I was talking with someone who works in a company specializing in helping local businesses become effective in their internet marketing. She told me that she’d spent all day working for one particular client. For over a year, they’d been painstakingly repairing the results of some really bad advice. This particular company had done what so many small businesses used to do a few years back — they bought links.
Link schemes are basically shortcuts to page rankings that work by trying to trick the search engines into thinking you have more people looking at your site than you do. There are variations, of course, and back in the day it worked. The problem is, it doesn’t work any more.
Now Google and other search engines are more sophisticated because the algorithms have been adjusted. I fully expect this game to be played perpetually, because there will always be someone trying to manipulate the system, and there will always be someone working to stop the manipulation.
Past SEO Tactics Can Haunt Us
The company that needed help cleaning up their foray into link schemes wasn’t trying to be dishonest. They’d been told this was a legitimate SEO tactic. Unfortunately, it has resulted in Google penalties and thousands of dollars spent paying someone to clean up the mess. I don’t think the boost in site traffic compensated for the results.
Link building is a good thing if the way you are building those links is going to be something you don’t mind having in your history. That usually means the links are earned because someone likes your content.
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your past to see if something you thought was okay is causing a problem. That’s why a regular online health checkup is a good idea.