Linking Strategies Myth Busted

Linking Strategies Myth Busted

Since Google’s Jagger update, during 2018, the​ internet has become a​ fermenting ground for​ pundits advising us on how and​ why we are going to​ be penalised by Google if​ we continue using tried and​ tested techniques that previously worked well.

Most of​ this advice is​ pure mythology. So, it​ is​ time to​ examine these myths and​ discuss why they are myths.

Firstly, let us be clear about one thing: everything said about how to​ improve Google ranking is​ theory, unless Google says it​ themselves. the​ problem is​ that some of​ the​ theories are just plain wrong.

Myth 1) Linking from link farms will get you penalised by Google. WRONG. it​ may well be that it​ does your website absolutely no good at​ all, but why should Google penalise a​ website when, if​ this were the​ case, a​ competitor could add links to​ your site from link farms? I do not believe that Google, or​ any other search engine, will penalise a​ site because of​ what an​ unscrupulous competitor may do.

Myth 2) Involving your website in​ reciprocal link trading will get your website penalised by Google. WRONG. There are legitimate reasons for​ sites linking to​ each other, therefore, why would a​ site be penalised for​ what may be a​ perfectly legitimate link exchange? Reciprocal linking does not carry anywhere near the​ weight it​ used to​ do, it​ has been downgraded by Google, but reciprocal links will not harm your website, and​ in​ fact, maintain some value, though much reduced.

Myth 3) if​ sites that are considered “Bad neighbourhoods” link to​ your site, you will be penalised by Google. WRONG. Webmasters have absolutely no control over who links to​ their site. it​ would be unethical for​ Google to​ penalise a​ site due to​ the​ actions of​ other third party sites.

So why does this confusion exist?

Most of​ what I’ve said above is​ self explanatory, but maybe a​ little more comment is​ needed on the​ subject of​ bad neighbourhoods.

Bad neighbourhoods are websites that have been penalised or​ banned by Google. if​ you link to​ a​ bad neighbourhood site you are, in​ the​ eyes of​ Google, guilty by association. and​ may be penalised. But, as​ I’ve already said, if​ they link to​ you it​ is​ out of​ your control; they are associating with you, not you with them.

So how do I know if​ a​ website is​ a​ bad neighbourhood? Simple, first you need to​ download and​ install the​ Google toolbar. As, no doubt, you are already aware, the​ Google toolbar shows the​ page rank (PR) of​ any website you visit. if​ the​ website you wish to​ link to​ has a​ PR allocated you are safe. if​ the​ PR is​ zero, but the​ indicator bar is​ just a​ white background, then you are safe. But beware; if​ the​ indicator background is​ grey, this means Google will not even allocate a​ PR=0 to​ this site, you are looking at​ a​ bad neighbourhood website – do not link to​ this site.

General Considerations.

Although links from link farms will not get you penalised, they are of​ no value, so why bother?

Although reciprocal links have been downgraded, they still have some value. So, link wisely to​ related content sites only. the​ importance of​ the​ site linking to​ you will be of​ more value to​ your site than a​ less important site, but personally, I do not mind linking to​ a​ related site with a​ PR=0, it​ is​ probably a​ new site that is​ still in​ the​ Google sandbox, and​ may gain a​ high PR at​ some future date.

It is​ a​ good idea to​ periodically check whether the​ sites you are linking to​ are still safe – avoid greyed out PR indicators.

And finally, the​ best advice of​ all, generate one way links to​ your website. One way links are the​ most important links you can have. But even these vary in​ importance according to​ the​ PR of​ the​ linking sites, the​ wise use of​ anchor text, and​ the​ relevance of​ the​ linking page/site.

I will have more to​ say on that subject in​ a​ future article.

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