Google recently announced about its search engine algorithm change to fight against Blog/Link Networks which are involved in un-natural cross-linking and violating its webmaster guidelines.
A link network scam called “ My 7 Links Challenge ” started by a travel company TripBase.com, which took the entire blogosphere (1000s of blogs) in to a spin by involving them for unethical link exchange between bloggers around the world.
Now 1000s of blogs and websites including TripBase are under the search engine giant’s scanner for involvement in one of the biggest link scam by bloggers till date. Surprisingly, not only newbie bloggers but also many famous and highly ranked blogs are involved in this scam.
Why bloggers exchange links: To promote their blogs in Search Engines, by gaining link juice.
Why “ My 7 Links Challenge ” is a SCAM?
If a link network or club exists for the purpose of creating cross-link between themselves (blogs) and other websites, then it violates Google’s webmaster guidelines. Because, their main motive is to promote their blogs in the search engine ranking by gaining huge number of links from fellow bloggers, without having quality posts/articles. Which Google never likes.
Why a travel company like TripBase.com (Flights, Hotels, Cars and Vacations service provider) is interested to promote bloggers, completely deviating from its main business? It’s simple – to gain more links from innocent bloggers to promote its site in the search engine ranking.
Link Scam of 2012: TripBase.com started a scheme, where bloggers publish 7 posts as 7 links on their blogs, and nominates another 5 bloggers to join the contest by giving 5 links to them. Then the nominated 5 bloggers carry forward the process and choose another 5 bloggers to join the contest by providing links to them. Its like an MLL Scam – Multi Level Link Scam.
In the process, not only the participating bloggers but also the organizer (here TripBase) gained huge number of links, to push up their rankings in the search engines.
Why Google de-index or ban these sites?
Google’s search engine algorithm change for this time is not an usual one. It had employed its top SE specialist engineers for months together to develop this fraudulent link detecting mechanism. Which is implemented since mid April 2012 and will be continued now on.
Google has recently eliminated a link network called BuildMyRank.com for violating its webmaster guidelines. BuildMyRank management immediately shutdown its service and provided refunds to their customers, after Google de-indexed a majority of their network as Mar 19, 2012.
Main reason: Artificial search engine promotion by gaining huge number of links unethically/violating Google’s webmaster guidelines. There by pushing blogs with quality content (less links and not involved in link scam) down the search engine rankings.
Google is sending warning messages to webmasters
Recently lot of webmasters are getting warning messages from Google for violating the guidelines for links, and the vast majority are bloggers engaged with unethical link distribution practice to promote their blogs in search engine rankings.
Fate of the bloggers involved in “ My 7 Links Challenge ”
Google presently evaluating the depth and seriousness of the link network manually, after getting several complaints. Involved blogs might be penalized, and downgraded in rankings of their blog posts. Few blogs might be completely de-indexed for their prior involvement in other unethical linking practice.
Are you an innocent blogger/webmaster participated in - My 7 Links Challenge? Bloggers, whether involved or not are most welcome for constructive comments.