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Google Limits Link Popularity Searches?
Originally Published: May 18, 2005
Some Google searchers have been noticing a new limitation when checking link popularity using the "link:" command. If you perform too many of these searches within a certain period of time, a page is returned claiming that your computer has spyware installed on it and requires a code to be entered on the page before the search results will be returned. The message can be a bit misleading: in most cases, spyware has nothing to do with it. The problem? Too many link popularity searches were performed in too short of time period from your computer. The limit is usually imposed for only a few hours.
Link popularity searches on Google take the form of link:www.searchenginepromotionhelp.com, and when used, return the number of sites within the Google index that link to whatever domain you are querying about. It's a useful feature to measure trends over time, but most agree that the results are filtered and not representative of the actual number of links for a given domain.
Reports suggest that the amount of link queries allowed usually run into the hundreds, and only when the requests are sent at a fairly rapid rate.
WebPosition uses the link popularity searches very sparingly, so it should never be a cause for this block being placed. WebPosition recommends users always use best practices in their SEO efforts.
For more information about this feature, see the section "Who Links To You?" at the bottom of the Google Web Search Features page.
This article is copyrighted and has been reprinted with permission from FirstPlace Software.
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