Search Marketing

SEO: 10 Link Temptations To Avoid

Google’s gold standard of whether or not a website should be ranked well continues to change over time, but for quite a while the best method has gone unchanged… relevant backlinks from legitimate, authoritative sites. On-page Search Engine Optimization and lots of great content may get your site indexed for specific keywords, but quality backlinks will drive up its rank.

Since backlinks have become a known commodity, many linking scams and services continue to pop up all over the web. Don’t be persuaded in spending money on these services. Not only will you not improve your ranking, but you may also be putting your websites at great risk of being dropped from search engine indexes.

Yes, there are such things as bad inbound links.

Here is a quick list of some of the types of links you DON’T want pointing at your website. This list is not to be confused with links that simply do not pass value such as links with the rel=”nofollow” attribute.

  1. Don’t get links from sites that blatantly sell text links.
  2. Don’t buy into link farms. You may have run across a deal like getting 1000 links for $29.95 per month. Stay away from these programs.
  3. Stay away from popular link brokers like or These brokers will sell you text links with the direct intent of influencing Google’s search results. This is a violation of Google’s Terms of Service.
  4. You will find users on popular webmaster forums offering to sell high PageRank links. Many of these sites are created by buying expired domains with high Google PageRank values and quickly throwing up template websites with little to no value/unique content. These sites will not maintain these PageRank values as soon as Google realizes they have changed ownership and content. There are also many ways Google can identify that these simple sites are selling links.
  5. Make sure your links come from US-based and targeted websites if your entire target market is in the US.
  6. You really don’t want links created by spam software. Most of this software leaves a footprint and it is quite easy for Google to identify.
  7. You really don’t want links from junk websites. These are sites like affiliate sites that have little or no unique content.
  8. Don’t post links to spam sites relating to objectionable content. Period.
  9. Avoid the temptation of posting links to a forum that the owner no longer effectively manages and that is full of spam.
  10. Avoid the temptation to add and publish your URL in link memes. A meme is a growing list of links that pass from one site to another for the sole purpose of sharing links and PageRank across the list of participants.

These are just ten of the types of links you don’t want, but this list is not all-inclusive.

Adam Small

Adam Small is the CEO of AgentSauce, a full-featured, automated real estate marketing platform integrated with direct mail, email, SMS, mobile apps, social media, CRM, and MLS.


  1. @Douglas at the request of my clients I have spoken to some of the services listed in #3, they often using a plugin to serve the links. Google can easily scan the blogs for those with this javascript and discount the link or if you are really pushing their buttons, get de-indexed…

    Other bloggers have also pointed out that before you confirm your purchase you are supplied with the websites/pages where your link will go so its easy enough for someone in Google's spam team to also get this information. There are legitimate ways to build links that do not require ongoing payments to link brokers…

  2. what about using one of these services to buy really spammy links to competitors sites that are ranked above you, in hopes that google down grades their rankings?

  3. Hi Mike,

    Google doesn’t punish a domain for spammy backlinks. If that worked, businesses would be sabotaging each others’ search engine ranking. That’s why the simply ignore them altogether.


  4. It’s so tempting to give into the “dark side” of SEO and start building those spammy link wheels, or submitting poorly spun PLR to thousands of article directories, etc., etc. It seems everyone else is doing it, and having success with it. But my experience is that Big G catches on eventually and devalues these links – not that they have much value to begin with. Great post BTW.

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles