Can Some Links Hurt My Rankings?

Description: Find out which links you should be steering clear of when promoting your website. Not all links are beneficial.

The short answer to this is yes. You should always be aware of the kind of links you are using, and perhaps more importantly the sites you are linking to or from.

And it's not just the type of links you use - the number you've got can be a problem too.

Let's say you create a brand new website. Naturally you want to get it up and running as quickly as possible and impress the search engines with how comprehensive your site is. So you start piling on the links - writing articles, calling in favours from other webmasters you know and linking back to your site in other ways too, all to make sure your site gets found and indexed in double quick time.

The problem is that if a search engine sees lots of links appearing all in one hit, they can deem that to be spam (rightly or wrongly) and ban your site as a result. So the message is definitely to build your links gradually over time as opposed to trying to get started too quickly.

It has also been said several times that Google has a habit of frowning on you for selling paid links on your site. They can penalise you for this so steer clear of trying to increase your revenue from your links in this way. While the waters concerning how or when they might penalize you are muddy, it's much better to rely on gaining quality links from sites that are linking to you because they like your content and they think your site is worthwhile.

Gaining inbound links is one of the best ways to strengthen your site and increase your Page Rank, but how you do it is paramount to how successful you eventually are.

To this end, make absolutely sure you steer well clear of link farms. These are websites that contain hundreds if not thousands of links to other sites on the web? and that's it. They exist for no other purpose, and thus have very little value. If you list your site with one or more link farms in the hope of getting more traffic, you won't be helping your rankings at all.

By way of a footnote, be aware of the phrase link baiting. It sounds awful and certainly something to be avoided, but in actual fact it isn't. When link baiting is done properly it can do your site a lot of good. Think of it as viral link building, where you encourage others to link back to your site. You must have a good reason to ask them to do so though.

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