Google strikes European link networks and their customers
Like an online (less serious) version of Spanish Flu, Google is rapidly working its way through Europe killing off link networks that so much as sniff in its direction. It seems that it’s not just the networks that are being penalised either, but all those that took part, with the real possibility of creating carnage amongst customers, bloggers, media partners, networks and SEO companies.
If you or your business has recently taken part in major link acquisitions then beware, your site’s positions could shortly be decimated.
Matt Cutts warnings on Twitter
However, unlike in the early 20th Century we have Google’s Head of Spam, Matt Cutts telling us via Twitter where he and his link-killers will strike next.
Last week Matt Cutts tweeted that a French link network was in their sights which violated its quality guidelines – that site was Buzzea, which (at first) rapidly disbanded.
Today we’re taking action on a French link network that violates our quality guidelines (Buzzea).
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) January 29, 2014
The Buzzea site is now hosting a message stating:
“This marks the end of an adventure for our team but also the end of our collaboration with thousands of publisher sites, agencies and advertisers who have given us their trust.”
Blogs and Customers Penalised for Linking
Since then they have stated that many of their collaborators have had their page rank wiped for working with Buzzea and presumably hosting “sponsored articles”. Buzzea state that “This action is to destroy a significant source of income for thousands of bloggers including those that have never worked with us”
They went on to state that they wanted to oppose the assertion that they were a “Link Network” and that they hope that their clients will not be penalised.
Sites and Blogs already penalised and going down
We have already seen sites effected by algorithm updates on January 29th and 30th. This could be aligned to the link network takedown and association.
And now it’s Germany’s turn.
The Google spam team has moved across France to Germany…
This week we took action on a German agency’s link network/clients. More to come in Germany.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) February 7, 2014
Google has taken down many linking networks, linking schemes and linking pyramids before but this tactic of stating it is tackling ones based in different countries is new.
Also it seems assured that sites that took part in such schemes will be penalised too, both indirectly by the fact that they have lost their purchased links and directly too for taking part.
We have already seen major drops this week amongst very large British companies who also have questionable link profiles – this could be the start of a significant realignment in the serps.