Gaining inbound links can’t hurt right ? Wrong

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I previously read a good post of Andy Hagans in the LinkBuildingBlog.

I want to come back to what he wrote on and support his story.

In today’s Google agorithm, a lot of links gained in a short period of time is like a death trap. Google’s filters on gaining links (in a short period of time too) was a pretty mild one in the past, but now it’s a killer.

Take a look at the Information retrieval based on historical data patent filled by Google in March 2005:

[0039] Consider the example of a document with an inception date of yesterday that is referenced by 10 back links. This document may be scored higher by search engine 125 than a document with an inception date of 10 years ago that is referenced by 100 back links because the rate of link growth for the former is relatively higher than the latter. While a spiky rate of growth in the number of back links may be a factor used by search engine 125 to score documents, it may also signal an attempt to spam search engine 125. Accordingly, in this situation, search engine 125 may actually lower the score of a document(s) to reduce the effect of spamming.

Google must really enforce this particular filter/penalization in 2006 much more than he did in the past. It’s only natural. Google doesn’t like SEOers and with the recent Adwords landing page filters and other critical changes to prevent fraud and SERP cheating, I think it will only get much harder (to rank easily).

I used to have about 10.000 referers per month from Google, 1-2 months ago. No I have about 50 per month. Because I gained tens of thousands of links towards my site for a Shomoney contest, in the past, from the Digitalpoint Co-op and hundreds of other websites.

I’m not talking about gaining a high number of links only in a short period of time, but in longer periods too.

You first launch your website right ? Go ahead and submit that website to some directories (no more than 5-10 directories per day. Here are some web directory lists.

After that, my advice is to stick on gaining unique, natural, quality links from established websites, even if they come one per month. I have websites that gained 1-2 links per month, from quality websites (like TechCrunch and others) and who amazingly ranked very high from week 1, never entered the sandbox, and today after 1 year, are on the very top of their niche, in the SERPS, altough they have only a few dozen/hundred incoming links (but from medium to high important websites).

Based on what Andy said, I can tell you that I would take (any day) 40 IBLs from quality websites (I am not talking about Pagerank here; by quality websites I mean Trustrank), rather than 10.000 IBLs from low quality sources any day.

As I said before, site-wide links are also a very bad thing. Don’t do site-wides. Refuse them.

In the past I also wrote some tips on links building. Go ahead and read some.

The best marketed websites are the ones who gain natural links, trough the quality of the content, viral campaigns and so on.

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13 Comments so far

weasel said:
July 25th, 2006

So basically what you are saying is that if you don’t like somebody (especially the competition), you can link to them from all your sites (the more the better hehe) using sidewide links and they will be counted by Google as this “death trap”? :)

It’s pretty stupid, because most of the times you have absolutely no control about what people and what websites are linking to you, and as I said before, if somebody wants to hurt you using this technique, they can…

Mike said:
July 25th, 2006

I totally agree that inbound links can hurt you. It seems to be a percentage game with Google. If you get a high percentage of your inbound links from bad sources, they figure that you’re one of the many spammers.

Janos said:
July 25th, 2006

Yep, it’s the exact same question I’ve been asking Cristian on my blog. However, it was left unanswered…

July 25th, 2006

You could hurt your competition if you do all the right things, in the right order.

July 25th, 2006

Ok. I always tend to think like you. BUT. Do you have an explanation for this:

query: party wigs
links: 55.000 (Yahoo site explorer number)

Most of them site wide and bought links.

July 25th, 2006

Maybe the Suntimes links help with the Trustrank ?

I looked over the linkdomain links in Yahoo. Actually it’s not most of them that are site-wide. It’s just some of them.

It’s in DMOZ, and it’s 5 years old. You remember the age modifier right ?

July 25th, 2006

Yeah :) I know they buy site wide because they bought here:
So…summing it. Old domain(easy to buy one), dmoz listing(realtively easy to get one) free to buy site wide. Sweet.

July 25th, 2006

Maybe they bought in some websites only. but the most of their links are unique and spread out on low to medium quality websites.

FYI, I think that Suntimes link helps a lot..

July 25th, 2006

I got your point and as i stated in the first comment I tend to agree with you but there are always exceptions and sleezy backdoors.

Kraloyun said:
May 11th, 2007

I think there are facts to be taken differently, I believe the amount of inbound links per month highly depends on a websites’ age, domain age, alexa traffic, and keywords.

September 27th, 2007

That’s very good post and good idea. I did the same mistake when I started my latest web site and it’s rankings went down by hundreds of positions. However, 4 months later everything returned to normal.

BTW, sitewide links aren’t hurting my rankings. But of course, I use such links on my sites only and am not buying them.

November 1st, 2007

Interesting post. i enjoyed reading it. your advice to develop effective links are found to be good, let me try it to get listed in top search engine. Thanks for your list of directories.

engrmizan said:
February 1st, 2008

yeap. I always tend to think like you.

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