In the past, those who ignore webmaster guidelines face Google’s mighty hammer. This saw the plunge of spam on the internet. For some time now, Google has sheathed its penalization policy, and in its place, neutralization. The moment spammers discovered there were no more penalties, their activities increased.
Up until recently, Google simply neutralizes manipulative links rather than penalize them. A search crisis occurred in the quality of search and Google came up with the idea of penalizing websites that are over optimized (like Penguin) and websites with thin content (like Panda). This stiff response from Google resulted in the overhauling of the SEO industry.
It is easy for anyone in the SEO industry to see that this is a positive change – especially with the decline in technical SEO for the “easy” way out. Google’s action has created a level playing ground that is encouraging hard work – against the old norm where people who are allergic to hard work had better shot at success.
Why neutralization failed to produce result
During the period neutralization reigned, people peddled links from websites like Entrepreneur and Forbes. It is believed that, for neutralization to be widely effective, it has to detect and neutralize links in the first month. Failure to do this will lead to more successful link spam because, beyond a month, the desired result must have been achieved by the spammer.
Close observations have revealed that link spam, over the last one year, has been working for valuable keywords and verticals more than ever. This means that Google is not actually catching 100 percent of the link spams – and you should be wary when Google says they are “pretty good” at ignoring link spam.
To Google, the number of neglected links may be infinitesimal but to search marketing professionals, the number is pretty significant.
Effect of neutralization on the cost of search engine marketing
Let us assume that Google neutralizes about 80 percent of spam links leaving 20 percent. Search engine marketing professionals will definitely push up their cost – but it is still pretty much affordable.
Spamming on links can be done on different scales without a breakneck investment. This leaves it in a position of being more affordable than the alternatives. Neutralization provides enough space for a few of the link spams to work and when they do, the returns are huge. Success is the cumulative effect of low cost and broad diversity.
Spam links through email peddling
With the rise in penalization, many websites are trying not to get caught. The trend has shifted to peddling links through emails. The content of many of them is laughable. You probably have noticed a couple of them in your inbox.
There are a lot of link manipulation techniques springing up. Some of them have been mentioned in a recent thread on Google Webmaster Help forum. There are cases when sites are still indexed but would not be benefiting from the spam links. It appears that Google spot many of the spam links but ignore them – and penalize in extreme cases. Whenever Google shift from penalizing to ignoring, it creates cracks where link spams can slip through with huge benefits that fuels spam market.