On May 15th, Google's head of search spam, announced on Twitter that Google has taken "action on several thousand linksellers in a paid-link that passes PageRank network."
Google has done this time and time again, and we covered at least two previous cases of this. We do not know which link network - some are asking if SAPE links was hit again, but others are asking about a network named ghost. I am not sure. It seems like it may be several smaller networks.
One thing for sure is that around May 15th, many webmasters started to complain about ranking drops in WebmasterWorld. Here are some quotes:
Also, seeing a significant drop in ranks for a different domain I mentioned in another thread that I was using to test junk links. It's possible we could be seeing a penguin update.
I am also seeing a decent drop on the 14th which seems to be continuing today.
The complaints go on and on.
I am trying to figure out which network(s) were hit but I can't seem to nail it down to any specific one.
The Black Hat World forums are talking about it but no one is mentioning anything specific and concrete outside of some guesses.
Do you know which link network(s) were hit?
Update: We have a statement from ghost network about this:
I can confirm that the Ghost Network was not targeted in Google's most recent link crackdown. Our ranks are still holding strong for the time being. Thanks Barry.