Google Inorganic Links For "DoFollow" Links

May 2, 2014 • 8:45 am | comments (36) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

google test tubesGoogle's Eric Kuan from the Google spam team posted a response to one webmaster who said a competitor is spamming them with bad links and asked Google to provide examples of some bad links.

Eric did so in the Google Webmaster Help thread by showing a few links.

I always enjoy sharing these public examples because it gives those who have never received an unnatural link warning an idea of what links to stay away from. In this case, the webmaster is persistent about those links not being acquired by himself but a competitor trying to sabotage him.

Here are two of the links:

(1) On

Here is the source code:

(a) The link in the source code actually reads rel=dofollow, really? DoFollow links in the HTML? That is asking for a Google review.

<a href='' rel='dofolow'>dan piano</a>

(b) There are like 25 links in the footer all to their party web sites with anchor rich keywords.

(2) On is a typical forum link with rich keyword anchors that everyone should avoid.

Google often goes after keyword rich forum, blog and footer links.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Adam Heaton

05/02/2014 01:12 pm

I've been through so many of these websites recovering clients from penaltise they've received that it's just instinct to disavow / request removal from these websites. The best advice I can give if it isn't a website that you yourself would visit, it's probably a website that's likely to land you in trouble.


05/02/2014 01:39 pm

I always enjoy sharing these public examples because it gives those who have never received an unnatural link warning an idea of what links to stay away from. In this case, the webmaster is persistent about those links not being acquired by himself but a competitor trying to sabotage him.


05/02/2014 01:46 pm

You have gotta love the irony of this spammed link :)


05/02/2014 01:51 pm

Sabotage is becoming more widespread. I know there are many people who say it is not, but how does it explain the sixty orders these terrible Fiverr sellers have? The normal small business owner does not have time to sift through links and disavow the bad ones. Heck, most small business owners don't even know what a bad link is unless they read a posts like the one Barry posted.

Shane K.

05/02/2014 02:57 pm

This is the Pandora's Box that Google has opened with their manual action penalties for "unnatural links". I understand the premise behind it, but now it has made Negative SEO a real powerful and lucrative business. As you mentioned, some small businesses who are doing nothing wrong might be impacted by nefarious competitors, and if they aren't web savvy, they may not even know what happened or how to fix it. I still think it was an overreaction on Google's part to penalize sites for "bad links", instead of merely ignoring the bad links. If they simply ignored the bad links it would limit it the ability for competitors to launch negative SEO campaigns while also negating the impact of manipulative linkbuilding practices.


05/02/2014 04:03 pm

I wonder if, one day, someone will try and sue Google for dropped rankings following a negative SEO attack. Victims of negative SEO are usually small businesses and they don't have the funds to bite back. I think Google has done some really good work in ridding their SERPS of the "" type sites that peddle crappy clickbank ebooks, but the penalisation of small businesses due to competitor attacks (or even them hiring bad SEOs) is just awful. As someone else said, just ignore bad links, don't penalise.


05/02/2014 04:22 pm

I caught Google's hand in the cookie jar of one of my clients. They fleeced him for $100K+ of his ad spend over the course of a year. The prospect of battling Google in court would at best be break even and most likely would end in a net loss. When we asked Google to remedy the situation we got the "we don't have to, we're google treatment" ... small businesses can't fight Google individually... its not going to happen. Until the action gets to scale the court system is Google's weapon.

Mark Warner

05/02/2014 05:01 pm

Corner cases arise from time to time where Google is deemed to have some responsibility with regards to their results, but in general, it can be said that they take all reasonable measures to prevent an unfair marketplace and that is usually going to be the standard in American Law. When there are measures that can be easily taken (like for preventing arrest booking mugshots), than it can be deemed that those steps need to be taken because it is reasonable. Just my two cents.

Jan Dunlop

05/02/2014 05:44 pm

60 orders pending, over 300 completed... nice

Steve H.

05/02/2014 08:09 pm

What all reasonable measures has Google done to prevent Negative Seo?

Mark Warner

05/03/2014 12:20 am

That's something that they are not going to disclose the specifics of to the public. I say that because of the comments that Google employees have made in the past, my own experience and that of others that leans toward the notion that "Google Bowling" is not that easy to do. I suspect that they are at least able to tell the difference between a long sustained pattern of building certain types of links... and a sudden link attack., but that's just my best guess. Taking steps to prevent an unfair marketplace does not equate to stopping every sabotage attempt by business owners.


05/03/2014 06:17 am

Google does not want to solve the problem of negative SEO.. It has his own benefits.. Very simple Google can resolve the problem of Negative SEO by using the Webmaster tool...

Steve H.

05/03/2014 09:15 am

If you say so it must be so.


05/03/2014 10:04 am

The fact that google allows link sellers to buy adwords and drive traffic to their fraud schemes is enough evidence that google does not do what is reasonable to prevent an unfair marketplace. Google is happy to take money from anyone no matter if that service generates the very spam it professes to battle. Hypocrisy is no defense in law!


05/03/2014 10:29 am

Buy my FAIR MARKETPLACE links please.....

Ashish Ahuja

05/03/2014 04:47 pm

Google algo is about pattern recognition, if a sudden pattern appears in the backlink profile of a domain which warrant a penalty then google will ignore, however, if the pattern matches or is below a certain threshold level then.......................

Mark Warner

05/03/2014 05:30 pm

Hypocrisy is also not a crime in itself, but the accusations you make sound like something generic that I've read on the forums for years. To prove those, you are just pulling out obscure examples which are always gong to occur.

Chris Beasley

05/04/2014 12:44 am

As others have said, it was altogether a bad idea to do any sort of penalty for inappropriate links. A site with spammy links on it should be penalized, a site with spammy links pointing to it should get no benefit from those links, but not otherwise be harmed. I for one do not feel that Google's SERPs have improved vs a couple years ago before they started all this more aggressive action (including Panda, penguin, etc). Idiotic Answers .com with their new stupid 1 sentence slideshows is still ranking all over the place.


05/04/2014 01:30 am

They can try...but to be honest, you have no entitlement just because you are in search engines, and you loose rankings, and you have no contract with google for any such losses, and I feel that very few will step in and be able to take any direct action without the help of the govt. I do agree with one of the last posters, google does need to do the right thing; simply ignore the bad links, not penalize sites for having bad links they may not be aware of, or google should do a better job of telling us which links are bad and provide a report in tools so we can at least disavow the bad links that google wants to get rid of, but without the extra work, i feel that if google knows their bad links, then just ignore them, and move on....

F1 Steve

05/04/2014 08:25 am

Yea but there is a Chinese wall apparently (according to Durante)that prevents the spam team sending a memo to the ads team that they are working against them and violating there own guidelines by allowing link selling to unsuspecting website owners! Most website owners trust google do figure if they promote link selling it MUST be okay! But in an age of communication even this basic message can't get through to the ad team, a total lack of communication within the same company!!


05/04/2014 08:37 am

Is that the same chinese wall we saw in action the other day when someone called out adwords as fraud? The one Matt Cutts then went on to call out as BS because he spoke with people on the adwords team. Is it that impenetrable chinese wall you are talking about?

F1 Steve

05/04/2014 10:37 am

Yes, that's the exact same Chinese wall... I think Durante meant Japanese wall? You know the ones that are made of paper?


05/04/2014 11:10 am

Ah, that will be the one made from a tissue of lies then.

whois Bid

05/04/2014 03:08 pm

I've noticed a bit of improvement in Google too. Panda and Penguin wrecked a lot of good sites but now it seems that they know they went a bit overboard. Still, too much damage was done and now a lot of people don't care about SEO anymore. Maybe that was the point?

F1 Steve

05/04/2014 04:16 pm

Yes, i just watched a programme about the Great Wall of china ironically, I don't think Durante can... In future at least, associate that impregnable wall with the spam and ad words team communication within a single company! I should imagine it was quiet embarrassing for him to see mat communicate with the ad words team... Them again some people lack a sense of shame, we already know he lacks a sense on empathy and compassion for others, shame would be a luxury at this point! Nevemind it takes all sorts to make the world go round, god bless him ;)


05/05/2014 03:54 am

rel=dofollow, really? This is my exact reaction! I've got nothing else.

Jitendra Vaswani

05/05/2014 05:14 am

Ashish, I have seen many good websites have keyword rich anchor text at footer, is this a good practice, links are do follow also, They might be paid links .


05/05/2014 10:08 am

True, that's becz of the authority of the domain. Any domain that has authority even if it has 1 line of sentences it will rank. This is what i don't like personally :) Google should focus on tags, categories type of Unique valuable content. It should not be purely on authority itself!


05/05/2014 10:08 am

stupid, but why somebody show examples to google. that company must be ignored by webmasters.


05/05/2014 10:16 am

exactly. google doing all this to get more money, but not to repair their "search engine". gold taurus.


05/05/2014 10:16 am

google unable to do any good work since 2012


05/05/2014 10:18 am

another example of their double standards & double moral. If they make money - buy backlinks is ok. If somebody make money - buy backlinks is bad.


05/05/2014 10:19 am

they not care, like usually. only gold taurus inside their eyes.


05/05/2014 10:21 am

google not care about it. however it protect "high pr" sites like wikipedia and their own properties from negative seo attacks. But any small/medium site can be destroyed very quickly

Gracious Store

05/10/2014 04:14 am

Why would a competitor waste their precious time spamming another company?


05/11/2014 09:17 am

lol, yes, site owners are entitled to receive traffic from google. No one goes to search engine just to explore "how it looks". It is not even Facebook with multi features. Google's lifeline is fully connected to the number of quality sites they can show and it looks like majority of the professors are now already telling students to not rely on Google anymore. Sure we heard this long time ago in bachelor level. But they are criticizing Google all the more. They have noticed the drop in quality very well and they are not even SEO people. We are now mostly using other search engines provided by the school. If this continues sooner someone will take advantage of it to release his own "great" search engine. There is always uncertainty in the business world. Today's bliss might not stay tomorrow. But those who go on the top have difficulty understanding it. I am referring to Google. But yeah, before death, every villain goes to extreme level.

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