From Russia with Link Love
The first post in our top ten is one from the beginning of the year. Blogger Evert Veldhuijzen wrote his post "From Russia with Link Love". He showed us that link brokers coming from Eastern Europe can have some significant influence. Worth a top ten spot in our 2009 posts of the year!
From Russia with Link Love - originally posted on January 2009
Almost on every conference there are some link building sessions and on almost every link building session you hear the phrase “It’s hard, but no one said link building is easy”. Why is that? Link building could be so easy: you just exchange some links, you just go to 100.000 directories to put your link on (or you use this awesome 29 dollar automatic directory submitter :-)), write a few articles for article directories and to complete your link profile, you just buy a few links. And you know what….until a few years ago this actually worked and, if you do it smart, maybe today this is still working for you.
But unfortunately many webmasters and even agencies don’t do smart link building. In Germany there are some big discussions around the blogs (see Matthias Süß and Sistrix) about the so called “Russenlinks”. Link love from Russia has one big advantage: it’s cheap. For a few bucks you get a PR7 link. But if you buy some of those and Google sees that a big part of your link profile for your German web site is build on links on Russian pages, maybe even containing Cyrillic script, what do you think will happen? Right, they penalize your site.
Other people go to one of those link brokers out there. Some of them have a real nice interface; you are able to see immediately on which domain you can buy a link. But… do you think that Google doesn’t have a login? Do you think Google doesn’t look at footer links, because their Quality Raters are too lazy to scroll all the way down?
Picture from Sistrix Toolbox: Rankingdistribution after a site got a +50 penalty.
So if you find yourself ranking on your brand at position 55, it’s time to think about another link building strategy.
Google Guidelines say:
Let me make one thing clear at this point: yes, your competitor can hurt your rankings! He will not be able to get Wikipedia penalized, he’ll not be able to get Amazon penalized, but if you don’t have a strong domain (or especially if you have a young new domain) he definitely can harm your rankings.
And if you still want to buy links, just do it smart and shut up about it.
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