Seems it was an interesting day on the interwebs again 😉 Google has send Build My Rank into the desert and the dust has still not settled. Instead of re-writing what others already published, here a link to Lis’ latest post for her take on things >Build My Rank is Dead<
And here my thoughts and suggestions, which like nearly always, differ a bit from hers – but not much in this case:
First of all on the BMR blog they published ‘ … In our wildest dreams, there’s no way we could have imagined this happening. …‘ referring to their discovery that they have been axed (read their network has been de-indexed) by Google. Seriously??? I mean come on guys! You sold back links, or better said, you sold spots on your websites for people to create their own back link articles for and never thought about the possibility that Google could track down your network of blogs? Some weeks ago I wrote a blog post entitled >Build My Rank Closed< where I already suspected that they where ‘discovered’ as a back link network by Google, so no need to repeat myself neither 😉
What to do if your are affected by this ‘BMR Meltdown’?
First check your Webmaster tools if you got a message / warning stating ‘unnatural links detected‘ or similar. If not, you might be in luck and Google hasn’t reached your site / links on BMR that point to your site – yet.
If yes, then things look a lot darker for your site and its rankings ;-(
Unfortunately there seems to be no way to remove yourself the offending posts / links. I had a look in my old, trial user dashboard at BMR and it seems that the only way would be to contact BMR directly and to ask them nicely. But perhaps a more recent BMR user could shed some light on that one? I have given up link building a year ago …
What else you could / should do
You need to keep a cool head and stop panicking 😉 and decide if you want to file a re-inclusion appeal with Google or not. That really depends on how much you make from the site and if it is worth keeping or if you are better off to start afresh. What ever you do, remember that more than your site it is YOU that Google trusts / distrusts. And don’t be fooled, Google knows very well which sites you own, especially if you are using Adsense on them 😉
My only experience with disappearing backlinks has been when several fellow internet marketers decided to take their blogs down / changed things so much around that their previous links to this blog disappeared from the face of the earth … BTW, that were natural links that had accumulated over time – not paid or ‘exchanged’ back links!
But I had a case of one site being de-indexed due to ‘duplicate content’ some years ago. Reason being an Amazon plugin that pulled the product description / reviews etc from Amazon onto my site and too little original content by me. I rectified the problem, bowed my head, acknowledged my transgressions and promised to be good in future and my site was re-included into the index in I think two weeks – and is still indexed.
Alternatively you could just forget about your site and / or rely of other sources of traffic (advertisement / email list etc) …
The question is now ‘Which one is next?’ or ‘Which network is safe to use?’
As I don’t work for Google, I can’t answer the first question precisely, but I would say that every link network that is at the moment open for new users is at risk. The same is also valid for closed networks that have a huge user base. In both cases because it takes only one Google employee to sign up and to investigate said network from the inside.
So, in summary, my suspicion that Google has declared the war on back link networks for 2012 (2011 it was the war against content farms) is growing stronger. And yes, there are private networks out there that never will be affected – because they are private, have been build up since the dawn of the internet, consist of a mixture of sites (not only WP blogs!) and are in the hand of individuals or SEO companies that have more money than you and I together … And these people will continue to use them, but will never share them with outsiders. So, every time when you hear that a ‘private’ network opens for a ‘limited’ amount of time it ceases to be private and is open to detection by Google. So, don’t fall for it!
Back link building comes with a huge risk, when Google detects the network and de-values its links, or de-indexes it completely like it just has happened to Build My Rank, it means your site(s) that have relied on those links for rankings will take a very deep dive to the bottom of the Google index.
If you want to know my thoughts on why Google is really fighting web spam, you might be interested in reading >this blog post<. And if you want to read more about why one high-ranking Google engineer left the company because he didn’t like G+, this article entitled >Why I left Google< is worth digesting 😉
And as always, comments are welcome and will be answered promptly 😉
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