An integral part of search engine optimisation (SEO) is link building. Inbound links from other websites are viewed as votes or recommendations by the search engines. Google monitor and reward websites which have a progressing number of inbound links with better ranking in the SERPS (search engine results pages).
Link building at times can be a tedious and painstaking task which has led webmasters to look into new and innovative ways of gaining links easily.
Coast Digital has recently discovered a link building network which guarantees thousands of links for a relatively low cost and they claim Google view their links as natural.
It was discovered when we were monitoring a website’s inbound links which went from 6 to over 1000 in a few weeks. This intrigued us and after some digging around we found a link network.
Initially it was difficult to spot as the source code was always very clean and didn’t indicate anything but a natural link. The break came when we noticed that the links were appearing in a similar position on every blog.
We decided that the links must be generated by a widget or plug-in of some kind. So we set about finding a WordPress blog and accessed its “wp-content/plugins” directory. After researching every file in this folder, we finally stumbled upon the link network plug-in.
The link network claims “it is practically impossible to find out if a site is participating in our system”. Coast Digital managed to trace them after 15 minutes.
What can we learn from this? Although link networks may seem a quick and easy way to gain inbound links, trying to deceive the search engines into thinking you have suddenly received hundreds, if not thousands of links naturally isn’t the recommended way forward.
Any means by which you try to artificially gain inbound links to gain better positions in the search engines will be detected and you will then be penalised by Google. It’s just a matter of time.