Avoid Link Spam — Google
How many times have you fallen in the trap of so-called “buy 100 links from DA 20 sites in $$” packages or “build 50 links in 2 days from article directories” packages? Webmasters often receive emails having offers like these that do little to improve the user experience and focuses only on building a backlink.
If you are still unsure what I am talking about then here are some examples of link spam to make you understand what I mean. Have a look at what a typical link spam comment looks like:
And here is an example of article spam with keyword rich anchor texts created only to manipulate rankings:
In the latest Webspam report for 2018, Google has highlighted the importance of creating quality content in order to naturally earn links. The company said:
“We think that one of the best ways of fighting spam of all types is by encouraging website owners to just create great quality content. Resources such as the SEO starter-guide highlight best practices and bust some common myths and misconceptions related to what it takes to appear well in Google Search results.”
What Type of Links Can Be Counted As Spam?
There is no strict definition to it but the fact is, any link that has been created to manipulate the Page Rank algorithm and does not offer a good user experience can be counted as spam. In other words, link spam happens when you bribe/pay/fool others to link back to your site unnaturally. People do not link back to your site by choice. Some of the link types that fall under this category are:
- Comment spam where people share irrelevant comments linking back to their main site that does not help the reader.
- Link exchanges where two site owners mutually agree to link to each other in order to pass Page Rank.
- Low-quality guest posting that is done on low-quality sites with over-optimized anchor texts. It is best to avoid common SEO mistakes when participating in any kind of link building activities.
- Low-quality content published on article directories with over-optimized anchor texts.
- Participating in PBN link schemes where you get backlinks from a number of sites all in the same network also known as “Private Blog Networks”.
- Widget backlinks where you create a widget and add a link back to your site in the source code.
- Backlinks coming from low-quality web directories, bookmarking sites, sites having lots of spun content, etc.
- Any other backlinks coming from sites solely created for the purpose of selling links.
- Backlinks coming from sites having too high spam scores.
- Every other link that violates the Google link guidelines.
How To Check Backlinks Pointing To Your Site?
The best way to check all the links on your site is through Google Search Console. The Links Report under Google Search Console lets you see all the links pointing to your website.
Besides, you can even use backlink checker tools like the Neil Patel free backlink checker to identify the links pointing to your site. It is always better to use a combination of tools to capture all the links your site has.
The Best Way To Earn Links Is To Create Quality Content
The best links are the ones when people link to you by choice.
For example, you create a super useful content marketing funnel around dog grooming and your readers find it really useful. As a result, some of your readers link back to your guide from their sites because they found your guide to be helpful. What did you end up doing? You’ve basically just created a quality piece of content and in return, you received lots of good backlinks.
Here are some tips that you need to follow in order to create quality content:
- Write for your audience and not for the search engines.
- Create original content based on new ideas. Do not copy ideas from your competitors and rewrite them. It won’t do any good.
- Always back up your advice with proper research because, without relevant links to data, your advice might seem inaccurate.
- Use schema markup to enable the search engines to properly tag and understand your content.
- Avoid grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
- Make your content actionable and follow the rule of 10X content strategy.
- Link out to trustworthy sites in your niche.
- Add images and videos in your content in order to help the readers to properly understand your content. This is what Mercato does in its blog. It regularly publishes content that benefits the users and adds relevant images and videos to every piece of content.
- Create link bait that attracts both traffic and links.
- Segment your content for every micro-moment your prospective customers go through during the purchase cycle.
Link spam is a huge issue for Google and other search engines. The best way to keep your website safe from hefty Google penalties is to follow the Webmasters guidelines and creating quality content that genuinely helps the user.