Jun 3, 2009

A Wildly Succesful Link Campaign Could Get You Tossed From Google's Index!

That link bait piece was a work of sheer genius! In a matter of days your website traffic exploded from the usual trickle of visitors to over 50,000. Phew…what a rush! Your link campaign is simply dusting the competition like so much netdirt squished beneath the flaming rubber of your screeching tires. Another day…another 20,000 visitors! And as for your link campaign…omigosh! Talk about outta control! Everybody wants to link to you. Everybody is linking to you! And just to think, only a week ago you were struggling to retain the handful of links you'd worked ever so hard to get and yet look at you now…practically drowning in the stuff! And as your link-bait vehicles ramps up even more speed you ride the tidal wave of web traffic with a heavy rap beat pounding the speakers of your linkmobil:

Whoop! Whoop! It's Da Sounda GooglePol Whoop! Whoop! It's For You Da Bell Toll Whoop! Whoop! It's Da Sounda GooglePol Whoop! Whoop! It's For You Da Bell Toll
And then suddenly it hits you! That's not just your music…it really is GooglePol. Heck…those are real sirens!
The powerful green-white and blue sedan roars up inches behind your turbocharged Speedlinker, and as you ease off the gas a fraction you hear a booming voice snarl "You in the red link vehicle…Turn off your engine and pull to the side. You are in violation of SED (search engine doctrine) 234!"
And that's how what many proclaim to be arguably the most successful link campaign in web history came to a sudden and screeching halt!
Busted For Web 2.0 Speedlinking!
First of all let's tackle the meaning of Web 2.0 just in case you don't know what it means. Web 2.0 is many things to different folks, and so if you are the techie type you would probably present a 100-page dissertation to cover the subject. But for us mere mortals Web 2.0 can be simplified along the following lines:
Web 2.0 is the 2nd generation stage of the internet and largely consists of community based and community driven websites/platforms which include blogs, forums, not to mention the vastly popular social media sites. You've probably heard of some of the more established and popular of these sites which include:

1. Myspace; 2. Digg; 3. Youtube; and 4. Facebook; to name but a few.
These sites are community driven platforms and the operative word here is "community." You can find practically any niche subject bustling with its very own online community on any one of the myriad of social media sites out there. However if you hope to gain exposure and benefit from Web 2.0 sites you have to abide by the rules and participate within the community. These online communities are populated by rather sensitive finicky folk who frown very strongly on abject and wanton self promotion!
Rule Breaking Will Get You Banned Quicker Than Samuel L. Jackson Rat-a-tats A Bad Guy Full Of Lead!
Believe me, if unabashed self promotion is your goal, you certainly won't get far with social media sites! These communities harbor pretty trigger-happy gunners as far as banning community abusers goes, and if you violate socially accepted behavior you'll be booted out quicker than Paris Hilton can simper "That's Hot" or Samuel L. Jackson snarls "Mudda@#&%er!" before rat-a-tat-tatting Mr. Bad full of lead!
However if you actively participate in your targeted niche and abide by the rules you can get immense exposure quite quickly, a substantial amount of traffic and a bucket load of links! BUT...yah, there's always a BUT, as said before you have to be an active community member which means you do have to put in some effort before those links and traffic become a reality.
So what do I mean by effort, or put another way, WORK? Urrggh…that's right, remember that annoying four letter word you simply cannot seem to avoid doing! Anyway work in this context means reading posts, voting positively for those posts you like (and if you feel brave…voting negatively for those you don't although I wouldn't do that too often if you want to build a stable of "friends"). Friends are site members who invite you to join their "neighborhood" something that you can do too; basically acquiring friends is a good thing (both online and off I guess…Duh?)
Indiscriminate voting for all and sundry will get you adversely pinpointed by the site owners as a miscreant up to no good (excuse enough to give you the proverbial boot up your pants). Note that each social media site has its own particular set of rules, lingo and guidelines so read up about them before you get banned and start whining…it's not fair, boo hoo hoo! Bottom line, you should try and gain as many trusted "friends" in your targeted community as possible and build up a positive reputation that you can leverage to your advantage in the future.
Getting Links And Web Traffic
Betcha this is what you've been waiting for…how does Web 2.0 benefit you, right? Well that's where your stable of friends comes into play. Once you've done enough online social hobnobbing, networking or what-have-you and built up a whole lotta good karma, write up your irresistible link bait piece and notify your "friends" of its existence. Generally for most of the social media websites you can only post a short blurb or teaser for your main article so do that and make sure that it is also mouth-watering smackalicious too, that way people just won't be able to help themselves from clicking through to the main post on your blog (several social media sites only accept mobile platforms such as blogs as opposed to static commonplace sites).
Your new online friends will only be too happy to reciprocate the love you showed them earlier (by voting up their articles) so they won't hesitate to up-vote your dynamic and irresistible piece. And soon enough, before you know it you'll be drowning in traffic because that post of yours will rise like the mythical phoenix to the top of the social media sites where it will get supersaturated exposure. Up atop that social media site more and more people will see it, love it and thereby vote for it. Think of that link bait piece of yours as a virus that expands exponentially or as a vicious-cycle with a positive slant!
Caution: Slowdown Now! Google Speedlink Filter Ahead!
So what the heck is Google's beef with your super successful link bait campaign. Hey, it's not as if you're buying links or linking to link farms for that matter. In fact you aren't doing anything wrong but following their guidelines in accordance with their vision of Web Paradise (never fear that day will come circa Web 50.0).
So what's really going on?
The problem on hand here is that Google has an algorithm filter which has the purpose of detecting aggressive linking. Translate aggressive linking as the acquisition of a large number of links in a disproportionately short length of time. Unfortunately at this point in time it appears as though this Google Speedlink Filter is still quite primitive and cannot differentiate between genuine above-board superlinking and spammy blackhat shady linking. Once the Speedlink Filter is triggered not only will all your links become null and void with respect to Google (even those prior to your link bait campaign), in the worst case scenario your blog (or site) will be unceremoniously booted from all known search (Google index).
However in such cases there is a glimmer of hope, you can apprise Google of the situation and appeal for a manual review of your site. But I guess the bottom line is if your Web 2.0 speedlinking is making you plenty of ka-ching then perhaps you don't need the grace of that fickle online deity known as Google!

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