I'm not doubting the power of a successful link building strategy. Links can make or break a site. However I've spoken before about how I think Google needs to do more about shabby link selling and spammy link sites, this post shows you why.
I'm going to show you what a typical link building company offer their clients. These are REAL examples sent to me by a company who were trying to sell me their services. I won't divulge the identity of the company they did the work for or comment on how effective the links have been. I simply want to raise the subject and stimulate some debate on this kind of activity which must be slewing the SERPs and hurting sites that are playing by the rules - such that they are.
The case study I was given detailed:-
- The site requiring inbound links
- The anchor text to be used
- The sites delivering the links
I checked through them. Sure enough the links existed and the pages were either PR4 or PR3. So far so good, only this is where the good news ends. Here are the pages the link building company were proud to demonstrate they'd secured links from. You'll need to use your imagination if you want to look at them....
These sites represent the link building company's idea of quality theme based sites from which they would secure links for us or our clients. The really scary thing is these links may well be helping the companies who bought them. I'd like to know how on earth these sites can even have a PR4! If ever you needed an argument for getting rid of visible Pagerank here's your open and closed case.
I'm sure there are many link building companies out there who offer a quality service, and I can understand why link builders offer to create links such as these. Often their clients have nothing link worthy on their sites meaning spammy links are always going to be as good as it gets.
I accept getting links from truly authoritative sites is near on impossible for most websites. But is this the answer? Is adding to the spam-o-sphere really the way forward. I hope not.