Backlinks: Yea or Nay

Link building strategies to build up backlinks taken too far can run the risk of associating your brand with spam. Should you still do it?

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks are links that go back to your site.  Any link that goes to your site is a vote of confidence by that site when it comes to SEO. Having more links point toward your site means that search engines will find your site more important than the competition.

How Should I Build up Backlinks?

There are many legitimate ways to build up backlinks. It’s tough to create a comprehensive list. Here is a brief overview:

  • Create quality content and encourage users to share through social media. This builds up your rep. People will see this and eventually link to your content. Besides getting links Google will see that you have updated your site with fresh content. Since Google prefers fresh content over stale this is a double-win for improving your SEO.
  • Submit your site for listing in online business directories and local SEO services like Yelp, CitySearch, YP, and Google Maps.
  • Participate in online forums and blogs. Include your website in a profile signature. Do not hype your business or make things about you. Just build up your reputation and users will eventually link to your site. And depending on the forum your signature may show up as a link that search engines will see.
  • Host or speak at events. Make sure that any promoter includes your brand’s name and ideally a link to your site.

Why is it Risky to Build up Backlinks?

If you go too far with your link building campaign you run the risk of turning into a spammer. Google has a list of link schemes that they discourage.

  • Do not purchase links.
  • Do not partner with anyone for the sake of linking sites. Avoid anyone that emails you saying something like: “If you link to me then I’ll link to you.”
  • Excessive guest posting on blogs with links to your keywords.
  • Automated blog and forum posts that create links.

Yes, each of these strategies will actually work for the short-term. Your ranking will actually improve in search engines for a bit. But you’re violating Google’s Quality Guidelines. At some point Google will figure things out and they will remove you from their index. At that point you need to contact each site asking them to remove the content or have the sites add the rel="nofollow" to the link tag. After that you will need to use the Disavow Links tool from in Google Webmaster Tools. Finally, you must submit a reconsideration request.

Will Google Drop Support for Backlinks?

Since backlinks cause so much spam people often wonder if Google will ever stop counting them towards ranking your site. Recently Google’s Matt Cutts answered this question in a YouTube video.

While it would be possible for them to do so, they found that the search quality was greatly hampered. While Google would love to help cut down on spam, they will not do so if it means that search results will suffer. This means that backlinks will matter towards SEO for the foreseeable future.

Building up your backlinks is a time-consuming process. It’s hard to focus on this when you are primarily running your core business. Fortunately we can help you improve your natural search optimization. Please contact us today to see how we can help.

Thank you and keep building your brand.



Brian is the Director of Development and Social Media for Brand Builder Websites where he oversees the development, strategy, and goals for our software development. He is also a huge fan of Android.
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