Google Clamps Down on Link Networks

At SMX West last week, there was more talk on the subject of link networks and the fact that Google is still pulling out all the stops to continue shutting these down.

At SMX West last week, there was more talk on the subject of link networks and the fact that Google is still pulling out all the stops to continue shutting these down.

Matt Cutts said of link building efforts "It's easier to be real than to fake being real. Thus, come up with a really great idea, make a fantastic user experience and content and great linking will follow".

Recently, there were rumours Google had targeted and shut down the SAPE link network, a site based in Russia, with users allegedly being penalised and downgraded in the SERPs.

Although there has been no official confirmation that it was SAPE or another network, there has been general agreement that any downgrades in ranking were not as a result of an algorithm update, but rather penalties being levied against sites that were getting links via black hat tactics.

Matt Cutts confirmed at his SMX session that Google would continue to go after link networks, firing another warning shot across the bows of any webmasters who may still be employing these kinds of tactics to build links.

With Google already stating that the next Penguin update will be a big deal, Cutts has said it will be one of the most talked about updates of the year (something to look forward to then!). Why any webmaster would still choose to rely on link networks is baffling.