• Winooski

    “Certain types of inbound link profiles could never happen without active participation by the site’s owners.”

    Care to share, or do we have to hire you as a consultant first? [:-)]

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com nickstamoulis

    I think you are 100% correct! Participation of a site owner is needed for any good quality, relevant links…I guess if some one is going to try to sabotage another site they will not be good quality relevant links but as you mentioned “low hanging” poor quality links…

  • http://www.VerticalMeasures.com Arnie K

    “My belief is that lowered rankings are wrongly interpreted as a penalty when what’s really happening is a devaluation of an inbound link portfolio.”

    Totally agree with you on this one Eric.

  • http://www.searchkingdom.co.uk RobAndrews

    I agree entirely that penalties are a lot less common than a devaluation of some previously weight-giving inbound links.

    However, my guess is that Google will trust a site less (whether this is a penalty or not is open to question) and subsequently drop rank for that site if it finds positive proof that the site has been engaging in ‘gaming Google’ link building. The main one of these is some (most) link buying techniques. There are others too which are less of a hot button to them.

    The link farm, swap links, stuff? Well, it is just ‘noise’ in my opinion. It neither counts for the good or the bad. It takes about the same amount of time (and authority) for someone to (think) they are doing this for the good of their site as it does for someone to try to do this to a site’s detriment. I think Google would ignore known ‘easy to do’ link farming for this reason.

    However, there are still a lot of links out there that take authority, money and effort to place. The ones of these that Google puts in the ‘gaming’ category or the ‘spam’ category will hurt your authority/trust score/link profile and ultimately some of your ranking.

  • http://www.ericward.com Eric Ward

    My hunch is 99% of the links on the web are useless from an algorithmic standpoint, and the engines can identify and damper about 90% of that 99%. And I bet significant resources are spent to spot the junk among that remaining %9 that is driving rank, when it shouldn’t be, especially in darker verticals. Hey, new article idea “The %9 Solution” :)