The Artificial Link-Building Issue

July 20, 2012 (1VIZABILITY.COM - SEO News)

In the search engine optimization industry, link-building is always considered as one of the most important factors that helps increase search rankings.  And though Google is very clear that “creating back-links” for the purpose of improving search engine visibility is a violation against their policies, some webmasters and SEO professionals are still doing the practice.

What is Artificial Link-building?

Link-building strategies that are intentionally done to help a website rank on top of search engine results pages (SERPs) are obviously artificial link-building.  Common examples include creating back-links in high page rank forum sites, putting back-links on forum signatures, dropping links on the comment section of blogs, creating articles for the sole purpose of getting back-links (once published on article directories), and other means that could make a website look famous and authoritative in the eyes of the search engines.

Though there are confusions and disagreements on how artificial link-building should be addressed, web authorities such as Google constantly remind netizens especially online businesses that artificial link-building has no future on the web.  One famous example of their serious reinforcement against artificial link-building is their Google Penguin Update.

Natural and Artificial Links

The best way to maintain a high ranking and authoritative website is through natural link-building.  In most cases, there is actually a thin line that separates natural from artificial links.  This thin line has to do with the process on how they are created.

Natural links are created if a blogger mentions your website on his blog post, an author put your website as a reference or source of the article he wrote, a concern netizens answers a question asked by his fellow netizen and link back to your site as the original source of his answer, and the like.  But, all these can be manipulated.

For example, a back-link on a blog comment cannot always be considered as artificial especially if the commenter doesn’t have any intention of putting the back-link there just to increase his website’s search engine visibility. If his intention is to make a point and let the author of the blog post know that he’s not alone with his opinion and pointed him to a resource that further explains his theory, then that’s clearly not an artificial link.  So, when does a link become unnatural?

Characteristics of Unnatural Links

Artificial or unnatural links are considered as spams by most search engines.  One very common characteristic of an artificial back-link has to do with its anchor text.  If you find one with anchor texts such as “shoes for sale” or “cheap bags for sale” or anything with the same tone then that back-link is more likely an unnatural one.   This is because most people don’t usually refer a website or link to one using that “phrase”.

Another characteristic of unnatural links has to do with the overall keyword distribution on your website.  If the anchor text “cheap bags for sale” has higher percentage, it is more likely that the back-link is artificial.  Accumulating high level saturation of the same keywords can trigger the search engine filtering programs to become more suspicious of your site.

Stop wasting your time building artificial back-links.  Stick to ethical SEO practices to enable your website to withstand any search engine algorithm changes.  What’s the use of thousands of artificial links if they can only pull your website at the bottom of the Sandbox pit?

To learn more on how to build natural and authoritative back-links, keep on coming back to our Dallas Internet Marketing Blog every now and then.  Don’t also forget to sign up to our email subscription box located at the bottom right portion of our website.

Image used is under the creative common license from Wikimedia.org – File name: Broad_chain_closeup.jpg; Author: Toni Lozano

This blog post is brought to you by www.oneseocompany.com, a Dallas SEO & Internet Marketing Company.

Qamar Zaman
Chief Visionary at One SEO Company. An Internet Entrepreneur SEO & lawyer Internet marketing professional & Starbucks Lover.
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