Everyone knows that backlinks are the foundation of making sure you rank well on Google. However, a lot of new people to the business don’t understand is that there’s a correct way to go about obtaining backlinks and there’s a wrong way.
What Are Blog Backlink Networks?
In a nutshell, these are blogs that link to a large number of paid websites or better known as a “link farm”. Google hates these websites with a passion and has aggressively begun to desensitize the internet with their presence.
For example, you more than likely have seen people out there promising you backlinks for a mere $5 or for several backlinks even at the same price. You have to take caution with any source that sells backlinks because you’re more than likely not their only customer and if they’re selling them for cheap, then imagine how many people they’re currently linking to.
Why Does Google Care?
Google has been placing a strong emphasis on quality over the years and they want to make sure that the top of the search results aren’t because people paid their way to get there. Google doesn’t want a system where people can just continuously buy cheap backlinks from blog farms and rise to the top of the search engines.
There used to be a time and place for devious off page SEO, but that time has come and gone. Imagine a world where people could just buy cheap backlinks and rank highly for high competition keywords. That world was a reality back in the early days of Google.
Back in those dark days of off color SEO, people were actually messing with meta descriptions, meta keywords, meta tags and blending keywords into the background of a web page to rank high. You could have people ranking for adult search terms but their website was about selling brand name sports shoes. It definitely wasn’t an ideal system for Google and they knew it, but they didn’t exactly have the resources back then to do anything about it.
How to Identify a Risky Blog Network
When you own a website or you’re in the business of making money online, you will get unsolicited e-mails and add requests on your Skype all the time. Unsolicited e-mails is just part of the business and some of these offers might sound tempting to the unaware. Here are some of the tell tale signs that you might be getting involved with a risky blog network that will get you penalized.
#1 – It’s extremely cheap
Let’s be perfectly clear right now, nothing in this world is free and nothing worth having is easy. That goes for high quality backlinks as well. If you see a blog that’s offering to link to people’s websites for cheap, then I’m not saying that this is a scam right away, but they more than likely have hundreds of people they’re currently linking to. Once Google catches up with their scheme, their links will be ultimately useless and the linked to sites might even be penalized for having the links.
#2 – The owners of these networks are constantly looking for clients
One of the most valuable things I’ve learned while in the writing business, is that professional clients don’t go to individual writers, they let writers come to them. It’s the same with established and professional SEO companies as well. I can guarantee you anything that the professional companies with results under their belt aren’t sitting there all day spam adding and requesting people to add a link to their network for a mere $5.
#3 – The network niche isn’t consistent
If you notice right away that there’s a make money online website linked to a website about grass, then that might be your queue that these people don’t exactly care who they link to. Not only that, but the majority of network blogs don’t even try to hide it or separate their clients into categories. If you go to a link farm, you’ll notice that the majority of their clients are being linked to from one page and they really don’t care what the niche of the site being linked to is.
Resist The Urge – It’s Not Worth It
I know how tempting it might be to get a high authority backlink from a network that promises to bolster your rankings, but in the long run, they’ll only lower them. We’re in the year 2014, and people still haven’t figured out that Google really wants to emphasis the majority of their focus on high quality content. It’s like a large number of services being offered on the popular website Fiverr. A lot of these services may be funny or entertaining, but do you honestly trust someone to do SEO for your website for a mere $5?
Would you trust a mechanic to fix your car for $5? Unless you want some parts to be stripped or for your car to barely run off the lot, then the answer to that question is probably no. The same goes for SEO as well, while cheap SEO might seem worthwhile in the short run, your website will take considerable damage down the road. Not only that, but it’s such a pain to get Google to re-consider your site after it’s been de-indexed, because they hear a million excuses a day.
Imagine your job is to review applications for people that have had their website de-indexed because they used services like blog networks to increase their rankings. Can you imagine how much crap they have to read through? I’m sure a good majority of the excuses are along the lines of not knowing who was ranking to them, not being their fault or just flat out being sorry and promising not to do it again.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t want to hurt your rankings and your serious about increasing your SEO rankings, don’t use blog backlink networks if everything doesn’t line up accordingly. They’re quite easy to avoid now days and if you use common sense to avoid trying any shady SEO tactics, you should be fine.
If you want to reach out to an audience in your niche and obtain high search engine rankings the natural way, then the simple answer is to produce quality content. Don’t plaster your site with content you paid 50 cents for on a slave wage freelance site and don’t plaster the internet with links directly to your site from anyone who will agree to give you a link. Google has wised up to that act and it simply doesn’t work anymore.
Staying safe on the internet and steering your website in the right direction is the best and most surefire way to guarantee your success. Don’t be a victim to those cheap and enticing offers promising to increase your ranks in highly competitive niches, because there’s also a good chance that they’re just going to take your money and run away. The worst part is, when it comes to virtual services, PayPal doesn’t care if a product was delivered or not. If a product or service can’t be shipped or tracked, then they won’t fight for you to get your money back.
In his 9+ years as a digital marketer, Sam has worked with countless small businesses and enterprise Fortune 500 companies and organizations including NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Washington, DC based law firm Price Benowitz LLP and human rights organization Amnesty International.
He is a recurring speaker at the Search Marketing Expo conference series and a TEDx Talker. Today he works directly with high-end clients across all verticals to maximize on and off-site SEO ROI through content marketing and link building.
In his 9+ years as a digital marketer, Sam has worked with countless small businesses and enterprise Fortune 500 companies and organizations including NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Washington, DC based law firm Price Benowitz LLP and human rights organization Amnesty International. He is a recurring speaker at the Search Marketing Expo conference series and a TEDx Talker. Today he works directly with high-end clients across all verticals to maximize on and off-site SEO ROI through content marketing and link building.