Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical element in ensuring that your website ranks well on search engine results pages (SERPs). Among the various strategies used in SEO, backlinks play a significant role in determining a website’s authority and trustworthiness. However, not all backlink services are created equal. Some providers use tactics that can actually harm your website’s SEO in the long run. In this article, we’ll discuss five SEO backlink service providers you should avoid.
1. Irrelevant and Non-Niche Backlinks
Backlinks should come from websites that are relevant to your niche or industry. Unfortunately, some backlink providers will place your links on completely unrelated websites to increase the number of backlinks quickly. This tactic is ineffective and can harm your website’s reputation and rankings.
Find links from websites with a common interest, topic, or industry to build a strong backlink profile. These relevant backlinks are more likely to provide value to your website’s visitors and carry more weight in search engine algorithms.
2. Offering Links from Existing Webpages
Unless Google officially confirms it, we can’t be absolutely sure that something described in a patent is actively used by Google.
In this context, it’s worth considering a patent from 2003 titled “Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data.” This patent outlines a method for tracking website changes that may indicate suspicious or spammy activity.
One particular signal it monitors is the addition of links to existing web pages. If most of the websites adding links to existing pages are those selling links, it becomes easier to identify and remove them from Google’s link graph.
The patent also suggests other factors that could be beneficial to monitor:
- The number of links being added.
- The frequency of link additions.
- The frequency of link removals.
- The speed at which links are acquired.
- How often the content on a webpage is updated.
We can’t be certain if Google actively searches for unnatural links based on time-related factors related to links and content. What we do know is that Google was thinking about this concept back in 2003, and nearly two decades later, Google might have incorporated it into its anti-spam artificial intelligence.
The significance of this patent lies in the possibility that Google could detect paid links by observing changes in inbound and outbound links within a domain over time. Returning to the main point of this section, adding links to existing pages is a strategy that Google is likely capable of detecting and devaluing.
3. EDU Discount SEO Backlink Service
This type of link building involves link builders or businesses offering discounts to university students in exchange for a link from a university’s webpage.
Google has been aware of this link-building approach for more than a decade.
Credit: web.archive.org || July 2022
For instance, back in 2011, Google penalized Overstock.com for engaging in this questionable link-building practice. Overstock.com, or someone associated with them, provided university discounts in return for links to their product pages.
Regrettably, for Overstock.com, the document containing the outreach details, including instructions on how to link to their product pages, seems to no longer exist in its original PDF form. However, Archive.org has preserved a snapshot of it here, demonstrating that these links were not naturally acquired. The significance of these instructions lies in the fact that they clearly indicated the links were not obtained organically.
So, if an SEO Backlink Service is building links through EDU discounts, stay away from them.
4. Keyword Stuffing in Anchor Text
Anchor text refers to the clickable text within a hyperlink, and using relevant keywords as anchor text is considered best practice for SEO. Unfortunately, however, some backlink providers use “keyword stuffing,” whereby they excessively repeat keywords in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings and boost their own listings.
Search engines are highly sophisticated in recognizing keyword stuffing and may penalize websites for engaging in this practice. To maintain an organic and diverse anchor text profile it’s crucial to alternate anchor texts regularly – instead of using just keywords sporadically use relevant phrases and even generic terms like “click here” instead of simply repeating yourself over and over.
5. Automated SEO backlink service
Automation has its place in digital marketing, but when it comes to building backlinks, it’s best to steer clear of fully automated solutions. Some providers use automated tools to generate and distribute backlinks across the web. While this may seem efficient, it often leads to low-quality and irrelevant backlinks.
Search engines value human discretion and genuine connections between websites. Automated link-building processes lack the personal touch and understanding to establish meaningful relationships with other websites. Go for a backlink service that employs a manual and personalized approach to link building, ensuring that each backlink is obtained through genuine outreach and collaboration.
Choosing the right SEO backlink service is essential for the long-term success of your website’s search engine rankings. Avoid providers that engage in tactics such as buying low-quality backlinks, keyword stuffing in the anchor text, automated link building, irrelevant backlinks, and lack of transparency. Instead, opt for a service that focuses on quality over quantity, follows best practices, and provides clear reporting. Remember that building a strong backlink profile takes time and effort, but the results are worth it in terms of improved visibility and organic traffic for your website.