Google Update Kills Private Blog Networks
Google has just released another update to its algorithm. This time, private blog networks are in its firing line.
Private blog networks are essentially made up of a cluster of sites, all related to each other, and all linking to each other. Normally, they will be controlled by a very small number of users – sometimes just one – and they exist purely to generate links to other sites in the network.
The aim of the latest update is to weed out the poor quality content that Google dislikes so intensely. Content like this is often used to game Google’s algorithm for artificial gains.
Am I Affected?
If you’ve been caught by the latest update, you should have received a notification email from Google around five or six days ago, providing your sites are correctly set up with Google Webmaster Tools.
The warning states that content has violated Google’s guidelines because it features large amounts of junk or auto-generated text. It sums it up like this: the site has “no added value”.
And, to be honest, anyone who has been comment spamming (or running a manipulative network) should have seen this one coming anyway.
The definitive check is to search Google for your site name. If it’s gone, it has been deindexed.
Many sites have been offered a grace period to remove their content and reapply for listing in Google. In the meantime, the links from these sites will be of no value to anyone.
The Future for Private Blog Networks
Black hat SEO is getting harder, but it’s not going away. As Google cuts off one technique, another is sure to rise in popularity.
If you want to stay on the right side of Google, stick to white hat optimization: great content, organic links, and an investment in quality.
For black hat SEOs, there will always be another way to cash in on a quick win.