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  1. #1
    Member Since
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    Anyone work with roofing companies?

    I have a few roofing clients, and seeing that the top ranked providers in my area are all apart of this GAF master builder "scheme". It seems like some kind of linking network.

    Has anyone seen this?

    Basically, anyone who is a GAF builder gets put on like 50-100 sites, with a link like this:
    GAF Contractor Directory

    All of these are out of town roofers - so a roofer in Dallas may get a link on a site in Idaho, etc.

    I'd advise my client against doing this, but, it seems like it is working for the winners in my market. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Re: Anyone work with roofing companies?

    It is frustrating when Google says "don't do this" and they reward those that do. Good idea not to advise your client to do - unless they do it with a throw away domain :-) I have seen agencies execute shady practices in the past... that were rewarded... and then one night overnight... BAM! All of those clients lost rankings and traffic. Penguin hit. After a long period of time saying "don't do X", but rewarding those who did it anyway... Google penalized them.

    A couple of years later many companies had not recovered.

    Unfortunately my "told you so" emails did not hold much value :-)

  3. #3
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    Re: Anyone work with roofing companies?

    I saw a similar (and REALLY sketch looking) industry link-list for wedding photographers that was a common link source for the top ranking photographers in a lot of the cities I was looking at last month. This list looks super legit to the spammy list that popped up repeatedly in that industry, and yet... it seemed to help.

    For what it's worth, if you haven't read this article yet (was just posted yesterday) check out experiment 11, it directly relates.

    I feel like I would be hesitant to recommend a client use it personally, though for some industries (roofing, for example) I imagine getting sensible backlinks is a challenge.

  4. #4
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    Re: Anyone work with roofing companies?

    Like Digitaldar said, why not try it, but with another domain. This way you will have an option to rank quick and in short time, but with your other domain/website you will build up slowly to a long term ranking.

  5. #5
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    Re: Anyone work with roofing companies?

    I have also seen this very same GAF directory pop up for roofing clients, and it's a big source of juicy links for them. It does feel a little "shady", but it is coming from one of the big time #1 players in the roofing industry, so we have left it in there. Doing my own research, all the competitors I see who are where I want my clients to be are still listed in this directory, so take that as you will.

  6. #6
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    Re: Anyone work with roofing companies?

    argh. . .

    I think I'm going to scramble for other links. I just can't do it.

    I'd rather fail the right way then have success and risk hurting the client in an unfixable way. I'm not saying I have a strong moral compass - I wouldn't want to deal with that kind of blow up if it goes bad. (and I have some morals too)

  7. #7
    Member Since
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    Re: Anyone work with roofing companies?

    If you are a Master Certified GAF Roofer (no easy task) you get a link in GAF's directory. You are also allowed to reprint their directory on your website if you wish.

    GAF is a huge player in the roofing industry. Helping set up a link scheme is a little too small time for them and has a better chance hurting their brand than helping their GAF Master Certified members.

    It's not a link scheme it's just a coincidence. I imagine they have no idea they're starting any type of SEO conversation with this in place.

    Why not be in the directory if you have the opportunity? I wish my roofer was and I keep encouraging him to work on his certification. GAF links are above reproach at this point.
    Tutelary Marketing, Owner
    Local Listing Ninja - Business Listing Service

  8. #8
    Member Since
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    Re: Anyone work with roofing companies?

    I'm going to ping one of the Penguin experts to chime in here.

  9. #9
    Member Since
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    Re: Anyone work with roofing companies?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Watt View Post
    I saw a similar (and REALLY sketch looking) industry link-list for wedding photographers that was a common link source for the top ranking photographers in a lot of the cities I was looking at last month. This list looks super legit to the spammy list that popped up repeatedly in that industry, and yet... it seemed to help.

    For what it's worth, if you haven't read this article yet (was just posted yesterday) check out experiment 11, it directly relates.

    I feel like I would be hesitant to recommend a client use it personally, though for some industries (roofing, for example) I imagine getting sensible backlinks is a challenge.

    The article is great, I would recommend reading it a few times, lots of good nuggets of information in there, thanks for posting.

  10. #10
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    Re: Anyone work with roofing companies?

    IMO this is treading on thin ice.

    If you are a Master Certified GAF Roofer (no easy task) you get a link in GAF's directory. You are also allowed to reprint their directory on your website if you wish.
    Getting a link in GAF's directory is perfectly within Google's guidelines. Even if it was a paid placement, this is likely a valid directory with a barrier to entry.

    But, getting a link on this directory that is republished on a significant number of sites is a link scheme. It doesn't really matter whether GAF is intending it to be a link scheme but the reality is that one link in the directory results in a large number of links from related sites and those links were not editorially given. Plus, all of those sites receive significant SEO benefit as a result.

    Will Penguin catch this? At this point from what I have seen of Penguin I would say that no, this would not be caught as a link scheme. With that said, however, it would only take a very quick manual review from a Google webspam team employee to flag this manually as a link scheme. As such, all it would take is someone to report one of these sites as being part of a link scheme and then all of the sites in the circle are at risk for receiving an unnatural links penalty. If that happens, then ALL of your site's links are going to be in question. Recovering from a manual action can be a nightmare.

    I've removed a lot of unnatural links penalties and I've seen several that were given for similar types of link schemes.

    I would definitely not recommend this practice.

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