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Monthly Archives: January 2008

Brett pointed out in his original article 7 SEO Techniques That Google Smashed in 2007 that Google had smashed Directories that charged a pay for review fee.

In regard to Directory links Google did smash a lot of low quality Directories. I' sure there were some paid for review Dirctories that got hit. I think that was done to Directories that were obviously built to help webmasters game Google. In reality Directories of that type only had two purposes.

They generally promoted links, pagerank, and obtaining links to get better rankings in Google. I think the other thing that stood out about these directories was the fact it was obvious the Adsense adds were more important than the directory listings.

IMHO Google did not smash paid for review directories. In fact I think Google has made it clear that they do not consider a pay for review directory as a paid link as long as the directory does not include every site that pays for a review.

For further reading:

How To Report Paid Links

Hidden Links

Text Links and PageRank

If you want to read my other post in this series:

2007 Changes in Google Regarding Links

2007 Changes in Google Regarding Supplemental Pages


I guess the first thing is to explain what supplemental results were. In laymen terms supplemental results are pages that Google keeps in a separate index. They were identified in the SERPS as supplemental when those pages came up in a search. I'm sure Yahoo, MSN, and Ask have something similar. The difference is they are not as open with webmasters as Google is trying to be.

To me it was no big deal to have pages show as supplemental. In fact I have seen pages that were listed as supplemental out rank my pages which were were not supplemental. To those involved in the Search Engine Optimization Industry it was a big deal. Those people did not like having pages in the supplemental results. SEO's saw the supplemental results as a road map telling them which pages on their site needed more work.

I'm not sure when Google started showing supplemental results. I think it was sometime in 2006. However, as Brett pointed out in his article 7 SEO Techniques That Google Smashed in 2007 Google has quit showing supplemental results in 2007. Man that caused an uproar.

At some point someone discovered a operator which they believed would show only supplemental pages. Brett mentions that in his article. The operator was "site: *** -sljktf" command (to show the supplemental index results).

Some people thought you could still discover supplemental pages with the operator, even after Google stopped showing supplemental results . Personally I don't think the operator was broke. I don't think it was ever accurate.

1 Comment



2007 Changes in Google Regarding Links

By Connie Jan 02, 2008 3:18 pm

2007 saw a lot of changes in the way Google does things. Some of the changes are directly related to the way Google ranks websites. Some are related to the way they are displaying the SERPs, and a few were made in regard to the information provided to webmasters who use webmaster tools.

Though I have been aware of these changes I never really thought about writing an article about them or even a series of articles until I came across this blog article today by Brett Borders in a article titled 7 SEO Techniques That Google Smashed in 2007. I have no idea who Bret is. As far as I can remember this is the first time I have heard of him. His article is not exhaustive, but it deals with a few major changes that are important to webmasters. In this article I will only deal with Reciprocal links (link exchanges) and paid links. Based on the 7 changes Brett mentioned, I will do a series over the next few days, including some changes that he did not mention.

If you want a preview of what is to come I suggest you read his article.

1: Reciprocal links. in this case Brett uses the Real Estate Industry as an example.

Though Reciprocal and paid links existed before Google, there is a reason they have become concerned about Reciprocal links (link exchanges), and paid links.

In the early days a lot of Google's algorithm was based on links. A link was regarded as a vote. It became easy for webmasters to game Google and get top listings in the SERPS based solely on links. Coincidentally my last article on this blog was about about link exchanges. The same is true for paid links.

There is nothing wrong link exchanges or paid links when the link exchange is done with your visitor in mind, or the paid link is simply a means of advertising.

Unfortunately webmasters used links as a means to increase their ranking and that is against Google's Webmaster Guidelines. As a result Google is reacting.

Read this statement from Google's Guidelines under Quality guidelines - basic principles. In fact they list a few things that webmaster should and should not do under Quality guidelines.

  • Make pages for users, not for search engines

  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings

  • Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.

  • Don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc

I hope you notice in particular that Google not only advises that you avoid anything they might consider a link scheme, Google may also hold you responsible for who you link to. What does Google mean by a link scheme? I think they mean any link you acquire for the intended purpose if increasing your PR, or ranking.

Google has become very open with webmasters in trying to communicate what they expect if you want free traffic from them.  Yahoo, MSN, and Ask are not so open, but I suspect they are looking for the same thing that Google is looking for.

Search Engines want to display relevant results to their searchers.  They do not want those results manipulated.


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