Google Discusses Link Building Strategies

Dec 18, 2006 • 7:23 am | comments (13) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

A late Friday post at the Google Webmaster Central blog named Building link-based popularity sparked a ton of discussion over the weekend at WebmasterWorld.

The WebmasterWorld was named "It's Official: Google Discounting Reciprocal Link Exchanges" by martinibuster to spark some top notch discussion. Based on the last paragraph of the Google post, martinibuster writes;

Within a recent Google Blog post about bad linking practices, the author lumps reciprocal link exchange tactics alongside paid links. The author does not qualify the statement against recips by singling out non-relevant or aggressive exchanges. Neither does it make a distinction between relevant link exchange or free for all link exchange. The blog simply references the exchange of links.

After a few pages of debate, Adam Lasnik of Google came in to try to clear things up from the Google perspective. In post number 3191649 Adam said;

This is a lot of speculation about reciprocal linking in response to an official blog entry, when there's not even one mention of "reciprocal" on the entire page ;-). Take a step back, look at the bigger picture, take a deep breath!

Honestly, Adam, I think the words "exchanged links" is pretty much the same as "reciprocal linking." But that is here nor there.

Over time and with lots and lots of data (and very handy tools for crunching it :-), it becomes more clear to us at Google what is "natural" (or organic) on the Web and what is not. We aim to reward the former, discount the latter. Take that as a broader SEO strategy statement if you will... it's not just about links, and it's DEFINITELY not all about reciprocal linking.

As Adam says continuously, it is about the patterns Google sees in your site and niche around it. Google is a different beast, it used to be before Adam was hired.

But more recently, Google has tremendously refined its link-weighting algorithms. We have more people working on Google's link-weighting for quality control and to correct issues we find. So nowadays, undermining the PageRank algorithm is likely to result in the loss of the ability of link-selling sites to pass on reputation via links to other sites.

That is what makes it harder to play with the Google SERPs. Google can now trust-less a particular link, assign less "weight" towards a link.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

SEarch Engines Web

12/18/2006 01:35 pm

<blockquote>/// Honestly, Adam, I think the words "exchanged links" is pretty much the same as "reciprocal linking." But that is here nor there. </blockquote> Exchanged Links could include Three Way links as well as reciprocal - Reciprocal links usually imply using the same domains. http://seowebmaster.com/ Non-reciprocal, reviewed links directories with Static URLs should in theory be given more weight -- and should not be seen in the suspiscious light as Three Way link exchanges or paid links could potentially be seen.

duane

12/18/2006 02:08 pm

The bottom line remains the same - content is king. Build good content, users will link to it. No need for tactics, tricks or spammy techniques - build useful content, and organically, links grow over time. Trying to force an Internet business to grow faster than it would organically can have long-term downsides that many webmasters ignore, or don't know about. Sadly, even with info like this out there, most folks will still happily buy links thinking the PR will transfer and benefit them. They're smart enough to know it'll take a while, so they keep paying for a few months, but then wonder why it didn't work in the end. Why is it so hard for folks to wrap their heads around the idea of actually working on their site, building useful content and allowing it the time it needs to grow on it's own? It's not like you open a corner store the afternoon the idea hits you...this is no different. Running a business online takes a sound plan, time, and, inevitably, capital to get things started.

Michael Martinez

12/18/2006 04:20 pm

J.K. Rowling could say something to the WMW folks: "Once again you've put your keen, unpenetrating minds to the task and come to the wrong conclusion." How you take a post that singles out Link Baiting (while mentioning a few other things) and turn it into a discussion of reciprocal linking is beyond me. Social link manipulators have more reason to be afraid than the reciprocal linking crowd. The reciprocal links have already been weighed and balanced.

Ian Turner

12/18/2006 05:37 pm

Michael - I think you summed up the whole discussion rather well, apart from the fact that the original blog post was actually encouraging link baiting (and possibly also forum spamming) Adam Lasnik did a neat job in side stepping serious discussion and offered the usual fodder to the less experienced.

DG

12/18/2006 08:04 pm

If you look at the title of that post, the conversation had no choice but to turn to reciprocal linking. I argued against the 'official' bit, I also argued against the blanket statement that was being made. At the core of the entire issue is moderation, (not the forum kind) and restraint. People create a pattern that is sometimes the equivalent of a geodesic structure amid a forest full of trees, then wonder why the pattern is detected. What I still find difficult to believe is that 'flying under the radar' is a tenet that is so often ignored. Then people are dumbfounded when they find they've been targeted...

Matt Cutts

12/18/2006 10:16 pm

"People create a pattern that is sometimes the equivalent of a geodesic structure amid a forest full of trees, then wonder why the pattern is detected." Not a bad way to put it. The thing about trying to stay "beneath the radar" is that modern search engines have a lot of radars, not just one. My advice is the same as it's always been: build compelling content that can attract links as a result of editorial choice; those links are among the most useful because users are choosing to make them.

cvos

12/19/2006 06:01 am

What is crystal clear is that links have become the new currency, and like all currency is prone to rampant fraud. The fraud that will exist is proportional to the square of its perceived value, so as links increase in perceived and real value, link fraud will double. It seems these posts are google's public expression of their internal frustration with sorting the wheat from the chaff. Their engineers are getting much better at, but have not yet perfected the art of deducing link quality.

Arnie

12/21/2006 01:49 am

Michael, Love the JK Rowling quote and your comment. I couldn't agree more. Why is everyone obsessed with recip links? Maybe cuz they are easy? Maybe that's the point.

SEO Skynet

01/22/2007 01:11 pm

I believe that if you are getting high quality links that you will never get in trouble for obtaining them. The problem arises when the links are all from mediocre or spammy sites - or worst case - your own sites. The essential thing about link build rate is... if you want to make the first page of google you must accumulate links at a rate that is much faster then the pages (and sites) that currently hold top positions. You will have an unlikely path to PageOne if your accumulation rate is slower.

ds

02/21/2007 07:15 pm

I believe that if you are getting high quality links that you will never get in trouble for obtaining them

No Name

05/15/2008 11:33 am

I also believe same that getting High PR and Quality links like .edu, .org, .gov sites will never get trouble

Alex

03/11/2010 01:52 pm

I think SMM is the best way to get organic links to ones website. Does somebody know how google sees SMM?

Local SEO

09/20/2013 11:58 am

A late Friday post at the Google Webmaster Central blog named Building link-based popularity sparked a ton of discussion over the weekend, thanks for the great news, all SEO webmasters were desperately waiting this right movement..

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