Listen to this article:
We all receive ‘advertising‘ messages that promise to help our web site’s ranking in Google by writing an article for publishing on another site and that offers to be packed full of links to your web site. Normally that promise is followed by an exhortation that the article will also be seen by hundreds of thousands of people Country or World wide.
Be very careful of these ‘advertising‘ messages if they contain one or more of the following types of messages:
- Improve your own website SEO because of the backlinks to your website
- Give your business third party endorsement.
- You can place links to the article on your website and social media once again generating third party endorsement of your business.
- You can use the article as content for your website. It will improve your website SEO.
- We will place an index, follow link to your web site.
Why must you be careful? Essentially the business sending you that advert is advertising their business based on the sale of backlinks. According to a study by the ahrefs blog, the average cost of buying a link in 2018 from another site or blog was $361.44 (R5 280.00).
Not ALL Links are created equal – the most powerful links are Follow and Index links – essentially these links are ‘instructions’ to the Google Bot to visit the site being linked to and to make sure that the site is in the Google Index as the publisher deems the site being linked to as one containing important or unique information. If the publisher sells such links then they are deemed to be trying to positively manipulate the PageRank of a site.
Google lays down the law around links here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en
Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.
The following are examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results:
- Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
- Excessive link exchanges (“Link to me and I’ll link to you”) or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking
- Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links
- Using automated programs or services to create links to your site
- Requiring a link as part of a Terms of Service, contract, or similar arrangement without allowing a third-party content owner the choice of qualifying the outbound link, should they wish.
Additionally, creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines. Here are a few common examples of unnatural links that may violate our guidelines:
- Text advertisements that pass PageRank
- Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank
- Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.
- Keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites.
- Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites
- Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature.
Note that PPC (pay-per-click) advertising links that don’t pass PageRank to the buyer of the ad do not violate our guidelines. You can prevent PageRank from passing in several ways, such as:
- Indicating the link is sponsored adding a qualifying attribute to the tag
- Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file
The best way to get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.
If you see a site that is participating in link schemes intended to manipulate PageRank, let us know. We’ll use your information to improve our algorithmic detection of such links.
If someone offers to write and publish an article for you the most compelling reasons to accept will be around the increased reach via the publisher, social media sharing and featuring in the newsletter with the link back to your site of secondary consideration.
In other words you must be looking at getting people to actually read your message rather than using another web site as a vehicle to pass backlinks to robots that don’t care.
If Google catches a site out they do a double whammy by delisting the site selling the links AND delisting the site buying links. Something about we are equal under the law…………….
Google bots are the usual elements that play cops to faulty or wrongful link building practices. However, there are fair chances of someone from Google’s webspam team reviewing your site for its link profile and handing you a manual penalty. This might not be the case always but is always good to stay alert.
A manual penalty can be quite a task and you might wonder how can someone from the Google team end up on your website and penalize it? Call it bad luck but it could also be a spam report from a competitor that can have caused the team to look into your site’s link profile. A report from a Googlebot can also lead to a manual review and hence, the penalty.
Google penalizes you for bad backlinks by down-ranking your web site — sometimes by dozens of pages down. On Google, that’s pretty much the same as not existing at all. Users rarely scroll beyond the first page of search results.
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