Google has updated the link schemes web page that shows examples of backlinks that Google considers spam. New to the list are article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword rich anchor text links, advertorials that contain paid links, and links with optimized anchor text in press releases and articles.
There are more backlink types that might get your website in trouble. Here’s the list:
1. Google does not like paid links
Buying or selling links that pass PageRank can negatively impact your website’s ranking in search results. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a ‘free’ product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.
Do not buy or sell backlinks if you don’t want to risk your rankings.
2. Google does not like excessive link exchanges
Exchanging links with other websites is fine. Actually, it is normal for most websites. For example, websites about dolphin research can cross-link to all other websites about dolphin research without getting in trouble.
If the cross-linking looks unnatural (the dolphin research websites links to a shoe shop and vice versa), Google might think that you’re trying to build unnatural links.
Use common sense when exchanging links with other sites. As long as the link exchange makes sense for a human website visitor, everything is okay.
3. Google does not like large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns
It’s okay to publish your articles and guest posts on other websites as long as you don’t do it in bulk. If you do guest posts just to get keyword rich backlinks, your website might get penalized.
Only publish articles and guest posts on other websites if you really want to contribute a valuable article.
4. Google does not like automated programs or services that create backlinks to your site
You’ve probably seen the ads for tools and services that promise hundreds (if not thousands) of backlinks with very little work. These tools that help you to ‘dominate’ the search results are a sure way to get your website banned from Google.
Avoid tools and services that automatically build backlinks to your website. If you were able to find these services, Google’s spam team can find them, too.
5. Google does not like text ads that pass PageRank
If you run a text ad on another website, make sure that is uses the rel=nofollow attribute in the link. Otherwise, Google might think that it is a manipulative backlink.
6. Google does not like advertorials and ads that include links that pass PageRank
As are rule of thumb, always use links with the rel=nofollow attribute if you pay for an article or an ad. If the ad includes a paid link that passes PageRank, it might trigger a penalty.
7. Google does not like links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases
If your article contains paragraphs that look like the following, you might invite Google’s spam algorithm to take a closer look at your website:
“There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.”
8. Google does not like links from low quality directories or bookmark sites
If you’re submitting your website to hundreds of Internet directories that will never send you a single visitor, you don’t need to bother. These links won’t help your Google rankings.
If a directory sends your website visitors, it’s worth getting the link. You can ignore other directories.
9. Google does not like widely distributed links in the footers of various websites
Some websites put keyword rich links to other websites in their footers. These links are always paid links and you should not use them to promote your website.
10. Google does not like links that are embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites
Some widget developers offer free widgets that contain links to other websites: “Visitors to this page: 1,234 – buy wedding rings”
If a widget developers offers you to advertise your site through these widgets, make sure that the links use the nofollow attribute or do not use the links at all.
11. Google does not like forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature
Some tools automatically post comments in forums:
“That’s really great information! Thanks a lot!
buy wedding rings buy flowers best wedding”
Do not use this method to promote your website. Google does not like it. Avoid tools that automatically post your links to forums.