Beware of Link Building Scams

Links are what drives the Internet. High quality links can help your website rank higher. However, there are a lof of link building services that guarantee they will get you one-way links, but unless they link to you from an already established quality page and within the content of that page, it can take a year or more to get decent ranking if the page your link is on is a new page, as the age of a page is a strong ranking factor.

They Promise the Moon and Deliver only Moonshine

Most directories, forums and social bookmarking sites require someone to login before posting links and often with a password or using a captcha to catch spammers, so it's very unlikely that a link building service can automate this process using established sites like that without some devious means to gather a lot of links quickly.

Instead they usually buy up a bunch of websites, forums or directories (which are a dime a dozen since Google removed the page rank from most websites with outgoing links a few years ago). Then they use those website to post your links on. Being as they are a network they rarely produce much benefit because Google is a domain registrar and knows which sites are involved in networks. So, while you may gain a lot of links, Google may consider them pure junk and harm your Trust Rank or quality score.

Also, most forums and social sites automatically put No-Follow on their outgoing links to prevent spamming, so any links you get from those sites should be for the purpose of getting visitors and not link value or Page Rank.

They Say they will Only Submit to Do-Follow Sites

Even if they say they only submit to Do-Follow websites this usually won't help you any because unless a site puts No-Follow on outgoing links Google usually won't allow that page to gain any rank, but then the link won't pass any "link juice" etiher.

They Provide Mega Links - You Get a Mega Penalty:

They often guarrantee they follow Google's guidelines and at the same time promise to submit your site to hundreds or thousands of sites that they usually own, which makes the former statment an outright lie. Google keeps a record of how fast your backlinks are growing so if you suddenly gain hundreds or thousands of links it can throw up a red flag which means Google will take a closer look at your backlinks and this can likely cause your site to receive a manual penalty or an algorithm penalty from it's Penguin Algorithm or having your website being filtered out of existence in search results.

They Claim they have Thousands of Businesses Using their Service

However they often distort the truth. One link building business stated they had "100,000 +" links according to Yahoo Explorer, yet if you check it they actually only had 431 links. However if you checked Yahoo search engine for their business name (3 words) it does indeed show up 100,000 links, however, what most people don't even realize is that those are pages that have one or more of those words listed somewhere on the page, not necessarily all three words together in that exact order and often Google replaces synonyms for the words you specify anyway which further inflates the word count. (I didn't link to that site as I don't want to promote it in any way.)

They Claim They Can Get you High Quality Links

If you check the links to their website you may find that they don't have any High Quality links pointing at their own website. Most SEO explorer tools list the highest quality links first so that's easy to check out. If a site can't gain High Quality links for themselves, then it's not likely they can get it for you either.

Their Testimonials Lie

One testimonial on a link building site said they had been using the link building service for 4 years yet the domain was only 3 years old. Something wrong here! Another site had over 60 testimonials yet only a few of them were linked to websites so you can verify their claims and the ones that were linked weren't ranking above page 10 for their main keywords.

Disavowing Links

If you want to get rid of links that have harmed your site, Google set up a tool within Google Search Console whereby you can disavow your links. However Google ignores bad links anyway, so that is now a useless endeavor. So unless you can get those bad links removed by writing the site owner, there isn't much you need to do about it unless you get a manual penalty.

Summary: If a submission service lies as much as the samples above, do you want to trust them with your money? The best way to get good backlinks is to produce content that people will want to link to on their own. You can also link within the content of your own pages to other relevant pages.

Also see
Submission Scams
Search Engine Optimization Tips
and the Dangers of Article Submissions

Lori Eldridge
Copyright © July 7, 2010 - updated 11-04-20.
All Rights Reserved