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Link Building That Google Calls Link Manipulation

9 Ways of Link Building That Google Calls Link Manipulation

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), experts always recommend good link-building. But what is link building, and how does it work?

So, it means getting and creating backlinks to your website from other websites. These links tell Google and other search engines that your site is important enough for other websites to visit. As a result, it increases your website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

However, there are two ways to create this link for your site. One is white-hat tactics, which are ethical and follow all the rules. The other is black-hat tactics, which include manipulating the system through purchasing links or creating link farms. Google penalizes these activities harshly. 

This article will explore 9 ways of Link Building That Google Calls Link Manipulation focusing on avoiding practices to maintain a healthy and ethical SEO strategy. Understanding and avoiding these tactics is crucial for long-term SEO success.

Link Building Fundamentals

Before we continue our discussion, we must learn the basics of link building. Optimizing WordPress for SEO always results in higher organic traffic to the website. So, understanding these link-building fundamentals will enable you to distinguish between “good” and “bad” links in Google’s eyes and also clarify why link-building is crucial for SEO.

I. What Google Considers a “Good” Link:

Google evaluates each link connected to your website to check its relevance and authenticity. So, here are some major key characteristics that Google defines as a “good” link.

a. Relevance to the content

It is essential to ensure that the links in your content are relevant so that users can find the most helpful information. For instance, if your content is about electric cars such as Tesla, your links should also be related to electric vehicles and not unrelated topics such as water jets.

b. Authority of the linking site

You should ensure that your content links to a reputable site, adding value to your website through high-quality content and a strong reputation.

c. Natural placement within the content

When inserting a link into your content, ensure it fits naturally. Avoid forcing it by creating irrelevant content. For instance, if you’re writing a travel article, don’t talk about Generative AI just to get a link from a related website.

d. Diverse anchor text

Remember to use different and appropriate anchor text for hyperlinks to prevent over-optimization with exact-match keywords.

II. Why Link Building is Crucial:

Link building is essential for the success of any SEO strategy, and it is crucial for both website owners and SEO practitioners.

a. Enhances website ranking and authority

Quality backlinks are important for search engine rankings, as they define site authority and relevancy. The more good backlinks you can use in your website the more it will rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

b. Drives targeted traffic

Links from relevant, high-traffic websites can generate effective, targeted traffic to your site, expanding your audience and potential customer base.

c. Boosts brand visibility

Being linked by reputed sites can improve your brand’s visibility and credibility, positioning your website as a trusted resource in your industry and attracting more users and potential customers.

Ways of Link Building That Google Calls Link Manipulation

In the quest for higher search rankings, some website owners and SEOs resort to manipulative tactics to acquire backlinks. However, Google’s algorithms are constantly developing to detect and penalize such practices.

1. Paid Links

Exchanging money, goods, or services for links to manipulate rankings violates Google’s guidelines by artificially inflating a website’s authority. Sites engaging in paid links can face ranking drops, manual penalties, or removal from search results.

2. Link Exchanges

Reciprocal agreements between websites to link to each other. While not always harmful, excessive or low-quality link exchanges can be seen as manipulative. Participating in link schemes can negatively impact a website’s reputation and search ranking.

3. Excessive Guest Posting

Contributing articles to other websites as a guest post, often with a backlink to the author’s site, should focus on providing value to readers. It’s essential to use natural anchor text and choose reputable sites. This should not be done solely for link acquisition, using keyword-stuffed anchor text, or publishing on irrelevant sites.

4. Automated Link Building

Using software to automatically create backlinks, often through comment spam or low-quality directories, automated comment tools, link directory submissions, and some private blog networks. This can lead to acquiring spammy, low-quality links that can harm a website’s SEO.

5. Spammy Comments and Forum Links

Leaving comments on blogs or forums solely to include a link to one’s website devalues the links from spam comments and forums, as they often lack relevance and value. Engaging genuinely in discussions is essential and only includes a link when it adds value.

6. Private Blog Networks (PBNs)

PBNs are networks of interconnected websites built specifically to transfer link authority to a target site. They utilize expired or auctioned domains with established authority to generate backlinks. Google actively identifies and penalizes PBNs, resulting in ranking decreases or removal from search results.

7. Using Link Farms

Link farms are groups of websites created solely to link to each other and other sites and manipulate rankings. They are often low-quality, with little original content and irrelevant links. Google devalues links from link farms, harming a website’s SEO.

8. Cloaking Links

Cloaking is showing different content or URLs to users and search engines. Google penalizes cloaking because it deceives users and search engines using server-side scripts, user-agent detection, or JavaScript.

9. Hidden Links

Hidden links are links that are not visible to users but are visible to search engines. Techniques for hiding links include using CSS to hide text, embedding links in tiny text, or using the same color for text and background. It’s important to note that Google’s algorithms can detect hidden links and penalize websites that use them.

Ethical Link Building: A Sustainable Approach to SEO

Building links ethically to avoid penalties and maintain a positive reputation is essential. Here’s an overview of white-hat link-building techniques that prioritize quality and sustainability:

A. Prioritize High-Quality Content:

Create high-quality content for ethical link-building. Craft engaging pieces that naturally attract and promote backlinks across platforms to gain valuable links.

I. Craft Compelling Content

Create informative, engaging, and original content that naturally attracts backlinks from others who find it valuable and worth sharing.

II. Diversify Content Formats

Use a variety of content formats, such as blog posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, and whitepapers, to expand your reach and appeal to a broader audience.

III. Actively Promote Your Content

Share your content across social media platforms, relevant online communities, and industry forums to maximize its visibility and increase the likelihood of attracting backlinks.

B. Employ Effective Link-Building Strategies:

Strategic link-building is essential to boost your website’s authority by securing valuable links from reputable sources.

I. Guest Posting

Offer to write valuable guest posts for reputable websites in your niche. This allows you to showcase your expertise, gain exposure, and earn a backlink to your website.

II. Broken Link Building

Identify broken links on relevant websites and suggest your content as a replacement. This is a win-win scenario: You help website owners fix a problem while also gaining a valuable backlink.

III. Resource Page Link Building

Find resource pages within your industry and contact website owners, suggesting that they include your high-quality, relevant content as a valuable addition to their resources.

IV. Unlinked Brand Mentions

Monitor online mentions of your brand or content without accompanying backlinks. Contact the respective website owners and politely request a backlink to your site.

V. Skyscraper Technique

Identify popular content within your niche and create a more comprehensive, updated, and valuable version. Then, reach out to websites linking to the original content and suggest your improved resource as a better alternative.

C. Nurture Relationships:

Building authentic relationships in your industry is crucial for organic link-building. Connecting with influencers, bloggers, and website owners creates a network of mutual support and opportunities that can lead to valuable backlinks.

I. Networking

Build genuine relationships with influencers, bloggers, and website owners in your industry. Engage with their content, share their work, and offer support and collaboration opportunities.

II. Collaboration

Partner with others in your field to co-create content, host webinars, or work on joint projects. This expands your reach, exposes you to new audiences, and leads to backlink opportunities.

Final Note

You can constantly improve your website’s authority and search rankings by prioritizing ethical link-building practices and creating valuable content. Remember, Google rewards genuine effort and penalizes manipulative tactics. Adhering to their guidelines ensures long-term SEO success and builds a strong foundation for your online presence. Choose the path of ethical link building and watch your website flourish organically.

Do you have any questions about link building that Google calls link manipulation, or want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment, and we’ll respond as soon as we can!

Written by

AKM Aminul Islam

AKM isn't your average suit. He's a growth architect, building businesses with the power of impactful marketing and tech content. But his adventures extend beyond the digital realm. When he's not unlocking the secrets of marketing, he's unlocking the world. A passport filled with stamps and a bookshelf overflowing with tales - that's AKM.

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