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Backlinks To Steer Clear From To Avoid Getting In Hot Water With Google

Bad BacklinksAs link building is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization, a lot of marketers, web masters and website owners have constantly used it in order to boost their websites rankings. Unfortunately, some took the strategy in the wrong direction, building spammy profiles and low quality links whose main intent is to manipulate search engine rankings. In order to stop these black hat link building practices, Google has issued a Link Schemes Help that guide website owners and marketers when it comes to content development.

Recently, the search engine giant updated its link schemes web page, showing sample of backlinks that they do not want to see. Below is the list of some of those backlinks you need to avoid. Doing so will ensure your website will not get in trouble with Google.

Paid links

Buying or selling links that pass PageRank has long been a big no, no for Google. These backlinks are simply acquired by exchanging money for links or posts that contain links or exchanging products or services for links. If you have given someone a product for free so that they will write something about that product and included a link in it, then this is also considered by Google as a paid link.

Excessive link exchanges/ unnatural links

Sure, link building is all about exchanging links. However, as with most things, excessive link exchanges are a bad thing, as these could result to unnatural links. When you say unnatural, the links simply do not add value to the article and are not relevant to the user and page. Say for instance, if you are maintaining a website about real estate, then you should not be exchanging links with someone who is running a website about weddings.

Automated links

There are a number of automated software that make hundreds of backlinks through forum and social media profiles. And while they can make your link building efforts easier, be aware that the links they make are low in quality. Although they will increase and diversify your site backlinks, they will not necessarily help your website’s rankings. In fact, they could even get you penalized.


An advertorial is a piece of content that reads like a journalistic story, yet is trying to sell something to the audience and is actually a paid content. Generally, there is nothing wrong with advertorials or native advertising. However, the problem arises when they pass PageRank and they are made in such a way that visitors to your site cannot tell whether they are paid content or not. As a rule of thumb, use links that have rel=no follow attributes for paid articles to avoid penalty. While this strategy will not give you the SEO juice, visitors to your site will still be able to click through and engage with the link.

Links with optimized anchor texts

One major target of Google is websites containing overly optimized anchor text profiles. If your website has too many links that are focused on using the same keyword over and over, this could send up a red flag. As such, use a range of keywords whenever you make content and scatter them across your pages. It is also a good idea to link to authority references. Doing these things will help make your links more organic and will reduce the likelihood of drawing penalties to your site.

Sherry SimsAbout the author:
Sherry Sims is a fulltime writer who enjoys tackling topics related to search engine optimization, social media and technology. She also blogs for When not at work, Sherry spends her time searching for and reading insightful blogs.

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