There has been some buzz now for a few months since Google got one of their recent patents approved. If you really want to read all the technical stuff you can go here. Most of the important stuff is on the right side of the page in sections 1-20. Most of the stuff is pretty redundant where it appears to go over the same things a few times, likely to better explain what it is doing, so lets talk about it.
The first part that is of interest is that it seems to make an association of links and traffic. Because 2.0 sites are blasted so often with link programs like GSA, this could really be the end for 2.0’s being a good way to push link juice down to your money site. The patent seems to draw a connection with the quantity of new links added vs traffic. If your site is only getting 100 unique visitors in a month, but 1000 links are added, expect flags to go off. There is no way to know if this will be going forward only, or if it will be applied 2.0’s blasted in the past, or even if there is a way to apply it to existing 2.0’s. What is unclear for now is if these sites will be treated similar to how PBN sites spammed with GSA work now, they don’t rank for crap but they still pass decent link juice on. My guess would be they will greatly devalue the link juice that these sites pass on. Only time, and testing will tell how far Google goes to shutting this down.
The next major change that is talked about all over the patent is traffic patterns and document ownership (articles). From the way the patent reads, they will be attempting to figure out who owns what articles based upon the IP address that visits the sites. If you have 5 PBN sites, and 2 additional high quality sites linking to you, and Google is able to say that the IP that visits the 5 PBN sites and can associate them with the money site they will devalue the links from the PBN sites. It also suggests that they will treat them differently. It appears that if they can identify multiple sites that they think are owned by the same person going to that persons money site they may only count 1 of the sites links for ranking purposes.
No one knows if this is in effect right now or if they’re even gathering info for a future update. The only thing we do know is that they have a patent on it, and it could go live at any time. With Google’s resources we also know that it would not be terribly difficult for them to put together the info they need to devalue your entire PBN network once it goes live. So what can you do to protect yourself?
One thing I recently invested in is a service called Hide My Ass. What this service does is change what IP you use to connect to the internet with. If you log onto your PBN sites from a browser you do not normally use, like Fire Fox or IE (and not Chrome) with Hide My Ass it should go a long ways in keeping your PBN empire hidden from Google. I don’t bother using it when logging into my money site, but you could if you wanted to.