Well, once again we see ranking shortcuts and black hat SEO tactics take a beating from Google… and rightfully so. When will web masters get the message that short term wins WILL result in penalties?
At this stage, the reports are unconfirmed but the indications are that PBN’s have received notifications in Google Webmaster Tools in mid September 2014 that these the sites had ’thin content with litle or no added value’ – Or in other words, were there to try and artificially inflate sites Google rankings through a spammy link system.
What Are PBN’s?
The average, honest webmaster may be unaware of what Private Blog Networks actually are. Essentially, they are groups of blogs or websites that are controlled by one publisher with the intent of building links within that network to unnaturally help specified content to rank better on Google. These networks are created with the express intention of trying to improve organic rankings for the sites linked to it but they are spammy and largely irrelevant.
Despite the name, these networks are not actually ‘private’ from Google or people using the search engine. ‘Private’ seems to refer to the fact that although the sites are visible, they are not intended for public visitors, instead they are solely there to generate links and improve rankings for the connected sites. So yes – They deserve a penalty.
How Web Masters Know if They Have Been Hit.
We originally found the story Search Engine Land reporting the latest manual action penalties. We are no longer surprised by these sorts of stories but we’re always a little shocked that web masters and ’SEO professionals’ are still trying to game the system and win rankings by taking short cuts.
If you’re worried that some of your links may be a little dubious, you can check your Google Webmaster Tools and look for notifications like these (Posted by PBN site masters on twitter.):
It’s hard to feel sorry for these site owners that are still taking short cuts. Despite all the press, advice and accessible information relating to Google Penalties, people are still trying to cheat their way to the top page of search results. It’s sheer lunacy to take these chances.
It’s apparent that when one link scheme gets hit, the scammers move onto the next quick fix. This is not longterm, sustainable SEO, it is imply trying to rank as quickly as possible and disregarding the Google Webmaster Guidelines; the law of the internet.
Obviously, some web masters have engaged and paid for the services of an SEO management agency who are the ones behind earning the site a penalty, in which case we do pity them a little. But the bottom line is, any business owner should research the businesses they are working with and check if they are legit. Always ensure you are working with a reputable agency who provide long term results.
Impatience and short cuts with Search Engine ranking positions is actually a fast track to getting your site barred from being found permanently. Or at least with a LOT of work involved to get a Google Penalty Recovery some rankings back.