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BuildMyRank, SEO and Traffic Generation


Question of the week:

Do you think the BuildMyRank swipe is a sign that soon, all blog networks will be useless? Or do you think that blog networks just need to adapt a little and can keep going?

Let me know your thoughts and comments!

Please leave a comment below.
Note that I don’t reply to all comments, but I do read them all. If I don’t reply to your comment, it most likely means that I agree with what you say and don’t have anything meaningful to add, myself. I appreciate and read all comments and your comments play an important part in what I write about, so keep them coming.
Spammy comments are always filtered or removed. No surprise there.

john - March 25, 2012

Hi Shane,

ALN was also partially deindexed. High PR Society as well, as fat as I know and SEO LINK MONSTER also got whacked.

    Shane - March 25, 2012

    I heard about ALN, although only a portion of their network was affected. Don’t know how bad it was for them, overall.
    SEO Link Monster didn’t last long, if they already got hit. Too bad for the owners.

Kingsley - March 25, 2012

I have always known “public” high PR blog networks were going to get hit by Google. It was just a matter of time. Now the time has come and will only get worse until they hit nearly all the other popular public blog networks.

The way forward is TRULY “private” high PR blog networks – the ones set up with all the right things in place and used PRIVATELY, not set up to sell links publicly on. Even just starting with 5 or 10 of such can help you get some results.

    Shane - March 25, 2012

    That’s true and it’s actually not that difficult to set up a small network of your own. The biggest issue I find is managing all the sites in a self-owned network.

    James O - March 25, 2012

    YES MY POINT EXACTLY!!

    such an awesome investment, i have it spread over many host and ips now – though i think maybe better not to mention much in a public place about details ;)

    but i’d rather buy a pr4 for $50 than a bunch of article links or something (of course i use both still my network and other methods to both protect the network and also have more diversity – but the power links are my own ….

      Kingsley, Anelda.com - March 26, 2012

      I would be wary of such PR 4s that only cost $50. Clearly a true PR 4 with tons of backlinks should cost more than $100.

Dave - March 25, 2012

No, I don’t. There’s a fortune to be made for anyone who can properly create a blog network that does not create a footprint. Those that own private networks are likely to keep reaping the benefits but anyone who can come up with a blog network that keeps big G off the scent will do well. I know for a fact there are already people looking at how they can adapt and evolve in light of recent changes. The downside for us is that it will become increasingly expensive.

I think you should carry on with your review of blog networks adding strong caveats where necessary. We all know things can and will change. We have to take the information you provide as good for now, not 6 to 12 months time. There’s definitely a need for what you are trying to do as there are so many blog networks out there.

    Shane - March 25, 2012

    Hi Dave,

    That’s the way I see it, too. I suspect blog networks will remain, but be more private and more expensive. We’ll have to wait and see, though.

Stanley Law - March 25, 2012

I think, Google is re-defining what types of blog networks it feels will be best for its end user, the person searching the online browser. Quality relevant content adds to the online website visitors experience. I believe the blog networks that post quality content to relevant active blogs will weather this storm.

My Two Cents Worth

    Shane - March 25, 2012

    If you’d have something that’s more like a guest-posting network than a blog network, I’m sure that would last. Meaning that all of the content would have to be top notch. The problem then becomes that it’s almost not worth investing the time to create such good content, just for a link…

      Doug - March 26, 2012

      Maybe if you get rid of the ‘easy, cheap’ links then these links would be more valuable and worth the effort.

Yvonne - March 25, 2012

Thanks for sharing your plans Shane. With regard to your single-post blog network experiment, whatever the outcome I’m sure most of your readers would still love to learn about your findings so far.

I’m also very curious to see your follow up to Backlink Battleplan, especially after these many Google algorithm changes.

    Shane - March 25, 2012

    Thanks, Yvonne. For now, I’ll just keep going with my testing as best I can and I’ll share the results I can gleam from it in one way or another.

AJ - March 25, 2012

As far as which traffic building product I’d be more interested in, it would have to be alternatives to Google. If it’s like your other stuff it would give those tired of chasing rankings an alternative that might let them sleep at night. :)

    Shane - March 25, 2012

    You’re probably not alone with that sentiment. :)

    James O - March 25, 2012

    this is why i am seriously looking at getting started with some CPV networks next month… we’ll see how that goes

Peter Sundstrom - March 25, 2012

Hi Shane.

BMR was not an isolated case. Google are targeting all the major blog networks.

You probably saw Matt Cutts tweet regarding ALN and the fact that they were on Google’s radar.

High Society and UAW and others have also been hit hard.

I used a variety of blog networks for my rankings and so far, none of my sites have been affected. I think this is mostly due to having link diversity. Most of the people I’ve heard complaining about their sites dropping like a stone almost exclusively relied on blog networks (and in a lot of cases, just BMR) to rank their sites.

Link diversity was always and important aspect of SEO and even more so now.

So is this the end of blog networks? Most probably in their current form, but like most things in the SEO world, they adapt.

I think Link Authority is possibly in the best position at the moment as they are a new network and their submission rules reduce some of the footprints left behind by other networks.

I think one of the major failings of BMR was the minimum 150 word limit. I’d guess that the vast majority of posts were around 150 words and that just looks suspicious (particularly when the link is in the first sentence). It’s hard to write anything of substance in 150 words, so perhaps if their minimum word count was 500 words, the content would have been seen as higher “quality” and offering some benefit to potential readers.

My prediction is a lot of the blog networks will permanently close and you’ll see a whole bunch of new services that are based more around social media – in particular Google+

Anyway, time will tell.

The most important message comes from Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy:

DON’T PANIC!

    Shane - March 25, 2012

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your comment!
    The word-count issue is one that I also think hurt the network. I’m not sure increasing the word-count limit helps, though. The problem is that if you have a limit of say, 500 words, then 99% of the people using the network will order 500 word articles and the article writers will stick to that number. Result: all the articles on all the blogs will be somewhere between 500 and 510 words long. That’s not much less suspicious looking than blogs with all the articles being 150-160 words long, I think.

    As always, though, link diversity is important, you’re absolutely right about that. That’s been true for as long as I can remember and I doubt it will ever change.

      Waldemar - March 26, 2012

      Maybe random minimum word counts would help to make it more naturally. For example for 10 articles posted into the network 3 max. 150 words, 1-2 500 words, 3 700 words, 1 300 words, 1 min. 1000 words etc.

      This would make it a bit more complicated but it would help to reduce the footprints.

      Shane - March 26, 2012

      That’s what I’d do, yeah. I once toyed with the idea of creating a blog network and that was one of the things I would have done: create some kind of randomization in the word-count requirement, so that the articles would all be mixed length.

Burak - March 25, 2012

BMR is(was) different from ALN and similar blog networks. But google is fighting with all of them.

I think links in blog posts (in content links) are backbone of google PR algorithm (at least we generally can say so). Link spamming simulating blog posts (that is BMR, ALN or HPBL networks) makes google very nervous and make google to take very serious action to link spammers (this is us :) ) Because I think google is first time hopeless to eliminate this type link building by changing its algorithm. So google is taking action both deindexing those networks and at the same time filtering (-60) websites using those networks. So we can say google’s main weapon is fear this time.

But still I can not believe this happening. I can understand deindexing networks, but I can not understand why they are punishing websites that are using those networks. This will end up everyone building those type links to his competitors. It seems negative seo era has just begun.

    Shane - March 25, 2012

    Yeah, the negative SEO thing can only end badly. I doubt it will last, to be honest. If it really works, there will be Google-bombing services and in no time, every page with a top ranking for any good keyword will have been bombed at some point…

      Glenn Bearsky - March 26, 2012

      Poor Google. It stopped trusting A, B, or C for Authority and devalued 95% them, then it cut the knees out from under D and E. Now it’s going after F. (In this example you could simply insert Social Bookmarks, Forum Profiles, Directories, Article sites, Auto-Blogs, Press Releases, etc for any of the letters.)

      Ultimately – Google is (again) declaring ‘95% of the internet is garbage’ – and the open, ‘democratic’ web WILL ultimately get pruned down to only the oldest, most authoritative domains.

      Is there really ANY point in having more than 20 SERP results for ANY query? What’s the difference between a -50 Penalty or a -200, or De-indexing — they both decimate traffic and cripple a site.

      The consolidation of Power – and Visibility to the top is well under way. I think Goog’s only begun to flex it’s ‘Footprint’ recognition prowess. And that means even more pain in the year ahead.

      Oh, and it isn’t just Google: I’m noticing Bing/Hoo has gotten A LOT smarter in the past few months… <— Something NOBODY seems to be paying attention to…

      Shane - March 26, 2012

      Yeah, the “walmartisation” of the search results is the worst possible outcome, IMO. And we’re definitely headed in that direction. There are already countless keywords where the above the fold space is occupied by ads, Amazon and Wikipedia.

James O - March 25, 2012

Hey Shane!

Yep its been quite a week for me, just today starting to see some of the bigger drops where i had like 200 BMR supporting major keywords…. so i am taking rapid action (and discussing many strategies moving forward with guys i know who sell services) …

they aren’t the only one too (obviously AMR but also HKSEO/highpr society – i can tell by reverse engineering my own links that every single one i can find through ahrefs and majestic has been deindexed though they havent said anything yet… i just wrote them… we will see they should have had all different themes too – that upsets me when things are done lazily like that)…. link monster is gone but they had it coming, was set up like a joke – same theme totally uncontrolled, i wont go on about my opinions of that particular project as it wouldn’t be acceptable language for your blog!

I think to answer your questions – it has been a more serious swipe at the networks than previously and more concerted – google sent out thousands of warning letters via webmaster tools (including to my big client !! damn that hurt) and it seemed like they actually were not just losing the link value but literally a sitewide punishment (loss of thousand plus visitors a day) but slowly coming back… like 5% daily… and i am fixing with new methods but really bad timing for me there!

NOTE: If you get one of these, saying that your site has unnatural links – DO NOT respond to it… i know of at least 2 cases where people did and had their sites deindexed. IMHO it is partly to bait people into giving direct acknowledgement of using the blog networks both to have a pile of evidence and to find out more of the sites… i mean ALN lost we dont know now, but likely half in the end so 10k sites, i read one guy on a forum lost 700 domains (deindexed) that he had in it… another 128… i lost 2 but got the other 1 out quick … did some stuff like new autotagging and other plugins to modify things and all is fine with them still (mostly pr3s)

I am as a result building out my own me only private network much more seriously and aggressively, buying more aged domains, etc… also getting some new custom ubots done to try out some ideas i have – but one thing seems to help based on what i’ve been hearing from service providers and that is 100% unique content – not spun – on web2s etc – top wiki sites, vbforum blogs, i am a big fan of doc sharing sites still – but using 100% unique (of course this will result in loads of new crappy content $3 articles – i know i’ve just ordered about 800 more!) i cant prove this unique thing – but based on lots of ranking data i’ve been privy too from recent weeks it appears google is giving a bit more value to those links than you’d normally expect. though of course it could be a false impression as others in IM niches especially who rely on these networks too massively falling faster than you are!

that is the one plus side is my competition seem to rely 100% on these networks and should take a beating – so hopefully they fall faster and further than i do!

But as to whether this is the end? no i dont think so – i think however it shows again that things like building your own just for you can pay off big time – even if not huge it really helps… and i do think its true that some of these networks, ALN especially – as they prob lost more blogs due to people yanking them after the panic then the initial 25% deindex. But 2 thoughts on that one – more people submitting to less sites = more footprint and more problems, others say after the ‘purge’ it will only be stronger right after – i am going to experiment using it on my less important sites and other promoters and see but not for another few weeks…

LinkVana i wrote to kill my membership – they claim not to be affected but i have looked up a lot of posts that were indexed and arent now – but the long form articles are – so i am going to keep using it temp. just for longer articles (the 150 word thing was a big BMR footprint) – and see as i have a lot of content right ready…

i hope BMR gets that thing they are promising setup soon to download all your past posts. It would be good to at least get those back for use elsewhere, which IMHO is safe, maybe use mixed titles… i mean the cost alone for all of those is enough reason…

well those are a few of my MANY thoughts on this topic as it has been what i’ve been dealing with and thinking through a lot the last couple weeks!

and today now that one of my daily big earners lost rank i am feeling it more in the flesh so to speak than just worry… but i have some nice tricks that should resolve that asap ;)

thanks Shane, as always!

    Shane - March 25, 2012

    Hi James,

    Thanks for your report! Sorry to hear about the troubles with the client’s site.

    Times are certainly interesting right now, in the SEO space. But I think we’ll see some innovative solutions pop up pretty soon. Whenever something like this happens, it always represents an opportunity as well.

      James O - March 25, 2012

      definitely – which is to be honest part of what I like about IM and SEO in particular (not the blows to the chest so much!) but the creative aspect, i’m an artist and designer background wise, and so it is funny in a way now specializing in seo but not really… i find the creative mixing of methods and approaches (which truthfully tends to mean approaches on the slightly darker hat end of the spectrum for the most flexibility in clever new tricks and combos) but it is an ever changing front and until it gets to the point where its no fun anymore these types of events definitely are an opportunity to get a leg up if you have the wherewithal to keep at it and get back up and keep going (as relates to a video of yours a few weeks or so ago!) – definitely part of google’s intention is to send a bold message to scare people and many do get scared i think and throw in the towel…
      so now is a good time to push ahead harder than usual and probably make even better headway.

    Chris - March 26, 2012

    James, are you still using High PR? I’m a member, and I’m unsure whether I should stick with it or not. I’m less concerned with the effectiveness of it right now as I am with the possibility of it harming my sites. I’m also a member of 1 Way Links, which I’m hearing has lost most of its’ effectiveness.

Oran Kangas - March 25, 2012

Hi Shane,

I see you are right on top of things, as usual.

Bummer on the timing of G’s latest blast, but better now than right after you finished your review.

Having been a net marketer for over 7 years, I’ve grown accustomed to these periodic purges. In fact, I’ve pretty much given up on all G strategies!

To answer your question, I think that G will definitely continue to go after blog networks, and the more popular they are, the sooner they can expect their demise.

After all, a shot across the bow only causes temporary turmoil. G wants total termination of ALL such “non-approved” practices.

Plus it is dead simple for G to know about such networks. They just need to Google “blog networks seo” to learn who to monitor! Then G can unleash a “network-sniffer-bot” to roll up the network. Bang – game over. I don’t know why it has taken them this long. I guess they were just too busy destroying other small businesses.

BTW have you heard G’s new motto? “Do NOTHING BUT evil!”

I love your work.

Best wishes,
Oran

    Shane - March 25, 2012

    Hi Oran,

    I’ve also moved away from doing stuff that relies 100% on Google. Too risky.

J. Greene - March 25, 2012

Thanks Shane for another great Sunday Update. I’ve been anxiously awaiting your insights into the de-indexation of the blog networks this week.

I recently cancelled my Traffic Kaboom subscription as I haven’t had the time to fully utilize it and couldn’t justify the expense. Now I’ll just have to wait and see if they too get hit by Google, or if I should have kept my subscription active.

As to your question about the future of blog networks in general, I think that there are too many clever innovators out there and someone will come up with a way to implement a successful network. They may have to be more quiet about it and not shout their existence to the world, nor open their doors to everyone, but they’ll still be around.

I can imagine informal groups of website owners with a common interest banding together to support each other’s sites on a much larger scale than in the past. It may be more like guest blogging, than a blog network, but effective nonetheless.

I can see it now … all the Shane groupies coming together to help each other out and beat Big G at its own game! Hey, count me in! :)

Best Regards,
J. Greene

P.S. Shane, how have your thoughts changed on something like SEO Link Robot in the wake of this week’s events? It is still woefully lacking in enough sites to submit to, but for what it has it does provide good link diversity. Who knows, maybe this will light a fire under Stephen to really start expanding SEOLR’s database of sites.

    Shane - March 25, 2012

    Concerning SEO Link Robot and other submitter-type tools: I think they still have their use. They weren’t as powerful as blog networks to begin with, but maybe now, they’re more useful again. It depends on how you use them, but getting some content on a few Web2.0 sites, doc sharing sites and video sites (like Magic Submitter supports) is still going to help a little, with rankings.

    Olga - March 26, 2012

    J,
    I laughed at your last line..
    Shane definately has his groupies doesn’t he?

    Shane,
    This is not isolated, as several estated BMR was not the only one. And I am sure G will continue its work, why stop now! They probably got tons of replies with all names of all the networks. And like Oran said above, they can just google it! and find out all the players..

    Looking forward to you report on alternate ways of traffic!

    Have a great week!

Steve - March 25, 2012

Why would someone need a private network?

Wouldn’t Google be okay with someone having multiple sites linked together as long as they are about the same subject?

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    Sure, they’d be okay with it. They wouldn’t count those links as real links, though, since it’s just you linking to yourself.

      James - March 26, 2012

      yes exactly… you basically need to do what is a moderately decent amount of work to do well… make it seem as though the sites are all independent. So different hosting, ips, registrars etc etc but where people get too sloppy is not using different looks and themes and layouts etc..

      I have parts of my network i DON’T use for linking to each other as it is just too risky anyway for those sites etc.. the main benefit there is I can rank for the same ‘money keyword’ and do in many cases on page 1 with in the best case right now, 4 positions each being a different one of my sites (it’s nice to compete against yourself!)… if you have bunch of sites on the same say hostgator account or even on same ip – or in theory with same whois or too many things that indicate it as the same owner – you arent going to be able to (as easily at least) do that….

      I segment then other portions of about 150 domains that are in my niche but not my primary domains, i segment them into about 3 categories where some i will still do autublog and riskier stuff on the outer less important ones… i will get relevant on topic links from the 2nd and 3rd categories to my ‘money’ and ‘authority sites’ in the middle.

      … and more recently i have also been building up about 100 aged pr domains, not on topic, but just like blog networks do – where they range from pr2-5 (i have about 3 or 4 pr5s, lots of 4s) and i use these exclusively to rank with… but still posting content on a chosen topic (ideally i can find it from backlinks and archive.org etc… ) and naturally mix in my links strategically but not ONLY… probably about 10-15% of the links would be to my site others to random authorities etc.

      It is a lot of work and a ton of money for hosting etc… but it has more and more proven to be the most valuable asset i have and as so few others i’m competing with go to these lengths it gives me a massive advantage…

      now if i woke up and it was all deindexed… that might be the day i too throw in the towel!

Matt - March 25, 2012

I think a hit on public blog networks implies that Google’s algorithm can not filter them properly, hence a more direct attack.

Shane, maybe your next product should be: how to set up a cheap and easy to manage private blog network. Something automated. Something economical.

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    Maybe not automated, but here’s my course on how to set up your own network: LinkControl
    Price: free. :)

      J. Greene - March 26, 2012

      Oh Shane, you’re the man!

      I just downloaded and bookmarked everything and will go through it ASAP. Your recommendation of aseohosting.com looks very interesting. I’m going to check them out a little more and may use them on my next project.

      Thanks for sharing all of your hard work with us. Much appreciated.

      Best Regards,
      J. Greene

      Shane - March 26, 2012

      Please note that the course has already aged a bit. I’ll need to make a few updates to it, soon.

      I’m pretty happy with aSEOhosting. Although I have heard people recommend not to use SEO hosting anymore and instead sign up for separate shared accounts for every site you have in a network… don’t know if that’s a necessary measure, but just wanted to mention it.

      Peter - March 26, 2012

      Have re-visted your Free LinkControl course a number of times since I first found it many many months ago Shane and felt it was a great long term strategy, but then kept defaulting BMR, AR and ALN to create links. Darn!!!

      Don’t mind J Greene’s idea of our own IMImpact “groupie” network. That would be very cool. I’m in as well. Organize that for us all will you please Shane….amongst all the other million things you have on the go.

      As others have mentioned, I would also look forward to hearing more from you if you managed to come up with a BBP version 2.

      I am sure, I am not the only one that is scrolling down the comments on this post and realizing I have much more to learn about SEO and how reliant I have been on the information you and your subscribers bring to the table Shane.

      Shane - March 26, 2012

      Hi Peter,

      You pinpoint the big issue in your comment: while I like the idea, I don’t know where I’d squeeze in the organization of a collaborative network, with everything else I’m doing…

      I think it would only be realistic if it were a paid service, so that I could hire people to help with management and support. And that’s opening a whole other can of worms.

Eric - March 26, 2012

Shane, I’m in agreement with Yvonne and Dave, I’d love to see your testing results AND a follow up to backlink battle plan.

Also, I’m very seriously considering building my own personal network of 5-7 blogs from which I can generate backlinks to my money sites. I’m in this for the long haul and want to ensure my biz is stable – reduce as much risk as possible. If others agree, I’d love to see what you have to say about this – maybe it’s a good topic to cover in your follow up to BLBP?

Finally, just want to say you are the most articulate, trustworthy source I’ve found on the net to date. You don’t talk hype, you say it like it is. Much appreciated. I’ll continue to look your way first for guidance. Thanks.

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    Hi Eric,

    I can also refer you to LinkControl, my free course on how to build a link network.

    It looks like it’s just become more relevant, so I’ll see if I can squeeze in an update, sometime soon.

Doug - March 26, 2012

Far be it from me to guess what Google may do in regards to anything… including blog networks.

Search engines want backlinks that show a vote for good, meaningful content. They don’t like paid backlinks and that is basically what these blog networks provide. The same applies to private blog networks. They will be harder to find, but they are still simply places to pay for a backlink, even if the price is maintaining them yourself.

Sometimes I wish Google would find a way to eliminate all the paid forms of improving a site’s rank. Maybe then folks would spend more time (or money) on improving the content of their sites instead spending it on ways to trick search engines into thinking their sites are well liked.

    James - March 26, 2012

    in my opinion one of the key problems with that is that 10 slots on a page one results listing once the net hits a certain scale (which it is well past) is just way way too inadequate to accomplish that… the model just doesnt work with however many billion pages are online…

    How do you do it right? what is the better option? well social and sharing is obviously chipping well away at things, but i am sure some completely different thing emerges from the next garage project going on right now… i’m not predicting google’s demise, but by no means is their survival guaranteed and they are showing signs around the edges that they are quite well aware of that fact.

    personally i feel as a result, i dont get the impression google is heading in the overall direction that their initial ‘values’ laid down so clearly a decade back, nor will their direction accomplish a better way to ‘fairly’ bring that promised stream of traffic good content deserves just like that…

    I have been spending more than a lot of time on some big seo blogs the past couple weeks (a warning letter to your one big seo client does that to a person) and there have been some interesting reads….

    and to bridge the topic of the blog network thing there was a slip Cutts made regarding a new round expected these next few weeks to penalize ‘over-optimized’ sites – very much including on page factors – (but also anyone without a very diverse anchor backlink profile might want to hop over to fiverr and your fav keyword tool – secockpit of course ;) i couldnt live without it!) but seriously if you have like 80% of strong links coming for your main keyword, thats something needs adressing NOW and throwing a whole bunch of related, random, unrelated and URL itself anchors at your site is a very smart move (something i had been guilty of not doing enough of til recently)….

    here’s a couple links about it for anyone interested – doesn’t really say much but confirms the ‘over-optimize’ thing:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401732,00.asp

    there is also this – frankly i think it is a little hyped and true symantic web is not exactly months away… but it has created alot of buzz – especially the sense that google will be working to keep people on its site(s) more and (in my guess) use semantic “named entities’ and all this new stuff just to target ads and shove them at you even more… and show average website results, well less and less…

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304459804577281842851136290.html

    BUT, taking the big media buy network CPV route is starting to feel a tad more attractive for some of my needs ;)

    a pretty decent blog post on the topic of the over-optimized SEO penalties expected in the next few weeks, and also more interestingly stuff to do with google patents for search and things to think about to do with named entities (early semantic web stuff) and other considerations that maybe a good idea to start thinking about both in terms of choosing keywords and in terms of how to treat on page – among other considerations:

    check it out here:

    http://www.seobythesea.com/2012/03/predicting-seo-changes-rankings-algorithms-penalties/

    some interesting links to all sorts of things such as google patents over time and how they’ve indicated direction of algo changes ahead of time for those who care to spend the time…

      Shane - March 26, 2012

      Thanks for your input, James. Those are indeed some interesting articles and I agree with your conclusions.

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    @Doug: The problem is that this would work out, if we all played nice. But as long as some people are “cheating”, then anyone who isn’t is just at a disadvantage. If Google truly could level the playing field, without just defaulting to authority sites for every result, that would be great.

      Doug - March 26, 2012

      I know that what I wish would happen isn’t what will happen.

      My needs are modest. I do things in such a way that I will be able to sleep at night. I don’t mean losing sleep because I cheated (although that is important to me). I mean not having to worry if something I’ve done will get ‘found out’ and I will lose what I have.

      Currently, I have a review site for physical products in a broad niche where I enjoy researching and learning about the type of products it covers. I also have an opinion site where I can just express how I feel about some topics. If I find something else that catches my interest I may expand in that direction also.

      I like to spend my time and money on content. I may not make it to the top of the serps for major keywords, but there is enough longtail traffic to pay the bills… and I sleep well.

J Wilson - March 26, 2012

Hi Shane

This thread is just what Google wanted, get everyone in a panic, spilling the beans about where they are and what they are doing.

I see some networks are requesting users sign an NDA which makes a lot of sense.

Google nets $40bn a year, now if you had their resources, wouldn’t you have a group who did nothing but buy domains and use what is out there to get them ranked?

They bought all their data centres in secret names to avoid showing their hand before anyone knew how big they had got. It seems they are the only ones allowed to be sneaky.

They can join any network and just watch the links that their sites appear on, then they look for other sites with links to those domains in the network. So obviously people will look to create their own networks, they will struggle for content and so patterns will emerge.

It is definitely good advice to avoid their letters fishing for information, but I think they are only focused on the most powerful networks (probably because of the undue impact on the rankings that is difficult for them to deal with in other ways).

If you watch the stuff Matt Cutts puts out, he acknowledges that people need an SEO company to rank and he knows that we do not use pixies to get our rankings, it is always a case of not overdoing it.
So consider this this a shake of the tree, ironically, some of the domains I have not done much with due to time constraints have ended up on page one.

Google will always move the goal posts , it is all part of the game. It will happen every quarter just before the latest Panda crawl.

There will always be winners and losers.

Tom - March 26, 2012

I do believe this is the end of blog networks as we know them. The fact that link authority was getting a 20% de-indexing rate while keeping a low profile to me shows that Google is very serious about this issue. I found the nondisclosure agreement an interesting way to go but seems unenforceable.

Apparently a recent twitter conversation between a Google exec and a super white hat build a site and they will come type indicates that Google is in this for the long-haul. I also think the end result will be individuals using “bad SEO” to take out competitors. I really think this will become a huge mess.

a huge number of 100K blueprint customers have seen their rankings drop including myself. I also find that a keyword I was in position one for has been almost impossible to move since. I go from four to seven and no matter what I do I cannot crack the fourth position. My income is about a 10th of what it was. Many others on the forum are experiencing the same thing.

I too am looking for new ways to drive traffic that doesn’t depend on Google. An interesting statistic brought up in the last webinar at the 100K
results subscription is that there are 5.9 billion active cell phone accounts. This number to me is staggering! The old paradigm of the individual sitting at a desk top computer is quickly dying. Google knows this and is afraid it will become irrelevant in the future.

I was wondering if your own private link networks were hit at all and is this still a viable option?

Anyway thanks for all you do.

thanks,
Tom

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    I’ve had sites lose some PR, in my network, but I haven’t had any of them de-indexed.

Martin - March 26, 2012

I don’t think that there is any question of Google hitting more networks. The future brings us smarter and smarter algorithms to detect where your site’s “juice” is coming from. Google will decide what they like and do not like. Clearly, they will take no prisoners in their attempts to build Google+.

YouTube is something I am trying to do more of. Google shows the love to YouTube.

By the way, does your YouTube course deal with getting a site ranked in YouTube or is it strictly about production?

I was recently contacted by an acquaintance that is trying to get 10 like minded individuals to form a truly private network. Each individuals would over time need to build out 5 authority sites on geographically dispersed IP addresses.

Do you need the 20,000 sites that BMR had? No, I think that 50 ranking sites with quality posts will be enough. You do not have to sit in the first row, you just need Google to say “Hey, you there in the back, stand up so we can get a good look at you.”

I also put my article spinner in out in the trash for the garbageman.

Matts - March 26, 2012

Hey there Shane,

I don’t think seo is going anywhere for a while but it is for sure not a popular terminology amongst googlers. Like what they say on their official channels…they want you to write awesome content and you will magically appear on first page of G. That is for sure a good start but it’s not enough if you want to be successful. Especially if you are in some niches that is not really social shareable or do not have guest post opportunities.

I do think that we are seeing a paradigm shift now with SEO, and remember that g has just played out their weakest cards right now. What I mean with that is that “of site” side of things is what they have a lot harder to control. Just wait and see when they start to control their SERPS more with ads and more frequent changing/refreshing results. I think we are going to see in a not so distant future organic search results changing quite a lot at the top, and it would make sense even. If you think about it there are a lot of Press releases in most niches.

And the top of Google organic results should change as much as there are new press releases. Let’s say that you have a page about “best golf clubs”. Now for how long time is a golf club the best golf club? Maybe two months then there is some better clubs out there.

But a page could rank 2 years on top of Google for best golf club, but that page has come irrelevant within two months to stay on top of the organic SERPS. This would also help G with a lot of other headache and spammers. To turn the Organic search results into a twitter feed in slow motion that still maintains its relevancy. The problem is of cause to keep it relevant. But I am almost certain that this is what we are going to see in not so distant future when the technology allows it. So none G traffic that actually converts is more hot than ever.

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    Those are some interesting thoughts. “Twitter feed in slow motion” is a great way to put it! :)
    The freshness of content is definitely a factor that Google also take into account.

David - March 26, 2012

Good and interesting video Shane!

I’ve been also using BMR on some of my sites, the deindexing didn’t affect any of them (yet), though, fingers crossed.

Would you guys recommend to let BMR manually remove the BMR posts pointing to your articles? BMR offers this option since a couple of days.

Cheers

David

Nisheth - March 26, 2012

Thanks for the update, Shane. I had been waiting for a while on your thoughts about the de-indexation of blog networks. I also didn’t know you had a course (FREE!) on how to build a blog network. I definitely need to take a look at that.

My feeling is that SEO is just going to get harder and harder (and consequently more expensive) for everyone. Only big players willing to invest a significant amount of resources are going to be able to succeed.

I’m definitely interested in an overall traffic generation product so I’ll be looking forward to that one.

Thanks!

    AJ - March 26, 2012

    Great points, Nisheth. I agree that SEO is getting harder and harder. And that it takes more money. Adding that if you make a simple misstep, all that time, money and effort can be slapped away by Google in a heart beat. Taking your site from the top 10 to page 10. :) Which is why I’m interested in finding other ways to drive traffic. Especially if it’s a step by step outline.

      AJ - March 26, 2012

      Oh yeah and say you did everything right. A less than happy competitor who you outrank can use this service to take you out and use Google to do it.

      http://www.negativeseo.me/

      I know. Paranoia reigns supreme right now. But I’ll bet that service is being used.

Holly - March 26, 2012

Hi Shane,
I have come to the conclusion that google has now way too much power. People or things that are given too much power tend to abuse this power. Google will eventually go to far and the public out cry will end up causing an internet disaster. Google is getting way out of hand.. even when I seach for anything now alot of the info IS NOT THERE! This has not improved my search results at all nor do I have what could be called and enjoyable internet experience!!!!!
A lot of sites I used to used are now none existant………I am stuying in uni and even a lot of the education sites have gone. I am angry about the way google has carried on.

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    Hi Holly,

    I think you’re right about that. Power seems to always corrupt and I wouldn’t be surprised if Google ended up digging their own grave.
    But we’ll have to wait and see, to find out for sure.

Craig - March 26, 2012

HI Shane,

As a SECockpit and user of your SEO Service I would like to know.
How will this reflect on your own SEO Service?

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    If the networks we use also get smacked, then we’ll either change or remove the service. I’m still testing to see if the effectiveness is gone, or not.

Oran Kangas - March 26, 2012

RE private blog networks:

I did that … 5 years ago. Here’s how that went:

We started with 22 highly motivated, fairly well experienced web marketers. We had a virtual partnership with each other of nearly a year. We had pooled money on various software development projects. 2 are still moderately well-known gurus (I am, alas, not 1 of those 2).

2 months of careful planning, organization, and rules crafting (oh, yes, you will need them more than everything else) lead to 67% attrition!

Only 7 intrepid individuals finally stepped up to the plate and contributed their first blog. None were, IMO from hindsight, very well designed (including my own). The collectivist mentality of the system practically guarantees that result.

Then we moved on to content. We were all experienced bloggers and article writers. So what we produced to put of each other’s blogs was top notch … crap! We were busy professionals, so we used up our creative energies on own blogs, leaving precious little left for “the other blogs.”

Seeing the resulting crap-fest 4 people dropped out within the first month.

We tightened the “rules” which rankled. Everyone felt slighted for being accused of producing drivel, while secretly knowing it was undeniably true.

Being stubborn, I lasted another 6 weeks, and was the last out the door.

It was a great idea and a great group of people. And a total bust.

It is still a great idea. For the right set of people. With the right set of rules.

My point is: choose your people very carefully (integrity is more important than experience) and choose your rules even more carefully (everyone can agree that good quality content is good and crap is bad. The key to success is to objectively quantify quality).

Of course, that’s just my results. Yours may be different.

Best wishes,
Oran

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    That seems all too familiar…

    Although not with blog networks, I’ve been involved in some group projects that went exactly like this: everyone’s enthusiastic about it at first, but a few weeks later, almost no one is left.

Michael Ullman - March 26, 2012

Hi Shane,

Great video as always!

I did a ‘Live Training’ presentation on this for our new “$100k Results!” membership. With the number of people affected, I decided to make it publicly available.

The presentation goes over BMR, blog syndication networks in general, the ‘what’ ‘why’ of what happened, and what to do about it.

Your readers can find it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmMJA9xF38w

Michael

Howard - March 26, 2012

I wonder if this will also eventually be applied to social network backlinking schemes like SocialAdr. The business model of SocialAdr is pretty brilliant — get money from paid members, get free members to do all of the work, and put just incentives in to balance the number of people in the two groups. And, just maybe, spread everything around thinly enough to stay under the Big G radar.

I may be the only person using SocialAdr who takes the time to review each site to make sure it’s not something I’d be embarrassed to provide a link to, so I worry about about the quality of links I get in return as a free member — and I’d probably be even more worried if I was a paying member.

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    Yeah, I see a wave of social-signal abuse and following slaps ahead…

rob - March 26, 2012

gaming google is not the future, truly useful sites should be the goal. Creating amazon affiliate sites listing breadmakers is really just junk. Now if you make a site about related topics to breadmakers then you have a useful site. I’m actually happy google is making the web finally ‘grow up’, shaking out the junk.

Jake - March 26, 2012

OMG! The world is going to end!

Really, build my rank is just one of many many networks that are still out there for people to use, however the future is in decentralized networks most certainly.

While I believe that amr and linkathority are on the right track, truly private link networks that use broad ip diversity and normalized looking blogs that have real looking content is what will stand the test of time.

Google maybe just signing up for these blog networks, and this may cause the death of an industry, however private networks such as serp gold that have membership caps are sensible because they lock Google out.

Eric - March 26, 2012

Hi, Shane

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. In my opinion, blog networks can still go sometime, which will change itself against google’s attack. But I am afraid it won’t last long, as long as we can use blog network, google also can and it know better than us. So kick blog network sites is easy if they want.

For now, I prefer to use the normal property to building links and see what happend after the dust.

Jeremy - March 26, 2012

Hi Shane,

What Google wants I think is for people to create great content and then people will naturally link to it. We all know this but people don’t want to admit it.

I don’t think the roi for seo is there anymore. People should start learning about real advertising online and building a list. Creating great content is expensive and rankings take a long time.

I bought an seo course from someone who makes 6-figures from seo traffic and the bottom-line was create great content and then email other related sites and say I have this great article, I think your visitors will find useful.

Hopefully they will link to you. Only a few of these links will go a long way.

Also, honestly a lot of the 150 word posts on BMR are useless, they provide no value to the reader. We have been lying to ourselves.

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    I’d add one correction: Google don’t want you to create good content. Google want more money for Google.

    I just mention this because even the best content in the world won’t save you. Google will have no mercy if there’s money in not showing your site.

    But apart from that, I very much agree: create sites for people and build assets such as a mailing list. That’s the way forward.

Gordon - March 26, 2012

Hi Shane,

Interesting question you ask. Personally I am trying to work out the best way to involve Social Media in the backlinking mix as I think that Google will want to use Google+ and YouTube and will therefore open the door to more Social Oriented content and involvement. I would be intersted to hear what you think.

Also what does the BuildMyRank slap mean to software like Magic Submitter and how will the Google changes effect such programs?

Content will still be king I think but what will be the best way to distribute the content…and what is the best format FOR that content?

GJ

MR. Dimitry - March 26, 2012

Solid video as always Shane, I always find myself spotting these updates in my inbox and impulsively checking them out because they always help put some of the info floating out there into a neat perspective that a lot of people miss the mark on.

As others have said, I think what we’re seeing now is what a lot of us already saw coming a mile away if you happened to catch Matt Cutt’s infamous tweet on this subject.

Of course Google will probably have people checking out not only the huge public networks like ALN, BMR, etc, but most likely the forums where they are usually discussed the most to gain insight into who uses what and where. I expect more of these big sites to be hit in due time, which is a shame, but the name of the game in SEO is evolve or die, and never, ever, ever place all of your eggs in one basket. In the case of an algorithmic update (which I don’t think is the case here for the record, I think this is google flipping out and attacking what it can’t hit with such an approach because these things make them more than a little worried), this could be a game changer for many, but it’s not a deal killer.

I can see a lot more people starting private networks in the near future as well as maybe even relying more and more on things such as social signals from twitter and facebook for example. It’s all just in my humble opinion anyway. Keep up the great work! looking forward to more updates than usual.

Graham - March 26, 2012

I think it is the start of a new beginning in many ways. For too long all of us in the internet marketing game have known that this link building thing has been a way to artificially manipulate our rankings. And Google was complicit in allowing, in enabling us to do so.

It has (SEO and rankings) all been controlled by bots, machines if you like, and it has left people out of the equation in so many ways. Google has been at fault, we’ve been at fault. We have to remember that at the end of it all there are people looking for information, looking for something that will add value to their life in some way. Be it a product, an idea, a tip, some information….

I have just been reading a book by Seth Godin in which he talks about becoming ‘artists’ or ‘linchpins’. Stepping out of the system, stepping out of the cogs of the machine, and making a difference. It is really difficult to summarize all that he says in the book in a few words but I just picked up the book and opened it near where I was just reading… here’s a quote:
“The Internet has raised the bar because it’s so easy for word to spread about good stuff. There’s more junk than ever before, more lousy writing, more pointless products. But this abundance of trash is overwhelmed by the market’s ability to distribute news about the great stuff.”

If we are creating really great stuff it will get distributed and we will reap the rewards. Here is Seth’s hierarchy of value: Lift>Hunt>Grow>Produce>Sell>Connect>Create/Invent
Lots of people can lift. That’s not paying off anymore. A few people can sell. Almost now one puts in the work to create or invent. Up to you.

I think Google is doing us all a service by acting like it does, it is forcing us up the hierarchy of value, and probably without even knowing it. And in addition will eventually make it’s self an irrelevant dinosaur of the early internet years (OK, maybe that’s a wee way off yet…. but eventually). No longer will it’s results be trusted by it’s users (it will be too commercially driven), people will once again turn to their social networks for recommendations and information (there is a hint in there somewhere). It’s up to us.

Graham :)

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    Hi Graham,

    Thanks for your comment!
    Seth’s stuff is always great. Love the idea of that hierarchy and I think it’s very poignant.

Howard - March 26, 2012

I think it’s interesting that the problem Google is trying to solve is one that it created in the first place. As soon as somebody learned that backlinking was the key to serps in Google, there was an inevitable massive global pile-on. Which Google mostly ignored for years.

I took a look at the negative seo site mentioned above. Somewhat frightening. But if Google actually penalizes sites for crappy links, you can expect another massive global pile-on. There is (nor will there ever be) no shortage of people who want to game the system.

Another problem is that there is a dominant #1 in the search engine business. Unfortunately, the way the internet works, there is usually a #1, and #2 is almost always a distant second.

Lately, at least at work, I have noticed that Bing gives me better results when I’m researching a technical topic (I wrote a blog article on that subject on one of my blogs, chl-tx dot com). It’s nice that Bing shows signs of being a viable competitor for that space, but it would be even nicer if there were 3 or more competitors with approximately equal footing. Nothing cures the ills of any market better or faster than meaningful competition.

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    Very true. You can’t stop people from trying to game the system, no matter what you do. In many ways, many successful businesses are the ones that game the system the best. If you look at stuff that large corporations do with asset purchases, offshore accounts, outsourcing etc. it’s all ways of exploiting loopholes in the system.

    And I agree that Google is #1 because they’re #1, at this point, not because they have the best results. If we wanted great search results, we’d all be using DuckDuckGo.

      Nate Rivers - March 26, 2012

      How does duckduckgo work? I’d never heard of it til just now and I searched some keywords for my niche sites and it has my sites listed in the top 5 for every keyword I tried…

      Does it use browser history or something or are my sites just that good?? lol.

      Shane - March 26, 2012

      Works like any other search engine. It seems to deem your sites relevant to the keywords you searched for.

      Unlike Google, it doesn’t have an extreme big-brand slant.

      Howard - March 26, 2012

      DuckDuckGo?

      Thanks, Shane, I learned something new from you today. Again.

      I did some poking around in DuckDuckGo, and I can see that it’s kinda fun. Bears more looking into. Wonder how they came up with that name?

      I’m all in favor of promoting minority search engines. Not that pushing a rope accomplishes much, but sometimes it feels good, even if hopeless.

      Shane - March 26, 2012

      I first heard about it on SEOmofo, I think. It does seem to deliver really fitting results. And the fact that it isn’t clogged up with tons of exceptions and special listings like Google is, makes me almost nostalgic.

      James - March 27, 2012

      …never heard of that either will check it out right now (which i guess is exactly the problem, lol – but memes/brands can spread like wildfire clearly – look at pinterest, so things can change rather quick)…. yeah it is interesting really digging into my stats occasionally and seeing some weird sources of international traffic esp… search engines i never heard of in south africa etc.

      I 100% agree google are the equiv of Rockefeller/JP Morgans (that isn’t a very positive thing if you know the bios of these tycoons! they were about as fraudulent and ferociously deviant – undeniably criminal – as you could get in the early days)… I do like to believe that google did have the naive youthful intentions it says – but i dont agree 100% good for them – i find it little shameful the extent to which a brand ideology can become that warped – capitalism is fine and good – but not the kind so common in the world today especially in the states… there is plenty of money making innovative companies that can hold true(r) to their stated socially beneficial intentions as part of that… so much as I respect google in many ways, i am really sad to see such an obvious repeat of the usual curve that happens on so many ways so often in business and elsewhere – from naive good intentions to a curve of big success that leads to some kind of power and the temptations to get greedy and say screw it to the initial good intentions… there is more to worry about than love about google at this moment in time in my own point of view. And not just for as George oRwell would put it – ‘A Boot Stomping On You Face’ (of seos) lol, for eternity…

      The other note there of course is Bing (meaning bing/yahoo) which i really dont focus on but the approaches i use which work in google dont seem to work as well with them and as i am promoting to a us marketplace almost exclusively – and with that 30 something percent and growing i’d like to find some tips on how they differ and what works best over there…

      but yeah, there will be some totally new search type paradigm (this is the web industry after all, history in it would predict some major sudden emergences coming about frankly right about now)… i’ve been massively interested in Stephen Wolfram since long ago (i got a free review copy of Mathematica for that magazine i made in grade 8! i remember the box weighed a tonne and it retailed for some ridiculous amount!!)

      but on topic his ideas are pretty interesting if any of you have read ‘a new kind of science’ or have interests there (i am not some math/science geek or wizard at all, but am super into the ideas and can usual follow abstract visualization ok) – not its not a traditional search engine, but

      http://www.wolframalpha.com/

      is very very cool – and if the concepts behind it could be applied to semantics and a semantically marked up net crawl database, as that moves forward, i still expect to see more brilliant innovation from over there… and wouldn’t be surprised to see something innovative in search there soon – as good a guess as any!

Norm - March 26, 2012

Shane says, “New Traffic Paradigm.” I like that!

Shane, I wager that you will agree that this update page is among the best with great comments on a very troubling subject.

I give gloom and hope…

One comment I can do without forever and forever though is that Google is just looking out for their search customers. This is ridiculous. Google is looking out for Google. This is a key fact. They are coldly calculating and they are as simply ruthless as a cocked cannon.

And the thing about Google being concerned about becoming less relevant because of conjiggered rankings. That is silly. Nobody except a handful of Google employees and us geeky SEO types know or care about relevancy in searches. You’d have a time explaining the concept to 98% of the Google users.

This opinion, btw, comes from someone who has at times been completely wrong on slam dunk issues. Still, I’m right on this one. Google simply doesn’t have it to do…what they are doing. So why are they doing it?

I don’t pretend to have the boardroom answer, but common sense indicates that they want to maximize their pay per click operation. Unlike organic, which is free, and Adsense which is shared, the revenue stream for Adwords is all one way.

It is a historical fact that Google took over the search scene a few years ago because they were the only real alternative to the new fad of having to pay to get listed at a critical time in search engine evolution. Now that they are the big dog, it looks like they want to go back to that model…in a sneaky way.

If they can make it so that nobody can gain advantage in organic SEO beyond excellent content, then the alternative is to pay for clicks to achieve more traffic.

Then what about Adsense? Well what about it? Google won’t lose a penny on it. The revenue sources will just shift to more sites to make the same bucks. That’s all.

It’s a chess game and Google has all the good pieces. Right now, good pawns that we are, we keep moving this way and that trying not to get smacked.

So where’s the good news? Maybe in Shane’s alternative ways to generate ranking or traffic. Certainly in ways we don’t understand at this time.

Yes, Google is the only car lot in town now, but it’s going to change. While they are busy as little killer bees making that brave new paradigm, they are also creating a monstrous new vacuum. Something is going to come along to fill that hole in space. You watch. And since we’re talking computer time, it won’t take that long. You’ll see.

There are people out there a whole lot smarter than you and me working on ways to overcome our present dilemma. Answers may come from a mega corporation, or from a spare bedroom computer office. But it’s coming. It is the way of man.

Norm

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    Points well made, Norm.
    I agree, especially on the Google is looking out for Google part. That explains almost everything they do.

    Sometimes, when you get right down to it, capitalism is very simple.

      Norm - March 26, 2012

      Thank you Shane!

      Yes, they are capitalists, and grown up guys too. They own the railroad, and the coal that powers the choo choo trains. Google is the JP Morgan of our generation. They are consolidating now, as I always knew they would, and it won’t stop with SEO stuff.

      Well, God bless em. I wish them well. They took an idea and ran it out to the max level and beyond. Truly science fiction thinking. I wish I had of thought of Google.

      In the meantime, though, we gotta eat too. I’m not sitting still, and I know you and others aren’t. I feel kinda like a chigger on a big ol dumb elephant. Much danger…but much opportunity! Ha!

      Norm

Luis - March 26, 2012

welcome to “google monopoly” of the internet,clearing the way for their high paying customers,this is all about profits,they need to have control of the search advertising platform …..

Nicole - March 26, 2012

Hi Shane,

So I am new to this but I have a couple questions that I really need answered. If I were G all I would do is monitor the SEO gurus look at the tools/sites they recommend and go after them. First question, don’t you think they just wait for the next bandwagon that everyone is jumping on and then take them down?

Second, after G de-indexes those sites does Bing & Yahoo follow suit? G is not the only search engine so if sites are still ranking well with the others things are bound to come back if your site is one of quality. G simply cannot shut you out forever.

After reading several sites, I am now thinking anything that is not linked or found organically is considered black hat. That’s pretty much my take on all of this.

If this is pretty much common knowledge to everyone else, please enlighten me.

Thanks!

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    1. Yes, that’s exactly how it works. Someone finds an exploit, publishes it somewhere, everyone jumps on and then Google slaps it down.
    The perfect example of this are forum profile links. In the space of a bit less than one year, building forum profile links went from a new-and-little-known tactic (which was extremely effectiv, to being with), to a widely known link building method, to a bandwagon of unbelievable scale. Services that would build tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and even millions of forum profile links popped up everywhere. Soon after, Google made these links completely useless.

    2. No, Bing and Yahoo (as well as other search engines) have completely separate indices, so your site can be indexed in one search engine but not others. Basically, nobody really cares about Yahoo/Bing rankings because they send so little traffic, compared to Google.

      James - March 27, 2012

      dont even remind me :( I ranked entire sites for many keywords almost overnight with a solid 150k xrumer blast… and nothing but.

      i still use it but there are tricks to getting more bang out of them, if i may don my darker hat here – including such things as mass bulk wikis in particular and various platforms (ie. moodle) have mostly replaced that in my arsenal. But NO they dont alone rank my site as xrumer had the power to just like a year and a half ago.

Dror - March 26, 2012

Hi Shane,

I personally don’t think it is an algo update by Google. I think they manually de-indexed all these blog networks and from a tweet by Matt Cutts you can clearly see that they ALN was under their radar.

If this is true than i’m not sure if we will see any more big deindexation of blog networks. This is also a psychological thing that Google is doing and just as you mentioned, so many people are in panic mode right now and will probably never use a blog network again which is exactly what Google is aiming for.

I guess you could say that what they can’t fix algorithmically they can surly fix psychologically :)

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    It could be a bit of both, even: manually trawl the network until you find a footprint that seems to match all the sites in the network. Then drop the hammer.

    Boris - March 27, 2012

    Agreed,
    It would only be possible if the network has a common footprint. I think Google guys are frequent visitors on many internet marketing forums and they probably signing up with blog networks and flashing them out.

    Too bad, BMR was the highest quality blog network.

Uwe - March 26, 2012

Hi Shane,
I wounder if G mapped out its course of action from the very beginning – play the friendly guy until you’re big enough and then go for the real goal…..dominance and profit!

I think that blog networks of any type, which offer a service or enabling their owners to manipulate rankings are destined to get on the endangered list. Though not today or tomorrow….but eventually.

I am sick and tired of the constant changes in dealing with SEO. I’d like to hear from people who are conducting their business without depending on G.

Would be a great time to bring out a product called:

“7 STEPS TO GET THE google MONSTER OFF YOUR BACK….F O R E V E R!

For all Internet Marketers who want to start a NEW life without G.”

Enough said…

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    I think that’s the MO of many, many businesses. There are so many online apps and services that are free… it’s all just people vying for more reach and more influence, so they can make money later.

John.N - March 26, 2012

Hi Shane –

Not sure what I could add as every angle seems to have already been covered by everyone!

It does feel like the path of trying to gain rankings by using ‘artificial’ PR links just got harder. This could be the start of a more widespread effort by Google?

It looks like its a signal to dive, dive… and go underground to smaller networks, with smaller ‘footprints’… but will those eventually be safe even?

John

    Shane - March 26, 2012

    Wish I knew the answer.

    For me, it’s all about not being too Google-reliant. Although I won’t fully wean myself off SEO, I think. Too addicted already. :D

    James - March 27, 2012

    the funny thing is people so often in IM – especially the BS scene you got away from in last post and kudos for that Shane…

    but people talk about setting up permanent passive income etc..

    sorry but nothing has proven in the least PERMANENT as far as online income whether ebay, adsense, or easy adwords money for that matter, blog n ping, etc etc… sure i can usually walk away from doing anything for a couple of months and i will still make solid money in that time…

    but you have to just keep changing and changing and changing….
    and it isnt frankly for the faint of heart!

    so there is no ‘solution’ in any permanent sense – organic search as is predicted in numerous articles likely wont really exist (at least seo wont) they say ten years from now, i give it three-four.

    BUT if you are making returns now, yes private blog networks, web 2s with good aging and content, pr links, mass social bookmarks and other mass style links to mix up anchor text a lot… all this stuff works just fine.

    so keep at it and change as need be… is my plan.

    though like I mentioned above (and in my niche i cant advertise on FB or adwords) but i am going to be testing some CPV stuff shortly… but you need decent capital to play around with and get accepted on good networks (ie 1k to start kind of thing) but i know people making a LOT that way. with NO google.

Mike H - March 27, 2012

What I find most disturbing about the BMR case is that it is rather evident that content quality doesn’t mean squat. If google thinks you’re “a cheater” you’re out – no other aspects given any consideration.

The BMR network contained many posts that where at least as good as anything your “average blogger” would come up with – complete with pictures, videos and definitely worth reading. But of course those posts, and any link juice they once passed, are down in flames too. To make matters even worse, the sites you linked to may be lined up for total deindexation as well.

Is putting up good content on a site that gives you permission to do so, with a relevant backlink to more good content on your main site really “spamming”?

Then what about other places you get links from in a similar fashion, like (article) directories, guest blogging etc. Are those up for a Google nuking next?

    Boris - March 27, 2012

    I think Google doesn’t really care about quality content of blog networks. I think overall link building industry and yes, it is an industry now, screws up their further logarithm updates. They want to be in charge of rankings and link building gets in a way. So it looks to me that Google is on a ‘search and destroy” mission. What’s next web 2.0 sites will change all their links to nofollow?

eBay niche builder - March 29, 2012

I think t’s the start of a big crackdown on blog networks that post up spinned garbage. Whether the network is legitimately putting up unique articles or not, Google wants blog networks out because you are violating Google T&C’s indirectly that is flooding the net with contexual links with the sole purpose to minipulate the SERP’s. This is a big no no in Googles eye’s.

Back to the drawing board !!

Tom Ewer - March 30, 2012

Hi Shane,

I feel your pain – I did a mini-review in the same vein as what you had planned: http://www.leavingworkbehind.com/buildmyrank/

I published it on the same day that BMR announced they were closing their doors! A week later, RankJumpers closed its doors to new members.

Such is life!

Cheers,

Tom

Al - April 3, 2012

Isn’t this really about the goal of implementing “Quality Standards?” Bing & MSN will follow suit.
Better results = more users = more ads delivered = more revenue – for them. So Google is reading our emails and delivering relevant ads to us. I did some research for a Dr and started getting emails for related services. I use unpersonalized Google Search (get it from Yoast) and AdBlocker. I’ve used DuckDuckGo for several months. (Several versions and languages are available for Firefox).
I am not alone. There may be a major shift on how people get info since there are only so many hours in a day? Friends will have more influence than Page Rank? And an awareness of just how much of their freedoms and privacy are being usurped.
Google could see a huge demise if a more altruistic search engine(s) gets a foothold – ie DuckDuck or even the Russian giant Yandex, which has or is going to go public with an IPO offering on the NYSE. Perhaps Google is seeing dark clouds on its horizon?
Marketing is a bitch. Letting Google make us all its bitch might not be the way to go? Trying to game a pimp is usually not all that productive.
Even though some feel the paid and free search results are begining to merge, a few million bucks of disposable income for promotions will go a long way towards having a leg up. I talk to companies every day that are spending at least $10 K/mo on PPC and try to convince them to review their accounts. Most don’t really sweat the fact they’re probably wasting 25% or more of thier budgets by just not setting a few options differently or tweaking a few other things. How does a blog network (private or not) compete against that mentality?
I just watched a very interesting webinar here with Matt Kadish who worked with the vile Frank Kerns and the “Rich Jerk” launch. Not a group I would look to as a moral compass, but some ‘evil’ marketing giants, for sure.
 http://www.seotrainingsw.com/2012/03/google-proof-webinar/
“How to Google-Proof Your Business”

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