Link building is a practical necessity if you want to increase your rankings in search engines. Google’s algorithms, like the algorithms of most search engines, evaluate the trustworthiness of your site based in part on the number and quality of links pointing to it. The more links you have, the more trustworthy those links are, and the more diverse those links are, the better you’ll be seen, and the more likely you’ll be to earn higher rankings.
However, link building is more complex than that, because Google has a strict policy against the use of link schemes—deliberate attempts to manipulate your rankings using low-quality, misleading, or otherwise unhelpful links. So how is the average search optimizer supposed to tell the difference between a link scheme and a quality link building service?
What Is a Link Scheme?
Google’s exact policy states: ”Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.” In other words, if the links are unnatural or intended solely to manipulate rankings, the strategies used to place or procure them are considered problematic, and may earn you a penalty.
Why Are Link Schemes Bad?
Link schemes are bad for everyone involved. They’re bad for web users because they typically spam low-quality links, which interfere with their ability to enjoy a positive online experience. They’re bad for link scheme practitioners because they’re typically more likely to earn you a penalty than a ranking increase. They’re also bad for Google because they make it harder to determine trustworthiness on an accurate basis.
Examples of Link Schemes
The terminology surrounding link schemes is somewhat vague, so it’s easier to understand what constitutes a link scheme by looking at examples.
How to Spot a Link Scheme
There are viable link building strategies designed to help you earn links over time in a natural way, and in a way that’s valuable to web users. These strategies are positive for the online community, and support readers, publishers, practitioners, and Google all at once.
So how can you tell the difference between these healthy, natural strategies and actual link schemes?
It’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between link schemes and valuable link building strategies. If you’re looking to learn more about earned links and content-heavy link building or white label SEO, contact us for a free analysis today!