Link Spam and Why You Should Avoid It
New Google algorithms have pretty much changed the way how we work and how we make use of links, and today, there are several things that are worse than black hat strategies. If you are focusing your efforts in link building among other traffic generation strategies, here are some things that you keep in mind to make sure that you avoid link spam and protect your rankings.
Article marketing used to be one of the most popular ways to get link value, but then Google ran it over with its new updates when the company started to penalize numerous article directories for spam and low quality content. So, if you’re writing articles and submitting them in article directories just to get link value—chances are you won’t be getting as much as you used to. Keep in mind that article marketing it is still effective when done properly and many ethical SEO services still implement it properly, with high rate of success. Just keep in mind not to send to penalized or banned site, and double check for quality.
This strategy has and will always be is a big no. Link farms are groups of websites with links to every site in the group they belong in. They were quite popular when people found out the importance of inbound links. This worked for quite some time, until Google found out about it and hammered it. Still, some SEO firms and service providers continue to use them, hurting their sites and the sites they link to.
Blog networks are a great way for actual bloggers and enthusiasts to share and contribute content and link with other similar and fun blogs. However, some people use fake blogs which simply contribute or pay content just so that they can get links back to their site.
Low Quality Guest Posts
Guest posts are common ways to promote website and link visibility, but accepting or creating guest posts with low word count, excessive links, and low quality content can be harmful for your SEO practices. So, only accept guest posts which are good quality and only guest post on websites that have high standards when it comes to guest posting.
Links located all over the website, especially the site’s footer used to be very popular in the past. While it is a normal place to put non-black hat links, they can also be a good place to place spam links which people do not have to click on. With the Google Penguin update, links in the footer may hurt your site – even if they are normal and non-spam links. Google has no way to differentiate between both and simply treat any kind of footer link as spam ones.
Social Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking sites used to be big a few years ago, but like blog networks and article directories, they went out the window. Today most social bookmarking sites are filled with spam or even abandoned, putting little to no value at all to the links you place there.
People used to create profiles in forums, ask questions and post answers, and then add links to their posts. It’s surprising some people still continue to do this considering that the practice is dead and does not generate traffic at all anymore.
Low Quality Press Releases
While there is nothing really wrong with press releases, there is a way to do them which can do well for your website’s publicity and SEO. What do not work are low quality press release syndication services, which are breeding ground for spammers because there are no editorial guidelines. Low quality syndication services simply send anything to any website, and if these links point back to you, that can be something which Google will perceive as link spam. So, instead of sending out a number of low quality releases, focus on creating one or two excellent ones to high quality press release syndication services. It will be better for your website and for your PR as well.
Blog comments were designed so that people could intelligently add to the discussion, or ask questions, perhaps. However, spam blog comments are everywhere. Spamming blog comments is generally not worth it. Besides, most of your hard work might all be for naught as the blog owner or moderator might not approve some or all of your comments at all.
There are two types of hidden text: text that are hidden behind images or has the same colour as the page background. While they are invisible to the human eye, they are visible to search engine spiders. With the use of hidden links, you might be able to trick search engines for some time—but is the practice worth it to have your website possibly banned in search engines when they find out?
These are just a few of some types of spam links, which can be bad for your SEO endeavours and for your website as well. While they may have some quick and short-term benefits, the risks and consequences of these spam links in the future are far worse, and the initial benefits can certainly not compensate for the risks. So, instead of taking time to do and post these spam links, why not make use of white hat methods instead.
See you at the top!
- 17 Types of Link Spam to Avoid (seomoz.org)
- Better Understanding Link-based Spam Analysis Techniques (seomoz.org)
- How Google’s ‘Disavow’ Tool Can Help You Deal With Bad Backlinks (news.terra.com)