Below is a list of link building strategies we do not recommend you use. They are often considered "black hat" techniques or spam. Using these strategies, while possibly effective at first, leave you open to possible repercussions ranging from losing money invested, to dropping in ranking or being completely banned by Google.
There are sites that will sell you a link. Often times the cost of the link depends upon the page rank of the linking site and the number of outbound links. The more powerful the link, the more it will cost. Purchasing links can get you many links with the proper link text relatively quickly, and could give you a big boost in Google rankings. While this is tempting, we strongly advise against it, as Google will penalize your site for it.
Link spamming is when you go to blogs, forums, and other sites where you can submit content and you submit a link. For example, in the comments section of a blog. People would leave a comment with a link back to their site, even though the comment and the site had nothing to do with the blog. The idea was to just get as many links as possible.
Spamming for Links
This is when you blast e-mail a lot of people asking for links. This is just spam, pure and simple. While Google will not know you did this, it is still not a good practice as you can get a bad reputation if you spam a lot of people asking for links. Instead, you should follow the advice of our methodology where you develop targeted lists and make targeted offers. This will be much more effective.
Link farms are simply sites with a ton of outbound links. Google does not like link farms. If you run a site, it is not advised to create a links section that lists many outbound links. Many people do this in order to trade links with someone else. Getting involved in reciprocal link trading between link farms will put you on the fast track to losing a lot of credibility (page rank) with Google.
Many times you will receive e-mail offers to exchange links. They say that if you link to their site, they will link to you. This may seem fair as you are exchanging one link for another. However, Google does not like this as you are artificially trying to manipulate the system. Therefore, Google is constantly looking for link exchanges, and if they find one, they will discount if not completely ignore those links. Additionally, link exchanging can leave you open to the possibility of creating a link farm on your site if you exchange links with a lot of different sites.
Originally published Jan 5, 2012 9:32:00 AM, updated January 13 2014