When Trusted Dealers was founded, an agency was chosen to ‘do SEO’ on the basis of work they had previously done in the industry - effectively for a competitor. When I took over the running of the site, it took me all of 4 weeks to decide that the work was of highly questionable worth.
When I finally extracted from them a list of links they had “built” it was clear that they had been fishing in the very bottom of the pool and we parted ways. In fact, apart from honouring a few pre-existing deals, we effectively stopped ‘linkbuilding’ as a discreet activity.
Despite that, I’ve known for a long time that we have a batch of bad historical links and have been waiting for notification from Google that they were “onto” us. Today we finally got the dread warning through Google Webmaster Tools.
Interestingly, it took a form I personally haven’t seen before – including this passage:
“We do realize that some links may be outside of your control. As a result, for this specific incident we are taking very targeted action to reduce trust in the unnatural links.”
I’m pleased about that. I’m 95% certain which links they’re referring to (there is no coincidence in timing) and also believe I’ll be able to get them removed.
What does it spell for an industry where I know for a FACT that several ‘top ranking sites’ are engaged in massive linkbuilding programs right this minute? Big change, I suspect. Having been courted by several companies offering their ‘expertise’ in this particular vertical, I expect to see some big smack-downs being delivered to people. All of which reminds me that I have a draft post about a typical industry experience, which I will finish soon so you can see under the hood of what actually happens.