Now that we’ve covered up Organic Link Building, let’s move on to it’s not-so-evil counterpart which is Artificial Link Building or what some others call Automated Link Building.
Artificial link building isn’t altogether bad but some people exploit automated means to the point of redundantly abusing it until they are regarded as spam. And as such, some of these practices are generally frowned upon by the SEO community at large.
But hey, why go through all the criticism and risk of being penalized if it doesn’t work, right?
Coz it does work.
But that doesn’t mean I’m encouraging you to practice it. In fact, as much as you can, I would advise you to avoid these methods in order for you to give more focus to your organic link building and capitalizing on the conversation in your reader’s minds.
Let me point out that these are just some of the artificial link building methods available out there. There are plenty more and I’m sure many more will be innovated in the years to come. We never run out of loopholes. Not unless Google becomes perfect in scouting the web from spammers and violators – which is unlikely.
Again, let me point out that these practices are valid and helps you increase your rankings. And not all of these practices are harmful – but I personally think that you should focus more on content marketing and organic linkbuilding than these artificial link building methods.
Directories are like an online Yellow Pages list. They categorize websites by the niche and topic that the websites contain. Before search engines took over the web (literally), web directories did matter. People went to web directories to find relevant information that they are searching for. And as such, web directories provided a good source of traffic and links to your website.
Nowadays, unfortunately, web directories have been reduced to something comparable to linkfarms. Most of the directories are just full of crap sites that are trying to get linkjuice to themselves. They aren’t reviewed properly, and aren’t visited much anymore. Coz hey, why would you tire yourself out looking at web directories when there’s the ever-convenient Google to run to?
Not since lately, linkfarms are one still a source of links. But I personally don’t practice submitting to directories. I don’t find it useful nor helpful anymore. Not since Google declared that Caffeine will look at directories as linkfarms.
There’s nothing wrong with commenting on blogs and slicing out your two-cents for the author’s article. In fact, authors appreciate a true, sincere and heart-felt comment and may even get in touch with you on Facebook or Twitter. Unfortunately, as all other good, angelic, innocent linkbuilding methods out there, bad-ass black hatters found out a way to ‘utilize’ this.
As an editor-in-chief of several blogs, I’ve received my share of annoying, irritating and downright useless comments. And without Akismet, I might still be sweeping away spam comments on my blogs right now. Though sometimes Akismet might be overprotective, so you have to check your spam comments section once in a while if a real comment was swatted away.
Blog commenting is one great way to build links if the blog owner allows dofollow on all the commenter’s name-link. It’s a two-way deal. The blog owner gets comments (boosting his/her authority and reputation via the article’s popularity) and you get the link juice you oh-so-crave for.
There are a lot of great forums out there. And behind each one is a great forum moderator – who swats all the spam away. I know because I manage an SEO forum myself. It’s a lot of work because there’s a lot of spammers trying to worm their way in and sneak in some links. To all forum moderators out there, I salute you! Please holler on the comment section below!
Forum posting is one great way to build links. You post a new thread or topic that is relevant to your keyword or blog or niche, etc. And you build a topic out of that thread in which a lot of people shares information and data, making that thread more relevant to the links you’ve put in there, giving you link juice that is relevant and, if the forum is a high PR, high authority site, then you’ve just hit gold – given that they allow dofollow links.
Google will always have a hard time figuring out if you’ve bought a link if the site you’ve bought it from does not explicitly say that they’re selling. Purchasing links is something that Google generally does not approve of (although there are rumors and facts that Google itself is using this to their advantage, read SEOBook for Google villainy).
Buying links is good because it gives you one-way link juice. And this trade will give you a big leverage if you get a link form a good, high authority website with high PR and traffic. That is if your cash can meet their terms.
Note: Be careful with buying links though. Make sure that you’re only investing on quality sites, and sites that are very much related to your niche.
You can also check our comprehensive all-in-one guide about Effective link building strategies