After a slew of Google updates that made some search engine optimizers pull their hair out, Google is more than ever focused on quality incoming links. With recent updates and refreshes, Google is targeting those websites that have SPAMMED their way to the top.
While Blackhat SEO techniques used to be popular because they had the ability to work well for a period of time, Google’s recent updates assured all that they WILL catch up with the SPAMMERS eventually. Unfortunately for those that took the easy route, regaining what you’ve lost can be more difficult than you imagine and can present a whole new headache.
At times, we see clients that are oblivious to the fact that what they’re doing is SPAM. Proud of their quick rise to the top of the SERPs, reality hits hard when they fall and are unable to pick up the pieces. Just in case you were misinformed, I’m begging you, to STOP doing the following:
Comment Spamming – These links don’t count nearly as much. On top of the page location being unfavorable, Google specifically does not appreciate a mass of links coming in from comments sections. Please stop doing it.
Forum Spamming – Forums hate this. People hate this too. While for many, this has moved from Forums to social sites like Reddit, it’s pretty obvious when you’re genuinely providing a link to make or enhance a point in the course of a discussion versus having 20 links in every post you make. This is an easy one. Stop doing it.
Pop up Sites – Creating pop up WordPress blogs to link back to your site is something we’ve seen a lot of. Even if you did do this (and you shouldn’t have) you should have stopped these years ago. Pop up websites that show no domain history, no optimization, traffic, keywords, etc are not good to your site. Putting up a website that will never be touched again simply for the purpose of gaining a back-link not only doesn’t work well, but is more trouble than just gaining an honest back-link.
Paid Placements – I recently ran into a terrible example of this when dealing with a client. A past company had spammed a short tail, non-targeted keyword on domains all across the world, in every language humanly possible. This link was on blog-rolls and footers from Scandinavia to China. While they previously ranked on Page 1 for this term, the updates hit them off the top 20 pages instantly. I don’t care who told you this was a good idea. It’s not. Stop doing it.
This had happened with two websites for said client (two different keywords). To combat this, we first tried to build our way out of it. We felt that if we had enough high quality links and great content, it would cancel out all the bad links. This was a slow process but did in fact work very well. Within 3 months, they had recovered from the harmful old links and we saw traffic pick up to pre-update levels.
However on the second site, there was just too many to take on. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t build our way out of it. We knew what we had to do (from the start really) We had to sort through tens of thousands of bad links and email each of them requesting their removal. Not a fun process by any means, but highly effective. Shaping years of spam into a natural-looking link building portfolio can take up a lot of contracted time, however – it’s totally worth it.