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From the top of Google to a black hole – the dangers of poor link building

by Gary on August 6, 2012 · 1 comment

in Link Strategies

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What are poor quality links?

Poor quality link building, also known as black hat SEO, involves numerous forms of spamming and is designed to artificially inflate a website’s search engine rankings. White hate SEO, on the other hand, focuses on more relevant and authoritative link building by building relationships with clients.

What does poor quality link building involve?

  • Spam forum posting
  • Excessive keyword use (a common theme in the early days of SEO but now considered spam)
  • Fake websites and profiles
  • Excessive submissions to directories

These methods can sometimes give companies a ‘fast-track’ boost to the top of Google temporarily, however, they are very risky and unethical.  Certain SEO agencies use these methods to make a quick profit before moving on to apply their deceptive tactics to new customers.

The dangers of poor quality links – a company out of business

Below is a real example of how businesses can be plunged into ‘nowhere land’ because of poor link building practices.

The Children’s Furniture Company, a small UK business specialising in children’s bedroom furniture, recently plunged into ‘nowhere land’ after Google initiated its Penguin update in April 2012. Google now considered this website’s external links as ‘web-spam’, demoting the company out of Google’s directory and making it completely invisible in the online search engine.

This small family businesses invested in an SEO company to build external links to its website to help it achieve a higher ranking in Google. While the company did enjoy some early dominance in the search engine, it was simply too good to be true.

The Children’s Furniture Company ceased trading after it was unable to take off the original links from its website or afford to ‘reproduce’ its external links from scratch. The agency used unethical and dangerous SEO tactics designed to manipulate Google before the search engine later penalised the website’s SEO later on.

The real lesson to be learned in this disastrous situation is that excessive spam links, while being a quick and easy method to artificially increase a domain’s ranking, are not a natural or a sustainable way to maintain your online visibility.

What kind of link building should have been done in this situation?

First of all, it should be stressed that external link building takes a long time and requires far more effort than it did in the past (when black had SEO tactics were often tolerated) .

SEO agencies must create useful, informative links that link the customer and the business in a natural way. What this mean is that link building has to be more than a just commercial objective; it must build a sustainable, mutual relationship between two websites through shared interests. Blogging, for example, creates a platform for businesses to express their ideas and solutions, prompting the user to visit their website if they have a genuine interest or desire to explore the product or service.

Examples of some of the methods SEO agencies use for good link building

  • Writing inspiring content – Building an excellent reputation for your brand requires great content. Compelling words, fascinating facts and invaluable information attract interest – attract traffic – attract potential customers
  • Associate with the right people – linking with other experts in your field associates you with other reputable businesses.
  • Monitoring and improvising – SEO agencies can keep track of your traffic and which sources generate the most valuable links to your website. They can assess which methods are most effective and which areas could be improved.

Good links build long term rewards

It is unfortunate that the agency delivering the SEO campaign for The Children’s Furniture Company deliberately refused to follow any of these methods. Responsible SEO agencies that take an ethical view of their services know the real value of good link building tactics and the costly price of useless spam.


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