Here’s three sure fire ways to identify if the services you’re paying for are questionable or even worse, low quality. These are the type of activities that are the digital equivalent to spinning your tires in the mud; it’ll just make a lot of noise and create a huge mess when it’s all over.
1. Buying links from high Page Rank (PR) pages: This is an old technique that worked really well — a couple of years ago. High ranking pages with a strong Page Rank (say, a PR7 or PR8) would sell links to any marketer who could pony up the monthly expense. These pages don’t offer much value and the links certainly don’t offer much with regards to relevancy. Google’s Penguin update was specifically designed to sniff out these type of pages, devalue the neighborhood and dilute the value of the link juice being passed along to your website. Save your money.
Paid links can damage your website’s rankings. Don’t buy links from these low quality, irrelevant sites — and make sure your search provider isn’t trying to slide these into your off-page search strategy as a “needed element.”
2. Joining a backlink network: These private networks have also been discovered by the latest Google algorithm updates. These link platforms are a direct violation of Google’s Terms of Service (TOS) and can eventually cause your website to be down ranked or even de-listed if the infraction is severe enough. Google has penalized several major link networks within the past year.
3. Automated backlink submissions from blogs, forums and social media sites: There are plenty of search engine optimization software programs available today that will automate your linking efforts at the click of a button. You don’t want to do this anymore. Google recognizes when a website’s backlink count suddenly jumps by 10,000+ links in just a couple of weeks. This is not organic link building — its automated and it isn’t a good thing anymore. The quantity of links needs to grow organically and the quality is a key element as well. No fake accounts, no spam activity and it must be high quality — Google wants this to be as real as possible to provide the true social signals necessary to prove that the linked content isn’t just link spam.
Be careful of what your search provider is doing to “help” your search efforts. The most effective solution has always been, and still is today, simply creating excellent content. This content will help your website be found more often in the search results and it’ll create more opportunities for social sharing as well.
Read the entire article by DSNews.