Google took action against two major link networks earlier this week, one in German and a larger one that covered multiple European countries. They were identified by users as rankseller.de and teliad.de, two fairly well known European link network companies that saw their own sites removed from Google along with many of their users.
Google banning link networks is nothing new – they have taken down many of them over the past year, with a particular emphasis on international link networks this year.
Mark Reiser, Head of CRM and Online Marketing at teliad confirmed to me that they do have a penalty from this Google action, and have released this statement.
Since Monday our service has been associated with a Google “action”.
At this point we can only confirm that the teliad website temporarily cannot be found with Google search. We have, of course, been intensively analyzing our portfolio, and to what extent our customers are affected with their offerings and bookings. We have noticed significant movements of PageRank or visibility metrics in both directions for only 1% of our customers. Overall, there is only very little impact and in total, no negative impact for our customers. And there’s a good reason for that:
teliad has been in the industry for 9 years and has built a large product portfolio, consisting of tens of thousands of (completely anonymous) offers from independent publishers. Independent means, that there is no association between each publisher’s offer, and no exclusive or mandatory ties to teliad. All publishers as well as advertisers are completely free in their decision making. teliad’s services are limited to connecting the advertiser and the publisher. Therefore, there is no code which ties teliad to each booking. Link building is changing, but will remain an important and indispensable pillar in online marketing. teliad is no link network, but a service provider for qualitative and topic-relevant link building and content marketing. The latter has constituted the majority of our marketplace for quite some time. teliad always moved with the times and has recently launched products and services that rely on good, custom-made content as well as support the placement of interesting content and promotional messages with high quality and suitable publishers.
For that reason, the restrictive PR-effective Google-action causes a loss of rankings of our own domains (teliad.de and international variants), which of course we are not happy about. However, this has no impact on our portfolio, nor on our products and services. In the numerous ways that we offer assistance on our platform, we have distanced ourselves from short-term search engine spam techniques for a long time and have focused on quality and long lasting search engine optimization. Our services are in high demand by many reputable agencies and companies, therefore this PR action by Google is only partially understandable for us.
We have already received some positive feedback from many longstanding advertisers and publishers. Of course, we will continue to offer and improve our services, facilitate and deliver world-class content marketing and deliver texts for websites and other purposes. And therefore we are glad to help our customers with feedback on the current situation, or their projects and other concerns.
On their website however, they state they aren’t a link network, yet what they describe is essentially a link network, and it is similar to what got Ann Smarty’s MyBlogGuest penalized (and it is still penalized 5 months later). And it definitely falls under Google’s definition of a “Link Scheme”.
From their website:
But just because something isn’t called a network – or states it isn’t one – doesn’t mean that Google won’t consider it a link network in their eyes. After all, publishers and advertisers are paying for content and links. And a link network doesn’t always mean a network of sites controlled by the same person, there are many cases of link networks being taken down that were identical in use.
I did ask Teliad how many of their users were penalized, but I did not get a response. However, usually when Google takes down a link network, more than 1% of users were affected by it.
Coincidentily, someone asked about utilizing the teliad for their link building on the Google Webmaster Help Forums (which is also the top ranking result in Google for teliad) and were warned against using it by multiple top contributors.
They have been clearly trying to clean up their image from being a “text link network”. Their new logo states they are “Link Building & Blog Marketing”, however there is another version of their logo, which still exists on their teliad.pl site, which clearly states they are “The marketplace for text links”.
Here is their current logo:
Their documentation [PDF file] for advertisers also clearly shows all the relevant information about a site for anyone purchasing links, such as PageRank, Moz Domain Authority, internal and external links and relevant keywords.
Bottom line, whenever you play around in a link network – regardless of whether it is called a link network or not – you are playing with fire, especially for public ones that Google might want to go after to penalize.
Jennifer Slegg is a longtime speaker and expert in search engine marketing. When she isn't sitting at her desk writing and working, she can be found grabbing a latte at her local Starbucks or planning her next trip to Disneyland.
She regularly speaks at Pubcon, SMX, ClickZ and more, and has been presenting at conferences for over a decade.
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