Google: SEOs Don't Know If Unnatural Links Work Or Not

Dec 26, 2017 • 8:01 am | comments (24) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Typical reward and punishment sometimes is more black and white than how Google's algorithm works these days. Now that Google devalues links instead of demoting the site with the bad links, Google keeps saying, you don't know if an unnatural link helps a site rank or not - there are no tools that show you if Google is counting a specific link or not. Heck, even Google's own link tool in the Google Search Console won't tell you that - for good reason.

John Mueller of Google addressed the question around "how do they get away with it?" Meaning, how does my competitor get away with buying links or building links against Google's guidelines and still rank well and benefit from it. John said, they probably don't and if they do or if they don't, you won't know.

This came up at the 12:40 mark into the video where John explained that the "tricky part there is like you don't really know if they get away with it." "So what ends up happening is they spend a lot of time doing all of this stuff to kind of build these unnatural links and in the end they don't really have an effect. And they could have spent that time actually doing something useful for the long term for their website," John added.

Here is the video embed at the start time:

Here is the transcript:

How do they get away with it?

I think another tricky part there is like you don't really know if they get away with it.

In the sense that for the webspam team as well we try to recognize those kind of links and just ignore them. And the webspam team when they run across like a bigger pattern of links like that they they also apply manual action there and they essentially neutralize those links.

So you wouldn't see that any of the link tools. And a site might continue to rank fairly well despite all of these links essentially being ignored. So what ends up happening is they spend a lot of time doing all of this stuff to kind of build these unnatural links and in the end they don't really have an effect. And they could have spent that time actually doing something useful for the long term for their website.

Don't you miss the days of clear reward and punishment with Google?

Forum discussion at YouTube.

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