sites are ok
    13 PR3 sites have got PR0 recently.
    PR4 without any change.
    Some PR2 got PR0 aswell.

  • Jane Dough

    All the information from all the disavow lists have been correlated…whats next…KA-POW

  • http://www.irishwonder.com IrishWonder

    Have you checked this outside of Sape, on your own, independently?

  • http://www.irishwonder.com IrishWonder

    Fighting software is useless unless people use it without tweaking

  • http://federicoeinhorn.com/ Fede Einhorn

    Sape buyers are still ranking high. Seems that google can’t take them down. It’s been 3 month since we were outranked by a sape buyer and nothing had changed.

  • http://simplecallsolutions.com/ Mark Newman

    Google and the other search engines are looking for quality sites with natural linking. Buying into link networks will always be a short term gain, instead work on your content and social connections

  • http://twitter.com/renee_girard Renee Nicole Girard

    I’m unsure how to detect if my client used SAPE link network in the past. How do I know whether or not they used this tactic? I’ve already done a link hygiene report and used the Disavow tool, but it’s been 2 months and Google still has not responded to my requests. Any recommendations? Thanks in advance!

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