Word of mouth marketing is king.. and Google knows that. You know that if lots of people tell you about a specific book/restaurant/film/dentist then it’s probably good? Google does the same, if lot’s of websites link to you then you must be good right? So if Google sees these links to your site it ranks you higher.
All cool so far.
So how about we approach other businesses and ask if they will put a link to our website from theirs, and pay them to do it? Here’s an email I received today.
This kind of activity is seriously looked down upon by Google and can contravene their Webmaster Guidelines. If you engage in this kind of activity Google can penalise your site and even wipe it from their searches altogether. There are ways to place paid links on your site for advertising purposes, but ensure you speak to an SEO specialist first to ensure they don’t fall foul of Google’s policy.
My suggestion is to attract these links to your website with high quality content that people want to share to help others.
If you receive emails like the one above I suggest you ignore them (or forward them to your optimisation company to check that you won’t get penalised) and do not follow them up. If Google catches you you could find it a very expensive exercise to get back in to their searches again (you will probably have to pay an optimisation company to undo the bad links and resubmit your site to Google for reconsideration).
Always, always, always use an optimisation company that you trust implicitly and ask for their company guidelines on how they attract links to your website. Clearly the link above has been sent by an optimisation company on behalf of their client looking for a quality link from a good website (mine) – and I bet their client knows nothing about this paid link building activity!