Jim Westergren
About me, my projects, SEO, Web Development and Personal Development since 2005
"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas A. Edison

SEO Test finalized - Unnatural link growth

Is Google detecting and penalizing unnatural link growth?

Case Study

Sites used for the test:

  1. NetMarketing.us
  2. WebRelatedArticles.com

Release dates of the two sites:

  1. November 27, 2005
  2. November 25, 2005

Both sites are new domains that was not before indexed by Google.

Links added to the sites within the first 3 days of release:

  1. Links from 35 unique web sites + around 0,7-1,2K coop ad weight.

    (Details: Two PR 7 links (both home page), ten PR 5 links (6 sitewide and 4 home page), ten PR 4 links (6 sitewide, 2 home page and 2 on subpages), seven PR 3 links (4 sitewide and 3 on subpages), one PR 2 link (home page), four PR 0 links (subpages), one PR N/A link (subpage), four people has added to their signature while posting on PR 3 threads. MSN shows now 10,456 backlinks.)

  2. Links from 8 unique web sites + around 0,7-1,2K coop ad weight.

    (Details: four PR 5 links (1 sitewide and 3 home page) and four PR 4 links (1 sitewide and 3 home page. MSN shows now 5,799 backlinks.)

What happened to the sites in the Google SERPs?

  1. Banned or refused to be indexed.
  2. Doing extremely well. 20 - 40 unique visitors a day are being sent only from Google from people searching on 3-6 KW combinations.

    Examples of ranking:

    #1 for: web related articles #9 for: webmaster articles #8 for: most profitable websites

    This high ranking for this junk article site could be because of the fresh filter that I have observered with new sites time after time before they hit the sandbox.

Conclusion and confirmation based on this SEO test

Unnatural link building gets detected and penalized by Google. When building your links make sure you don't - like me - add 10K backlinks the first 3 days when the site is brand new.

EDIT Feb 13, 2006:

There is another factor that should be mentioned on this SEO test. The site in question - netmarketing.us - is an article site with free articles that are hosted on other sites. The refusal of Google to index (still) does not 100% to do with the unatural link growth but could in fact be because of the the duplicate content filter.

EDIT March 15, 2006:

Aaron Wall posts Can You Build Links too Quickly? and gives a good answer that also confirms my test.

EDIT May 17, 2006:

Almost all the links to NetMarketing.us was removed some time ago and today Google listed the site. Start page instantly PR3 and some internal pages PR4 (weird post-4/4-PR-update). In total 8 pages listed in Google so far.

8 Jan 2006

About the Author Jim Westergren Jim Westergren is a Swedish web entrepreneur currently living in Spain. He is happily married and has three lovely children. Some of his interests are web development, SEO and writing.
He is the Founder of DomainStats and N.nu. Read his .