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One of our websites has suffered ongoing manual action by Google due to a high volume of unnatural links. This was somewhat justified as an SEO company we hired in 2005 submitted our site to numerous link farms and low quality sites.

We're now trying to cleanup this mess and have so far submitted around 8 reconsideration requests after disavowing tons of domains. The problem is Google are still kicking back our reconsideration requests and the last URL they highlighted was this one.

http://cutesoft.net/forums/post/8567.aspx

I really can't see how this falls into the category of web spam? CuteSoft is a well known WYSIWYG HTML editor. Is it really a crime to put a link in a forum signature? If so most forums should be classed as spam. This was a genuine post I made years ago seeking help on a particular subject relating to the software.

I just can't workout the logic behind what they determine as spam anymore!?

EDIT

I can only conclude that Google are far more advanced in detecting the subtleties of stuffing keywords in anchor text than I possibly imagined! I'd love to know how Google are generating their reconsideration responses, if they know all the pages that contain spammy links why can't they just ignore them in their algos? They've already pushed our position for various keywords off the first 10 pages. So cleaning up these keyword based links almost seems like a pointless exercises!?

Also some reconsideration responses contained links with our company name in so really I am none the wiser?? Their criteria most go beyond simple keywords stuffing!

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The problem is not the forum signature itself, it's the fact that the link is "optimized". If instead of "Company Registration" you had your company's name as the anchor text for the link, it'd be fine.

If detected, all forum footer comments with optimized keywords in links are classed as "spam", or more specifically "link schemes" as as defined here:

Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.

The logic has always been clear I believe, they are just so much better at detecting it now.

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Thanks, I agree...they're damn good at spotting these things now. They must be able to distinguish forum footers vs regular content. I guess things have moved on quite a bit since 2005 when I made that forum post. If every link posted on the internet was using the company name as the anchor then how would Google determine the context of a link? Maybe they don't anymore because it's been gamed so much in the past!? –  QF_Developer Jan 20 at 15:29
    
I think they could even extrapolate the context of the link, but it's much easier to spot when the keyword is not the company name. Sitelinks it's proof that they are pretty confident with that algorithm :) It's becoming so hard to cheat the big G nowadays –  milo5b Jan 21 at 21:08
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Perhaps they're deriving the context from the rest of the text on the page where the link is sitting, along with what they know about that site in general. Fascinating stuff! –  QF_Developer Jan 22 at 9:33
    
@milo5b : This is new for me... Thanks for sharing this... –  Roy M J Jan 22 at 10:01

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