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Link Development Forum

This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 ( [1] 2 > >     
Link building no longer possible.

 8:56 am on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

As far as I see it there is no possible way to link build, especially a site that has once been penalised with unnatural links.

If you do still, then where from?



 12:31 pm on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

If you have no natural links, it means you have not created content people want to link to, or else it means that people who might link to your site have not seen it. A site that has been penalized could be seen as less attractive to link to, but great content can rebuild interest.

Work on offering good, unique and useful content and at the same time look around for sites whose visitors might find your content interesting and see if the site wants to share your work. Not magic, not overnight, but that's a doable plan. One good link at a time.


 12:43 pm on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

not2easy has defined step one for building links. Step two involves forgetting what you think you know about link building because if you got penalized there were things you missed, your understanding of the process was incomplete. No shame in that. It happened to many. They didn't anticipate how standard SEO practice could be turned into a fingerprint for identifying what is manipulated.

There are still many ways forward.


 1:36 pm on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

I maybe did not make it clear, even the best of sites inc some massive companies BMW, BBC to name just a couple have gone out and broke "google law". Many got penalised some did not.

Any website that has been successful at some point has gone out and "bought", "gamed" or "exchanged" links.

So when I say link building this does not mean simply having a very good website with very good content where people will naturally link to you. But even that can now get Google to look sideways at you, now they made it possible for negative SEO. That's just having a good site.

I am talking about link building, what 90% of web designers for 20 years have been doing and SEO co's charging for, till Google turned that world upside down.

Bar just creating a good website, I get the feeling unless you have nothing to loose you dare not make a move to getting links. Links from blogs, forums, small websites, directories, article websites all now considered spammy activity from Google. Not only that watch your back as your competitors maybe negatively linking to you, so keep a lookout.

So after all that, is anyone out there not just keeping their head down.?


@martinibuster sites got penalised because Google changed the rules, for years links they considered poor, were just that...poor, not used to kill a business off.


 3:45 pm on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

I am talking about link building, what 90% of web designers for 20 years have been doing and SEO co's charging for, till Google turned that world upside down.

Then I must be in the 10% that never went down that road. Read this forum and you'll see I never advocated reciprocal linking, obtaining links from directories, exact anchor text jamming, requesting anchor text in content, infographics, viral link strategies, buying links from established link networks- none of that, ever. That's because I didn't judge tactics by whether they worked or not. Just because those tactics work doesn't mean they're ok or won't get penalized. That is what I meant when I advised you to forget what you think you know about link building because it's clearly not correct if it caused your site to receive a penalty. I also said that your link building knowledge is incomplete. If you feel that link building is no longer possible, one, your concept of link building is incorrect and two you need to learn what link building is.

@martinibuster sites got penalised because Google changed the rules, for years links they considered poor, were just that...poor, not used to kill a business off.

No, the rules did not change. The rules have remained the same. The rules are, don't try to influence the algorithm. Anchor text in content = blatant attempt to artificially rank. That's what EVERYONE said to do. But it was always the wrong thing to do. What happened is Google stopped people getting away it. What killed the businesses wasn't Google. It was greed and/ignorance on the part of the SEO agencies that did this to their clients and greed/ignorance on the part of the businesses that spammed.

Here is a post I did on SEW [forums.searchenginewatch.com]ten years ago where I talk about things like statistical analysis of backlinks, things SEOs still don't fully grasp, as evidenced by your post. I don't mean this as a bad way. Many folks still don't get it. And you have a right to be startled by recent developments because you simply learned the wrong things about links.

I think Google does use neighborhoods but in a different way than Teoma. The neighborhoods show up when doing statistical analyses of backlinks to see what is normal and not. The Google statisticians were the ones talking to me about links at the recent New Orleans search conference, and who showed up at the presentation I gave about links.

MSN checks on the quality of backlinks. At the New Orleans search conference they had several search engineers working their booth (some people thought they were merely pretty faces and avoided them- I almost did). One of my questions was how come I don't get crawled from certain directories by MSN? The short answer was that it was a quality issue.

Some of the Google engineers attending the New Orleans search conference were statisticians. The Google chap who attended my Link Dev presentation was one of those. We chatted about the link between statistics and link dev, and it was basically looking at patterns that arise that are then analyzed to find what is normal and what is abnormal.

You know what? There is MORE information about links that you don't know about, how they catch you. Many aren't aware of these things because it isn't properly understood, so much less discussed. There is MORE information about how to proceed. NotSoEasy has given you some points and so have I. Sorry if I do not make it explicit on how to proceed but you know what? I've spent a over decade helping folks launch their SEO careers, watching some of what I have posted make into books about SEO being sold on Amazon and so on. A path to unlearning what you think you know and learning a deeper level of stategy is all in here in the link building forum [webmasterworld.com]. I'm not going to write it all over again. There's literally a wealth of information here. ;)

[edited by: martinibuster at 4:27 pm (utc) on Jun 10, 2014]


 4:02 pm on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Any website that has been successful at some point has gone out and "bought", "gamed" or "exchanged" links.

Sorry, but I have to disagree. On my first major site, I never bought or gamed links. In the early days (by this I mean before people focused on links for Google's algo), I responded positively to a few (maybe half a dozen) link exchange requests, but only when the other site was relevant and I would have linked to them anyway. I rarely requested links (maybe a dozen all told).

The site became successful and garnered a lot of links from other sites because it had good, original content.


 4:59 pm on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Building a good website with good content seems to be the only suggestions so far.
You can be pretty certain the SEO business has not been built on "sit back and just build it and they will come". No one would invest in such a bussiness plan. (ebay, facebook etc etc) in the early days most likely used ANY means possible to succeed.


"Sorry, but I have to disagree."

"I responded positively to a few (maybe half a dozen) link exchange requests, but only when the other site was relevant and I would have linked to them anyway."



I am not looking for an argument, nor hearing about how fantastic you are, I am sure your wonderful. But I spent the last 20 years in the internet business, not posting 13320 posts in a forum.

I do not pretend to know everything nay anything when it comes to Google's very closely guarded patented secrets. To pretend to would be stupid.

There was, until the last 2 years a very massive link exchanging business going on in EVERY avenue on the internet. Links are still regarded as an important factor so I am still asking, what are people doing now?


 5:10 pm on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've spent the same years in it, too. Make no mistake, I build and monetize my own sites as well. ;)


 5:20 pm on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Any website that has been successful at some point has gone out and "bought", "gamed" or "exchanged" links.

That's not true. There are ways to get a site known without buying or exchanging links or gaming the system. The "secret" is to know your audience, and deliver what they want to find on your site.

Another "secret" is that building a successful website may involve spending some money on advertising. You have to know your numbers and make the advertising pay off by wowing the customer, so they return to the website to buy again and again and refer their friends to your website, too.


 5:51 pm on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

because it had good, original content

And how did people find out about sites with "good, original content" in the days before search engines and social media?

Anyone whose memory goes back 15 or more years remembers when you grabbed at any webring, because it was a way for humans to find you. If site A is interesting, then maybe I'll find something worthwhile on site B which overlaps it in some way. Forums signature? Hell, yes. If people are interested in widgets, they might like my widget-oriented site.

Watch. Next week the search engines will decide that any mention of your site in social media is spam.


 8:43 am on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

You'll know that we are in trouble when G decides that an ad in any network except Adwords is spam!


 10:24 am on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

People are now frightened to get a link from anywhere for fear it will cause a catastrophic negative effect. The internet was built on links, Google now thinks IT is the internet.

"You'll know that we are in trouble when G decides that an ad in any network except Adwords is spam!"

I think this is the sad future of Google, if you want a stable base for your business you can use our Pay per click. Or you can try and survive in the nonsensical washing machine we call SERP.

Sad thing is the majority of "consumers" will be not only happy with this, but unaware they are finding what G wants them to so G makes the most money, and not whats best.


 11:18 am on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

This is the link building forum [webmasterworld.com], a forum for discussing the building of links. The topic of Google destroying the Internet is off topic. :P Please stick to the topic of building links. Thanks. :)


 11:55 am on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

A fear of link building, or a fear of upsetting Google is not the approach to take.

It should be thought of as link development, imho.

Link development is just different from the link exchange model that many had gotten used to.

There are many different ways of developing links, and that's what we should discuss.

Firstly, and most importantly, focus on the site and make sure it's got great content. People will naturally link if it has, and you don't have to even think about asking for links.


 7:30 am on Jun 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

To recap the only advice so far;

Build a good site with good interesting content and people will link to it.

So just as the title suggests it seems "Link building no longer possible."

If someone is doing anything other than just building the best website in the world, as we are all doing that anyway, aren't we!

Please do share what you are doing.


 1:53 pm on Jun 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

martinibuster has given you some great advice in this thread. Have you read through some of the post in the link building forum? MB has been giving away great link building tips for years.

You do need to build a great site and then you need to back it up with great marketing.

A few tips/questions that you can take or leave...
Do you create valuable content that people may link to?
Do you offer great deals or services?
Do you give away things?
Does your site offer anything unique?
Do you contact editors of blogs and online magazines about unique aspects of your site?
Do you do any offline advertising?


 5:01 am on Jun 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

I can only echo the advice to read through the forum library. Do this properly. Set 2 or 3 days aside, make notes on the different topics and angles. It's all there, and some threads are almost step by step tutorials because of the case studies people have posted. Others have comments that set off a lightbulb in your head.

You're still talking about METHOD (you want a list of what to do), but it's the CONCEPT that you need to understand. Sorry if this sounds like a kung fu movie :)

The sort of link building methods you've talked about are the 'low hanging fruit' - the easy stuff, the stuff most directly under your control.

That can still work for less competitive queries, but it's basically one step up from factory SEO, and increasingly seen as abusive by Google.

You need to think along different lines. Once you understand the principles, and have seen some examples of how to apply these, then you can come up with some angles that will work for your site and your niche.

I'm far from an expert in this, and my knowledge and practice is limited, but others that have posted here in the past (not so frequently now) ARE experts, and applying the principles I've learnt here from them has worked for me.

Get reading.


 7:28 am on Jun 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Method or Concept, natural or bought, exchanged or just given. Yes all good advice and yes I get that links are acquired in many many ways, some subtle and some door banging.

However! No matter how the link is acquired Google is viewing links with the notion to penalise you.

Google is not giving away any REAL ideas as to what links will hurt you and what will help you.

I know they don't like blogs, article sites, forums, directories as I have seen many BIG websites slapped by Google, I will add not for my doing. So when websites have been penalised catastrophically for these links which have been the bedrock of the internet, where is it safe?

Regardless of how a link is acquired, what website will you be happy for your websites "follow" link to be on? And then is it to be with anchor text, just image, just image with no alt.

The web writers world will also be split in opinion, those that have not yet had a website penalised for links and those that have.
Those who have peoples wages depending on Google and those that do not.


 11:30 am on Jun 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google is

Google is not

slapped by Google

depending on Google

This is the link building forum [webmasterworld.com], a forum for discussing the building of links. The topic of Google destroying the Internet is off topic. :P In the future, please stick to the topic of link building. If you want to discuss Google do it in the Google forum.

I don't want to lock this discussion, so please be mindful of this.
Thanks in advance for your understanding.



 2:19 pm on Jun 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Networking still works.

I just attended a 2 day conference (I presented and exhibited). The moderator did a conference wrapup on a business magazine website and dropped me a link from within that article, mostly because he liked what I had to say.

There were two large businesses there, of the size that 'do not ever give links to others, particularly not frontline retailers such as myself'. Like, would fannie mae give a link to a mortgage broker? No way. But I found two of them that were looking for seed content. I agreed to write a small number of seo-friendly articles. One of those articles will have a link to me, as a bio. Link, and whatever kind of authority signal Google chooses to use.

Networking. Still works. You just gotta ask.


 1:30 pm on Jun 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

Bar Wheel who sounds like hes got a link by offering to write an article for someone. Ok so how do you know if Google is going to like those or not? Fact is you don't, know one does, but you have considered that this link is good. Great then the only way this is going to help anyone else regain confidence is by seeing your site and seeing where this link is to it. So we can see what you think is ok, then also we need to know if your website supports the wages of real people as if your site is just a toy as this governs how much your willing to risk.

Can we not come back something simple or specific about this very important subject;

1 "I got my link here, on this website, in the last 6 months, look there it is so you can see it with your own eyes"
2 "I got my link by doing this xyz"
3 "my site is this old"
4 "I have this many people relying on this website to feed their families"
5 "my site has been penalised/not penalised"


Is it possible to talk about links without mentioning Google? so what if;

Google is
Google is not
slapped by Google
depending on Google

I posted here as I thought I might get some idea of what other people in my position are now doing. You know, web business owners that have people working for them, who for 7 years has kept their website very clean, unique, bespoke designed with the user, not Google in mind, rich in content with many natural links to it from ebay and many forums, blogs as a source of reference. Not used any of "black hat" ways I have been round the block and from day one did not want the site to be penalised, for anything.

I can tell you from my end, after 5 times deleting links and submitting reconsideration requests. I deleted links from directories, blogs, article sites, erroneous websites, very relevant websites, forums and used the disavow tool before Google lifted this penalty. So I can only tell you with 100% that links from these type of websites can get you penalised, no matter how you acquire them. The BBC got penalised!?


Is anyone out there still getting links they are happy with, please do us all a favour and answer the 5 question please.


 9:43 pm on Jun 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

>>Bar Wheel who sounds like hes got a link by offering to write an article for someone.
Is that what it sounds like?

I got a link from two companies of similiar size to fannie mae. I got a link from a technical magazine in an article on the digitial marketing conference in my industry that I attended, and I got a link from a consumer magazine.

Or, I guess 'I got a link by offering to write an article'.

Since you didn't seem to be able to parse my post, let me repost the very first sentence from my post:
"Networking still works. "

That one sentence encompasses and answers everything you're asking about in your last post.

I think what you should have responded to my post is "Networking is hard, can you give me something else that's easy but just as good?".

And to that rhetorical question I'd respond with 'Sorry, no'.


 7:11 am on Jun 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

I know they don't like blogs, article sites, forums, directories

I don't think that's necessarily true.

BLOGS: They are trying to stop guest blogging with your key phrase in the article linked to your site. But they aren't trying to stop you being blogged about. How could you get blogged about?

ARTICLE SITES: If you mean article directories where you create a profile and self-publicise, yes. But look at Wheel's example. That's an 'article site' - just a proper one.

FORUMS: Becoming a member and posting 50 'I agree' responses until you get your anchor text signature link? Of course that was always going to be a problem. But being mentioned in forums? How might you be able to engineer that? What about becoming part of a community and building a reputation? What might flow from that?

DIRECTORIES: The easiest of all of these by far (and probably most likely to be devalued), but there are still good niche directories. They're generally a part of a much bigger site that is a community and might have news, forum. Think portal.

The rule of thumb is this: starting from scratch, the easier it is to get a link, the less it's probably worth in Google's eyes.

There's no 'one size fits all' policy. You have to look at your site, your niche, and then think what you can do to get in front of people who are in a position to link to you.

It's not easy but it's not impossible.


 7:37 am on Jun 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

I must be the only business owner whose site has been penalised for "unnatural links" that looks in this forum.

I am not asking how you build links.

If you have not been penalised (YET) and came out the other end for "unnatural links", then you do not know anything about the subject... at all. You have no idea whats good and bad.

If you do not have peoples wages at stake, I am not interested in your opinion, its easy to gamble when there's nothing to loose.

Sorry but it looks like I have wasted my time, and yours.

Best of luck folks.


 4:13 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've been penalised, as recently as last year (and it cost me a client, days of work unbilled, and a ton of worry) for links built back in 2003/4 that were re-evaluated ten years later.

The site's position not only recovered but improved once all the old links were removed. Here's the case study I posted about that - [webmasterworld.com...]

I'm sorry your site and business is suffering. But you've been given some really good pointers by people above. You will have wasted your time, and theirs, if you don't take the time to read them properly, and instead of thinking 'That won't work for me' think 'How can I make that work for me?'


 5:18 pm on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

If keyword anchor text in content is a true description of the site it links too, how can that be blatant spam!


 11:27 am on Jul 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

...because most people don't naturally link to Nike with the words 'red shoes'. They link to nike like "you can get red shoes at <start link>Nike< end link>, or "you can get red shoes at < start link> dubdubdubdotnikedotcom</end link>.

And linking repeatedly with keywords isn't spam. it's SEO manipulation of the serps - which is true of everything most people are doing, but it's also detectable. That's what makes it a bad thing.


 12:52 pm on Jul 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

@wheel with all due respect that makes no sense. If someone says buy Red shoes at the Nike store and "Red Shoes" is the anchor. There is nothing manipulating about that. It is fact, there are Red Shoes at the Nike Store


 3:21 pm on Jul 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hypothesize and argue all you like. The fact is, it's mostly seo's that link with keyword rich anchor text. Users, left to their own devices, link using company names or website address.


 2:13 pm on Jul 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

Back to your original question, Fingers68 -- since this is NOT the Google section of the forum and we don't have to force Google into the discussion. ;)

Long story short -- yes, I've been penalized for unnatural links (both inbound and outbound), but I haven't stopped building links.

Links have a value that goes way beyond Google SERPs.

I always built links for visibility, promotion and relationships. Heck, I even published a 3,000+ words article about it recently!

So, my answer to your question is: link building IS possible and it's a very creative activity to do, both for website development purposes and for marketing.

No matter what any search engine may think about it, link building stays alive because it helps make the Web... well, the Web. :)

This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 ( [1] 2 > >
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