Google has targeted yet another link selling network, Anglo Rank, as announced in a cheeky tweet from Matt Cutts:
Anglo Rank was a paid link service with links reputed to be from multiple private networks, in order to give it the “no footprints” status it had been marketing on. Cutts’ tweet directly quoted the language from the selling features listed on their sales page.
Despite coming under fire from Cutts, the seller has been saying it is business as usual and very few sites within their networks were actually hit. However, because the warnings are in Webmaster Central and Anglo Rank does not own the sites with the links they are using, they might not be aware of which sites have or have not been penalized (particularly as this was happening at the end of last week). We will likely see more fallout from it this week, if the damage is as widespread as Cutts tweeting about it would imply.
The seller commented that the only way Google would be able to take out the network is if they negated all footer and sidebar links:
ANGLO RANK Is not a ‘Network’, It Is a service which resells links from private networks which are there for years with 100’s and 1000’s of sites.
They’ll hit 100 sites here and there and next day there will be 10,000 new sites In these networks. Only way for google to tackle with this Issue is to completely devalue footer and sidebar links and I don’t see this coming In near future [sic]
Judging from the forum comments on the Anglo Rank sales page, many webmasters are concerned about how Google might have discovered sites within the network. There were plenty of warnings and speculation that Google has their own spam team members in the forum, in order to find information on which sites are included, or even purchasing links themselves.
However, there’s also been the opposite effect, where webmasters are definitely interested in purchasing links from the network, especially with the seller’s reassurances that they were barely touched. Because Cutts commented on the network specifically, a lot of people decided to investigate Anglo Rank to see if it was a viable source for paid links. With that said, it is dangerous to purchase links from a network Cutts has publicly said the spam team is attacking, particularly when no one really knows how hard they were hit.
This isn’t the first link network Google has attempted to take down. There have been many this year alone, including Ghost Rank 2.0 based out of Russia and the Text Link Ads network.
Neither Cutts nor Google has said anything further about Anglo Rank; however, they usually don’t say much when it comes to taking action against major link networks.