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On February 24th, I wrote a blog about the disturbing trend in BMR (Build My Rank) content.  Apparently, not only was I fed up with it, but Google was too because just a few days later they rolled out Panda 3.3.  Google stated “This launch refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.”  It took place February 27th and related to this roll out was also a change in the way they are evaluating links in that they “turned off” a component that they were using to evaluate links.

Then March 19th, Build My Rank posted a blog titled “It’s Been a Great Run!” Well, I guess as a company it was for them, but not necessarily their customers.  They are closing down their service and offering refunds for any “unused credits” and also giving people their content back that hasn’t been posted.  Users can also remove posts from their networks immediately.  Basically, if you spent money with the company and used all of your credits, you can delete all of your links and your money has been wasted. They say they will be back after the dust clears, but I’m not sure what they can do since their service is basically buying links, which is against the Google TOS.

While all links should definitely be deleted, one has to wonder if it even matters? Does Google not already know what sites were using BMR for backlinking and can they still not penalize those sites for buying links?  I’m sure some penalties will be handed out and some rankings will be lost.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that not only was Build My Rank affected, but so were several other link networks.  These include:

  • Authority Link Network – About 20-25% of network has been deindexed.
  • LinkVana
  • SEO Link Monster
  • SEO Elite Linkvine
  • SEO Nitro
  • Elite Network
  • Backlink Buddy
  • High PR Society

After this massive deindexing, it’s obvious that the strategy of buying links, even if it doesn’t even look like link buying, is a violation of Google’s TOS and they are obviously enforcing their rules.

Also, as I research this story, I’m noticing that many blogs have posted “BMR alternatives.” I think it should be stated that there are no true alternatives other than honest content creation and linkbuilding.  The best way to build links is to create value on your site, release valuable press releases, post to your social network sites, etc.  Quality should always be the focus, even if that means you have to expand your content budget.  Quality content is what the search engines want.

If you would like to read a very educational article on the link network deindexing, visit the SEOMoz blog.  The Unnatural Link Warnings and Blog Networks post has some excellent explanations and graphics on how it works and what to do if your site is penalized.

Another important point I see that should be learned from this is that there are no guarantees in SEO. No matter what you do to build links, it’s all a strategy and sometimes those strategies don’t work.  Sometimes even legitimate strategies don’t work; no matter how much money you throw at them. There’s no guaranteed strategy in SEO. You just have to keep working, stay creative and create quality content without breaking the rules!