Oh, link building.
Probably one of the most difficult parts of being an SEO. But, it can be much more difficult for marketers and business owners who are unaware of the black hat practices that nefarious SEO companies employ.
With all the changes in Google’s algorithms over the past few years, many SEOs will probably agree that obtaining quality backlinks has become tougher and tougher to do.
Yet backlinks remain a crucial factor to search engine optimization as we know it.
Maybe your site has amazing content. Maybe you’ve done your keyword research. Maybe, thanks to your website’s quality SEO, you’re noticing your domain authority starting to climb more and more.
But without backlinks, you can forget about higher ranks.
I’ve discussed link building in several different articles I’ve written in the past—including how I believe that the practice is far from dead and how link building itself is one of the more important ranking factors as of 2015.
So naturally, you understand the importance of backlink creation.
But you must also consider this:
There are certain backlink creation techniques that can get you in a pickle with Google. We call them black hat link building techniques.
Below are a few of the most common black hat link building techniques explained. This way, you can have a better understanding of now not to create backlinks for your website.
Oh, and if you happen to encounter an SEO firm who utilizes or says that they will utilize these black hat techniques in the name of search engine optimization, you’ll know that they might not be worth your time and money.
Buying and Selling Links
Do you remember the ‘good old days’ when you could buy a couple hundred links for around fifty dollars and not have to worry about being penalized by Google?
Those days are long over.
Long story short, Google considers the buying and selling of links from places with high PageRank for the sake of passing valuable link juice to be against their webmaster guidelines.
In other words, it’s a link scheme. And Google doesn’t take those lightly.
If your SEO firm offers to buy you a high PageRank link from somewhere for the sole purpose of getting your website to rank higher, you’re probably dealing with a black hat SEO firm. Drop it like a hot potato and don’t take the risk.
“Link to me and I’ll link to you.”
Seems harmless enough, right?
Links to and from your website should be relevant to your website’s content. If you’re exchanging links left and right like it’s no big deal—especially when you’re exchanging links with websites irrelevant to your niche—Google can tell.
Let’s put it this way:
Google knows if your website’s link profile is natural, and if the links to your site have been earned. Someone found the content on your website useful and compelling? They liked it so much that they linked to it in a blog post?
That’s a natural way to earn backlinks, and of course, Google knows.
But swapping links with a website that’s completely irrelevant to your business, company, or niche is not kosher.
Steer clear of link exchanges like this.
Spammy Guest Blogging
In and of itself, guest blogging isn’t really a bad thing, if done with the right intentions. It can help people reach wider audiences, and if the guest blogger has some compelling and useful content to offer, many people are sure to find their content helpful.
But the longer guest posting has existed, the more people have been taking advantage of the chance to insert some spammy links into their guest blog posts. As Google’s webmaster guidelines put it: “large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links” is considered a link scheme. So are links that are irrelevant to the post in which they are featured.
If you’re going to blog for someone else, or if someone else offers to write a blog post for your website, make sure you know what you’re getting into.
The content and links in the body of the guest post should be relevant to your industry.
The intentions of the guest poster should not solely be to gain a backlink.
Perhaps one of the safest ways to gain backlinks is to create quality content that remains relevant to your industry. If people find your content helpful and compelling enough, the backlinks will come naturally as they share your content.
There will be no need to buy or sell backlinks, no need to exchange links, and no need to worry about guest posting for the sake of SEO.
With this in mind, you can get started on smashing backlinking mayhem by rejecting these techniques.
Still have concerns about web marketing mayhem? Give us a call. Ask us how we can help you!