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+Rand Fishkin gives up his sites as a sacrificial lamb to those wanting to prove negative SEO works. Was +Dan Thies made an example? Will this catch +Matt Cutts eye. Thing is, SEOs going after SEOs is not a good thing as +aaron wall said. I strongly feel this seo vs seo via Google started with the introduction of nofollow attribute.
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Thanks a lot, I've been wondering about this issue for quite a while. Very eager to see what conclusion the experiment will lead to.
This is a crazy test. First off can you share a link to +Rand Fishkin public statement to demolish his own rankings.

Also from an SEO perspective everything needs to be in relation. Since Rand Fishkin has a humongo following and 10% of the incoming links = 100,000 anchored links as Rand Fishkin that would mean 1,000 links will not influence the SERP.

I believe this test should be done on a small business scale as well as a large scale.

I have seen many posts from people who have a site they never built links to that were affected by external factors they had no control of.

I think google should go back to not counting the external factors 'bad qualities" and only focus on the good ones.
can we just please agree not to feed the trolls. although the experiment would be great to follow!
+Barry Schwartz It has absolutely nothing to do with the introduction of the nofollow attribute, or negative seo spam links as suggested !

My guess > +Dan Thies is finding all this quite hilarious and will actually benefit from it when the dust settles !

Moved hosting > We’ve moved SEO Fast Start to a new hosting provider… (Rackspace Cloud if you wanna know)… and… well… um… everything did not go exactly as planned. We’ve been over the public-facing stuff pretty carefully but things “behind the scenes” may still be broken (April 6th)

Changed Wordpress theme (inc. site structure) > but the change is likely due to the new theme I deployed last week, which is pretty poor "out of the box" because it has way too many sitewides to archive pages and stuff. I'll get that fixed by the weekend, so it's back to the old structure. When I deployed this theme in testing in January, it dropped all the way to page 4, so I'd expect that SERP will bounce back within a week or so

April 11 - SEO-crappy theme deployed on site. Including removing the sitewide anchor text for the keyword in question, and pushing half the PageRank into archive pages. That's the fly in the ointment.

Guess which site is first !!!
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