OK I normally keep this stuff for clients, but IMO Google in the last 14 days looks like they are hitting sites on both sides, sites that sell backlinks and sites that buy backlinks – and there has been collateral damage again.
For me this is a hard call to make on what you should do personally, normally I say weather the storm, but this looks a little different to me, normally Google attacks the webmaster from one side at a time to stop collateral damage. For example, if you sell links your site might not pass link juice or page rank while those links are still on your site. Clean up and after a update or two you should be OK. Buying links, well that’s another ball game. You could loose the domain forever if you don’t move quick enough.
So what happened this time? It looks like that some sites that ranked well and have pulled paid links just drop from the SERPS and some sites that didn’t pull them have also dropped. The common thing here is how the links were placed. Footers and sidebars seem to have been hit and links totally off theme have been hit. For example, a site about “home cooking” linking to a “holiday site”, but where the holiday site would have dropped this time both have dropped – oen for selling the links and the other one for buying links.
Some areas look like they got passes, or maybe their authority carried them, or maybe Google just said a site about home cooking could link to its hosting company/web designer/W3C/etc. That makes sense to me.
Common link networks also have been hit. So what can you do?
OK I still think wait it out, but download your backlinks and check though them if you can. Clean them up do so and go get some authority!
3 step plan on links
1) 1st batch of links: You need to gain your authority to play in that market place, but don’t over do it, being way too authoritative for an industry is sometimes worse than no authority at all. Try and get some links from press releases and on sites that don’t normally sell links.
2) 2nd batch of links: Once you have authority status get some blog love, but avoid Pay Per Post blogs for now. Take GetClicky.com: I’m not getting paid for that review or link, I did put my affiliate code in so I could see how many people I passed into getclicky.com and signed up… I’m geeky like that.
I think I have sent 180 people to date, 23 people signed up via my link, and only 13 people had balls to comment on my blog lol, but I will have passed a little of my authority onto GetClicky. Once you have enough blogs that have gained authority status linking to you, you’re set for stage 3.
3) 3rd batch is a free-for-all, you have gained authority and your stage 2 links should be pulling in the search terms. This means you will get scraper sites linking to you, so buy text link ads on lower grade sites, PPP and review-style sites. Your authority should pull you though.
But remember: You are always in the hands of the Google Overlords and they can change the rules at any time.