Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Avoiding Low-Quality Links and Link Networks

When you’re seeking inbound links to your web site to improve your link popularity and search engine reputation, beware low quality links. They can have a deleterious effect on your TrustRank and on your overall reputation. The least effect these links will have is no effect on your link popularity — they simply won’t be counted. Then, any time you’ve spent obtaining these links will have been wasted.

Justilien Gaspard has a good article in Search Engine Watch in which he outlines the signs and signals that should tip you off that a site is not worth requesting a link from:
  • A member of a network of sites, all with a common owner
  • New sites with few backlinks (he cautions against using PageRank as a measure of this)
  • High density of keyword-rich links
  • Low quality of other links on the page that would link to you

The point is that all links are not equal, and the search engines are aggressively identifying and devaluing low quality links. As we do link building for our clients, we’re seeing link counts for our clients’ competitors dropping precipitously as their low-quality links get eliminated form the search engines’ link counts.

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