In the past there have been link building techniques which have worked insanely well for a time. Generally the only reason which they are no longer working is because someone abused them over and over and on a massive scale through automating tools. Google doesn’t like the idea of people gaming their system so they fight back by either nullifying the effects of that once effective link building technique or they’ll go one step further and derank or deindex your site. Let’s take a look at 4 bad link building techniques to avoid and why they no longer work well.
Bad Link Building
Link Exchanges – Many years ago when Google was still in its infancy, link exchanges were effectively used by two or more webmasters to improve their rankings. It was a win win for everyone involved but Google because there was no real value in those links. It’s ridiculously easy to detect a link exchange between sites, even the more complex ones involving multiple sites (see types of links), so don’t waste your time.
(Spammy) Blog Commenting – Blog commenting is a mixed bag which can go either way for you depending on how you use it. In the past you could leave blog comments on any blog and that would be a worthwhile link. In the wake of Penguin, it’s especially about quality over quantity, so getting a link from a blog which has been spammed to death is a waste of your time as Google largely ignores links from sites with lots and lots of outgoing links to the point where their link juice value is completely diminished. It’s still worth it if you use it correctly and stick to good blog comments, however, so check out how I get 200 daily UV through blog commenting.
Link Wheels – Link wheels (see what is a link wheel) involve Web 2.0 sites which link to one another and eventually to your main site/page which you want to rank. The problem is that generally the footprint is easy enough to pick up by Google and because there’s no real value there, they don’t like it. Additionally webmasters tend to over optimize when it comes to link wheels (and so many other forms of SEO/link building) which further damaged their influence following Penguin.
(Public) Blog Networks – Blog networks worked very well for a time. This is where you were generally paying someone to create links on the sites in their massive and sprawling blog networks back to your site. I made it a point to say PUBLIC blog networks because blog networks can work if they are truly private. I’m not referring to networks which recently got targeted specifically by Penguin and bombed such as Build My Rank. Any blog network which you don’t own every site personally is not private and that goes double for sites which allow anyone to pay to get their content on/links from sites in a blog network.
If you’re going to go the private blog network route, make sure it’s truly private and refer to my post on how to get the most out of private blog networks.
This brings us more or less up to date with bad link building techniques until something new hits the SEO scene and works for awhile until someone abuses it. Note that a lot of these techniques can still work in one way or another so long as you don’t abuse them and use them judiciously.