Backlinks That Don't Really Work.... Anymore

There have been hundreds of backlink techniques that marketers have implemented over the years. Some have had greats results, some not so great. Search engines have evolved and so have the strategies behind backlinks.

Levels of Backlinks

Backlinks That Don't Work

There has always been advice with backlinks, if it's easy to get, it probably won't help. As things have moved on, this theory has started to hold true. Most of the links we thought were an easy way to boost our ranking have started to be less valuable.

Changes In Google

Google Changes

All search engines have changed their algorithm, but we are going to focus on Google's changes in particular. They lead market share in users and search queries. Google has recognized some of these "quick and easy" backlinking methods. When a backlink method is listed as an unnatural way. You are probably wasting your time in getting them.

Disclaimer:
I am guilty of these methods. As these backlinks have been labeled unnatural and have lost the effectiveness. These are still valid backlinking methods which can bring traffic to your website.

Syndicating Articles

Syndicate Articles

There are thousands of article directories all over the internet. The idea of these sites was an author would have an article approve to their directory. The author would give other websites permission to publish the syndicated article. As long as the article is not altered in any way.

The authors would place a backlink within the article or in the summary spot called "About The Author". In theory if your article was used in five different places, you would get five backlinks.

The problem with this method is:

A. there could be duplicate content, which isn't useful for anyone seeing the same thing every time.

B. writers were publishing just words, not proper grammar, spelling or even a set theme.

Google now understands how to control this problem and has labeled it the "Panda Update". This looks for sites that have duplicate content, bad grammar, and content not relevant to their site. In result, it pushes their site down in the search engine rankings.

Web 2.0 Blogs

Web 2.0 Blog

Web 2.0 blogs are places like Wordpress, Blogspot, Live Journal, Squidoo, etc. They were designed for any person, no matter the skill level, to create their own website. You could sign up for their free service and start posted content.

These types of sites have the same problems as syndicating articles. Marketers saw a quick way to create a lot of sites and put up subpar content while backlinking their site. The google update "Panda" will detect these types of backlinking.

Just because you have one of these sites for your company's blog doesn't mean you are going to get dropped. It's the content on the site that matters, not the site platform itself. If you are producing unique content and you can only find it in one place, you will be fine.

Steller SEO has posted a great article on how you can still use Web 2.0 for Building Links.

Blog Comments

Comment Spam

The comment idea was a great idea to get readers involved with each other about the topic they are reading. If they have questions, insight, or opinions, they have the ability to type away.

This concept wanted to pushed a little further. Why not let people put in their website when they comment on your post? Which seems fair, if you help me, I'll help you.

Hello Scrapebox. It wasn't just Scrapebox, there were other software and even people manually doing it. What happened is that people were just going crazy with this method. Posting things like "Great Article", "Thank You", "I never thought of that", etc. And doing this across thousands of blogs with their website inserted.

This resulted in blogs turning off their comment systems, requiring user logins, using third party spam services, and putting nofollow attribute on all outbound links. (Which is a debate on its own.) Making most comment backlinking obsolete for higher in ranking.

Directory Listings

Link Directory

These were created for people to find websites before there was a search engine. They still exists and some still hold some authority, such as DMOZ and Yahoo.

Like everything else they started to become a popular spot to get links. Millions of these sites pop up over night. And software was created to automatically post your site to any directory it could find.

Why don't they work anymore?

Because people don't use them, in result they have no significant value. They are just pages that consist of thousands of links to random places.

Some marketers believe that niche directories that match your website wont cause you problems. Which is probably true, but they probably don't help you either.

Profile Links

Profile Link

A profile link is a mix between a blog comment and a directory listing. When you sign up for a forum you are given an area to tell something about yourself. It's them saying thank you for signing up, you can put your website.

Again, software was made to automatically create accounts to any place it can find. Once you have been verified, your website is added to your profile and you now have a backlink.

These became annoying for forum moderators. They are getting all these new members that are not contributing to their site. Action for forum moderators was deleting all accounts that didn't have any posts, which means all backlinks were deleted.

Forum Signature Links

Forum Signature

To take profile links a step further. You would actually use your account. Posts a couple of threads, respond to a few posts. This makes it look like your account is active.

Once you had gained some trust you would leave a backlink in your "Signature". As usual, people started to abuse it and posting generic topics that didn't fit with the forum theme. Accounts and backlinks were deleted.

Black Vs White

Black vs White SEO

These backlinking techniques are mixed with Black Hat and White Hat White SEO techniques. If you have done any of these techniques, it doesn't mean that your site will be de-indexed. It just means that they are probably not helping your search engine ranking. Continuing doing these backlinking techniques will not help your efforts.

Have you had any success with the above backlinking techniques in the last year?

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Comments (5)

Comment: 
Nice post but I have to disagree with about the methods that do not work. Web 2.0s still work to rank sites as part of a tiered link strategy.
Comment: 
I haven't had too much luck with them as of Panda. That's great to hear that you have had success with them via tiered network.
Comment: 
the mistake most people make is not building tier 1 sites that are actual quality sites on their own. Guest post also make great tier ones as you can often link out to them more easily from other posts on authority sites. The real key is buying aged domains for the tier one to really move the needle.
Comment: 
Awesome, great advice!
Comment: 
Hey thanks for the link, I really appreciate it and glad you like the article.

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