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[edited by: Akash at 2:52 pm (utc) on Mar. 27, 2009]
If you built 50 or 100 "quality" sites, you would be in a position to give quality links. You'd run the risk of Google's views on purchased links, but at least you'd be able to sell or donate links.
Now for the tough part.
If a client wants 100 quality links, you'd be better off writing a few "quality" articles (not sourced from Wikipedia) for his website and then promoting that site (this can mean phone calls and customised emails) so that natural links will come forth. Not easy, but the solution is to attract unsolicited links.
Also there is nothing wrong with submitting to a bunch of directories in one day. People think that google somehow knows about this. They don't. It takes them a long time before they can spider every directory on the net. Plus the fact that some directories take a while to get you entered. A proper directory will look at your website before it allows you in and some directories are ran by a single person and it takes them a while to get to it.
And as for quality if they donít apply to your key words I think they will lower your PageRank.
Spammy links might get devalued, but your PAGERANK cannot go down through inbound links. PR, in its purest form, is devived from a simple(ish) formula. Its just that PR is but one of many factors that affects your RANK.
Your rank is also unlikely to go down due to inbound links. If you could break a site based on links, the more savvy SEOs would have destroyed their competition years ago.
Do not design a wordpress theme with your link at the bottom to a website that is not a web development company. Nor do counters. Google can penalize you. It is not guaranteed but it is a risk.
If you do anything to improve your rank in bulk there is a chance google will penalize you.
Anyone actually know someone who's had their site taken down by poor inlinks? Possibly some corporates might try it, but I've never seen a thread here about it. Seems like a lot of effort to me.
Once the IBL's were removed , the sites regained ranking. More obvious practices probably were picked up by the algorithmn , more subtle cases probably got picked up by an editor.
Good links are hard work and like gold. Using large scale techniques puts your site at big risk.
If you notice what I said before google is not consistent and there is a better chance you would help them than hurt them.
The whole point is don't do that to a site that you want to rank for the long term because there is a real allbeit small chance you could get a penalty. Too many of us have seen it happen to ignore it.
The rule that says "you can't be hurt by incoming links" is not true. It is hard to get hurt by incoming links but it can happen.