link building popularity There are many stories floating around about business owners being slammed by Google for no good reason. Don't let the horror stories mislead you.

In most cases, what really happened is the webmaster was doing something clearly suspicious or out-dated, like building thousands of links to their site from link directories, and then their rankings suddenly dropped off from Google's top-10 search results.

If you don't exhibit overly spammy behavior in your link building, as a general rule you will be 0K.

These best practices will ensure you acquire links correctly and don't break Google's terms of service:

  1. Acquire links naturally and evenly over time. Your links should be attained consistently and organically. In fact, Google has made its approach with assessing link acquisition in relation to time public knowledge. Patent US20050071741 outlines how Google analyzes the age of links and the rate they are acquired and then uses this information to calculate the search results.

    If you don't fancy reading up on patents in your spare time, then just remember to gradually build up your links over time, so Google sees that your website is acquiring links organically. Don't go out and buy one thousand links pointing to your site overnight or you're sure to set off a red flag in Google's system and get into its bad books.

  2. . As a rule, don't purchase links. Buying links with the intention of boosting your rankings is against Google's terms of service and you risk being penalized. These kinds of links may work, but are generally not worth the potential damage, unless you are confident you know what you are doing.

  3. Forget about link-swapping or link-trading schemes. These are completely obvious to Google, and either no longer work or may harm your site. This goes against common knowledge, but I've achieved countless number one rankings for ridiculously competitive keywords without ever swapping links. Link-swapping is extremely time-consuming and completely unnecessary. Get by without it.

  4. Don't spam message boards, article sites or blog comments with crappy content. This might work temporarily, but strategies such as these are outdated very quickly.

  5. There are paid networks out there offering to build new links to your site for a low monthly fee each month. Never use them. These networks are against Google's terms Of service and using them is a quick way to ensure you find yourself in hot water with Google.
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