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What Does Google Consider Natural?


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#1 iamlost

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 11:46 AM

What with all the Google angst a common question across many a webdev fora in the past year or so has been some variation on:
1. what does Google consider a natural backlink profile?
2. what amount of the same anchor text is OK with Google?

Yes, SEO/marketing lemmings a little learning is a dangerous thing. As you refuse to either drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring I have some simple technical-scalable-algorithmic solutions (those are what you worship?) that may yet save you from your suicidal hubris.

What does Google consider a natural backlink profile?
Real answer: only Google knows and, regardless, is not static.

SEO lemming answer:
* pay for some third party link profile of the top 10+ domains returned for each query you are chasing;
* filter (as you see fit) for each domain and aggregated; export to a spreadsheet;
* voilà a genuine shaky foundation benchmark;
* do a risk assessment based on foregoing;
* send your bots and requests forth.
Note: the use of an SEO 'accepted' tool/service and a spreadsheet...nirvana!
Note: for safeties sake do repeat and adjust in panic after every data refresh or algo update.

What amount of the same anchor text is OK with Google?
Real answer: only Google knows and, regardless, is not static.

SEO lemming answer:
* scrape the top 10+ pages returned for each query you are chasing;
* build a word (aka tag) cloud for each;
* export to a spreadsheet for percentage calculation and ordering.
* voilà a genuine shaky foundation benchmark;
* do a risk assessment based on foregoing;
* send your bots and requests forth.
Note: the use of an SEO 'accepted' tool/service and a spreadsheet...nirvana!
Note: for safeties sake do repeat and adjust in panic after every data refresh or algo update.

Disclaimer: this post is written as truly helpful sarcasm and comes with absolutely no warranty, guarantee, claim of authority, or benefit.

Caveat emptor.

Abundans cautela non nocet.

Et cetera.

 



#2 earlpearl

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 12:16 PM

Those are "reasonable" seo corrective measures.   

 

I noticed a footer link to one of our sites on a page of a site that has absolutely nothing to do with our site/business/local smb.   It had been delivering a bit of traffic.

 

In its own right the originating site interested me, and in that it was highly personal I was able to contact the site's owner.

 

Twas a completely natural link added to his site b/c he wanted to.  There was no interaction between our business and the site owner ....

 

in fact we spoke and corresponded by email based on a very interesting and fun interaction.

 

I tweeted Mr. Matt Cutts.   Hey Matt, if it looks like a "evil" footer link...and if you are a spam sniffing algo dog...and it "smells like an evil spam footer link....that doesn't make it a damned cursed footer link.

 

I so hope he'll look at it.

 

Exactly how google's algo's and filters work is of course a mystery to all of us.  In fact from what I know after unleashing these things they have humans monitor them and take contacts on them to determine if the algo/filter "is working right" in their eyes.

 

It doesn't always.   On the local side, last year they took two actions via filters or algo's that boomeranged.   They were too extreme.   Feedback had them dial back on the updates/ changes.

 

I suppose your suggestions are reasonable, until at least there is better clarity, if ever..and I don't suppose we'll ever see that.  :D



#3 jonbey

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 12:23 PM

Natural / unnatural really makes no sense.

 

You are either "allowed" to create your own links, or you are not. 

 

Every business should work to promote itself using the methods which attract customers one way or another though. So, it should be considered natural to place links on websites which are likely to result in more traffic ..... so signature links on forums should be considered natural links - even if off topic. They may not be of such value, but they should not result in search penalty.

 

Plus, some totally natural links can look like paid links - I have had this problem. Jokers mixing up links to my site (and others) with their paid links to try to fool Google. 

 

It is all a mess. But then again, it has always been all a mess. 



#4 test-ok

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 01:43 AM

Can google really tell the difference between a natural link and one that's not?...I don't believe so.

Site authority has a lot to do with it...such as DMOZ or Yahoo Directory, Best of the Web etc. links to all kinds of different sites, their not being hit.

What google can do is look at a back link profile and if it see's 500 links with 550 of them using the anchor text of 'this is my site' it's got a good idea that all the links with 'this is my site' are not natural....unless your url is www.thisismysite.com, 

If you create your links like:

this

is

my

site

Now lets say you own www.sites-r-us.com and you want to ranks for 'this is my site'

build single word links as you won't rank for any of them but together you will and at the same time you'll diversify your profile:

100 links to this

100 links to is

100 links to my

100 links to site

then you only need one or two of phrase 'this is my site' anchor text links to rank. same with 'my site is' or any mix of the single words.

using 'read more' 'click here' 'visit site' will also help diversify your profile.

I've noticed from analyzing many sites that 75 to 90 percent of you anchor text with words you are not looking to rank for (as above) and 10 to 20 percent of phrase anchors your are looking to rank for will shoot you to the top.

Along with good content and good internal link structure. don't want to leave that part out/

 

This is only my opinion, and I could be wrong!  :morningcoffee: 



#5 clandestino

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 02:30 AM

As I understand it, about 15% of links to the websites of major brands include anchor text that target their core keywords.  If 15% doesn't reflect natural linking practices, then g##### will have to take out most major brands.

 

I thought that advising clients on how to minimize their tax liablity based on the Internal Revenue Code was a dumb and irrelavent game which results in allocations of capital that Are Not beneficial to society at large.

 

Then I met g#####.



#6 clandestino

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 02:34 AM

I've noticed from analyzing many sites that 75 to 90 percent of you anchor text with words you are not looking to rank for (as above) and 10 to 20 percent of phrase anchors your are looking to rank for will shoot you to the top.

Along with good content and good internal link structure. don't want to leave that part out/

 

I think you're right about that.



#7 glyn

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 12:58 PM

I agree almost. I do find it one of the most crazy things that people/tools say: goto google and get the top 10 results for my keywords and start up a dialogue. I was reading this post (and came away from it thinking, if it's not a commercial site it's pretty easy to get links) and saw the old recommendation in there, allbeit in the meagre shallows of the first 100 results.

 

I don't attach a great deal of value to the metrics used in many of the tools to tell seo's use to make sense of the potential value of a link. However, it can be  useful starting point.

 

Just as it used to be that if you wanted to get a good sense of real keyword traffic volumes that you'd just run an Adwords campaign for a product completely unrelated to the keyword niche and show it just to record the actual impressions that Ad got via the Adwords campaign reporting, and not for the purposes of getting an actual visitor (heavens no!! not at that CPC), so too I like to flip these seo tools specs on what they should be used for to what they actually provide value and help me to expede workflows for staff that I don't have to employ. Does 1,000 links from blogs appearing overnight look spammy? Or perhaps a shed load of phpfox, elgg or any of the other low-hanging link fruit the internet spawns with every advance is going to help? Probably not, but possibly in the past and perhaps still does. But the chances are these are what G is considering unnatural. 

 

I do think that while there was a time when ref spamming webalizer, or some of the link propogation networks and software would get you ranked in Google, I think that now the link quality is very important. That link quality is measured by the limit on how replicable that same link is avaialble on other websites (hence the Elgg et al usual suspects now falling foul), and other quality factors, which rightfully so Iamlost points out, are guesswork.

 

It's certainly more of a minefield if you come at this job fresh, but there is still plenty of fun in there, and I know I still enjoy it allot. And I can see why Bruce Clay saw to point out that this job is in demand because separating the PR machine from the actual reality requires an analytical approach.

 

G.



#8 clandestino

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:49 AM

This is what Aaron Wall at SEO Book had to say on the subject -->

 

I should add that I like getting great links if I can, but for a lot of
folks starting out new sites the cost structure of getting the great
links doesn’t really back out unless they have a huge initial marketing
budget funded from other projects or they have already built some rank
& momentum.

 

I tend to view the mid-tier links sorta as efficient rank builders
& the higher quality links as an insurance policy to try to maintain
the rankings. In some niches you might also need strong usage data
too…it would be hard to compete for something like core keywords in the
“auto insurance” niche without having strong awareness.

 

Of course the lower end links still work for some folks too, but
there is a lot of latent risk in those now that Google has Penguin + the
disavow tool & suggests that you are responsible for policing your
inbound links. It seems that a lot of the social networks & huge
authority sites generally get a pass if it seems as though the spam
might be user generated.

 

Anchor text still works.

 

Ditto on Glyn's thoughts. 



#9 seolearnerlive

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:53 AM

Hi There,

 

Well I feel having the business link in the footer of some websites is part of natural SEO. Too many links makes SEO look like fabricated. 

 

Hope this would help,

Live Pages - SEO Comapny in Mumbai



#10 glyn

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:17 PM

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

#11 jonbey

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:52 PM

what's a comapny?



#12 Black_Knight

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 05:39 PM

Its like a company or group, where any original thought would send them all into a coma.



#13 tam

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 06:14 PM

The easiest way to be natural is probably to just stop specifying how people link to you. Feel free to say hey I'm awesome any chance of a link, but if they say yes, don't go thanks here's is the exact code I want you to place in this spot on that page.



#14 mihaistamate

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 09:02 PM

To be natural, you have to think natural. If you were Google what would you consider as being natural and what would you consider spam?

 

From 20 anchors, I'd use only 6-7 relevant keywords and, the other 12 would be generic keywords.



#15 test-ok

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 03:00 AM

It's hard to be natural in today's world. 

Botox, plastic surgery, wigs, hair dye,

were not meant to be natural, I guess google didn't get the memo. 



#16 clandestino

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 01:50 AM

The problem is -- writing content and waiting for people to show up is ridiculous.  "Building it and they will come," only works for Kevin Costner when acting in the movie "Field of Dreams."  It's make believe and g##### knows it.  Why they won't admit it later…….

So we all know that we have to market our sites, just like any other business.  That means you have to initiate the process of getting the link -- it doesn't happen naturally like the rain or naturally like the seasons, or naturally like any other metaphor.  The idea that links happen naturally, at least to start, is bull*&#$!  This idea of just writing really great content and its existence will be known by people that need it through some invisible force that is with you because you're using g##### and matt cutts said it shall be so.....it's crazy!  "Editorially given" is the dumbest term I've ever heard.  Most of the terminology that seo experts talk about in their blogs is just mumbo jumbo voodoo that has no real application; it's designed to make them look smarter than you so they can market their blog.

And g##### knows that you can't "build it and they will come."  Why else would matt cutts let Eric Ward (who really is worth listening to) post a testimonial from matt on Eric's site -->


“Eric follows the right link building approach. He's interested in links that
are given based on merit and those are the links that stand the test of time”
— Matt Cutts

 

It's because matt knows that the way Eric creates links is the only possible way to do it – you have to ask for it in many, if not in most cases.  Note: although some links Eric creates may be given editorially as a result of competent marketing, many are asked for and received based on competent marketing.  No links are given until the prospect knows you exist and they want what you have -- this is the basic purpose of marketing.  This is the only way to start a business, launch into new markets for existing businesses, or cut into your competitor’s business.  It’s what we do offline, why wouldn’t that apply online? Duh…….

So why don't we cut the bull*&#$! and say that specific types of links are not acceptable and for every other link, have at it and turn your marketing department loose, as long as your work is ethical and serves the purpose of providing products to customers that have a need and want to buy them.  Yes and cut all the "see how intelligent I am because I know the true meaning of these terms that have nothing to do with you marketing your business and ranking your site, they just make me look 'Einstein' smart" nonsensical, gobbledy gook language.  There is no way to apply that non-sense, it has no practical application.  It’s just talk, theories, and guesses at best and it doesn’t sell anything!

So why does g##### continue this ridiculous masquerade which results in masses of seo excerpts opining that they know the right kinds of links that are acceptable to g##### -- you know, the ones that are so great that all you have to do is write content and everyone will know to link to you because you did what matt cutts said and it will work every time unless matt cutts says he doesn't think those links are what g##### considers to be ethical (which means you’re screwing up g#####’s business plan) and which the masses of "do gooder" seo's (which, in my opinion, are mostly found over at seo moz - or moz now because they're too embarrassed to say they do seo anymore) say are righteous and only they know what is right  for the good of the community and usually that is to gain the favor of matt cutts and g##### so he will bless their blog or seo business all while acting like a bunch of spoiled, selfish teenagers and outing their competition to further their business? Note: this isn't pointed at Eric Ward who really is a class act and really does understand how to market a business and avoid g##### in the process.  His business and character is solid – he doesn’t need to point fingers at others and wouldn’t dream of doing it under any circumstances.  

I'm talking about the rest of the nonsensical babble the comes from so many other sources and comes along with terms like editorially given, link authority, domain authority, relevance, influence, blah, blah, blah.  These people don't know the first thing about what it takes to run a real business.

So back to why g##### does this......

But first, I do want to give credit where credit is due.  g##### has never given as specific guidance on links as they have after penguin hit the stage.  I applaud them for that.

Buuuuuuutttttt, while g##### makes an attempt to have rules that are actually clear and can be followed, they continue their nonsensical verbiage with statements like this -->
 

Any links intended to manipulate a site's ranking in g##### search results may be considered part of a link scheme.

 
(So I take back my applause, ziiiiiiiiiippppp, just like that, gone.  Kind of the same way g##### burns your site with no explanation and for tactics that they have endorsed all along, slinking their way through the night and arbitrarily applying their ridiculous algorithm.)

Translated -- any link g##### decides will cut into their revenues whenever they feel like going after it and they won't give you any warning that they are going to do it.  And, they won't tell you why because they don't want to tell you that they're spamming you with their PPC fees and other tactics to shore up their advertising revenue.

I will qualify the prior paragraph by noting g##### just announced a new policy that intends to provide more specifics as to why they are penalizing your site.  It falls far short, however, and matt cutts explanation is ridiculous – he says if they tell you everything that is wrong, the spammers will decode the g##### algorithm.  Pleeeeeeeaaase, I can’t take it anymore.  Moreover, as I get older, I don’t listen to what people say; I watch what they do.  Quite frankly, what they say they will do isn’t nearly enough, and I suspect what they actually do will be even less.


Edited by chuckfinley, 18 June 2013 - 02:34 AM.
added link


#17 jonbey

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 04:03 AM

he says if they tell you everything that is wrong, the spammers will decode the g##### algorithm.  Pleeeeeeeaaase, I can’t take it anymore.

 

This has always annoyed me too. The spammers are already gaming the system, it is the rest of us that are struggle. I think that Google are starting to see this by providing a little more information, but it is not enough. 



#18 test-ok

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 04:28 AM

Ok...Let's cut through the BS. Get links that by pass the algo's. it isn't that hard. That's enough BS on the public side to stay true and blue.



should have added..play the game but play it better than they do.





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