Many websites are reeling from the impact of the recently rolled out Google Penguin algorithm update and in Part One of this series, we looked at what has changed recently in link building.
Knowingly or unknowingly, SEO’s and business may be using questionable types of link building methods in their desperate desire to rank highly in the Search Engine Result Pages in the quickest possible time. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Article marketing ? Good content is one of the best tools for link building but when duplicate, spun or slightly rewritten articles clutter article directories, they lose their own value and that of the site they are linking to. Google has recently reduced the rankings of many article directories and Google’s Matt Cutts has said that they would rather see your great content on your own site.
Article directories are almost the most effective way to get your content taken by spammers and spread all over the web. These sites may sometimes even outrank you for your own content.
Directory links? If there is a pattern of too many links to and from low-quality directories, this could hurt your website especially if the directories exist only for some webmasters? SEO businesses and not as useful resources for web surfers.
Blog comments – Relevant and informative blog comments are good link builders but using automated tools or software and commenting on unrelated blogs is spamming – and will be seen by the search engines to be so.
Social and forum profiles? Creating profiles in social platforms and forums typically include signature links. While signature links after posting comments may send traffic to your website, they are of low quality, not merit-based and doomed to be ignored by search engines.
Guest blogging – Acting as a guest blogger or posting your articles on other people’s sites is a good idea. However, you need to be very careful as to what sites they are posted on. You need to ensure they are posted to sites that are related to your topic and that the other posts on that site are consistent. You don’t want your posts appearing on a site about cats if you are in the medical field. And you don’t want your links sitting in amongst others? that have a whole article about cats with an anchor text link to funeral services.
Content spinning? Automatic content spinning produces unreadable and senseless articles and even manual spinning and rewriting does not add any value to the web so the search engines are using sophisticated technology to detect this practice so that the results present in a search engine page are the best. Moreover, mass creation of articles results to a sudden increase in links that can make search engines suspect some form of manipulation.
Link exchanges? Link exchanges are risky because you cannot control the activities of the sites you have agreed to link with. If in the future these sites develop into a bad neighbourhood, your site’s trustworthiness can be compromised.
Private link networks? Most private link networks provide paid links, a practice shunned by Google search engines. These networks exist purely for link building but add little or no value to the web. In fact, Google has recently de-indexed many of them.
Paid links? Paid links come in bulk. Improved search engine algorithms plus human review can determine inorganic types of link building techniques when they see surges in the number of links but a decline in their quality.
You can?t fall into the trap of Google Penguin if you put serious efforts into knowing and avoiding the types of link building tactics that generate unnatural links. When you are talking to SEO people – or considering one of those spam emails? saying your site is not ranking for important keywords, ask them what they do to build links to your site, and be very careful if any of the ones above are mentioned.
Remember that Google is looking to fill its top pages with high-quality sites that are there because their content is great. An indicator to them of great content is the sharing of natural links – not ones manufactured by the SEO industry.
In part three of this three-part series, we look at questions a business owner should ask of a potential link building provider.