This is the first time this has been seen anywhere yet.
For the first time we have a solid grasp of how Google is deciding what sites it deems are using 'Unnatural Linking' practices.
This could well affect all of you, very easily.
Someone came to me this morning with a rather odd scenario. She stated that Google had left a client of hers the dreaded unnatural linking notice in GWT, with example urls of pages it found unnatural links on. This part is nothing new really, but until now we had no idea how Google was deciding this...
So, I checked out some of the urls, the one I was given this morning, and one I had gotten on another site a while back. Both had two things in common.
They were both blog comments of high value and were actual particapatory in nature and relevence, meaning they were actually real comments, not garbage.
That said, the first thing in common they both shared was the fact that neither ever got approved by the blogs admins. So the comments never actually displayed on the posted story in the comments area. So WTH was going on here, how was google seeing links that were submitted, but never displayed on the pages?
I dug a little deeper and contacted the blog admin. He told me that he had gotten a whole slew of spam and had marked every comment as spam.
. The answer after just a little bit of thought is simple, but seems to me to be Now, before I asked myself how in the world Google could possibly see comments posted on a blog that were never approved to display in the comments area of the story that they did not directly control.
The answer is pretty simple really, once all the facts are taken into consideration, and that is that Google is getting a feed of comments that are marked as spam, and acting on that. Not a bad idea really, except that it is wide open to abuse pretty easily.
I have to wonder what other means, similar in nature to this, that Google has access to that it uses to determine other types of unnatural links.