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The Link Sabotage Problem - Assassin Websites

Apr 25, 2008
So much has been written about linking strategies and how they effect the page ranking of a given website. The common wisdom says that if you link to or are linked to from a bad neighborhood, you will be penalized by the search engine. Of course by the search engine, we mean the search engine, Google.

Google keeps their page rank algorithms a mystery. Perfectly legitimate web pages within perfectly legitimate websites often are gray barred. This is a frustrating situation, because it is hard to change anything when you know the content is original, because you wrote it. There is no black hat tricks being used, because you created the web page. This is a very sobering clue that the Google algorithm has a long way to go before it will be really fair.

Now that we know the system is unfair, cleaver, albeit devious web masters are using this to help raise their own page rank at the expense of their competition. Of course, when one web site rises above another, it is at the expense of that other. This is usually done as we are told, with fresh relevant content and well optimized pages. But that is a slow and uncertain process. A much easier and certain way of moving up is by moving the competition down.

You can not control who links to you. All you can do is write the bad website linking to you and request that they do not. Chances are they won't even answer. Can you see how unfair it is that this should be a ranking factor? Armed with this knowledge, your competition decides to sink your boat instead of making theirs better. They set up a website with adult and duplicate content, vulgar language as well as other big mistakes. This is usually a blog that garbage content can be posted to everyday. In fact, it can be set up to be friendly to spam-bots that will post to it. Usually we try hard to keep garbage spam posts off of our blogs. On these assassin sites, spam helps.

With an assassin website set up and the search engines quickly labeling it a bad neighborhood, your competition sets up links - right to your website. Your ranking heads downward and you don't know why. Your competition rises without any improvements and the search engines are clueless.

Search engines should amend their algorithms to not include, bad neighborhood links. Bad links should only be deemed worthless, not cause for penalty. It is unethical to implement an assassin website, but not illegal. A link is an endorsement, whether you want it or not. There is nothing you can do to protect yourself against one. As this becomes more widespread, it is almost a certainty that Google will alter its linking policies.
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R. Sharer does business consulting for 1st time entrepreneurs. He urges anyone to perform due diligence before striking out on their own. For a warning on tax structuring visit
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