Google: Search Engine Submission Services Can Be Harmful

Oct 29, 2012 • 8:52 am | comments (49) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

search engine submissionMost Search Engine Optimization experts find search engine submission services to be a waste of time and a scammy type of service.

That being said, Google's John Mueller took it a step up by saying using these services may hurt your rankings.

In a Google Webmaster Help thread John responded to a webmaster who was asking "mass website submissions to search engines," and asked if it will have any impact on their rankings.

John from Google said, yes, it may, it may have a negative impact. Why? John explained that it can lead to a tremendous number of unnatural links for your site. As you know, unnatural links can more than ever have a negative impact on your site. Despite the concerns with negative SEO, this is the reality we live in these days.

So yea, it sounds like in some cases you can use these services to negatively impact your competitors, assuming their link profile looks horrible anyway?

John wrote:

These services are not needed and can even be counter-productive (if they create unnatural links for your site, which would be against our Webmaster Guidelines).

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Previous story: Google Instant Way Too Fast On Opera


Martin Oxby

10/29/2012 01:17 pm

Given that search engines a) have their own 'submit' service b) will find a new site through links/Google+/Social Media and c) Will get page information through Google (or Bing) Webmaster Tools services and/or sitemaps.xml there are plenty of free and easy ways to ensure Google notices your new content without spamming them. Now we just need to convince website owners, which is the hard part. We've found people who know a 'little bit' about SEO can do themselves more damage because the sales talk from such companies as mentioned above convincing and legitimate - and we have hard time re-educating about the real rules behind search.

Lyndon NA

10/29/2012 01:21 pm

Wait, hold on a mo ... is that a Googler actually admitting, in Public, that sites may be harmed via links, and that someone could perform Negative SEO? :gasps: ROFL Good find Barry!


10/29/2012 01:24 pm

It is good to hear that a Google employee has gone on record to state that these methods are potentially harmful, fuel to the fire for the existence of negative SEO eh? Agree with Martin below, people who "know-a-bit-of-SEO" and decide to have a go without understanding this can end up in a world of trouble a few months down the line. Can't say I have ever enjoyed dealing with the fallout of over enthusiastic submission.


10/29/2012 01:42 pm

Seems particularly irresponsible for a Google employee to effectively publicise a negative SEO strategy. Sure, say these links won't count for anything or that it's a waste of time - but to actually suggest they might damage rankings? Search engine submissions just went up...

Nick Ker

10/29/2012 02:35 pm

It isn't just the sales scams from submission services, it is also website owners who have that 1990s belief that since it is the internet, everything should be instantaneous, at the push of a button, and not necessarily make any sense when examined rationally as if it was the "real world". Submitting to "thousands" of search engines should seem ridiculous to anyone with more than a passing interest in the web, but unfortunately it doesn't. Glad to see another "official" Google statement on it. That does help convince some people.


10/29/2012 03:33 pm

Not sure I'm totally clear how search engine submission creates links. Is he talking about submitting a bunch of URLs from different sites where there are external links to one's site causing Google to index pages with one's link on it that they would have otherwise not indexed?


10/29/2012 03:53 pm

it just unbelievable how google methodically destroying the web. Matt Cutts before tell what incoming links cannot harm you, but nowadays it harm to billion of websites. Even after any update need to do lot of changes on websites, until next google update. Google is not stable partner, it globally changing rules all the time.


10/29/2012 03:57 pm

yes, not like before. lot of negative seo, you must constantly change your site after every google update, you not have full control on your website, etc, etc, etc.

Nick Ker

10/29/2012 04:01 pm


F the shills

10/29/2012 04:25 pm

The only good link is an adwords link according to Google. Google is trying to destroy the web for profit, the web WILL strike back, not even snake oil salesman Cutts and his shill (hi Barry!) can save them.


10/29/2012 04:44 pm

? negative seo exists now? Isn't it? Change site after every update - ads above fold (if you have a top banner) for example, it about onpage seo, keywords on main page, etc. No full control on your website - if you have a forum on other domain with subforum for that website - you cannot put sitewide link. Also I found what google understand keyword stuffing if keyword used twice in one sentence, but sometimes it necessary (like in this sentence). So I need to change my writing style and write specially for google? really here much more on this topic.

Nick Ker

10/29/2012 05:20 pm

I think the thing you may be missing, as are many people, is that Google isn't so concerned that you have one or two little things that aren't perfect. The problems arise when you have lots of things wrong. You can have ads above the fold - just not so many that it creates a poor user experience. Many sites still have ads at the top, but still do well in search results because the rest of the site is good. You can put a sitewide link anywhere you'd like on your own sites. Just don't expect much of a ranking boost from it, and don't put site-wide keyword anchor text links on dozens of other sites. I assure you, using the same word twice in one sentence is not enough to cause a problem due to keyword stuffing. You would need to look at how it is used on the page, and throughout the site. My advice is to not think about keywords, but think about your subject. Don't think about SEO, think about writing your message in the most effective way. You don't need to change your writing style for Google. Writing "for Google" is what is causing so many sites to have problems. You need to change your style for human readers, if you aren't already writing in a natural style that your audience can understand. I struggled to follow much of your comment. If your site is written the same way, then working on grammar, spelling and general ability to convey your message would probably do wonders for your site's ability to rank.

F the shills

10/29/2012 05:33 pm

If there's a buck to e made on your niche, Google will destroy your rankings to cash in. #panda #penguin made them a fortune while ruining small businesses. The usual "journalists" like Danny Sullivan, Greg Sterling and others are too busy parroting Google to report on this


10/29/2012 07:05 pm

reduce your dependence on google and you will have no such problems. As long as people are dependent on Google traffic, they will live in fear because G has become impossible to predict...

Guy E

10/29/2012 09:55 pm

In all honesty, if people implement SEO correctly then there should be no need to live in fear of Google. Sure, they release algorithmic updates to weed out the spammers and black-hatters; and if you get affected, you will probably fall into one of those categories. If you implement ethical SEO, and you still get affected, double your efforts.

website designer - Mark Priors

10/30/2012 04:16 am

Big thanks for Barry Schwartz alert for the harm-full Google ranking reaction.


10/30/2012 04:36 am

10-mar-2013 minor google report : if you fart in your bed we will tank your website because you spamming with your aromas another peoples (your aromas above fold).

Rahul Mishra

10/30/2012 06:14 am

Totally agree with you.

Rahul Mishra

10/30/2012 06:24 am

OMG..!!! Why do you people think that you are the only guys who do ethical SEO. We all are not mad..understand. No one want to hit. Every is not spammers here. It's all depend on Google's algorithmic updates. No one know what is Google going to update. Do you know..?????

Yogesh Gautam

10/30/2012 06:29 am

You are right @twitter-219215352:disqus, if you are doing ethical SEO than you did not need to worry about this.


10/30/2012 06:30 am

hope new france law (about pay for linking news media for google) will help google to understand what G is also just pets for goverments. Now it time for google to play in pets updates with govs!


10/30/2012 07:35 am

ethical SEO is a big lie, it does not exist.

Ritesh Gujrati

10/30/2012 08:28 am

You are right yogesh.....


10/30/2012 08:38 am

Guy if it was only the "bad people" being hit by updates it would be fine but it isn't and people who seem to think that google can't get it wrong are the worst kind of person to be giving SEO advice. People like you! Ok Guy how about I find your site and then buy $500 worth of fiverr gigs . I could bombard your site with millions of spammy links! You think all competitors are ethical and will not do this? What people like you don't understand is that Google has now made it easy to do neg seo! Anyone with a few dollars can go to fiverr and smash their competition. Why has Google allowed this? because the more terror they can sow out there on the serps the more people will head to adwords. People can be happily making white hat sites and be penalized just as easily as if they were blackhatting themselves.


10/30/2012 08:41 am

How about I buy $500 worth of fiver gigs and blast it at my competition. Is that what you mean by 1 or 2 things wrong? Nick you really need to stop commenting.


10/30/2012 10:32 am

Prove it. I have seen so many of you tinfoil hat wearing anonymous conspiracy kooks claiming this. Why not prove it? Do it. Document it. Publish it on your site and watch how popular your site gets. Otherwise please stop making a fool of yourself by insulting everyone who tries to present rational thoughts.


10/30/2012 10:43 am

I don't have to prove it Matt Cutts himself says there are bad links that is why we have a disavow tool... Tool!


10/30/2012 11:33 am

Yes there are bad links. Like the ones you bought to raise the rank of your poor quality site. That does not prove the existence of negative SEO working. Yes there is now a disavow tool for disavowing bad links of that type and others. Still not proof of negative SEO having a real effect. Disavow tool is problem for your conspiracy theory. If negative SEO works and Google wants to harm you unless you do PPC then why do they have disavow tool? You are expert on negative SEO. Publish well documented proof of it working and you will be the first to do so. Your chance to be hero instead of zero.


10/30/2012 11:46 am

Wow people like you amaze me. On one hand you say yes there are bad links. On the other you say they can't be harmful. Oh wait they can be harmful if you do them to yourself but not if someone does them to you? hmmmmmmm So google has psychic detection built into the algorithm? Google knows when you do it and not when your competitor does it? Hope they have patented that! Winston slither back under your rock and spare us.


10/30/2012 12:24 pm

SImple answer: Google is smarter than you. Psychic? No. Just because you don't understand how something works does not mean it is magical. I did not say links could not be harmful. Please do not pretend I said something I did not in order to support your flawed argument. What I am saying is that so called "negative SEO" has not been proven to work, and seems unlikely to do any harm against a good quality site. Low quality sites maybe - but low quality sites are not supposed to rank high anway. The official Google line is that negative SEO is not impossible but is very difficult. Until someone can prove otherwise there is no good reason to not believe that. Will you be making a case study to prove how negative SEO works or just keep attacking people who disagree?

tony greene

10/30/2012 02:00 pm

Keeping these tips in mind are going to help me immensely as I continue my voyage into entrepeneurship. Thanks.


10/30/2012 04:45 pm

Google search engine can be harmful for your site! because it require constant changes, no any information how it works and what was changed. Peoples who not hit kiss google here, but in reality google only bunch of badly written scripts on extremely powerful hardware. and google not have any respect for peoples who creating content and helps google to grow.


10/31/2012 05:17 pm

Do it and track it for us or shut up about it. You would be doing everyone in the industry a service by documenting the downfall you are able to bring upon any site you choose, oh great lord of thunder; your bolts are precise and devestaging, I am sure.


10/31/2012 10:00 pm

Wow why so much anger Nick?


11/01/2012 04:17 pm

That is exactly why nobody takes your theory seriously.

Nick Ker

11/01/2012 06:41 pm

Ha! I just got around to catching up on Disqus notifications from the last couple of days and saw what was going on here. I stopped feeding the troll after he threw out some slanderous claims about me and my business, and I realized it is a total waste of time to try to explain reality to him. Now he thinks anyone who calls him on his bullshit must be me. @ethalon: you make a good point - a detailed exposé would bring it to the public eye and possibly push Google toward dealing with it (if it is in fact a big problem). Kooks can rant in comments and forums all day and night, but unless they can actually prove these claims, they will continue to look foolish.

tony greene

11/01/2012 06:59 pm

You take it at face value that there is quality behind the message. [snark}


11/01/2012 08:10 pm

LOL Nick you taken to talking to yourself? Trolling 101 pretend to be someone else if it looks like you are losing the argument or you want to get nastier than your real persona would allow. Like I said I don't have to prove it Matt has said it exists and dinosaurs like you who cannot get up to speed are just going to be a danger to your clients.

Barry D.

11/01/2012 08:32 pm

Alan I have a question for you: What is your argument? If I am following this correctly, you jumped into conversation and asked something about fiverr. Ethalon replied to you. You now claim ethalon is nick who is losing an argument. What exactly is your side of this argument?


11/01/2012 09:37 pm

Unfortunately for you Barry you are not following correctly.


11/02/2012 12:48 pm

I have to assume Alan is just poking the bear now; nobody could actually be this diluited as to what is written here. But, for the sake of argument during this slow seroundtable week: Joshua made a ridiculous overstatement, especially on the keyword stuffing bit, and then Nick posted some reality-based comments in response and you chimed in with your fiver refrain. Interestingly enough, it is what you chimed in with in the other conversation and, when asked to prove it, you offered up the proof that you don't have to prove it because "that is why we have the disavow tool...tool!". Are there some legitimate issues to be had with how Google rolled out it's animal updates, there sure is. Is there a basic expectation that, if jumping into an on-going conversation, you provide some substance to your insinuations? Yes, there is. This is why we call b.s. on your knee-jerk reactionism; you seem to fundamentally misunderstand what is being discussed and still insist on participating aggressively. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie, Donny.


11/03/2012 08:19 am

Whether you are or aren't Nick i don't really care. What I care about are Nick's clients. He (and it isn't only him there are lots of Internet Marketers.. oh wait I mean SEO's) who offer to look at a "potential" clients backlin profile. In Nick's case he is offering to tell them which links are bad links! So he admits there are bad links out there "somewhere in the ether"! but says negative SEO is not possible? We all understand that you can bash all the bad link you want at and nothing will happen. However Nick is never likely to get a client like coca cola, in fact looking at his site he won't get anywhere near! (that is a different discussion) The kind of customers Nick is likely to get are small business people. People who are just entering the online world and if he or you or anyone else thinks that small business owners can't be affected by having bad links smashed at their site then he and you and all the others are doing them a diservice! I don't need to give you an example because there are actually millions of examples out there. Webmasters who signed up to blog networks, bought xrummer/scrapebox links, etc etc.. All these site owners got hammered by Google. So effectively "THEY DID NEGATIVE SEO ON THEMSELVES" you get it? If you don't think penguin affected all these sites then you and Nick and whoever else believes this really need to exit the industry post-haste! So lets say I am in the I don't know off the top of my head... I am in the sprocket Business (or any other made up small time localish business). I don't have a powerful backlink profile as I just started my online presence. However there is a site that has been there years and that site owner decides he doesn't really want competition on the web, he goes and hires a neg seo to bash bad xrummer/scrapebox/blognetwork links 24/7 at my new site. What do you expect to happen? Sure as s%#t it will jump up the serps at first but evetually the penguin will catch up. Don't believe this? Then I can't help you! and no one can!

Dmitri Kryczk

11/03/2012 08:39 pm

I don't believe you and here is why: I have searched for proof of negative seo and found nothing but speculation. You are not a credible source of information. Why should anyone believe you? You have shown no evidence. You change the subject or shoot the messenger every time anyone asks why you believe what you believe. You post anonymously and share no facts. What qualifies you to be an expert on these matters? Nobody knows. You have no credibility because of your insults, crazy talk, lies and rejection of facts. Do you have a website or blog or any way we can see if you know what you are talking about? Others here share knowledge and opinions and are not afraid to attach their own identity to it. Why should anyone believe an anonymous rather than someone who is putting their own credibility on the line? Here is my own theory. You are angry because your own spam website stopped working for google search and ego will not let you admit mistakes.


11/03/2012 11:40 pm

Dmitri?? You accuse me of posting anonymously , you are calling the pot black! Anyway I don't really care whether you believe me or not. Like I said there are thousands possibly millions of webmasters who done negative SEO to their own sites buy buying into blog networks etc! Matt Cutts himself says there are bad links that can harm your site! If you can't understand that then I can't help you. I give up. googd luck to you and your clients!


11/05/2012 01:53 pm

Talking about thousands of examples of people who participated in backlink schemes that got hit by penguin, and had their site dropped in the SERPs as a result, is not negative SEO. In fact, it's not even what you were talking about earlier in the thread: "How about I buy $500 worth of fiver gigs and blast it at my competition" or "Ok Guy how about I find your site and then buy $500 worth of fiverr gigs . I could bombard your site with millions of spammy links!" That is the negaive SEO we were talking about until your last two posts where you expanded that to include people who recieved a downgrade in the SERPs after penguin due to their own practices -or the practices of those they have hired in the past. The possibility of shooting yourself in the foot has never been debated; the debate is whether or not a third-party can just 'buy $500 worth of fiver gigs' directed at a competitor and tank them in the SERPs. You managed to get back on topic by again restating your hypothesis on third-party attacks: "The kind of customers Nick is likely to get are small business people. People who are just entering the online world and if he or you or anyone else thinks that small business owners can't be affected by having bad links smashed at their site then he and you and all the others are doing them a diservice!" But then you immediately start talking about people who acquired, or hired someone to aquire, those links by themselves and how those thousand or possibly millions of people are the examples that prove your point. They are not. Nobody but you thinks that Nick, or myself for that matter, is saying that bad backlinks don't exist in many sites profiles, yet you state it as if that is what is being debated. Not only that, you state it as if that is the position Nick or I are staking out: "If you don't think penguin affected all these sites then you and Nick and whoever else believes this really need to exit the industry post-haste!" So once again, I would love to see a case study that proves out the theory you have proposed as fact (the third-party nSEO hypothesis). I think the entire SEO community would like to know the mechanisms of such an operation as it could offer the insight needed to combat similar attacks in the future. Thanks in advance for your on-topic response.

Dmitri Kryczk

11/05/2012 02:25 pm

Was not accusation but observation. I see no last name on your posts. I see no facts in your posts. Just claims without any facts to back them up. To you, my full name is not good enough to make truthful observations, but your single name is enough to make these claims and defamatory remarks about other people? What makes you so special? Nobody knows because you lack the integrity to attach your identity to your words. If I were making such claims, I would provide some type of documentation. You refuse to do that. Why? Do you not believe your own claims enough to stand behind them? It is probably good for you that you do not attach your identity to your foolishness. That way you can say anything you want and slander those who disagree. The only consequence is that nobody takes you seriously. Your wish of good luck to me and my clients makes as little sense as everything else you say. My "clients" are customers of my store which is doing just fine. Good or bad SEO has little effect on them.


11/05/2012 08:05 pm

Wow Nick this is really bugging you! I haven't even bothered reading all that! Like I said I can't help those who don't want to be helped.


11/05/2012 09:44 pm

Ah, so you are just here to pick fights and complain on the bandwagon. At least that has been made clear.


05/24/2013 09:28 pm

i want to indexing what should i do? suggest me please

blog comments powered by Disqus