Too Many Links Too Fast Or New Site SEO Syndrome?

Mar 3, 2011 • 8:38 am | comments (20) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

destructionThe graph below is from the SEOptimise blog showing what happened to a new site after building 10,000 spammy links to it in a single day. What happened was the site tanked in rankings just after a few weeks.

He said:

I took a new domain that I wasn’t too worried about destroying, picked a reasonably competitive keyword, and built about 10,000 really nasty-looking low quality links in to the home page with a mixture of phrase and exact match anchor text.

The site ended up ranking #1 on for this keyword for about three weeks, which as you can see had a significant impact on increasing the site’s traffic.

Google Traffic Drop Due To Too Many Links?

Is it about the bad links? Is it about the site being new and ranking due to QDF temporarily?

New data shows the site is now back in the top 10, after taking a dive in rankings.

This case study is continually building upon itself in the comments. There are just so many factors, it is hard to isolate the issue or issues. The site is new. It has 10,000 horrible links. The links are all spammy, 99% of them. The site is now ranking well again. The site may be based in the UK.

Here are some good comments from the post:

After reading your latest comment, my opinion is that the penalty was triggered by the fact that the spammy links accounted for 100% of the external inbound links of the target website (which had none beforehand). If you repeated this test on an established website with non-zero link popularity, I believe you would not get the same results. Hurting a competitor may be possible, but it’s certainly not that easy.

This is likely a failure of Google’s QDF algorithm. They want fresh, viral news to appear in the SERPs as it comes, but it’s also perhaps very possible that they can’t efficiently determine what to trust and what not to trust at certain points because of the push/pull effect trying to display “fresh” news creates in their search results.

Anyway, if anything, it is always fun to watch people destroy things.

Forum discussion at Sphinn.

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03/03/2011 03:05 pm

Nice to someone doing this kind of more scientific study, and not just making off the cuff anecdotal observations.

Andrew Davis

03/03/2011 05:04 pm

Good stuff, needs to keep being shared. Thanks!

Andrew Davis

03/03/2011 05:05 pm

Good stuff, needs to keep being shared. Thanks!


03/03/2011 07:24 pm

I admire someone building 10.000 links "just for fun" :) But interesting read though!

Ben Pfeiffer

03/03/2011 08:16 pm

I have seen this happen even with established websites recently but that was with about 3-4x the links you mention above. Rankings will tank for a period of time after an initial boost. If you remove the links, the rankings will return, but sometimes not has good.

Jaan Kanellis

03/03/2011 08:23 pm

Shows spam still works just fine on Google.


03/03/2011 09:19 pm

It likely took a few weeks to index all those links. Surely this graph would be different if they were all indexed in one day. I imagine if he kept building a few links later on in this test, the traffic wouldn't have fell back to it's original level.

Marcus Taylor

03/04/2011 04:33 pm

Cheers for reposting this Barry, glad you found it interesting!


03/04/2011 08:43 pm

"..this kind of more scientific study.." there's nothing scientific about it ! "...anecdotal observations.." - that's exactly what it is !


03/11/2011 10:44 am

The rule of thumb is supposed to be keep it looking natural, but research is key.


04/18/2011 10:47 am

How many links constitute "too many" for a new website? 100, 500, 1000, 10000? The number appears to be smaller for more competitve keywords like casinos, insurance sales etc


05/09/2011 08:17 pm

What kind of spammy links are you talking about here?

Bingo Babe

05/14/2011 06:38 pm

 Really interesting, im starting out a new site and im trying to figure out how aggressive i should be with getting links to my site. I think it really is a balancing act. You dont want to wait around forever, but you dont want to build like a madman and trip some kind of filter.


07/09/2011 11:01 am

You could log on another day and be blacklisted and removed from google completely.


07/09/2011 11:08 am

I think you should write another blog ," how I built 10,000 links in a single day". Or did you just pay a link farm?

SEO Professionals

08/10/2011 07:07 pm

You must follow some advanced strategies to build backlinks such as article author bio link, video submission, discussion forums, coupon sites, authority links, profile links, reciprocal links, etc.

Akash Kumar

09/09/2011 09:24 pm

A very interesting fact, I am still thinking of a very convincing answer to that question.

02/11/2012 07:50 am

Just build natural backlinks and you will be fine. Google is smart enough to tell what is natural and what isn't. Forums are a great way to build links quickly, plus you get traffic from other readers reading your posts.

Kalen's Internet Resources

02/16/2012 01:00 am

Couldn't agree more. Google isn't so archaic that it would put a cap on the number of links it lets you build. Just stay away from using automated linkbuilding or blasting tools and I can't see what you could possibly have to worry about.


02/11/2013 08:44 pm

I think this kind of matter is pretty well alarming to those optimizer who usually optimize big data and use so many links. They will surely abide into your thoughts.

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