This is Why All Links are Not Created Equal
There are still a few SEO marketers out there who try to mislead dentists and other small business owners into thinking that all links are created equal, and they’re all valued the same way by Google, Bing, and Yahoo. However, this is not the case (and hasn’t been for some time). In other words, there are good links and bad links (as well as some that don’t matter either way).
Here are a couple things you need to know about each type, and hints as to how to distinguish between them.
1. What are good links?
Let’s start with some positive things, shall we?
They are also most often links from within the actual content of another site – such as in a blog post or article. Links like this show that another site is using yours in a similar way to which an academic writer might cite a source. Even a few content links from very popular sites can give your SEO a huge boost.
2. What are bad links?
Unfortunately, there are a lot more opportunities to get bad links than good. These are links that Google has determined are problematic and must either be ignored or penalized.
Most links from directories and forums are bad – although in some cases a legitimate link could be gotten this way. For example, if your site is listed in a local online directory of dentists that is actually well-trafficked by people in your area and serves a legitimate purpose, it could boost your SEO. However, if a link to your site is included in a directory that exists for the sole purpose of linking out to other sites, that can hurt your SEO.
Forum links are problematic somewhere around 80-90% of the time, it seems, but a few links from posts in legitimate, virtually spam-free forums can help you out.
3. What about links that are somewhere in the middle?
If you’re with me so far, you’ve probably realized by now that there are a lot of gray areas when it comes to link building. Directories and forums could almost be considered gray areas, but they’re misused so often that Google and the other search engine giants are almost always skeptical of them.
However, there are some areas of link building that are split about 50-50. Press releases are a big one. Many legitimate SEO companies, such as our own, use press releases the way they’re meant to be used, and in that case they can serve as a legitimate part of an SEO plan. However, some black hat SEO sites often misuse press releases, and turn them into a tool for spamming that can either have no effect or have a negative effect on your site’s SERP ranking.
That’s just one more reason that it’s always important to go with a reputable, legitimate SEO professional if you decide to hire outside help for your internet marketing campaign.