There are tens of thousands of blogs that are suddenly finding they no longer ranks in search results. The reason is quite clear – Google has well and truly slapped several link/blog networks and the results have been startling. Some small business owners are suddenly finding themselves ranking well for their major keywords. It’s taken a long time, and too a certain extent, the problem has been one of Google’s own doing.
For years, link/blog networks have been able to dominate a wide range of keywords – and the search engines have done nothing. During that time, Google has hit those with paid links, and more recently, so called content farms, so they were overdue when it came to sorting out these link/blog networks.
A link/blog network is one where a website owner can post content, often the same (or at best, spun) content, to hundreds of blogs, all on autopilot. Publish ten posts on these networks, and the website owner suddenly had 1500 or more inbound links. At the same time, if they added their blog to the network, they would be receiving free posts to their site, all with outgoing to links. Google has effectively worked through these networks de-indexing those blogs that published this type of content. Once de-indexed, those links count for nothing, and that means a sudden drop in the rankings of those who sort to gain a benefit using this method.
If you have been involved with this type of behavior in the past, especially the publication of ‘free’ content on your blog, then you may find that your blog is suddenly no longer indexed. If you have a Webmaster Tools account, check to see if you have any messages. If Google has removed your site from its index, you’ll have a message telling stating there are quality issues with your site. I suggest you clean out the junk quickly if you want to return to Google’s search index.
In the mean time, honest website owners are now starting to see the results of their efforts as those who tried to work the system drop out. One final note that is worth considering. Many are now pushing the view that links are irrelevant. Given the sudden drop in rankings of many websites, and the sudden improvement in rankings for others, all because of spammy links, I think link building using honest search engine optimization techniques is still very important if you want to rank well. You can read more on Google’s link/blog network slap on SearchNewz.