Google Crushes Ghost Rank 2.0, A Russian Link Network

Sep 24, 2013 • 9:24 am | comments (64) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Ghost Rank 2.0 LogoRemember about three weeks ago, Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, issued a warning to Ghost networks? Well, it seems that the update we reported yesterday had to do with Google squashing one or two underground link networks.

I am pretty confident, 99% confident, based on the data I see in the forums and some sources I have that want to remain anonymous, that Ghost Rank 2.0 was hit hard by Google. It seems that at least one of the underground and under the radar networks was severely hurt by Google and many of the sites using them to rank well in Google are now penalized.

If you follow the ongoing Black Hat World thread, you will see many Ghost Rank 2.0 clients complaining and "Leith" responding to customers with those complaints admitting that they were hit.

Unfortunately, it looks like you were one of the clients affected from the recent update.

Leith added:

Yes, it's unfortunate but Google is getting more strict with these russian links and that's why we're changing things up to better improve the service.

Starting around the 19th or 20th of September, I saw significant increases in complaints about this network. Here are some of them:

My site dropped off the map completely and due to this wary google is targeting these types of links.

This service wasnt good at all.. I was at 10th and now my site also is gone.. Rank only increased to 8 for a few days.. Poor me i fell prey to the reviews . I am at 98th position now.

I also received a screen shot of an email that one of the link networks sent out calling this Google action "more esoteric in nature" than previous updates. I am not sure if this is from the Ghost Rank 2.0 network or another but it does seem Google has stepped up their efforts on attacking these underground and "secret" link networks.

Here is a copy of the email:

click for full size

Be safe, don't mess with these link networks. We have reported similar things with other link networks, such as SAPE.

Forum discussion at Black Hat World.

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Chris Kolmar

09/24/2013 01:41 pm

The last link in your article is broken (The link on Black Hat World).

Barry Schwartz

09/24/2013 01:43 pm

Try again?


09/24/2013 01:44 pm

Sorry, haven't had morning coffee yet. The last link in your article is broken. Right now it goes to:

Ahmad Wali

09/24/2013 02:07 pm

Hey, the last link is broken "page not found 404 error".

Barry Schwartz

09/24/2013 02:19 pm

Are you sure? shift refresh

Barry Schwartz

09/24/2013 02:19 pm

Seems fine for me.

Adam Buchanan

09/24/2013 02:23 pm

Barry, You're missing a closing quote in the href attribute.

Barry Schwartz

09/24/2013 02:36 pm

I see it.

Stephane Brault

09/24/2013 02:40 pm

I'm amazed people are still buying that kinda crap anyway

Adam Buchanan

09/24/2013 02:41 pm

Looks good now. It must have been a miracle.


09/24/2013 02:47 pm

Good. Let's hope this type of anti-spam action continues.


09/24/2013 03:01 pm

Unfortunately, there is no hope, if they will attack just two spam networks per year.


09/24/2013 03:02 pm

It was one of the ways to go if you wanted to compete. It's good to see Google finally levelling the playing field.


09/24/2013 03:14 pm

SEOs marked every corner of the internet by the articles about the links building. New comers read such articles and search for the easy way to accomplish task. It will be this way until MC will say straightforward, that ANY links building is against the Google terms. Links building activity should be announced as illegal in any form. It will save a lot nerves to everyone.


09/24/2013 03:58 pm

This is true. I assume they go after more than that, but the big ones need to be identified and devalued, agreed.


09/24/2013 04:09 pm

Some are buying the links and linking them to their competitors. As more of these networks fall, the level of collateral damage will probably rise significantly.


09/24/2013 06:51 pm

unnatural links email spammers spam blog network spammers. funny hunting. what will next? de-indexing of all blogs & social networks? why google bothering to do it? just penalize all sites and leave youtube, yelp, amazon, yahoo answers and wikipedia in search results. Anyway no keywords, traffic only via adwords, google internet gov & police, etc. When expect in next series of this show?

Craig Hamilton-Parker

09/24/2013 07:46 pm

Good idea - drop all link juice and replace it with Google plus and other metrics. Less collateral damage and fair.

Ashish Ahuja

09/24/2013 08:18 pm

what is funny that many of the people buying into these services are not spammers but newbies who think this is safe just like blog networks of old


09/24/2013 09:10 pm

Way easier to get google plus, what other metric are they supposed to use? FB likes and Tweets are even easier to fake then links.


09/24/2013 09:17 pm

I didn't say "drop all link juice". I said drop link building. This is not the same. Please read carefully what is written.


09/24/2013 10:51 pm

it all because of google. it not gives any hope to newbies.

Julian True Flynn

09/24/2013 11:39 pm

They don't 'do it' because they're crazy, they 'do it' because it works.

Alan Rabinowitz

09/25/2013 01:56 am

That's all fine and dandy if the sites using this network were ONLY using this for thier marketing endeavors... Otherwise its a doorway to simply add your competitors to this and watch them disappear from Google forever. Does Google not see what theyre opening up?

Jitendra Vaswani

09/25/2013 06:54 am

People are blind in that case if they buy spam link :)

Yogita Aggarwal

09/25/2013 10:39 am

That is why I hate such link networks also the kind of sites where i can spot such link networks. ‎

Stephane Brault

09/25/2013 12:18 pm

It does work... if you're a spammer. Nobody who's in it for the long run uses these spam networks.

Jitendra Vaswani

09/25/2013 12:51 pm

Fiverr is good platform but spammers are everywhere


09/25/2013 01:01 pm

i am in SEO for 4 year.. i always know about the site when google de index it. lolz.. i never hear about mybuildnetwork and now ghost netework.. i just hearing 1st time about these spmay blog network :)

Nick Ker

09/25/2013 01:04 pm

...if you wanted to compete for a very short time. Anyone who does not know by now that link networks are a bad idea has not been paying attention, or is just too stubborn to realize it isn't 2002 anymore.

Nick Ker

09/25/2013 01:09 pm

It works if you only care about the next few months and not about having a sustainable business model.


09/25/2013 02:53 pm

My sites are ranking fine.. i infact keep buying links everyday.


09/25/2013 03:12 pm

Or even Ctrl + F5 on a lot of machines ;)

Yogita Aggarwal

09/25/2013 03:13 pm

Hm.. Yup you are right. Might be i reacted little offensive.


09/25/2013 03:57 pm

Barry, you should not only re-posts what MC says, but also collect messages like the one above and submit to MC. Webmasters are scratching their heads after every Google's updates. Make MC scratches his head after every battle report.


09/25/2013 04:02 pm

where you think Mc buying links for mrcuttspaydayloans?


09/25/2013 04:11 pm

they not care. then less normal sites in serp, then higher their profits.


09/25/2013 05:16 pm

Whoever pays for this crap deserves this. Buyer beware. If it's too good to be true...

Morgan Akchehirlian

09/25/2013 07:32 pm

@rocketraja:disqus fine. Buying links in good number at regular pace. One update all gone. Google is crushing link networks for some time and they will continue doing it at good pace.

Morgan Akchehirlian

09/25/2013 07:34 pm

I do not think so that those webmasters who purchase links fall this Common LAW phrase, "Buyer Beware". Trust me Not all buyers know about buying links consequences.

Josh Zehtabchi

09/25/2013 07:36 pm

Good point, but it's like tinkering with the internal workings of a car engine then going UH OH when it won't turn over. If a website is that important to a business, planning and research should be too. Never the less, valid points on your part, Morgan.


09/25/2013 09:03 pm

In reality it does give hope to newbies. It's not just the typical spam and pray to get seen instantly after your site indexes. It's gotten harder because you're establishing a brand, creating content at a ridiculous amount, and providing social signals. It's not hopeless, it's just work. Work that noboy wanted to put time in with before.

Yo Mamma

09/25/2013 09:27 pm

I care about all months not only the next few - You with me?

Yo Mamma

09/25/2013 09:27 pm

I heard Black Hat World was coming out with their own search engine to compete with Google?

Yo Mamma

09/25/2013 09:28 pm

I believe you but most won't

Julian True Flynn

09/25/2013 11:25 pm

If you accept the fact that it is short term and you make an ROI I don't see the issue? That's what people are doing. There's a lot of ways to cut costs with spam and reuse your 'spammed sites'. People are making real businesses providing spam or 'ranking and banking' websites in particular niches. Lots of money — so how is it not a business? For the record I wouldn't consider myself a spammer, but if you're a web marketer you have to know and understand this kind of stuff.

Julian True Flynn

09/25/2013 11:26 pm

There's spammers in it for the long haul, but there's no spammed sites that are in it for the long haul.

Julian True Flynn

09/25/2013 11:27 pm

Yes, I also care about 'all months'.

Gracious Store

09/26/2013 03:35 am

That will be great if they have their own search engine and then use black hat method to rank their site they will be showing to people who will be usibg their search engine


09/26/2013 04:56 am

public and private networks..


09/26/2013 05:04 am

quote "Google is crushing link networks for some time and they will continue doing it at good pace." look crushing @ good phasse isnt enough. the fact is they will manually crush, bythe time we will develop something more sophisticated. look wot happeneded in BMR ban. they manually did it. and everywhere there were news headlines "Google takes down link networks" everyone paniked but other networks kept working quietly. Google definitely cant detect buying/selling links i will bet that anyday. but if they catch the network ure sites are at risk. ofcource if they derank or ban i will start with another one :D.

Jitendra Vaswani

09/26/2013 07:15 am

Yeah U have reacted in offensive way :P


09/26/2013 07:53 am

Absolutely. Unfortunately, many SEOs recommend their clients to buy links and count themselves professionals.

Yiannis Gedeon

09/27/2013 09:39 am

Josh clearly doing black hat has nothing to do with branding, long term marketing etc. Its a quick get in, cash out strategy, a very profitable one if I may say. As to the bans, Google banned russian networks. The same day Ghost Rank went down, SAPE got the final hit as well. So that was an algoryth update for sure.

Nick Ker

09/27/2013 05:57 pm

OK, serial-spamming is technically a business, in much the same way that most forms of fraud are a "business". Is it sustainable for a business that does not want to change its identity (domain, company name, etc) frequently? Probably not.

Morgan Akchehirlian

09/28/2013 05:41 pm

So you want to say these are only in news. Every one tells its dangerous its wrong? Is it worth playing safe or keep betting?


10/03/2013 03:45 am

They are no joke services, Check keywords like "binary options", "online casino" in all languages all high end niches are lately controlled by sape for almost an year, with one little penalty,google is trying to get again in news with these so called shit or crack down


12/03/2013 04:43 pm

That's a myth. you just disavow the little diseases.


12/03/2013 04:44 pm

Exactly. it wants newbies to use ppc anyway. google couldn't survive without it. we all know that really. it's the ultimate joke of the past decade. how google spammed everyone and made off with billions.


12/03/2013 04:45 pm

it wants newbies to use ppc anyway. google couldn't survive without it. we all know that really. it's the ultimate joke of the past decade. how google spammed everyone and made off with billions.


12/03/2013 04:49 pm

I'm amazed you are amazed that people still buy that crap. Didn't you know? There's no need to be amazed. Buying links still works.


12/03/2013 04:52 pm

Even better, change the algorithm so that the more outbound links you have the better. invert the damn thing.


02/10/2014 03:19 am

my people, buying links is fine if you do it in a careful and responsible way. The problem is, you just cant wait, and you want instant success. If you buy the right links here and there, then you should do fine over time, but using these spammy blog sites, or spam-ville link networks because you are in a rush. If you not not speeding, you wont get a ticket, and to be honest, it is not really that hard to understand....


02/10/2014 03:21 am

If bing cant compete then how is some black hat forum going too?

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