Since the dawn of the internet, all major search engines have used links as a key factor in deciding which position a website appears in on their search engine results page (SERPS). Once people figured this out, they began to manipulate it by building links to their website and producing content specifically for the search engines. And so Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) was born…
Nower days, search engines have become a little more sophisticated, so the original techniques used have become outdated and are likely to do more damage to your search rankings than good!
If you’re looking to improve your search rankings through link building, head over here and read this article on link building techniques that still work in 2016. If you want to know what to avoid, then continue reading.
Low-quality guest posts
Since 2014, low-quality guest posts have been classed as a violation of Google’s guidelines. To know whether or not your guest posts fall under this category, ask yourself if you’d feel comfortable telling the website owner or a Google employee where you’ve got your most recent guest post submitted. If you have to hesitate then, it’s probably not a good sign.
Once upon a time, it was was possible to create a network of sites linked together with the sole purpose of boosting search rankings. These days, search engine’s are tuned up to spot link farms and filter the websites that participate from their index and search results.
As far as link building goes, this technique is like playing with fire. Unless you don’t mind your domain being removed from Google’s index, steer clear.
When done correctly, content and press release syndication has many benefits. But this is often difficult for spammers with a meagre budget and poor quality content to imitate. To get past the editorial guidelines and costs that come with more premium services, many inexperienced SEO’s resort to low-quality syndication services. These sites will get you links, but not the kind you want !
These services send out your content to any site that will take it, regardless of the quality or originality of the article. The majority of these links will either not count or damage your domain.
If you’re looking to get a press release out, wait until you have something newsworthy and invest in a syndication service that will generate real links and actual results.
Engaging within your niche and community in a natural and useful way is a normal practice that may help to gain you a couple of links over time. But as an SEO strategy, leaving comments on any and every site you can is spam.
At the end of the day, comment spam is annoying for website owners and is easy for Google to spot and penalise you for. There’s no grey area here, you’re either contributing to your community or spamming the internet. If you’re thinking of using this technique then stop now.
Dodgy Affiliate Sites
Affiliate marketing can be extremely powerful and easily work with your SEO strategy. However, many of the affiliate sites that are linking to you are exploiting loopholes in Google’s algorithm and are definitely leaning towards the dark side of SEO. Although Google can identify affiliate links, association with these kinds of sites may not be worth the risk in the long-term.
Fixing Your Low-quality Links
If you suspect that your website has been hit with either a Google penalty or an algorithm update, then you’ll need an SEO audit to determine the cause. Once the offending links have been identified, the next step is to manually request the links be removed by speaking with the website owners. If this isn’t successful, the last resort is to use the disavow tool in search console to notify Google that you don’t want this link be accredited to your website.