I never thought I’d be writing another post about paid links, especially in 2011. Talk about beating a dead horse, resurrecting it and then beating it to death again. You can find our team helping people for free on Google’s Webmaster Central, and it is the reason I’ve decided to blab on the topic. Almost on a daily basis we’re answering topics where the webmaster either has no idea that buying links are a no-no, or they’re not checking who they’re hiring. I could have stated a third option, but I just cannot imagine people are dumb enough to buy the kind of paid links we’re seeing. I’m talking the usual lame blog with dozens of unrelated anchor text links all over the place..footer, blogroll and in-content text ads. A blog about potty training doing a post on car insurance…as Gob from Arrested Development would say, “Come On!”
The latest thread I posted on was from a printing company in the UK. They made a post stating that they’ve lost most of their traffic over night. Imagine that folks. How would you feel if you had to come back tomorrow morning and tell your staff that business is going to get really rough. It would be even worse if you had to start laying off workers because of the massive monetary hit your company is about to take. Don’t let this be you folks, as well let this be a lesson to not keep all your eggs in one basket. Google is a volatile lover, and that’s why our company builds relationships on line…not just links.
If you’ve hired a link building consultant in the past year and haven’t bothered to look deep into the links you’re getting, do so right now! If you’re seeing a whole lot of lousy links then you need to jump on that asap. You wouldn’t believe the amount of potential clients that come to us in major trouble from past people hired. They were either burned hard and lost most of their business, or they were teetering on the edge of getting caught.
In this day and age, if your top anchor text count is for a specific search term you’re targeting and not your company/brand name, then I’d be a little worried. Google has been cracking down more and more, and they’ve even stated recently that major changes are coming to the way they view links. No one really knows what that entails, but I can imagine they’ll start looking closer into “natural” link profiles. A common factor in the clients we help get out of a penalty is the fact that their top 10 used anchor texts were obvious links to game the system.
If you’re going to still buy links against the advice of the Google gods, then at least do it smart. Link networks are always lousy and obvious, links from unrelated sites are obvious, and links in the sidebar or footer are just plain silly…I’m getting tired of cleaning up paid links for people!