Google Penalties: Which Links Should You Avoid?

alarm 2 Minute Read
today Posted Sep 9th, 2016

If you know anything about SEO, you already know that links are essential. They are still one of the most important ranking factors, giving you better rankings and more visibility as you build them up.

But there are some links that you don’t want.

You may have read about the dreaded Google Penalty from having a dodgy link portfolio. It goes back to Google Penguin, the algorithm update in April 2012 that focused on unnatural links. After this came into effect, websites that were found to have these unnatural links were faced with a penalty.

So which types of links do you need to avoid?

Link Schemes

Have you ever heard of link schemes? If not, you won’t have to worry about this one. Link schemes are basically schemes set up to build unnatural links and to websites to unfairly influence the search engine results.

There are many types of schemes, and if something sounds like a link scheme, it probably is. So steer clear of them.

Links from Spam Sites

This is probably the main risk to companies working on their link building. Getting links from authority sites is hard. And so it should be! That can make it tempting to build links from the lower-authority sites and spam sites.

The links are easier to get, but they are not going to do much for your SEO. And they could even hurt your rankings if Google finds that you have got a lot of links from such websites.

Always take a good look at the website you want a link from. If it looks dodgy, it’s probably best to stay away.

Low-Quality Guest Blogging

Guest posting is a great way to build your authority in your niche, and the links can certainly drive traffic back to your site and increase your readership.

But if you do guest blogging, make sure you only publish on high-quality authority blogs. If you constantly publish content on low-quality blogs that never get read, this could end up hurting you. The same goes for low-quality press release syndication sites.

Links with No Context

Linking within content that is not related to your site is another problem area. Throwing in a link where it has no place looks unnatural, and again the algorithms can spot these. If you do this a lot, it can hurt your rankings.

You ideally link to content because it enhances the point you are making or adds something to the conversation. If you build a link in content that has nothing to do with the link in question, this will look strange.

By the way, Moz has an excellent guide on some of the worst link offences, so it’s well worth a read.

Avoid Penalties by Sticking to the Rules

Links are an important metric for improving your SEO. But when building links, make sure you stick to the rules. The best way to build links is to create content worthy of being linked to. But when you do build links, avoid the common tricks and don’t get hit by a Google penalty.

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