Penguin, what’s so bad about buying links to your site?

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In the past, we’ve all known in the SEO world that to rank high for a particular keyword, all you had to do was get lots of links back to your site with the desired keyword in the anchor text and Google would count those as popularity votes. If each backlink counted as a vote for your site for that keyword, then lots of votes told Google to send more traffic to your page. More links equals more relevancy, right?

Well, enter the Penguin update from Google that more closely examines those backlinks. Chances are, if you bought or rented links from other link builders or blog networks, those links were all junk. Now, what I mean by junk links would be links that are totally irrelevant to the page content where they reside. In examining some of these links, I’ve noticed they appear in footers or sidebars as stand-alone links with keyword anchor texts. Some of the linking domains were all different, but forwarded to the same blog. Thinking about it retrospectively, it makes sense how someone would think, “Hey, I’ll just create a ton of blogs and link back to other sites, as well as within the network, then charge people for the service.” Again, the more links, to more relevant, the higher Google will rank your site for your keywords, right? What value are those links to people? When you buy junk links like this, you’re just asking for Google’s Penguin to come sit on your face and kill your keyword rankings–bye bye traffic, too.

So, enter the post-Penguin update SEO world now. Links are still important, so how can you get good links in? Google is looking for linking to occur naturally, as if searchers will just know how to link to your site from usable content and actually take the time to do it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to wait around for that. Sure, offering highly valuable, useable content up to the web as link bait is more essential now than ever. I intend to fully offer good content and infographics to relevant industry blogs and forums. However, there are a few ways to buy links to your site in a natural, relevant manner.

In order to buy good links, start by evaluating your business relationships. With whom have you done business, both personally and professionally? One of our clients supplied a huge university with all their sporting gear. I suggested contacting them for a link to reward the great service he provided. Furthermore, he could ‘buy’ a link from them in the form of a discount on their next order or some other offering. Another client is part of his industry association. Why not open some dialogue with them about getting a link for a sponsorship? Speaking of sponsorships, what about sponsoring a race or plant a tree foundation, etc.? Such events are frequent and can not only pass some good link juice, but help out folks in a good cause, too. Such sponsoring can lead to a great press release and enhance company image.

There are several ways to diversify your link building strategy and still get good links to your site. Just remember that ultimately Google wants relevant results. That’s how they got so good to begin with. If your links are legitimate and valuable, you’ll build a portfolio with a long-term strategy for success. Sure, Google isn’t returning the best results right now after this latest Penguin update, but they will continue to improve and try to clean up the web from these junk links. At Page Logic, we have several more ideas to get legitimate links to your site. We’ll show you how.

Scott Eggenberger


About the Author:

Shunning stuffy occupational titles, I'm the self-appointed On Page Ace! I've been a writer and editor for over 15 yrs now and enjoy optimizing a page so Google, Yahoo, and Bing know what it's about. It's fun to see clients succeed in their business for their keywords and know you've helped achieve those results. I am a big fan of Real Salt Lake soccer club and enjoy soccer, yoga, mindfulness study, volleyball, hiking, camping, and spending time with my family. Lots of chocolate doesn't hurt either...

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