What links should I be avoiding?

Since Google’s recent Penguin update which had a massive impact on many sites, especially those with lots of “unnatural links”, there has been plenty of speculation about what “good” links are and whether you should bother with linking at all.

Despite a lack of clarity from Google as to what links are considered “unnatural”, link building remains an important part of search engine optimisation, for now at least.

If you were hit by the Penguin update, and still looking for ways to recover, or if you’ want to get going but not sure what to avoid, then read on…

Here are some types of linking which can be seen as “unnatural” and throw up problems from Google

Links from a site completely unrelated to your business or industry and in a completely different part of the world. For example if you run a hairdressers, but have a link coming from a site about fishing.

If you’ve just launched a brand new site, and within a month have hundreds of thousands of links, most likely from purchasing links or via a link farm.

High number of links, but all coming from the same small selection of websites

The link doesn’t include any description, author or contact details

Hundreds of links coming from poor quality blogs and blog comments, which are completely unrelated to industry and which have been clearly put there just for the sake of a link

Links from directories which have no relevance; for example you are a bakery based in London, but you’re on a directory for carpenters in Scotland.

Google has always been very clear that paid for links are something to avoid, especially if you’re outsourcing your link building, you should know what exactly you’re paying for and where the links are coming from. Paying for links can be seen as “manipulating” by Google.

So with all of these “unnatural” links to avoid, link building can be a long, and time consuming task. But if you get it right, it can have a strong positive impact on your site.

There’s nothing wrong with using Blog comments to get your links, if you genuinely have something to reply with, and can offer something useful and relevant, go ahead and post your link.

Not all Directory sites are bad, try going for the human-edited ones; these are seen as much higher value to Google as someone has taken the time to check your link and its quality. DMOZ, Yahoo and Thomson Local are good places to start.

If you’re looking for help with your search engine optimisation and link building, contact IRUN today on either 01865 920 003 or email us at support@irunsolutions.co.uk

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