Links, Spam attack and negative backlinks.

Links, Spam attack and negative backlinks.

Links from other websites to your website can be a resource and source of more traffic. Good links are relevant and also lead to increased traffic. The meaning of links has changed over the years. So we’ll quickly start with the story.

When the search engines started coming, they used a technology that follows links from one page to a new one, in that way they could map web pages automatically. The words used for this are “spider” and “crawler” – When, for example, Google finds a link on your page, they follow it to index and categorize the page it finds.

At one point or another, Google began to use the number of links, pointing to your website, as a significant factor for your position in the search results. The slightly darker shadows in the industry responded by having links in white text on a white background. So that you wouldn’t see them, but the robot picked them up.

Services like “link farms” appeared, servers that only produced significant amounts of links. Buying links became a “shortcut”

What is a link?

Links are clickable text that take you from one web page to another.

An internal link is a link on the same website that takes you from one page to another on the same domain. For example, if I write Norway’s best SEO agency and send you to our front page.

An external link is a link on a website that takes you to a page on a new domain. For example, you can follow us on Facebook . And the link sends you to another page (facebook)

A link from another website to yours can be good or it can be bad.

Google is starting to distinguish between good and bad links

As a response to gray zone tactics, Google began distinguishing between good and bad links. They established something called “Page Rank” and links from pages with a strong Page Rank were better than links from pages without such a page rank. In recent years, Google has moved away from Page Rank, and it is not a number that they make public – and potentially do not emphasize. The word domain authority still exists, but is in reality an educated guess from us in the industry.

Negative SEO and Black Hat SEO are the shadow sides of our industry, which are methods of attacking a competitor with harmful methods, or using tricks and methods that are on the side of Google’s guidelines.

So what happens when some links are considered bad? Then of course there are some who choose to buy such links in order to undercut the competitor. This was more harmful before – but what about today?

Read this, and see what Google’s John Mueller has to say on the subject.

Links and link strategies are today a waste of time. Buying links is money out the window. Negative link strategies are ignored by Google, so your page is not harmed by external links.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Buying and selling links is just as popular today – and some people benefit from the fact that the rest of us don’t follow along.

Why should we care about backlinks?

Keeping track of new backlinks says something about the quality of the content we create. If you link to this page because you want to tell your readers about backlinks, it shows that we produce useful and interesting content.

It is also exciting when something you write is suddenly picked up by major media houses. This is again information that can be used to create content in Social Media .

Then it could also be that you have received a negative comment on a blog, or other things that you should pick up and potentially answer or correct. If you get a negative comment in a forum, you can consider whether this is something you want to respond to.

Backlinks debunked

When you work with SEO , you follow a lot of websites. It is therefore possible to find various scenarios that can confirm or deny myths in the industry.

Graph from Google Search Console showing 1 million views over 1 year

In the graph above, we have a website that has appeared in the search results over 1 million times in the past year.

Graph showing growth in the number of backlinks over one year. +2800 links
During the same period, there have been 2,800 new backlinks to the website. Has it yielded results?

Then we can look at the average position with Google for the same period

Graph showing no change in average position on Google

This is as flat a curve as you can get in our industry. Rather more towards a weak negative development. Sting contrary to the increase in the number of backlinks.

If we take the number of clicks from Google search last six months, compared to the previous six months, there are actually the same number, no change.

If backlinks were important for ranking with Google, then these graphs should be connected. The backlink profile is what we in our industry would define as above average strong.

Does the site get traffic from these links? Yes, but not more than 0.7% of the total traffic.

Building backlinks takes time and it has little ROI.

One of the most time-consuming tasks within SEO is link building. It is not unusual for customers to have it in their requirement specifications – 50 links per month may be one of the requirements. If you receive such a claim, you send them this page. It takes 4-5 years to get 2800 links as shown in the example above – and the effect is almost 0.

What about removing bad links?

Many websites will experience being affected by a negative (and fortunately outdated) SEO strategy. The consolation is that some competitor chooses to spend money on a strategy that does not work.

In order to remove the meaning of links at Google, we can use something we call “Disavow”, which in Norwegian can be translated as “to reject”. This is a tool at Google that can be used to combat negative links.

Based on what Google itself says, there is no reason to use this tool. As long as there is no damage, or warnings/penalties from Google.

Without a negative effect, it is also not something you need to spend time on.

The tool is also more “hidden” today than a few years ago, a sign that it is being phased out. The importance of links is minimal, if you want to be good at SEO, then there are other and more important steps that need to be taken.

From Backlinks to PR strategy

As the world changes, so must the industry. Relevant links on relevant pages can generate traffic. Good positive media reviews can generate a lot of traffic. In order to succeed with positive publicity, the remedy is a PR strategy – more demanding than backlinks, but has an effect on visits and, not least, branding.

What you want is editorial mention in established online newspapers/media – it helps for many other reasons than a backlink from an American directory service, or from an Indian dog groomer.

Google has an established truth that will never change – they care about quality. That says something about where the effort should be put.

Adseo AS is a digital marketing agency that is concerned that your online visibility should be in line with current standards and trends in the industry.

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