Backlinks Are Bad For Your SEO

by Jim June 1, 2016

Had an awesome time last week at The Internet Conference. A big thank you to all those that attended my sessions and made a point of coming up and saying hello. For those of you that I promised the SEMRUSH freebie, there’ll be an email coming with the details.


As you know I am not a big fan of buying backlinks or so called backlink campaigns because most of the sites I see don’t actually need it. They already have awesome backlinks. More backlinks is rarely the answer when it comes to SEO. At least the way we do it anyway. My stance on backlinks has unfortunately made some irate who profit from the practice. Anyone who has followed me over the years knows I love a good debate. Especially about SEO. There is always something more to learn. However if it gets nasty I will block you for a couple of reasons. It’s unpleasant to read for others and life is too short to spend time being shouty. If my videos or words make you angry I would suggest watching or reading something else. I do this because I love helping others and I do it for free.

Do you Need Backlinks?

Of course you do. Unless your site is brand new though it should never be your first option. In today’s video I show you a former client’s site where the SEO has being let go. This is an enterprise client from about five years ago. Back then they already had awesome backlinks as they were producing whitepapers and were thought leaders in cross border cloud computing implications. As you will see there are multiple opportunities to get back their rankings by fixing up simple things like the home page title, sitemaps and removal of lorem ipsum pages.


Do You Have The Park Brake On?

That is the case with most sites we see. In the case above they do not need backlinks, they just to take the park brake off. Basically get the site configured properly. Once you have done that you will get a better idea of how your site ranks and whether you need to go and get backlinks. As I showed with skinnymixers she did not need more backlinks, just the site configured properly and one piece of content. The size of your site does not matter. If it’s not configured properly it’s not configured properly. In fact it’s more important to get an enterprise level site configured properly before thinking about getting backlinks. It’s like running an ad campaign when you have a messy store. Clean the place up first, you’ll find you’ll get more sales.  These sites typically have great backlinks already from media. If your enterprise SEO is focused on getting more backlinks then you may suffer the fate of many before you and get hit with a Google penalty. It may not be a Google Penguin update (which is imminent), it maybe a competitor is watching what you are doing and has reported you to Google using this form. 

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