5 Lamest Ways to Build Links

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!

article-example

#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.

As an example, see this website and this website… go to the bottom of them you will see “resource” pages where they both host totally lame 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:

#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:

runawaygetaway

The Definition of Link Schemes (from Google)

Comments

  1. I have #6 & #7

    #6 – Don’t ever pay someone to submit you to 1,000 websites for the rock bottom price of only $xxx (insert the cost here) – its automated, or outsourced – and never pays off very well.

    #7 – Don’t let anyone convince you that its necessary to submit your site to the search engines for inclusion -if you do everything right – they’ll find you. There are no more paid inclusion models in the engines that matter – well – engine – that being Google :)

  2. Hey there, good article. I have to agree with most of what you said, but I would like to explore the blog commenting item a little more.
    Most webmasters including myself don’t mind or even welcome thoughtful comments on their blog posts with a backlink, as long as there is a purpose to the backlink.
    For instance I have taken parts of this story and posted about it here http://drivingonlinesales.com/?p=261. I welcome a thoughtful comment on my blog, with a link that has a purpose and as long as there is value to both parties.
    The other point I want to make is that as long as the outgoing comment links are not pointing to casino, porn, or hate sites then the comments will still help your blog from a search engine ranking perspective.
    Although it is far better to receive legitimate comments with links that have a purpose. For instance in my example I am actually writing a post and pointing it in your direction.
    One of the things that bugs me, as i am sure it bugs you is all of these stupid internet gurus telling people to use automated tools to spam the hell out of internet. Nevermind that there are actual people who own and manage these sites and are trying their best to survive in a world that can be cut throat at times.
    Anyway, thanks for letting me post on your blog :)

  3. I’m glad that Carrie added #7. I see those “pay for search engine inclusion” ads all over the place. Obviously, the search engines will find you, but you can also submit to them for free, so why would anyone pay for this?

  4. I agree, I mean even when I had no idea about SEO I was like “why would I need someone to submit my pages to Search Engines?”. Blah, there is so much junk flying around regarding SEO and a lot of it is misleading or misinformed.

    As far as hiring someone to submit a billions links. I just wouldn’t trust them unless they had a rock solid reputation without reverting to spamming.

  5. I’d have to agree with what Wynne said as far as posting on blog sites for backlinks. As long as it’s a meaningful post and perhaps has relevant content to the site your linking back to this can be fairly helpful when it comes to raising your pr and search traffic. Where I see a lot of people fail in this process is they’ll spend a weekend posting on as many blog sites as possible, and then stop posting for a month. This isn’t the right approach and can appear more as spam than genuine posts.

  6. great post, very informative, although, i would like to know, what are some of the best ways to build links?

  7. Here are some good supporting articles for this post:

    Matt Cutts Announces Death of Cheesy Link Exchanges
    http://www.seobook.com/archives/001675.shtml

    What it Looks Like to be Hit by Googles Real Estate Reciprocal Link Penalty
    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/what-it-looks-like-to-be-lost-in-googles-real-estate-reciprocal-link-penalty

    Post Mortem – Banned Sites Forensics
    http://outspokenmedia.com/internet-marketing-conferences/banned-sites/

    And, a post from Matt Cutts himself from 2006 discussing what it looks like when Google penalizes you for linking to bad neighborhoods:
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/indexing-timeline/