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Thread: Google Using Analytics to Detect Bad Links

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    Google Using Analytics to Detect Bad Links

    I've read in a couple of places online that Google sometimes uses a website's Google Analytics account and Google webmaster tools account to detect questionable SEO tactics, (like linking schemes). And since everything you read on the web must be true...not!, I thought I'd see what folks here thought.

    Do you think Google uses GA and/or GWT against websites if they suspect grey or black hat SEO?
    If so, do you have any evidence of this or is it just a guess?

    Thanks.

    Kurt
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    WebProWorld MVP kgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lesterj View Post
    I've read in a couple of places online that Google sometimes uses a website's Google Analytics account and Google webmaster tools account to detect questionable SEO tactics, (like linking schemes).
    Why should you use GA to slow your site?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lesterj View Post
    Do you think Google uses GA and/or GWT against websites if they suspect grey or black hat SEO?
    Well first of all GWT just gives you insights into data the Google crawlers discover about your site for indexing and ranking purposes. This data exists irrelevant of GWT.

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    Senior Member dgswilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lesterj View Post
    Do you think Google uses GA and/or GWT against websites if they suspect grey or black hat SEO?
    If so, do you have any evidence of this or is it just a guess?

    Thanks.

    Kurt
    My guess: Is yes.
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    Administrator weegillis's Avatar
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    Regardless how they do it (find/asses bad links) the only 'penalty' I've seen discussed is the devaluing of the them. This is not a penalty, as such, just a way to quasi-remove the links from the ranking metric. The obvious way to recover from lost link values, is to obtain high value links in their place. The run out and grab 5000 links days are gone. Better to have 50 that are worth something.

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    Senior Member ozsubasi's Avatar
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    I agree with PoisonJam that Google are aware of links irrespective of GWT. Over the last couple of months I've seen the number of linking domains to my site drop by 26% but at the same time both SERP and traffic have improved. Up until they started decreasing, every month they had been increasing. I don't now how or why I got linked to by the sites that are no longer showing in GWT, but obviously they weren't worth anything much anyway, and those that remain are.
    When I get new linking domains I have a look at them to see where my link is, but in the majority of these cases I couldn't find one. So I'm not able to say whether coincidentally all these sites have removed them, or Google has devalued them to the extent of not showing them in GWT any more.

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    Horse's mouth...

    Of course, you may or may not believe the nag...

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    Thanks everyone.

    It makes sense that GWT wouldn't be very useful to Google in detecting spammy links since the data is coming from them in the first place. But Google Analytics would give them access to traffic data from the site and other data which could be useful.

    GA would also allow Google to definitively determine if you own several different sites. In other words, if you own 10 sites and those sites have some links to each other and you are tracking all the sites under one GA account, they would be able to see that the sites are all connected (though there may be other ways to determine that). For people who use "buffer" sites for sketchy link building, but track the website analytics for both sites under one GA account, if Google looked at GA data, then they could see that the sites are connected and connect the sketchy link building tactics back to the main site. Similarly, if you claimed both the buffer site and the main site in GWT, that would tell Google they are connected.

    Clearly Cutts is saying they don't us GA data, but I could see how it could be helpful to them if they wanted to. Then again, Matt's response was in April 2011, before they combined all privacy policies and opened up data sharing between products. Maybe things have changed.
    Last edited by lesterj; 04-20-2012 at 10:41 AM.
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    Senior Member dgswilson's Avatar
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    Any code that the site owner can't cache and otherwize optimize (their way) can cause slow page load.

    The only good thing about all the crap that links to our sites is everyone understands, including search engines, that there isn't a lot that can be done about it. I just got done going through webmaster tools and blocked about 30 scraper sites.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgun View Post
    Why should you use GA to slow your site?
    Does GA slows down a site? Also if there's any alternate to Google analytics (affordable or Fee)

    Thanks!
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