Building quality listings, links and referrers is the top technique hotels and resorts use to increase their online visibility and improve their search engine rankings.
The following lame techniques probably won’t help and could even hurt, or penalize you. Avoid these 5:
#1 Article Farms are websites that let anyone post (lame) articles to. The hope is that they will give a good link. They are pretty much a waste of time and can even be dangerous. Here is an embarrassing example article from ArticleBase that looks like a foreign-based copywriter posted crap up for a link (we edited out a few paragraphs of junk). Don’t let your SEO company do this for you!
#2 Massive Reciprocal Linking is tempting but dangerous. Building a link farm on your own website can get you severely penalized in Google. During the last year we have seen several websites lose massive Google rankings that were (coincidentally?) hosting link farms.
Google specifically says in its webmaster guidelines:
Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
#3 Buying Links is a no-no. Buying advertising or listings in a website that will send you qualified traffic is acceptable, but buying links to manipulate Google is frowned upon. Here are some references in case you don’t believe me:
- Top Negative Factors: Buying or Selling Links from a Known Link Seller/Broker (SEOMoz)
- The Liability of Loathsome Link Level Web Spam (Bing)
- I Don’t Buy Links (SEOMoz)
- How To Report Paid Links (Matt Cutts from Google)
#4 Blog Comment Spam is useless too. Leaving silly comments on people’s blogs just to get a link back is a waste of your time and ruins your credibility. If you want to comment on a blog, engage and write something thoughtful. We delete 9 out of 10 comments on our blog because they are drivel!
The experts agree that Blog commenting doesn’t really help your rankings very much. A comment here and there is OK, but, don’t focus on this activity as a way to boost your rankings or manipulate Google.
#5 Link Schemes are when a do-gooder approaches his colleagues and says “I have a good idea, lets all trade links.” I recommend you stay away from them. They are dangerous and make your website ugly.
An example is the Runaway Getaway Vacation Rental Alliance (no, I won’t link to them! Look them up if you want!) which puts this ugly footer on the bottom of your page linking to other websites: