In a thread in the Google Webmaster Central forum (hat tip: Barry Schwartz), a user claimed to have lost all of their traffic over the weekend, and to have found thousands of “fake backlinks”.
The user asked what they can do to make Google know the links have nothing to do with them.
Well, Google’s Matt Cutts recently indicated that Google may soon launch a tool that will let you tell Google to ignore certain links, but also interesting is what Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller (pictured) said in response to this user’s post.
From what I can tell, your site is still fairly new – with most of the content just a few months old, is that correct? In cases like that, it can take a bit of time for search engines to catch up with your content, and to learn to treat it appropriately. It’s one thing to have a fantastic website, but search engines generally need a bit more to be able to confirm that, and to rank your site – your content – appropriately.
That said, if you’re engaging in techniques like comment spam, forum profile link-dropping, dropping links in unrelated articles, or just placing it on random websites, then those would be things I’d strongly recommend stopping and cleaning up if you can.
Google, especially in the last year or two, has talked up the importance of quality content probably above all else, so it is interesting to see Google so openly talking about how that’s not necessarily enough.
Consider that when Google launched the Penguin update, Google’s Matt Cutts said in the announcement, “We want people doing white hat search engine optimization (or even no search engine optimization at all) to be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling web sites.”
Of course, this is still important, but if that’s all you got, it sounds like you better have some patience too, even if Google is all about freshness too.
Watch this video from Google’s Maile Ohye for some good SEO ideas as far as Google is concerned:
Image: Mueller’s Google+ Profile