SEO Agencies still buying bad backlinks

by Jim November 4, 2015

After I’d recorded last week’s regular show we found a client received a parting gift from the former SEO. They’d implanted hidden code into the site that had the effect of removing their site from Google. Pretty nasty. I’ve documented it here and part 2 here. Then on Monday we found that arguably one of Australia’s biggest digital agencies looks like they are breaking Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by creating backlinks. This agency is a major Google Partner too. Here is what Google says about backlinks.

Google Link Schemes
Google Link Schemes

Do You Need Backlinks?

Sure you do. Most businesses though do not know what backlinks they already have. Why would you go out and try to get backlinks before you know what you have already got? For instance I’m working on a site at the moment for our Bloggers SEO product . The site needed to rank for a really tough phrase. When I started they were out of the top 100, today they are no. 4. I did not create a single backlink for this site. They have links from 38 domains. All natural, no directories or paid backlinks. The no.3 result has 685 but the no.8 result has 78 and the no.1, 555. So you can see it’s not the quantity it’s the quality. The work I have done on this site is all on page and the only backlinks our ranking page has is from internal links.

UPDATE: I made a change to the URL structure and 24 hours later went above the 685 backlink pig to no.3

Up to no.3 with no new backlinks from out of top 100
Up to no.3 with no new backlinks from out of top 100

The Best Way To Get Backlinks

If you have absolutely no backlinks you should get some. Reputable business directories are a good place to start. Just the mainstream high quality ones like local chamber of commerce etc. Outside of that you should be looking at where you want to get traffic from. Look for sites and communities where your customers are and work out how you can get links from those sites. It maybe as simple as joining different communities and contributing to them.

Check Your Backlinks

You really should check your backlinks. In the case of this week’s video the former SEO provided a list of backlinks they had created, which is great because we can now go and get rid of them all. Even comment spam backlinks can get you a penalty from Google. Google Search Console is probably the easiest way to check backlinks under the “Search Traffic” section. For more in depth analysis we recommend which I have been using for years.

You can check out what Google thinks about link schemes here.  Also here’s a post and video I did a while back that is still relevant.


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