As the old saying does, if something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t. When it comes to SEO and link building, it is not just about having as many links as possible. Search engines employ smart algorithms to determine the value of sites you link to, so it very important you find the right platform.
In fact, bad links can help warrant a Google penalty if it gets bad enough, so a pro-active mindset is always recommended. Here are 5 effective ways to identify if something is a possible risk or bad link opportunity for your website.
A high profile website that links to a few sources offers some great link juice to those sources. However, when pages start containing 50, 100 links or more, things get a little difficult. The link juice becomes much weaker and the website itself can border on spam.
Put it this way, links are supposed to show references and validity. A page with many links simply doesn’t have a value threshold, something which many search engine algorithms pick up on.
This should be an obvious one, yet there are still many platforms that link to content in different languages than their own. Given that many websites use tags to determine their language – as well as the very smart nature of Google’s algorithms – this difference in language can easily be spotted.
A website that’s entirely in one language, yet links to an English website over and over again? That could look suspicious. It could even be mistaken for spam.
Again, one of the key tenants of sharing links is that they must hold some worthwhile value. Often, this makes links a one-way process. While someone might link to your awesome content, your major e-commercial website isn’t meant to link to a smaller blog (certainly not via do-follow). With enough of these,
Google might take action and, again, see these links as spam or something similar. Link exchanges represent agreed upon link deals, based on the convenient factor for platforms, rather than the value for readers.
Automated and Scripted Content
Some platforms can very lazy, using pre-built scripts to populate their content with keywords. An example of this might, for instance, involve an internal link every time a certain word is mentioned, such as “jackets”, or even links to specific brand pages and other key landing pages. While this sounds useful in theory, remember that algorithms can easily pick on mass duplicated strategies.
This doesn’t even matter if your actual links are legitimate. If the page they appear on is ranked down due to that platform’s practice, the linking power quickly diminishes and might actually be more harmful than good, in the most excessive cases.
Links Outside Of The Main Body
Finally, you may find a platform that does none of the above and actually holds a high amount of value. So, do they at least link in the main body of the text?
When Google crawls a website, it’s the main body that often gets searched the most. Other areas, such as headers, footers and even drop-down menus within the text, do not get considered very easily. This is especially true for mobile platforms, where many of these elements do not even appear at all.
Of course, if you’re dealing with one of these sites, it’s possible to work with them to ensure your link ends up where it needs to be. Yet, for the purposes of SEO strategy, this is something you should keep an active eye on.