What a Google penalty looks like

A day doesn’t go by when I’m not contacted by a real estate agent or a new blogger who wants to exchange links. I even get requests to add a link by webmasters of sites that have nothing to do with real estate. Knowing how Google views such reciprocal links, I’m tempted to remove even my blogroll. At the very least, I’ll think twice about adding anyone else.

Be careful before exchanging links with anyone, and avoid it if possible. Make your content so compelling that people link to you, and keep your outgoing links, especially on your homepage of your static site, limited.

What it Looks Like to Be Hit By Google’s Real Estate Reciprocal Link Penalty

Algorithm March

My main website is currently #1 in Google, in organic results, for the search terms “Seattle real estate for sale“, before Realtor.com, Trulia or any local real estate brokerage. It also is in the top 10 for “Seattle Homes”, “Seattle Homes for Sale” and “Seattle, Washington Real Estate”, and I try to update the site weekly. However, due to an old penalty, my site is practically non-existent in Yahoo. Though the penalty has been lifted, I’ve had a hard time getting anywhere or regaining my past placement.

Being penalized by Google for excessive and/or spammy reciprocal linking can take affect in several different ways. One of the most common ways is the -30 effect where your website is immediately dropped 30 ranking points. If you have experienced loss of rankings within Google and you have questionable spammy reciprocal links (especially Realtor to Realtor linking), you may be penalized. If you do believe you have been penalized, you will need to follow the Google reinclusion instructions after your site is cleaned up.

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(NOTE: 4/15, the site is #2 for “Seattle Real Estate for Sale”. I wonder what I did wrong today??)

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