Google De-Indexes ‘Build My Rank’ – Is this the Death of Link Networks?
Google De-Indexes ‘Build My Rank’
It happened practically overnight – on March 19th, 2012, Google “de-indexed” the link building network ‘Build My Rank,’ with hints that it contained a large amount of unnatural links which were artificially manipulating search engine results.
Despite Google’s history of targeting networks and sites that engage in backlink building and paid blogging, Build My Rank was surprised at the hit, noting in a release on their website:
“It had always been BMR’s philosophy that if we did things a bit different from other networks, we would not only have a better quality service to offer our users, but a longer life in this fickle industry. Sadly, it appears this was not the case.”
However, as Barry Schwartz argued in his report on Search Engine Land, both ‘Build My Rank’ and its users shouldn’t be all that shocked over Google’s actions:
“I am surprised so many people still participate in quick and easy tactics like this? Google has a long history of going after link and blog networks. Here is just one more example. But I guess when things seem to work and it is easy, a human will often go with it. Even though network after network has been hit by the paid link penalties and worse.”
Consequently, Build My Rank has now made the decision to shut down its services, with much ambiguity around the “root cause” of the de-indexing and whether or not they will recommence their services in future. But will they be the only ones? Possibly not. There is now much speculation around whether other paid linking networks like LinkVana and Authority Link Network will come under the same “de-indexing” fire, with users seeing their backlinks at such farms wiped off the Google search engine plain.
‘Build My Rank’s’ downfall came shortly after Matt Cutt’s announcement that Google has also been working on a new a penalty that will reprimand websites who direct all their efforts to building up their SEO through various techniques, without concurrently working to add value to their site (read more about ‘too much SEO’ here).
What does this mean for website owners and bloggers? Should you remove your backlinks from these sites?
It’s essentially a matter for each website owner to consider at their own discretion and there’s been a lot of argument around whether leaving or removing your backlinks from these networks is necessary. However, with their backlinks now de-indexed, owners can most likely expect to see a drop in their overall rankings, particularly if a lot of their backlinks came from paid network sites, since these backlinks no longer count towards their SEO.
SEOmoz’s Q&A Forum on ‘Build My Rank’ back in November 2011 also enticed similar comments about the quality and consequences of ‘Build My Rank’ and link farming in general, with one user stating: “Rather than working on building up the content on my site and making it something special, I end up relying simply on link juice. My quality suffers because I don’t have to ask my peers to essentially review my site and find it nice enough to link to.”
So what’s the moral of the ‘Build My Rank’ story? Paid link networks are most probably on the way out – and if your site is on the top pages of Google simply because you’ve been link farming, now is probably a good time to act before you lose your link power thanks to Google’s de-indexing decisions.
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