There has been a lot of talk lately about companies offering content for links and there are people on all sides of the fence, including myself. I just read an excellent article by Linktank(must read blog btw) entitled The Content For Links Debate, and I completely agree with what he has to say in regards to going about this tactic. A lot of the chatter has been revolving around the Go Compare fiasco which has seen them up and down in Google.
If you haven’t heard about it, then let me fill you in quickly. They were basically sending out mass emails saying they’ll write content for your site and include one simple link back to their website. This method can work out great but I can see how a lot of people didn’t like the way they went about things. Mass emailing a template to webmaster’s is not a great way of doing things. I however think that this is a great method of link building if done properly, and by properly I mean getting personal in each and every email. I also read that they were offering around 400 word articles as content, and to me this doesn’t come close to cutting it. If you’re wanting that link from the other site you’d best be writing at least 2000 words on something new and fresh, not rehashed. Spend the time doing the social media marketing to attract links to that content, which will in return pass on quality link juice.
Now it isn’t clear that they(Go Compare) received a penalty mainly because they bounced back quickly. If you’ve done link building in a tough niche you’ll know that your rankings will fluctuate all over the place. You also don’t want to be too aggressive going after one keyword because that’s going to get you notice and slapped.
I could go on and on about this subject but i’ll let you folks write me some comments with your thoughts. I’m also going to link to a bunch of great posts already talking about what I’ve covered here and then some. It’s a touchy subject, and link building is a mine field of an industry so it’s fun(hard?) to keep up on things.
How to Determine a Search Engine Penalty – Jonathan Stewart
Go Compare Penalized Again – Patrick Altoft
The Content For Links Debate – Linktank
Content For Links – Kieron Donoghue
Link Building In Ultra Competitive Niches – Red Cardinal