Weak link building strategies bring, over time, nothing but disadvantages. As I mentioned in other articles, it’s good to build a link building strategy that lasts over time and that minimizes the risk of penalties regarding future updates in the algorithm.
It is obvious that the latest updates have hit aggressively the low quality link profiles. Attention has focused on the abuse of anchor text and irrelevant links, of questionable quality. However, anchor text was focused by penalties. In general, we observe that in Romania, links profiles are based on links from web directories, article directories and comments on blogs.
Declines in ranking are due primarily to the devaluation of links, as observed from analyzing actual situations. Penalties are just manual – an appointed person manually analyzes a site’s link profile. If they notice abuses, they may penalize the site. A message will be sent in Google Webmaster Tools for natural links.
The Penguin algorithm is a filter. If your site does not meet certain conditions and does not pass this filter, then you will see major position and traffic declines in Google. This is not a penalty, because everything happens algorithmically.
Let’s see which link building methods are inherent in future penalties and learn a little of what we should not do:
1. Link Building through Redirect
Using a black hat SEO method is almost synonymous with risking a penalty from Google. So is the next form of link building, which is said to be often ignored by people at Google, though theoretically it is quite obvious that we are talking about an unnatural behavior. We are reffering to link building using redirects. Building links to a domain that redirects to a main domain is not a solution, much less a long-term one.
For example, a brand buys 2-3 adjacent fields to create microsites. They build links to those 2-3 microsites, which are then redirected to the main domain. Think about how many resources you invest for link building for 3 sites at the same time, when you can get much better results if you only build links to the main domain.
2. Blog networks or poor quality blog guests
Google hates blog networks and link sites or networks, we know that. We mentioned in another post that a low quality guest blogging strategy is not a good deal. The content written just to put links in does not bring any advantages and sooner or later the links will most likely be devalued.
So if you have a strategy of guest blogging, you should think about transforming it in one of high quality, creating exceptional content, useful for users. It is ideal to have a guest blogging strategy on sites with high standards and a profile of their backlinks. The written articles should provide information, help the reader solve a problem or be something topical.
3. Articles spam
Link articles represent an often used technique, especially for the beginners of the field. These articles have weak content, created only with the purpose of obtaining links. This has little meaning from Google’s point of view, and these types of links receive a small value.
Articles directories should represent an outdated technique that should not be used, given that most certainly they will no longer have any relevance in the process of SEO. In general the quality of these sites is questionable.
4. Site-wide links
Yes, we are talking about the famous site-wide links that worked once. That is no longer the case. Google has diminished their power of forwarding link-juice, because most were paid links, not meant for users. Such sites have suffered the consequences of Penguin and decreased in positioning. This is another proof that the practices widely used in the industry certainly do not offer guarantees that you will not be penalized.
Site-wide links are available in the footer, blogroll, partners or other sections. Not all site-wide links are harmful, but only those that are irrelevant and surrrounded by other irrelevant links. If they are naturally placed, we advise you to accept them.
5. Paid links in content
This link building strategy is easier to discover than you might think because it involves a whole process, and you’re not the only ones involved. As you know, Google makes complex connections and it’s enough for one of the involved parties to not be careful to give Google the opportunity to discover what you do and how you act.
Advertorials can be found very easily, as was the case of Interflora. Google does not accept paid links that transmit Page Rank and are used for manipulation of the results. A good method is to add nofollow on these links.
6. Link exchanges or link wheel
This kind of strategy leads to a vicious circle in which you should not get involved. Just like we said above, this is not something that is only up to you. These types of links are easy to identify, even if made three-way or four-way. This strategy is still practiced, especially among bloggers. We do not encourage it, as we have seen cases when certain blogs have been penalized, even because of the links in their blogroll. There were declines Page Rank and traffic.
Given this fact, instead of trying all sorts of such strategies to avoid being penalized, it is better to focus you efforts to build quality content that will bring links and good positioning.
7. Poor quality press releases
I think we should use press releases when we really have something to say. This is the only way you can get the benefits of this strategy. Press releases made for the sake of being made will not bring any advantages and ultimately, they are a waste of time and invested resources.
8. Web directories
The problem with directories has been debated and discussed many times. The only conclusion is this: why do not have any reason to build a link building strategy based only on directories. If until recently you received help from the directory, now the association with directories can only bring decreases in positioning.
Not all directories are harmful. For example, the local ones can be highly relevant to your business and a listing there can bring traffic. They must be relevant to you and should not be done just in order to get links.
9. Link farms
In 2009 Rand Fishkin said that search engines are getting smarter and smarter and this kind of link building is more easily found, because in general these types of websites provide many external links to different sources. And if at some point this strategy worked, it is certainly not a long term solution.
10. Forum Spam
This technique is also very old and very, very easy to trace. Before, automatic profiles were made on any forum that approved in the signature links that transmit Page Rank. 3-4 links were added in the signature to different sites. Forums were not relevant to those sites, but they helped. In a short time they could get many links from different domains.
If you really want to stay on a forum, then make sure you participate in the community, take part in the discussions and help other members of the forum. This way you will be seen as experts by other members of the forum and you will attract traffic to your site.
11. Spam through comments
Comments on other blogs can be a very powerful weapon if you know how to take advantage of them. Rand Fishkin defined this strategy comment marketing.
Spam comments are like: “interesting article”, “I liked you point of view”, “I found your blog on Google and thought I should read it” and so on. Of course the used email address is fake and there will be a link to a site.
12. Social Bookmarking
These types of links generally have no value and are nofollow. If you bring a lot of links from social bookmarking sites to a page, that page might not be crawled. Such sites that have links and user generated content are treated differently by search engines. Spam links are not worth it. At first sight, they might be easy to obtain, without high costs, but over time be sure they will damage you site and business.