Why I Don’t Force Backlinks To My Sites Anymore

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Why I don't backlinkBuilding backlinks has been part of SEO and ranking in Google ever since people worked out that it could get them to that precious first spot on the first page of search results for a keyword.

That’s where most of the traffic is.

Therefore, it makes sense to do it except that Google makes changes to its algorithm to try combat what they see as forcing backlinks (spam) and trying to game their algorithm. They think its naughty.

The reason Google uses backlinks as one of its many ranking factors was that if someone links to a page on a site from their they must think it is good. The more links the better it is. They want it to be natural because then it is like a vote saying this is good.

So, why not give the search engine a little help so that other factors like engagement, social sharing, content on the page etc. when it can be so profitable!

There have been plenty of schemes promoted on how to do this with Private blog networks being a favorite at the moment. There is one practical problem with this is that Google keep on making changes to catch these schemes out and then kick the sites out of their index.

When that happens to your site you’ve worked hard on by writing content and/ or paying for content, plus whatever the cost is for building links in time and/or money – it has all just gone down the drain (okay you might be able to re-use the content when you start out again). It feels like kick in the guts or punch in the face.

Sure, there are people who can do this over and over again successfully learning as they go on. They can bounce back from it quickly using the experience. But you have to have the right mindset and set of skills to do that. It takes a lot of testing , time and money to get good at this now.

I’ve tried this method and had some minor success with it but just as it looked like a site was about to have a positive income the slap would come and there I was back to square one again. Feeling torn up inside with a knot or something in my stomach. For a long time I thought this was the only way you can get to near enough the top spot to make any money from affiliate marketing using content.

Maybe if I’d persevered and toughened up I’d have gotten this. But it just seemed to be a lot of work, time and money for little return. I’m just not that smart.

Isn’t it better to build something once that you can keep on building on rather than running hard to stay ahead or catch up again?

I started to see there was this other way when I started this blog (Guide to Cashing In On Shiny New Object Syndrome) and that with regular posting I could see that I was ranking near the top for buyer keywords. They weren’t very competitive nor were they very highly searched. but I started to see some traffic coming to my site.

My next maybe was that it might actually be worthwhile not to try and force my Google rankings.

I saw a sale happen every now and then.

I then started my Extreme Review/Straight Line sites and following the similar technique to this site but reviewing physical products it was possible to rank and make an income with it. It has been a slow process – it isn’t as quick as building backlinks can be.

But the thing that changed doing it way, is the rankings didn’t get the dreaded slapping from Google I’d seen before. And sales on these sites grew slowly too as the rankings improved and I added content.

However, I’m still at the “mercy” of Google and they are there to make as much as money for their board and shareholders not me. There is still risk in this method but at least I’ve eliminated the forced backlinks risk that I never got through.

It’s great not waking up to another punch to the face and to see some income instead. But being who I am still concerned about what could happen but it is now reducing to only a mild discomfort. And I’m now starting to think I might really be able to build to full time income on the internet. Rather than a wish and a hope.

Okay just to be clear, I’ve not totally stopped with linking back to my sites – I just don’t buy links or guest post or find Web 2.0 sites just to build a link for ranking purposes.

I do post in forums with a signature that has a link to one of my sites when I can add something to the conversation. I also use Google+, twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to promote my posts.

It saves time/money not forcing links that I can use to build up my site – with more content or improve it overall.

What has been your experience about forcing backlinks? Do you think it just helps to transfer your money to the people promoting them? Or do you just end up helping to build someone else’s authority? Or have you had real success with it?

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Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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