Still Plenty of Loopholes in Google’s Paid Link Detection Algo
Warning: I’m just rambling to get a free link on Google’s blog. Why do I want that? Cuz I’m bored? :)
There’s not much new in Google’s recent post, Building Link-Based Popularity, in which Stephanie Ulrike underscores Google’s increasing ability to find and devalue artificial links. Matt Cutts has mentioned it during the release of Big Daddy earlier this year. In my sector, I still see reciprocal links remain effective to a large extent.
Honestly, I think it’ll take a while before Google reaches a point where only organic inbounds are counted toward a site’s popularity. Why? Guessing the intent of a link isn’t always easy. For example, I linked to a blog I read every day, just because it made it easier for me to visit the blog if I have the link on my blog’s front page. The blogger noticed my link and linked back to my blog. To Google that may look like reciprocal linking, but if Google discounts the links as such, its clearly missing the intention of those links.
There are also instances where an artifical link can made to look like citations. For example, write a fake article and bury a paid link in one of the paragraphs. How would Google figure out that link was paid for? I doubt it can. What about this? Instead of paying for a link, you pay for an “organic link generating service”, where a company will use several people to generate diggs for your site or bookmark you via del.icio.us. You’re still paying for links, except the company you’re paying doesn’t directly link to you anymore.
I don’t know. I still think there are alot of loopholes out there. Anyway, I think I’ve rambled on long enough.
P.S. My link popped up on their blog in like under a minute. That’s faster than I expected. I do see their blog home page is TBPR 0. Though the links aren’t nofollowed, I doubt I’m getting anything besides a traffic/anchor text benefit out of my link appearing on their page.
UPDATE: Michael Martinez wrote the most interesting response to Google’s announcement I read so far, though I’m not sure how he goes from the ability to link “spam” via Digg to Google VS Link Baiters:
I don’t rely on social link spamming, either, though Rand has publicly admitted to seeding DIGG and other social linking sites with stories and links….Call this the first round of “Google versus the Link Baiters”.