Almost all website owners at least once think about link purchase. Undoubtedly, it is a simple and effective way to create a link building campaign. However, have you wonder how many websites get penalties for this activities? Purchasing backlinks is a violation of Google rules and there a lot of how Google detects paid links.
Backlinks are still the most significant ranking factor in Google. That is why a lot of businesses decide to gain link juice to their sites artificially. It can be quite risky and cause rankings fall.
However, if you still take a risk to improve your website rankings through paid links, you should be aware how Google may detect your activity. This information will help you to make correct link building decisions and be aware of possible risks.
Ways Google detects paid links
There are three primary tactics how Google detects purchased links. The first one is when your competitors send spam reports. Google does not like spam links and encourages webmasters to report the paid links of other sites. There are even a particular Google guidelines which are designed to warn webmasters about negatively impact of link schemes on website rankings. There is a link to this guide.
According to this Google guidelines, the following unnatural backlinks may hurt your rankings:
- text advertisements that pass PageRank;
- sponsored articles or blog posts that include links that pass PageRank;
- links with optimized anchor texts in content which is distributed on other sites;
- poor quality directory or bookmark site links;
- hidden links that included in widgets which are spread across various sites;
- comments with optimized links in the post or signature.
It is quite common when competitors conduct a special research to detect fraudulent activities of their market niche rivals and remove them from SEO game.
The second method used by Google to detect fraudulent link building activities is manual spam fighters. Google employ special people who were judging the quality of Google’s search results. Moreover, some people look for spam and paid links.
The third method, you have probably heard before, is Google algorithm. Google can develop an algorithm that can detect paid links based on the paid links report. For instance, Google webmaster had repeatedly referred that Google’s algorithms had been able to identify paid link before they were reported in a manual spam report.
To avoid Google penalties, you need to stop using fully automated link building systems. These systems were specially designed to violate Google ranking algorithms. Due to that fact, Google can downrank your web source at once if the system will notice that your website participates in such link system.
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