We’ve been working with a client trying to clean up their backlink profile for quite some time now and have been successful so far in reducing their toxic links. Having worked consistently on this for a number of weeks now we were somewhat surprised to look in Webmaster Tools and find a load of new more toxic links.
Where did these come from? The date first crawled was April 2013, first indexed April 2013, but when we followed the link it had been posted in August 2010! Spammy forum footer links and the more we looked the more we found.
Seriously, what is going on? We’re trying our best to clean up the mess made in the days when Google didn’t care about where your links come from and SEO companies bought them in their millions from overseas but we’re being thwarted at every turn as these aged links creep out of the woodwork.
The entire clean up process is irrelevant and a massive waste of human resource and effort; it could so easily be avoided.
Couple this latest twist with the knowledge that Google algorithm changes are now constant, ongoing, not subject to notification so we have no ideas what they are or when they are happening and suddenly the entire process of trying to optimise a website becomes akin to knitting fog. If a site suddenly drops and you don’t know what the Google change was, how do you know where to start looking to deal with it?
Layer this on top of the fact that Yahoo and Bing listings haven’t dropped and we seem to be heading towards a position where you can’t optimise a site for all search engines, you have to choose either Google or all the rest. This is a very dangerous proposition and one no doubt we will return to in the near future.