Why Contextual Verification Keeps Getting Worse - by @ron
I suspected something was wrong with the state of the union on Contextual targets. I wasn't able to put my finger on any one issue. However, a number of issues kept running through my head:
- Contextual Targets are getting harder to post to because of script changes
- Site owners were approving less links
- Captcha was getting tougher
- Or just blame @sven (because that is everybody's favorite)
I had a theory, so I ran a very simple test. I took 2 websites:
Website 1 is heavily spammed and penalized - I dropped a ton (thousands and thousands) of contextual links with the urls (including inner pages) on various contextual sites.
In Website 1 (the penalized and for all intents and purposes dead website) I cleaned all history, submitteds, verifieds, URL cache, history - everything - and stuck in 10 new emails in all projects. It was completely penalized, so I didn't give a rat's ass that I was deleting the history. I literally started with Zeros in all columns - just like a brand new website.
Website 2 is a new virgin website with no GSA-SER links or links of any kind. I stuck in 10 emails, and started with all Zeros as no links were built to this website ever.
Note: For all intents and purposes, I had two seemingly identical websites with no link history in GSA-SER, and I was starting from scratch. The only difference was that Website 1 had a track record, while Website 2 was as clean as snow.
Important: Then I fed all T1 Contextual projects - across both Website 1 and Website 2 - with the exact same URLs in which to make links. These websites have no tiered structures., and just one Contextual T1 project per page of the website.
And guess what I found? The brand new website had 5 X the number of verified contextual links as the old battered website. You will see below the contextual verified links circled for each page of the respective website:
This tells me, beyond a reasonable doubt, that as a website makes more links, more contextual links will get rejected. I am not an authority on exactly why, however, I do have some opinions based on being in this business for 16 years (yes, since 1998, argggh):
- On a lot of websites, you only get one chance to make a link. Not all websites, but many websites. Just like that bug called a ceceda, you only get one chance to mate, and then you die.
- Your website goes on the spam list, it gets passed to other websites, and then your target acquisition goes down exponentially.
If you feel very strongly about the value of contextual targets (like I do and most others here), quit using tiered structures where you pummel the living snot out of your T1 with a ton of T2 and T3 contextual tiers.
That way, and if you are smart, you are saving the prize (the contextuals) for an orderly drip of new contextual links on your T1, and without spamming the living crap **with the same domain** on all the other contextual tiers. In my opinion, doing so hurts and limits your ability to use them on your T1 - which is where you really need them.
I hope you all understand what I am saying. If you truly value your contextual targets - and you buy a list - or you use SER to scrape them - Use them wisely.
I believe we have now reached a level of anti-spam measures that will drastically erode your ability to use contextual targets like they are free and grow on trees. The more you spam contextual targets, the less you will be able to use them ever again - for that domain where you are making links - including any and all inner pages.
I'm not telling you how to set-up tiers, or how to do SEO. But there is one thing I will tell you. The SERLists.com team and I test a lot of stuff. When we something is this black and white, where we actually control all the variables except one variable, it is difficult to dispute the evidence.
I hope this all helps you. And if you haven't signed up yet for Advanced SER Tips (I know, shameless plug), you might want to give it a shot. When we update the next issue, we will have some cool reading material in there - and all back issues with links.
I have to get back to the lab. You guys discuss and critique as you feel appropriate.
p.s. Please don't PM me on this - that is not playing fair - keep it here in the thread. Thank you!