Woah. I haven’t seen a storm like this whipped up by Google since, well, Panda I guess.
It seems that Google got tired of black hat linkbuilders (those nasty people who create links to their own sites, so that’s just about every single webmaster in history) using the “private blog networks” where you can syndicate content containing backlinks to your websites in exchange for either cash or credits.
Google seems to have delisted the individual blogs of several blog networks having somehow gained knowledge as to which blogs they were. It probably wouldn’t be hard to identify footprints left by blogs that were members of the blog networks, but this “surgical strike” by Google is being taken by some to indicate that they bought access to the blog networks and so compiled a list of member blogs. Google delisted those blogs and the subsequent wailing and gnashing of teeth could be heard from behind computer screens in every part of the world.
Instead of writing a huge blog post on the topic, I’m going to link to multiple sources of information I’ve been reading over the past few days….
Dr Andy talks about the demise of Build My Rank (was at BuildMyRank.com, now redirects to HPBacklinks.com), and how “well in excess of $2,000” he spent there is now worthless because the backlinks are no longer indexed at Google.
Another victim, Authority Link Network, lost 5,297 blogs from its network in one week… according to this blog post.
The overall picture is summarised at Linkbuildr and Michelle’s From Idea To Empire where she has interviews from Dave at Linkvana and Daniel from AMA.
Mike Liebner (the owner of Blogging Underground) has an interesting take on it … Lost some links – so get some more! Mike thinks that the Google action wasn’t targetted at blog networks per se, but at low-quality blogs and sites.
Let me know what you think of this latest Google storm in the comments, below… [comments will be open for a few days]