The last Google Update has caused quite a reaction in the world of search engine optimization and Internet marketing. Many webmasters appealing to link building strategies for a SEO boost found their websites losing their previous ranking position and saw their investments go down the drain.
Clearly black hat techniques were known to be unacceptable, but the surprise came when previous white hat methods were also penalized. Web promotion found on “the edge” of white hat fell and was categorized as being otherwise.
What does the “edge” represent? – Unnatural or aggressive link building strategies which “forced” websites up in Google rankings in an abusively short time. Actually, the link building approaches were not all poor, just misused. Any of the following methods which looked artificial and arouse suspicion because of overuse were seen as “spam”.
Make your SEO promotion appear natural and non-abusive
In addition, while some did not attract negative attention, may do so in the future if improperly used. Remember – the main idea is to at least make your SEO promotion appear natural and non-abusive! Here are some techniques to avoid and some recommended for use ONLY if done properly: Please avoid the following as GAMIT does not use, nor recommends this sort of activity to any of their clients:
1. Redirected Links
Obtained through the promotion of other domains can easily be spotted out. This sort of manipulation has not yet been penalized by Google, but may be so in the near future because it is easy to detect. It is a method of unnatural link building and can be considered as a future target of improved search engine algorithms.
2. Paid Footer Links
Are also a “ticking bomb”. These links are placed at the bottom of the page because they are not intended as a user-resource. These links can be interpreted as added with manipulative purpose. Even if the site-wide footer links with anchor text are not intended for SEO purposes and they were placed there by the website designer it is best to have them removed. The Penguin update considered this practice as spam and therefore penalized multiple websites for these unnatural links.
3. Paid Content Links
Can be difficult to detect, but not impossible. Any sort of links made in excess can and will attract attention no matter where they are placed. So the important thing is to keep their number balanced and your rankings increasing gradually.
4. Link Exchange
Is already a thing of the past. Although this SEO technique is no longer “fashionable”, some website owners have continued this sort of scheme which requires a lot of trust in complete strangers that they would offer the same quality of links as you are offering. These links are traceable and not a good idea, especially in high quantities!
5. Link Wheels
Are also a way of “engineering links”, something that will most certainly be detected and demote by search engines in the future. Not a smart way of obtaining links!
6. Link Farms or Networks
Have never been appreciated by search engines. Easy to detect in a form or another, they have repeatedly been penalized by Google. This is again, one more link building strategy that should be in the past.
Is something that appears to be morally unethical and can therefore be penalized in the future. Promoting one’s content with credible links are valuable content and then switching to “financially profitable” options cannot be something easily disregarded by search engines.
8. Links coming from Business Directories.
They were never damaging in the past, but did not have a huge marketing impact either. Recently directory listings have started being demoted, but the analysis is not yet conclusive. Although their importance is not high and thus their penalization would not be significance, it is better not to invest in something which is not very noteworthy in terms of SEO, but may waste your time and money.
9. Forum Links
Although a popular trend, seems to have no effect on SEO. Believed otherwise in the past, it is now conclusive from analytical SEO blogs that they will not do websites any SEO good. Follow or no-follow, these links seem to be of no use.
10. Links which are “unintentionally followed”
Are also a form of spam. Filling in a biography or uploading a file from time to time with the intention of these going viral is not an actual strategy you can count on!
11. Profile Links
Are not yet properly devaluated by Google, but there is a very high chance this may happen if the profile name and anchor text of your link do not match. While profile links may be a good link building strategy for Google as long as they are do-follow and indexed, you should make sure that you do not use the same profile name to promote different businesses. Building hundreds of profile links in weeks’ time is SPAM. Using the same signature or content for these links is also SPAM.
12. Link Comments
Can seem as a pretty good idea for link building, but it is a strategy with no worth SEO wise. How much would such a link comment value? Probably next to nothing, but even if it did have a certain value, it is best not to have it anchored to an exact keyword as this will be easily detected as an unnatural behavior made for SEO purposes. If you need to use the Comment Link building strategy, at least do it safely.
Please do not appeal to the following methods of SEO, unless you are a professional and know what you are doing:
I. Article Links.
A well accepted trend until now was building links by publishing content in the form of articles, but not just anyhow: numerous, poorly optimized, low-quality articles, with no interesting content, obtained in a short time and promoted poorly as well. Sometimes these links come from publishing the same article on hundreds of websites with the same IP, from duplicating content or spinning it (SPUN articles are easy detected by Google, read more at ). While article link building has been and will always be theoretically legitimate, if not done properly will look as an artificial method and in this respect, we do not advise doing it without knowing everything there is to know about it.
So, having said these, please keep in mind that although GAMIT does provide article marketing , it uses only original articles, manually written and published; a well balanced publication of no more than an article on 30-40 sites. We do not use automated software for submissions and we are extra-careful with every detail from the quality of the websites we use to the number of links recommended to our clients. Under no circumstance do we intend to get your website penalized! As a method of protection, we have reduced even more the number of websites where we publish a single article and have twitched our method to better take into account Google changes regarding anchor text.
II. Low quality Press Release Links
Obtained from publishing on websites with no editorial guidelines and low impact on readers can also be penalized. Links coming from “better websites” in terms of public impact, but which are paid are no good either. The “paid” factor is like an alarm bell that something isn’t ok. What would seem more reasonable is that the publishing websites have more stringent guidelines and harsher editorial reviews.
GAMIT always write original press releases, NO SPUN, and we manually publish each press release on maximum 30-40 sites.
III. Blog Network Links
Or low quality guest blogs which may appear as “fake”. Building a backlink profile with the help of blogs, however “clean” they may look because of their high quality standards of publication, may not look good to search engines. These blogs also need a “clean” backlink profile to be 100% on the safe side.
GAMIT provides blog links by using its own blog websites. Our blogs are promoted by us and this is how we are aware of their quality. We have many dedicated categories and make all links contribute to the “link juice” your website is getting.
IV. Social Bookmarks
Are badly spoken of in recent SEO discussions and blogs such as the one we have referenced in this article, but they refer to the classic social bookmarking links, not the ones coming from user generated content. It refers to lists of online resources which of course may not be relevant or useful to many Internet users thus rendering this method as an over-estimated technique of SEO promotion.
GAMIT uses a different type of social bookmarks, content integrated and with a different value for search engine promotion. All work if handmade and the designated text for a social bookmark is not published on more than 30 websites. We use a list of top quality websites which we work to improve on a monthly basis.