Monday, January 19, 2009

Yahoo update reveals paid links

Yahoo is in the process of an update. Search Engine Roundtable has a summary here but anyone watching Site Explorer Links will have seen a steady trickle of re-ordered results.

One of the best uses of Site Explorer is to catch people who buy links. It just takes a few button presses to configure the site to show all inbound links to any page on the suspect web site and to remove that sites own internal links.

Site Explorer often seems to put blog post and navigation links nice and high on these result pages. It just takes a little tour to spot a site that is likely to be buying links.

Many sites are now retreating from the paid link strategy as Google’s crackdown continues. I’ve noticed already that those sites that have continued (finance and gambling sites are common culprits) have been particularly exposed by this latest Yahoo update.

I’ve a method for quickly telling which links are new to Site Explorer in this update, I suspect many serious SEO people have too but such trinkets aren’t really necessary to spot the dodgy links.

Once you’ve found the paid links it is worth picking a single webmaster console from which to report them from.

If you work with a lot of clients or have hundreds of sites you’ll need to have more than one webmaster console since they’re easy to fill.

The advantage of using the same login to report paid links from is that Google can see the console login is a good source of reliable information. This is a good way to ensure that each paid link report you do carries as much importance as possible.

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