Let’s face it. In the big bad world of SEO there are a lot of mysteries.

Certain individuals – and companies alike – have been known to try and leverage this, and trick (or scare) customers into paying them lots of money to navigate the scary SEO world by either creating, or perpetuating, a variety of myths regarding “tricks” to get great rankings and game the system.

One of the tactics that seemed, until today, to have been flying under Google’s radar for a long time was the closed link network.

A bunch of websites sign up for a service, for a fee, and this service ensures that all the member sites in the group share links with each other, thus creating an “authoritative network,” passing and sharing all the Google PageRank of the individual sites among the members, and benefitting the entire group with improved organic rankings.

Sounds great! Right?

Wrong.

It’s just another trick – the latest in a long series of tricks over the years, that eventually gets busted.

Google catches on, re-writes the algorithm to address it, (or actually BANS thousands of websites manually, as in this case), and all is well in the ranking world again. Well, at least for the ones who didn’t participate in the trick in the first place.  For the poor suckers who did, well, goodbye web business.  For the link network itself, well they’ve made their money and it’s just on to the next scam. :-

In this particular case, Google’s justice was especially beautiful. Check it out: Network de-indexed by Google

Whatever flavor you pick: duplicate content, keyword stuffing, title stacking, robot blogging, cloaking, doorway pages, blog and ping… The list goes on. It’s all garbage.

Ignore the tricks. When you do SEO right, your results only get better over time. When you do SEO wrong, even if you get good results in the short term, you’re eventually going to get caught, and banned, or even potentially blacklisted.

Is it really worth it?

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