Among the experts from the field of SEO there are several opinions about the purchase of links:
- Links work, but it is important to be very careful in their purchase.
- Links do not work. These people are fanatically opposed to buying links.
- Links work as before. Let's buy them in the hundreds.
I myself belong to the first category, and I am glad that most of the same specialists surround me. I have nothing against the second category, although it is unlikely that their clients understand that without links it is much more difficult to promote the site in a short time. And of course, I often come across the "successes" of the third category of professionals who actively drive sites under reference filters. We will talk about the Yandex reference filter in this article.
Brief, not secret information on "Minusinsk"
Yandex launched the filter in the spring of 2015, starting from this time to punish websites for the purchased link mass (SEO links). The official statement of "Yandex" - here. The most important thing to be aware of is punishment for overcoming a certain threshold (volume) of reference mass for a domain. It usually looks like a drop in requests for 20-30 positions down.
At the moment there are examples of the imposition of sanctions on the network for 400+ links. It all started with a threshold of several thousand links for the domain (the most impudent manipulators were punished with a reference mass), but the threshold is gradually reduced.
The filter is confirmed in Yandex.Webmaster. The message is as follows.
Accordingly, if there is a drawdown of positions, with Minusinsk, you should immediately go to Yandex.Webmaster and check the tab Diagnostics> Security and Violations.
If there is a similar message, the site is under "Minusinsk", and the external reference mass must be cleaned.
What are the links "Yandex" considers SEO-links?
- They are not in the main content of the page, but in through blocks (footer, side blocks, etc.).
- Containing an "aggressive" commercial anchor (with the words "buy", "price", etc.)
- Having a large number of identical anchors in the reference mass, especially if they are commercial anchors (contain the words "buy", "price", etc.).
- The donor pages on non-thematic pages are not related to the topic of the page to which he refers.
- Leading from donors who have a lot of outgoing links to sites of different subjects, i.e. the site refers to anything, without parsing the topic.
- three differently related links, i.e., from this site link to anything without parsing,
- located in the sidebar of the site, rather than in the main content,
- the subject of the page is “the benefit of running for losing weight,” which has nothing to do with where the links go.
So we know the symptoms and the cause. Let's get rid of this reason.
How to analyze the reference mass?
Collect data on donor sites from all sources; Google Search Console, Yandex.Webmaster, Ahrefs will help. Put everything in a single table and leave only the unique donor pages.
- Download from Google Search Console
- Download from Yandex.Webmaster
- Unloading ahrefs.com
By experience, if you use only one of the tools, you can miss 20-30% of links that are known, for example, Google Webmaster and not known to Ahrefs, and vice versa.
Further, the analysis of the collected list is carried out according to several parameters, it is:
- quality anchor sheet,
- quality of donor sites,
- reference weight gain rate.
With the natural prostanovke links, they put different people. Each person thinks in his own way and uniquely expresses his thoughts, which means that the repetition of anchor links is unlikely.
It should also be remembered that most often it is comfortable for a person to write a short simple anchor such as "right here", "on a page", or copy a URL, and not write a long commercial anchor like "buy a night sight cheap".
Anchor list can be divided into:
- commercial anchors
Repeated repetition of commercial anchors has a negative effect. By experience, the repetition of one anchor in the total mass more than 3-5 times in the same form is unnatural, and may adversely affect the ranking of the site.
For example: "buy * product name *", "order * product name *", etc.
- non-profit anchors
These can be repeated more than 5 times. If commercial anchors predominate in the anchor list, it is necessary first of all to delete links with them. Usually you have to remove from 40 to 80% of links with commercial anchors to exit the filter.
For example: "on site", "by reference", just the URL of the page, etc.
In the process of analyzing the quality of donor sites, we evaluate them for:
- Being under the filter "AGS". This filter is superimposed on the sites, selling links - respectively, from such "marked" donors need to get rid of.
You can check a donor for AGS using various services, for example, on Seolib.ru.
- Thematics. A page with a link must at least somehow logically "link" with the page that it refers to. Donor pages that are not related to the subject of the acceptor page should be removed.
- The amount of promotional materials on the donor page. It concerns both the presence of other external links and various banners, blocks of the display network, etc. If there are more than 3-5 links to other non-thematic resources from the donor page (excluding social networks and very popular sites like wikipedia), such a donor should remove the link.
- General donor clearance. When the site has few links, and with him - a huge amount. By experience, I can say that a negative impact can already have an effect on the ratio of 1 to 1.5.
- The number of visits to the site by users. It is also better to refuse sites with traffic less than 20-30 visitors per day. In this case, we are reinsured, assuming that the site is unvisited = bad site.
- The location of the link itself. First of all I recommend to get rid of the links located in the template part of the sites (footer, side blocks, etc.). By this parameter, first of all, temporary links from Sape and similar exchanges fall into the “deletion zone”.
You have to understand that there is no 100% way to understand because of what links to the site sanctions are imposed. If a filter is applied, serious cleaning is necessary. It is likely that you will remove some links that are not the cause of the sanctions - nothing can be done about it.
Link weight gain rate
A sharp increase in the volume of link mass is most often viewed by a search engine as unnatural, so links purchased during the period of such a jump can be viewed by the search engine as suspicious and should be removed.
Example, when the volume of links for two months increased 14 times:
How to remove links
Removal of links is understood as their physical removal:
- turn off links in the service sape.ru or any other service through which you purchased them,
- write a letter to the owner of the referring site with a request to remove the link to you.
How does cleaning the reference mass look like in practice?
Case number 1
The first site is an online store for fishermen and travelers. You can see the traffic before and after exiting the filter in the screenshot below.
At the time of appeal (August 2016), the site had 852 unique reference donors. This figure was obtained by analyzing data from several sources - the service Ahrefs and panels of webmasters Google and Yandex.
This cleaning was simple at first glance, since 465 sites out of 852 were present in the SeoHammer service. These links are:
- located in through blocks
- were purchased very quickly (as written above - this is an additional sign of unnatural growth of the reference mass),
- Most of the donors were non-thematic, so it was decided to turn off all the links in two stages of approximately 230 links each, at intervals of one month. I am sure that removing all links at once would also not have a tangible negative effect, however, we did everything smoothly for reinsurance.
Also, in parallel with the disabling of links from SeoHammer, links were removed from articles located on sites under "AGS" and very sponsored advertising donors (when the site has a minimum number of incoming links, but it itself refers to hundreds and sometimes thousands of resources of different subjects).
Assuming that the quick removal of links will affect the traffic from Google, where everything was fine with the site, the removal of links was divided into two stages. In order to be safe additionally, it was decided not to abandon the purchase of links and in a small amount (5-10 items per month) to post articles via Miralinks with one non-core link. It was a mistake.
After the links in SeoHammer were removed, and 70 percent fell out of the index, a letter was written to Yandex technical support.
An example of a letter to "Yandex":
The answer was upset - the sanctions were still not lifted, and one of the recently purchased articles was shown as an example of a SEO link. In general, "we treat and immediately cripple."Relying on the fact that only by turning off links in SEOHammer and links with very low quality of donors it is possible to get out of the filter was not justified.
I had to remove about 40 more article links. It was a shame, because in this case, the links were indeed placed thoughtfully, without aggressive anchors, on high-quality resources. But the site is already "lit up", and Yandex demanded global cleaning and revision. As a result, the site came out from under the filter and receives the same amount of traffic from Yandex.
As a result of the work, about 500 links were removed, which made it possible to return to the previous traffic from Yandex - more than 1,200 conversions a week.
The main conclusions from this case are:
- Most often you have to shoot a lot of links. Accurate removal of 5-10% of the reference mass is unlikely to cost.
- The only option for link mass growth during the withdrawal period in order to at least protect oneself from a traffic drawdown in other search engines is crowd marketing.
- No purchase, otherwise there is a high probability that you will spend the money, but you will not get any sense.
- Even if 50% of the links are of poor quality and obviously seem to be SEO links, it’s likely that you will have to remove better links to get out of the filter.
Statistics referring donors for this site in ahrefs.com before and after is as follows:
The second site - on the sale of covers for mobile devices. The traffic before and after the Yandex filter is visible in the image.
In this case, links from Gogetlinks and Miralinks were purchased to the site and, unlike the site in the first example, the quality of links was higher. Considering that the reference mass is of higher quality than in the first case, in order to leave as many good links as possible, it was proposed to divide the cleaning of the reference mass into three stages, removing, first of all, the lowest quality ones.
In total, at the time of appeal in early March, there were 967 referring donors. Of these, approximately 35% was purchased at Miralinks, 30% at Gogetlinks, and the rest obtained naturally.
After analyzing the entire reference mass, a link removal plan was drawn up. It was decided that after each stage a request for a review of the sanctions would be sent.
Stage number 1
At this stage, were scheduled for removal:
- Sites under the filter "AGS" - Sites that received a filter for selling links. It is important to understand that manipulations with the change of the anchor will not give the desired results, because donors have already been identified as selling links. There are 48 such sites.
- Links containing a commercial anchor. The refusal of all references in which there are commercial words, such as "buy", "prices", etc. It turned out there are 77.
- Links on pages that are not in the Google index - Pages that are not in the Google + index, have a direct anchor and in terms of outgoing links exceed inbound links. There were 49 of them.
At this stage, were scheduled for removal:
- Links from donors who had significantly fewer inbound links compared to outgoing (+ commercial anchor). There were 203 of them.
The least suspicious donors who could hardly influence the imposition of sanctions were assigned to this stage. They were not planned to be deleted, hoping that the first two stages will produce results.
- Anchor links without the "aggressive", clearly commercial words on quality donors. There were 50 of them.
- Anchorless links. In this case there were a large number of links, pictures and links with branded anchor.
As a result, it turned out to remove the filter already during the first stage, and even the request for the revision of the sanctions was not sent. At the time of the lifting of the sanctions (the disappearance of the letter from the Webmasters), about 50% of the links removed during the first stage fell out of the index, that is, quite a bit.
Total output took about one and a half months.
As a result of the work, about 100 links were removed, which made it possible to get out of the filter (the message from Yandex.Webmaster disappeared). Traffic from Yandex has grown, but not to the previous level. Before getting under the filter traffic was about 500-600 visitors per month, after the release, he returned to the level of 200-250 users per day.
The second case is interesting because it shows:
- There are exceptions and you can get by removing not too many links. It also shows that the imposition of sanctions depends not only on the volume, but also on the percentage of natural and non-natural links.
- This case is interesting because the sanctions were lifted very quickly (the letter disappeared in Webmaster), but the traffic was not fully restored.
- To remove links you need not mindlessly, but starting with the most poor ones, which will speed up the process of exiting the filter.
- Each filter case is unique.
- If the site received a "penalty" from the search engine, you can get rid of the removal of a small number of links, however, this is rather an exception than a rule.
- The link mass of the site must be segmented, removing links from the most poor-quality donors in the first place, as well as removing links with clearly commercial anchors.
- If a poor-quality donor contains several links to your site, I recommend removing all links from the donor.
- There is an opportunity to communicate with Yandex technical support, as well as the opportunity to submit a site for a review of sanctions. Use.
- Deleting a letter from the Webmaster does not always mean returning traffic to the previous level, but there should be an increase in traffic.