Google has been on the warpath recently, doing their best to penalise websites which have been incorporating dodgy SEO techniques, and of their MANY recent changes, one has emerged as having the potential to be one of the most significant in terms of the influence it will have on the future of SEO. While the changes certainly won’t affect all websites using unethical methods, and there will likely even be some innocent victims getting caught up in the crackdown, Google is definitely putting marketers who use black hat techniques ‘on notice’, especially when it comes to linking. One of the changes made is the way in which Google decides the value and nature of a link pointing to a website. There have been rules for years now against buying or trading links but it seems the time has finally come for these rules to be enforced. Suspicious links will not only continue to be disregarded, but now there is more chance these links may even result in a penalty to the site to which they’re pointing to. If the nature of links pointing to your site doesn’t seem right, Google has warned they will not hesitate in either reducing your position in search results, or simply removing your site all together.

One important thing to from this is to avoid buying links. However tempting it may be to buy links from directories etc, this is a practice that is a complete no-no. Also definitely avoid any kind of linking software which automatically gets links to your site from around the web as this will very likely have your website flagged as spamming the internet with fake links. Some tips for quality link building and ensuring you aren’t penalised:

  • DON’T buy links from directories
  • Definitely DO NOT use (or allow anyone else to use) software which places links around the internet pointing to your site
  • DO ask for links to your site from friends, colleagues, companies you are doing business with etc,
  • DO include as many unique variations of text in and around your links as possible (especially ‘anchor text’). Rather than using the exact same title and keywords every time, have some variation in what is clicked on and also where that link points to on your site.
  • DO put extra effort into getting new links to your site right after you have posted something new, such as a blog post, press release, or product etc.

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