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Are Link Tools for Spam Links or Natural Links?

     
2:59 pm on Jul 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I want to be clear on something...

There are several tools out there that claim to "help you with your link building" and to "better manage your link development."

Just to clarify my confusion, they are talking about link spam, right?

I mean, they are talking about managing paid-for links (or maybe begged-for links), right? Or possibly blog posts for links.

Please confirm that there's still only a handful of TYPES of links out there and that I am not missing anything:

1) Natural links received from someone stumbling across your great content (or being alerted to your great content via adwords, direct advertising, social media, email / link begging) .

2) Placed links, either in paid / unpaid directories, article farms, guest blogging, blog comments, forum profiles, wordpress theme footers, etc...

2-A) Offline Placed Links: These would be similar to Wheel's method of PICKING UP THE PHONE and volunteering either his time / expertise / money to obtain a link. (I refer to them as offline because they usually start with a phone call or a knock on the door instead of with an email or a form submission - but it is still an in-kind offer).

And that's it right? There aren't any other types of link acquisition methods that I am missing that these software programs could be referring to, are there?
3:33 pm on July 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It's not all spam and it depends on the link builder and their work ethics. If you're in doubt, the best thing you can do is contact them and ask; also, see if there's some review of their service available on the Web.

Backlinko shares some interesting, non-spammy techniques for link building in his blog.
3:48 pm on July 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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And that's it right? There aren't any other types of link acquisition methods that I am missing that these software programs could be referring to, are there?


Some people hack sites and dump links at the bottom of pages, often hidden away from the webmaster.

Don't know if it's still done, but there used to be domain parks with tons of rotating links to sites. Whether it was theirs or paid links, I couldn't tell you.

There's some other nasty sources of links out there but it's early.

And yes, IMO, other than natural links, every damn bit of it is 100% USDA Grade A Hormel SPAM! Never used link builders, never will.

If I can't figure out how to get natural links by putting out some sort of site people actually want to use and tell each other about, I'll give up and find another way to make dough.
3:49 pm on July 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@ n0tSEO

I know what you are saying.

But in terms of the type of link building that those well-known link building tools are referring to, they are targeting link spam, right?

Or is there another type of link building that I did not summarize in points 1 and 2 in my original post?
3:51 pm on July 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@ incrediBILL

Thanks for the reminder about hacked sites! Completely missed that.

Definitely fits into the category 2 of placed / controlled links.
3:51 pm on July 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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General rule of thumb is if it's a tool it's probably not doing it how Google would approve.

Just read the webmaster guidelines, it's pretty clear.
3:55 pm on July 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Planet13, your list pretty much sums up all the types of link building you can find. Links built via software or hacking still belong to the "placed links" category, even though they're not good links, as there's no editorial touch in them.

But in terms of the type of link building that those well-known link building tools are referring to, they are targeting link spam, right?


I'm not sure I understand this question well. Are you asking if these types of link building are legit?
4:05 pm on July 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@ n0tSEO


"I'm not sure I understand this question well. Are you asking if these types of link building are legit?"


Sorry if I wasn't clear. Still too much blood in my caffeine stream...

I am not so much asking / implying whether "placed" links are legit or not.

I am really asking whether or not the (sole) purpose of those Link Building Tools is to identify / manage placed links (the kinds mentioned in #2 in my original post).

Or whether those link building tools have some other value that I don't know about (i.e., are they helpful for something other than identifying / managing placed links?).

I guess I am also wondering about if there is some entirely other method / type of link out there that I SHOULD HAVE BEEN targeting all along but was oblivious to (my wife says I am oblivious to a lot of stuff).

~~~~

I realize now I should have written the title of my thread to something more like: "Are linking tools only good for placed links?" or something like that. Maybe a moderator will come along and reword the title for me.
5:28 pm on July 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Oh, it's all clear now, Planet13. :) Yes, your post seemed to address link building as a practice (and the use of tools as a consequence) instead of link building tools and what they analyze.

Link building tools vary and, depending on what you use, they can tell you a wide range of things:

  • if your backlinks are follow/nofollow
  • if you have more nofollow than follow and possible reasons
  • if your backlinks are somehow toxic/spammy for Google
  • if your links are old or new (and maybe for how long)
  • if there's some pattern in your links that could be suspicious somehow
  • if your backlinks come from known authority sites or new/non-authoritative sites
  • if your links contain possibly spammy anchors or come from an exact match domain


Generally, link building tools are used for not just link building, but even website audits, backlink audits (maybe some spam commenter on your blog messed you up!), degree of trust of a certain website (maybe because you're looking to partner with it), etcetera.

Most link building tools are also getting upgraded to look at web mentions, which is a great for anybody having an online presence to keep under control. That is, you can use link building tools for reputation management, too.

Hope that answers your question! If it doesn't, I'll try again. ;)
10:18 pm on July 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, n0tSEO. that pretty much answered it.
7:01 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If it impacts search engines and can be scaled...Google will call it/see it as spam. Google doesn't give a damn about SEO. It gives a damn about selling ads. Providing popular sites for search results that provide a good user experience is just the backbone for how it can sell more ads. Any attempt to game the system will eventually get penalized, unless you stay a step or two ahead (or take the churn and burn approach)...
12:07 pm on Nov 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The key word is RELEVANCE. Links are for your visitors, the SEO aspect should be secondary.

I have stuck to that and my site has sat happily in the top 5 for all key searches on Google while other people here scream about a whole variety of exotic fauna killing their listings.
7:04 am on Nov 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Sadly, some days I spend more time "link nuking" instead of "link building". Links are how the web works, how folks find us... but there's that cancer of toxic links that also has to be addressed. IN G's case that's what disavow is about (though it makes one look like a co-conspirator) (sigh).
 

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