The Next Link Network Penalized By Google

Dec 16, 2013 • 8:36 am | comments (54) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Backlinks.comGoogle's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, publicly outed on Twitter another link network that Google has penalized. Matt Cutts' new trend is the share a link from the marketing material of the link network and then add a word or two to say the opposite, that Google caught you.

Here is Matt's tweet:

This came a week, literally a week, after Google outed Anglo Rank.

In fact, Matt joked on Twitter that Google "should start taking requests for which link networks to tackle next."

Meanwhile, the folks at Black Hat World are not happy for a few reasons. One said, "It's crazy how he can get away with ruining businesses. It's not like spamming the internet's illegal and Google doesn't own the internet." Well, it is spamming Google and I guess Google has the right to fight back?

That being said, guys - stop buying links unless you want to play the crash and burn game.

I received an email from someone who got one of these link penalties but swore they never paid for links. They did and found out their SEO company did for them.

Be careful and don't mess your 10 year old web site up with these schemes.

Forum discussion at Twitter & Black Hat World.

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12/16/2013 02:06 pm

wow they are really making moves lately. time for people to start earning links instead of buying them


12/16/2013 02:19 pm

Great link you earned yourself there ;-)

Barry Schwartz

12/16/2013 02:21 pm

removed the link from your comment, you can thank me later.

Rohit Palit

12/16/2013 02:39 pm

It's not an actual link. No "

Jonathan Hatton

12/16/2013 02:57 pm

haha oh the irony

Nick Ker

12/16/2013 03:04 pm

I guess he'll be starting to earn links as next year's New Years Resolution


12/16/2013 03:26 pm



12/16/2013 03:48 pm

I don't understand how Cutts can be so pretentious considering the fact that he would be virtually irrelevant at Google if it wasn't for the SEO community. Please remember you are a sock puppet at best.


12/16/2013 03:51 pm

Finally Google stopped (temporarily) going after small businesses and started to go after cheater. Thank you Google!

error 1719

12/16/2013 03:51 pm

And, putting a bunch of people out of work in the process. It seems that is why they are put out there. But, there should be regulation and you are right about earning those links!


12/16/2013 04:16 pm

Good info.


12/16/2013 04:22 pm

What happens to the spam team if they get rid of all spam on google??? Work in the call centres? these people should be thankful for spammers else they wouildnt have a job

Yo Mamma

12/16/2013 04:27 pm

Barry, whats with the popup advertising? Something new or just new to me (which wouldn't be a first)? And what purpose does it have, other than payperclick?

Barry Schwartz

12/16/2013 04:27 pm

Testing today and tomorrow. You should only see it once. Sorry.

Yo Mamma

12/16/2013 04:30 pm

Best to put it at the bottom (footer popup) rather then in middle. Serves same purpose but less of an obstruction. WP has a YITH Footer Banner pluggin for that


12/16/2013 04:52 pm

Will never happen.

Michael Martinez

12/16/2013 05:01 pm

Thank goodness for ad blocking plugins. I never saw it. Sorry, Barry. :(

Michael Martinez

12/16/2013 05:02 pm

If a spammer plops in the forest, does a bear hear it and will Bigfoot get there first?

Barry Schwartz

12/16/2013 05:02 pm

I honestly don’t care. I don’t manage the ads here. I just focus on my content.

Ashley Stanf

12/16/2013 05:02 pm

I remember when everyone USE to focus on quality of their site, because they didn't worry about Google penalty. So, the questions used to be "how can I improve my conversion rates" or "what do you thing about my site". Now, its "which links work better", "how can I do churn and burn sites". It's pretty sad that Google can mark your site as spam and issue a manual penalty without even thinking if your website helps users or not. Who the f*ck cares if you got some bad links? If your website is quality and you have exactly what users are looking for, why links should matter? Good job Google, you ruined yourself. Also, can someone please explain to me, how do you SPAM GOOGLE by buying a link on a site? Google doesn't OWN that website.

Stuart David

12/16/2013 05:12 pm

I'm just a little surprised it took them so long to take a site so obvious as down - worked on an assumption that such an obvious site would of been killed off ages ago anyway.


12/16/2013 05:45 pm

Whoop-de-do, one more network. I don't understand why Cutts announces this stuff... just so all the whiners have something to talk about? Go shut down 50 networks and then give us a list. Big freakin' deal.


12/16/2013 06:04 pm

He does it so he can feel goo about hisself cuz him wants to feel important....


12/16/2013 06:06 pm

BFD! "Hi I am Mutt Catts I has no peniz. So I announces every thing I do at work cuz I need validation."


12/16/2013 07:49 pm

Google is a master in controlling their reputation and public relations. There is a good reason for it.

Pawel Reszka

12/16/2013 09:46 pm

Interesting, but I think Google can do better than that. If I was Matt I would shit on all the networks over one weekend and throw a party after that. The problem is that blackhat link building works. Google is trying to weed out sites that engage in some form of link building outside of their guidelines regardless if they provide value or not. This causes webmasters to stop carrying about value and just push out "churn and burn" sites. How does that help the user?


12/16/2013 10:11 pm

blackhat matt cutts against blackhat link sellers. who win? i think google will lose, because of search quality.


12/16/2013 10:15 pm

most funny is question - when google will shutdown own blackhat links network? interlinked youtube, +1, wikipedia, google main page, all their services, etc. Is it penalized now? yes, but not for google! So mr matt cutts really hunting with spam? no, not spam? for money? yes - it only war for money.


12/16/2013 10:16 pm

google must penalize sites who promote their sites using adwords. because they purchasing links (i not see in any RFC what is nofollow links)


12/16/2013 10:18 pm

matt cutts is avatar of google bot.

Yo Mamma

12/16/2013 11:15 pm

What u say makes good sense. No sense in Google these days. Now buying robots to replace humans. More trust worthy not to spam Google

Yo Mamma

12/16/2013 11:16 pm

Google's influence in the internet has gotten too big. US gov should shut them down

Ricco Tarring

12/17/2013 12:00 am

It's cheaper to buy links from google,,,, adwords!!!!! HAH HAH

Suny Anderson

12/17/2013 07:05 am

Do you mean Google now stopping the paid links like PPC, Adsense etc.

osman musa

12/17/2013 09:38 am

He announces it so his boss knows he is doing his job. He also announces it to further scare link networks. Scare tactics


12/17/2013 10:09 am

They still ranking for the keyword "buy backlinks". What does it means penalized? Confused :(

John Goldstein III

12/17/2013 01:22 pm

My guess is that its not about backlinks but about publishers finding other ways to make revenue outside of Google. If someone was clever enough to create an open source ad program that could be used by website owners and advertisers to first 1. Get in touch directly 2. Negotiate advertising prices and slots All the above to be automated and done easily, even payment etc .. well you would be onto something incredible if it worked well. I am sure people have thought about this and tried but it has not obviously worked. Probably someone like Marissa Mayer at Yahoo could pull it off with Yahoo's deep pockets and resources.


12/17/2013 01:29 pm

You mean Google's influence on their own web properties has gotten too big? Last time I checked, Google was not the internet and the only things they have any control over are the things they build, host, and pay for themselves. US gov should shut them down? I will assume this is a joke because That is like saying the local super market has too much control over what is sold and where it is displayed in their store, and should be shut down by the government because of that. I mean, large companies are paying for those end caps, eye level shelving, and other beneficial placements in the store ...just like companies buying beneficial listings within Google's property.


12/17/2013 01:36 pm

I only have one question, why is it when I type in "buy backlinks" then that google has adds for companies selling backlinks?

PM Fiorini

12/17/2013 04:28 pm

Au contraire I see. Oh, Anglo Rank &!

PM Fiorini

12/17/2013 04:30 pm

That's where we'll all be soon.

David DuVal

12/17/2013 07:00 pm

I don't allow google to show me ads because I target google's spammy ads with Adblock Plus (just kidding, but true).

Ashish Ahuja

12/17/2013 07:08 pm

Going one network at a time manually shows that google cannot at this point of time do anything algorithmically against these networks and lots of innocent or naive webmasters would be caught in the crossfire as this is reactive strategy which takes some time to issue penalties manually

Ashish Ahuja

12/17/2013 07:09 pm

me too, everybody who wants to bring down google should have adblock plus

Ashish Ahuja

12/17/2013 07:11 pm

100% agree, so next time somebody talks about link building people just run away screaming

Ashish Ahuja

12/17/2013 07:12 pm

last time I heard they had huge job openings in their spam department. I mean by the way things are going they would be hiring 1000s

Ashish Ahuja

12/17/2013 07:14 pm

and SEO would be irrelevant without the google algorithm relying on links and being a algorithm which people can game

Gareth Mailer

12/18/2013 12:29 am

On what planet is Google ruining businesses? All Google is doing is protecting its own output, he can choose to "optimise" for other engines should he wish. Have to say, Matt's approach to this is hilarious - this is what he should be doing, rather than handing out faux advice to webmasters.

Gracious Store

12/18/2013 04:57 am

I wish every webmaster will heed the call to ditch buying links and gradually acquire links through honest but roughed way.


12/19/2013 05:10 pm

I agree with this, but it looks like this will take a long time to happen, if ever. Webmasters spend lots of time and money to do things the right way and still get burned. They aren't stupid - they google their competitors and look up their backlinks and see that they are promoting unnatural links and get rewarded and they do things the right way and get burned. As long as the incentive exists, and as long as the algorithms aren't absolutely perfect, people will be rewarded for doing the opposite of what corporate mouthpieces like Matt Cutts suggests. This is part of the reason for the resurgence of social media to some extent. When there are good ways to get traffic through social media, when there are dozens of companies where you can buy Facebook likes (see for example), when this is something that there's no algorithm changes that affect you in the way Google continuously changes things, the dollars and attention and stuff will go there. For what it's worth, I hope and believe that better search engines that don't rely more on algorithms, but on human insights and other factors will emerge. Google is very technically sophisticated, but they're the first word on search engines in a book that's hundreds of pages long. Different search engines will emerge that do things better. Ten years from now, Google will be one of a handful of big search engines, not the preeminent figure. Technology adapts and changes and I think Google is too entrenched in algorithms to really meet the next wave head on.

Rohit Palit

12/19/2013 07:56 pm

I referred to links within Disqus comments. They aren't actual hyperlinks when you take a look at the source of the webpage. They behave like that because of some javascript trickery. :)

Jim Wood

02/25/2014 11:11 pm

Well it's the risk they take. I would never risk my hard work for a quick and expensive fix that in the end comes crashing down.

Luana @ n0tSEO

03/30/2014 12:48 pm

I did earn a side income via - the money helped me pay my websites and hosting fees. Now it's down to a buck or two per month. I love, been using it for years, but I hope what happened with Google doesn't lead them to shut down the business, just to change it a little - no more PR-based sales, but advertising sold by category and websites ranked by DA/PA within the category. Google penalized for blatantly selling PR, but advertising like life doesn't revolve around Google. Time to get creative about marketing (and a somewhat rebel). :)

Piers Midwinter

04/25/2014 03:38 pm

Buying back links is a bad idea. Its better to submit articles etc to blogs...

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