What are the Bad Backlinks – Ways to Avoid them!

Most of the webmasters claim: “Hey if bad badlinks hurt a website your competition could easily push you aside and get your rankings drop in no time so search engines would base their ranking system on something that can be manipulated that easy.”

For over 3 years I work as a full time SEO consultant and I read a lot of news and stories on blogs and forums and I have to tell you that things are not so simple as Build a lot of backlinks doesn’t matter how good are, Google will simply ignore the poor ones. I’ve read stories when people got penalties in SERPS for doing wrong backlink building or simply because a competitor wanted to.

This should not be confused with the fact that brand new websites gets for a limited period of time better rankings like a “honeymoon” backlinksso Google analyses if the visitors find the website useful. They do that though a lot of factors (how many visitors click on the website, time spent on the website, Google + etc). When you just launch a site, write few articles and you are on 1st page for a lot of good keywords and then suddenly drop in serps is most likely that the “honeymoon” is over and you have to start building strong backlinks to achieve good rankings.

Not every link you can get is worth having, and some links can actually harm your rankings by earning you a penalty from the search engines.

Google states the following 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.

(i) Paid Links:

“Some SEOs and webmasters engage in the practice of buying and selling links that pass Page Rank, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. Buying or selling links that pass Page Rank is in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results”  - Google Webmaster Tool Help

I know that buying and selling links industry is HUUUUUGE: I see costly ads everywhere with high PR link selling and I also know you are tempted to purchase those as the prices are quite affordable. In my opinion a paid link here and there can’t hurt but if buying or selling links is your main strategy then boy you’re in trouble.

Google is smart enough to find out if you are paying for links based on patterns like:

•     Links you purchase expire after 3, 6 or 12 months and then are replaced by other links

•     The seller is posting ads for selling links on popular webmaster forums so is spotted by Google both as a link seller and you ..as buyer

•     Your competitors may investigate your backlinks, find common link farms and report them to Google. Trust me, in busy niches, a competitor less is a

sweet victory. Btw, that’s the link where you can report paid links.

(ii) Bad Neighborhood:    

If you are not careful you may find your links on websites that have a bad reputation, or are in a ‘bad neighborhood’. For instance, sites which promote products, services or content that many would feel to be unlawful, illicit, inappropriate, or just plain bad. Drugs and some pharmaceuticals, sex, gambling, and spam would fall foul of many internet and parental controls, as well as sometimes, but not always, be viewed detrimentally by the search engines. A link on such sites could do you more harm than good, not only with your potential audience and customers, but also with the search engines.

To avoid getting your links from Bad Neighborhoods you should check first the sites where you want to place your links and make sure this are not related to shady niches or spamy sites.

I believe that Google takes a look at your overall portfolio of backlinks to evaluate them.  Strong number of quality backlinks = you are safe.  Strong number of quality backlinks and someone tries to spam low quality link to you = you are safe.  Very low number of quality backlinks and someone tries to spam low quality backlinks to you = your website is trashed in Google’s serps.

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The Discussion

  1. cricketbash says:

    You can’t control who links to you..Google doesn’t penalize you even if you’ve backlinks from bad neighborhoods but if you link to bad sites, then you could be in a spot.. becoz you control where you can link to..

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