If you are at all in the SEO niche, I am convinced that you have heard of Google’s Panda latest move.
If not, here’s a quick rundown:
BuildMyRank, a well known blog network, released a statement that Google had deindexed a good portion of the blogs on their network. How exactly this happened is not known and frankly, it does not matter. All good things come to an end sooner or later.
SEONitro, a blog network I used to be part of, released a similar statement last week saying that a good number of their blogs too had been deindexed.
Some deindexing happens and every network owner will tell you that it is to be expected – but this last move by Google Panda left some serious damage. In other words, this hard of a hit was NOT expected by anyone.
I had been using LinkVana since January 1st of this year (I was asked to review it and as such decided to try it out for 4 months).
I can’t say I used it as much as I perhaps should have, but either way, I was starting to see drastic improvements in rankings for the sites I did use LinkVana on.
Then this Google Panda news hit the net and I decided to wait and see if LinkVana would get hit as well.
No news came!
Long story short, I started doing random spotchecks on the backlinks I got through their network and yes, some of the blogs my backlinks were on, were indeed deindexed. The majority however – to my surprise – were still indexed.
I started doing some research on forums and other users shared similar results. So I figured the only thing left to do was to contact the folks at LinkVana and see how things were looking from their end.
They confirmed that some sites had been deindexed, but compared to some other blog networks, the damage to their network was “minimal.”
Curious why that might be, I was assured “we do things different from all other blog networks aroun”. Comforting for now, but how will they fare in the long run? We will wait and see I guess.
As for myself: I will continue using them until the end of this month. Do they still give me results and do I think it’s worth the money? Yes. No doubt about it!
Having said that, the whole private blog network scene has become to risky for me and it’s time (for me at least) to move on to greener pastures.
Here’s the thing: It does not matter how high-end a blog network is, if it is shared with hundreds of other marketers to promote hundreds of websites with, it can not ever appear “natural”.
Which is just one of the reasons I originally started creating my own blog networks using free blogs. Yes, there you stand the chance of your blog getting deleted by the networks owners but get this: they actually want their users to establish authentic (real) blogs on their network so if you do that, your risk of getting deleted almost does not exist.
I know they are a LOT of work (which is why I outsourced them), but truth is: they work.
FACT: I reverse engineered the backlinks on one of my sites last night and it turns out that the majority of my POWER links (as in – links that give my site the most ranking power) came from sites in my free blog networks that I had created 6 months ago. Crazy right? I know!
Some of those free blogs now had a PR of 4 – even though I never actually built many backlinks to them other than the ones I usually do (as explained in my free blog network guide).
The guide never was a big hit when it came out simply because it told the reader to do some work (as in: setting up free blogs and making some real posts, etc).
A common argument: “Why do all the hard work when you can just pay a little money and use a private blog network like BMR, SEONitro, or even LinkVana?”
Well… today I think we know why. Because when all the private networks get deindexed, you will still have your very own FREE private blog network you can fall back on.
So a long story very short: after this month, if I will start using private paid-for blog networks again, it will be to boost the linkjuice on my free blog networks. That way I have a bit of a filter when hell breaks loose – and my money sites won’t be affected as a result.
My money sites are becoming more and more valuable to me and as such I become more and more hesitant in using anything that could potentially harm the long term success of the sites. I’d hate to have to start everything from scratch again – so better do things right the first time!
These are just my five cents on the matter. Any thoughts?
Great post I will not even bother using blog networks anymore social media is looking better and better.
Like you said I personally do not think it is worth the risk anymore especially if your blog is a big asset to you.
In some people’s cases it is their bread @ butter. Natural link building is your best bet as well as 100% unique quality content.
Good post again Konrad.
Great article, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks blog networks have truly had their day.
The thing is, if you do anything remotely “unnatural” you are ALWAYS going to be looking over your shoulder. Even more so now the big G is updating on a regular basis now.
I’ve always believed it’s better to take the “honest” path & sacrifice a little of the traffic but be secure in knowing the Google Slap is going to pass you by unharmed.
Keep up the great info!
Great article. It is just a matter of time when the search engines(Google) will land on the blog networks. I would not blame them for this although I too must have been hit since my links from certain blog networks have disappeared.
I discovered that my articles were posted on blogs of questionable reputation but said “A link is a link no matter where it comes from”. I was wrong.
The ideal of free blog network sounds fine. Should try it.
i still using blog network and this method still work if we use it randomly to make it’s natural on google eyes.
Interesting. I’ve been doing something very similar for over 2 years – using Squidoo, Hubpages and Blogger mainly to create a “safety net” as well as authority backlinks to my money sites. It works – create good content and the search engines will favour you – create thousands of spammy backlinks and guess what.. they’ll throw you in the sandbox and leave you there.
I have been building a network per your report. Haven’t seen a lot of results from it as of yet, but it has a long way to go. Thanks for the encouragement in your post!
I am wondering if Google has attacked these blog networks in particular as a bit of a “publicity stunt”. What I mean by this is to say to the IM community “…we don’t like this form of network…” and so scaring people away from these networks.
From what you say Konrad and what a friend of mine tells me, Google haven’t “algorithmically” changed things to attack blog networks.
My friend has what he calls “Canary sites” (after the canaries they used to use in coal mines to detect deadly gases). These are crap sites (in his own words) built using methods Google frowns upon and have been around since 2007 ranking well (top 5,page 1) for their particular keyword, and to date they haven’t been affected at all.
May be the scare tactics have worked very well!
Cheers, Mike FD
It’s scary… Everything is becoming so very strict and streamlined. I actually think there are going to be some negative consequences for Google for this. Maybe this is just wishful thinking but I really look for ppl to start using Bing and Yahoo more.