Remember this controversial post from 3 months ago.
● blogoscoped.com/forum/101921.h ...
Here is an interesting follow up based on information retrieved from Stats
● freezepage.com/1191989204VBIYI ... (2 Visits)
● freezepage.com/1191989278AGTQF ... (1 Visit)
Possibly, on that blog there are private pages of sites suspected of selling links and that will be banned soon. Only members of the spam team have access to them and they privately discuss and comment on them.
Google's new policy may be banning blogs and sites they suspect of selling links – they freely use the term SPAM to categorize them.
This may be based totally on subjective evaluations. If a site has too many links it could be *perceived* as selling those links.
Also, if a site or a blog commenter is brought to the attention of Google either through high profile blog, controversial postings or malicious spam reports – this too could prompt and internal evaluation.
The irony of this is that this leaves losts of room for false positives!!!!! Search Engines Web has NEVER – EVER had a problem with just linking to many high quality sites without any compensation.
Which is why there was NEVER – EVER any reluctance with placing homepage links on any blogs or forums or social sites that were being contributed to over the years. Whatever the underlying reasons, these are some very high quality blog and forum posting – THAT YEARS LATER ARE STILL ACTIVE WITH NEW COMMENTS --- YEARS LATER!!!. (In other words, before there was a Digg – Search Engines Web was Digg)
Looking at the location of the visitor who visited 3 times in 24 hours – this is the same city and basic IP address from that visit from 3 months ago from the internal Google database.
Domain Name charter.com ? (Commercial)
IP Address 66.188.195.# (CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS)
ISP CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS
Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : Minnesota
City : Rochester
Lat/Long : 44.0301, -92.4622 (Map)
Language English (U.S.)
Operating System Microsoft Win2000
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:220.127.116.11) Gecko/20070914 Firefox/18.104.22.168
Resolution : 1280 x 1024
Color Depth : 32 bits
Time of Visit Oct 8 2007 5:06:46 am
Last Page View Oct 8 2007 5:07:33 am
Visit Length 47 seconds
Page Views 2
Referring URL mattcutts...d-for-selling-link ...
Visit Entry Page search-engines-web.com/
Visit Exit Page search-engines-web.com/
Time Zone UTC-6:00
Visitor's Time Oct 8 2007 4:06:46 am
Visit Number 112,268
Clicking on those links will bring a 404 custom page – and going to the web archive or google cache will bring no page.
● mattcutts.com/blog/spam-sites- ...
● mattcutts.com/blog/sites-to-be ...
So, the only conclusion one must reach is either this party in Minnesota is able to generate false referrers (for whatever motive)
Or, that they are coming from an internal log-in page that allows group scrutiny.
But the larger issue at hand is, anyone who notices a sudden drop in traffic may simply be a victim of a false positive (40-40-20 rule)
It is perfectly safe NOT to do ANYTHING out of the norm that could in any way give them a reason to make an assumption.
If your site or YOU are high profile and controversial – be prepared for a rash or spam reports to Google – so anything you do out of the norm could make your site suspect and be magnified by a staff who often make rash judgments – and really are not all that perspective.
Ironically, there have been some controversial disagreements posted that eventually have gotten changes in Google's algos and policies – but those efforts have translated into helping others not Search Engines Web's rankings or fortunes.
If you notice on that blog – there are long time commenters who absolutely refuse to EVER add a link to their Websites with their usernames. Many commenters are afraid to disagree or afraid of being frank, out of concern of offending or getting their post deleted.
You can imagine how it must be like working there in the spam team. Everyone probably plays it safe, thinking only about their asses if they say the wrong thing or go against the grain. So if they make rash judgments – SO WHAT! Their fortunes are not at stake.
Also, they have continuous new data to show the Google VIPS about what new brilliant detection work they are involved in uncovering – thus helping to keep their team in good light.
This is the real world folks!
Hmm, Aaron Swartz (cool guy by the way) sells text links on his homepage, and he's controversial (well, he freely speaks his mind), but his homepage is still PageRank 9. aaronsw.com
Maybe it's more the smaller sites which have to worry about false positives. If there is reason to worry at all. But then again often these text link ads are easily recognizable as such – because they're linking to very off-topic sites (and topics often found in spam contexts, e.g. viagra).
More evidence regarding Google's latest policies concerning paid links
While the above blog posts are about blogs and sites THAT DO engage in paid links – and their recent drops in PR and Rankings -
It does indeed cross the line if someone choses to get revenge on a site that they have absolutely NO EVIDENCE is engaging in paid links – because are outraged over frank criticisms posted on their blog.
two members of Google's Spam team respond to a TechCrunch post – on the removal of blogs from the index and the pagerank decrease controversy.
Interesting reading as the post has grown quite controversial. Rarely does a popular blog like TechCrunch deal in SEO matters
So apparently it wasn't about text link ads at all in that specific case posted by TechCrunch, as Matt Cutts and Adam Lasnik (if it's really them) comment:
Philipp, correct. The site that TechCrunch wrote about was hacked and serving up lots of spammy links, which is why it wasn't in Google.
Search-Engines-Web.com, all of the stuff you've been posted has been faked. Someone is teasing you by surfing to your site with a fake referrer.
Philipp, I'm happy to officially debunk blogoscoped.com/forum/101921.h ... as well. All of the referrers reported in that thread are faked too.