Link Building is the most confusing Google’s ranking factor: Case study

Link building is a powerful ranking factor and we all know that Google gives priority to dofollow backlinks only. But it is seems like that Google has now started considering many dofollow link building techniques as spam and tells to make nofollow them. Are you confused that how to get ranking by using backlinks without indulge into any spamming? Yes it is very confusing. Let’s try to understand what type of back links are spam in front of Google.

Also Read: List of Latest Google Analytics’ Spam Referral Sites

Forum Links are considered as spam, make them nofollow 

Forum is the best place to share your blog but now Google is considering them as spam but you can still put your link on high relevant content with nofollow tag. Avoid link in your profile and in signature box. Most of post on the forum are small and doesn’t clearly and completely cover the topic and people use this as a cheap trick to get backlinks. This is one of the reason behind Google’s decision of not giving value to dofollow links on forums.

Forum Links SEO

Google Considers Press Release Links as paid Link 

Google considers Press Release links as paid links. According to Google webmaster guideline paid links should be nofollow otherwise Google can penalize your site. Press Release sites are also bad for back links, Google consider it as spam if it is dofollow.

Press Releases Considered Spam

Use nofollow in Guest Blogging – John Mueller

Low quality guest blogs and blogs targeted to create backlinks only are considered as spam by Google. John Mueller said that nofollow your guest blog back links especially back links in author bio.

Guest Blogging Links Spam

Footer Links on Client’s site should be nofollow – John Mueller

First, Google gives less priority to footer links in ranking and second thing is, creating footer links on client’s website is considered as spam by Google.

Spammy Footer Links

Links in widgets is considered as spam – Matt Cutts

External links like Plugin links, traffic/visitor & social embedded widgets are considered as spam by Google.

Widget Link Spam

Keyword with link in blog comment is spam, use author name – Matt Cutts

People are still using keyword instead author name in blog comment. Now days almost all blog sites use nofollow in comments such as Disqus & WordPress.

Blog Comment Spam

Article Directory are considered as spam – Matt Cutts

There was the time people were very fond of article directory sites to get as many backlinks as possible, but its not the case now. Google has stopped giving priority to sites with 1000s of backlinks from article directories but it can surely help people finding your content.

Article Submission Spam

UGC (User Generated Content) can put you in trouble – Google

User-generated content (UGC) is defined as “any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasting, pins, digital images, video, audio files, and other forms of media that was created by users of an online system or service, often made available via social media websites – Wikipedia

Check Detail – Back links through UGC is spam, Mozilla penalty

Check Google Help for User-generated spam

User-generated spam - Mozila

Ask for back link is spam – Google

Check Detail – Don’t ask for link – Google

Google Says Do Not Ask People To Link To You

Although Google further explain it, that you can ask for link but it shouldn’t against Google’s guideline.
Check Detail here – Don’t Ask for Links That Violate Our Guidelines

Moz link building spam techniques list

Check Detail – 17 Types of links spam – Moz

Moz Spam List

Check bad links techniques suggested by webmaster

Check link here – Google Webmaster – Bad link building techniques

Webmaster Guideline For Links

We have discussed about bad links techniques; fact is almost all back link techniques are considered as spam so how to get rank by using link building.

Google Says…Make your back links nofollow if you really want to safe your website by Google penalties.

Nofollow links can’t down Google trust.

Google says- use nofollow for untrusted and low quality sites but it doesn’t mean that Google reduces trust value for nofollow links.

Check detail – No Nofollow Linking Penalty – John Mueller

No Follow Links Ok

Now what you say about this…

Google can penalize your site if you are creating lots of nofollow back links. So be careful, even nofollow links are sensitive as dofollow links.

Check detail – nofollow back links in huge scale are spam

No Follow Links Won't Hurt You

So link building is not an easy work. Large scale of nofollow links also a bad idea. Hehehe… Now confusion has become big.

Now the question is same… how to rank your website by using link building

Also Read: Advance Way to Link Building without any spamming

Check some link building tips

  1. Follow Google webmaster Guideline
  2. Sites which are only made for link building (dofollow) are spamming sites even high Page Rank sites, avoid them.
    Example – Directory, Bookmarking, Article submission sites
  3. Check quality, relevancy and popularity before link building.
    Example – If you are running a website of yoga institute then make links on quality or popular yoga websites.
  4. Just search site name on SERP and find out the site has penalized or not.
  5. The Domain Authority (DA) should be 40+ (check this in OSE MOZ Tool)
  6. Create links on only those pages which have minimum 300 words.
  7. Create links on relevant country website.
  8. Create links on relevant language website.
    Example – If your website is in English language only then you should create links from sites which are in English.
  9. Make some links with brand name and go slowly and regularly. Check link – Building a Good Link ProfileBrand Name Backlinks
  10. Make only 1-2 links in one guest blog which should be natural (not service page, not promotional page)
  11. Mostly natural links can be made for business website blog because blog has good content and great information so put call to action in your blog.
  12. You can easily get rank for a blog because it has proper content, has long tail keyword and in-depth knowledge so do content marketing with great information.
  13. Make Links for helping users (Natural Link)
  14. Use author name not keyword in blog comment and mention your blog link if it has good info about the blog topic.
  15. Avoid forum signature links
  16. Do guest blogging only on popular and highly relevant site. (niche)
    Example – post tech news on technology site (ex. –,
    Link should be highly relevant otherwise use nofollow.
  17. Don’t create links with same anchor text.
  18. Check some tips suggested by Kissmetrics
    kissmetrics blog - BackLinks that are Bad for Your Website
  19. Don’t optimize your anchor text – Neil Patel
    check detail – anchor tag optimization
    Anchor Text Optimizing

If you will follow all link building tips, I think you can’t get much back links easily. Big Brands also penalized by Google due to link building..
Check top 10 Brand Penalized by Google

Now you have understood that what is the role of link building in SEO, Negative or Positive?

Best Solution is to get ranking – Work on other SEO ranking factors…

1. Nofollow Links is not a bad idea.
– Put your links on other sites for users not for Google, doesn’t matter it is nofollow.
– Nofollow links on relevant popular sites can improve Google trust. So indirectly nofollow links may improve your ranking.
– Nofollow links can improve your website visits.
– Make your landing page as lead converter. You can use query form or call-to-action.
– Check Moz Blog The Hidden Power of Nofollow Links
– Check SEMRush Blog Links, NoFollow II: The Reckoning | Rated NC: Not for Content

2. In-depth blogging (fresh content) 
– Content is No. 1 ranking factor, Google already has said about it officially… Even Content is more important than user experience (UX).

Content Is King

– In-depth blog can help you out to get more natural links. If users like your blog then they can use/share your blog link in his site/blog/Social Media.
– You can also provide solutions to users but with proper content.

3. Website optimization
– Use SEO friendly website design techniques such as Meta tag, alt tag, static url, content management, sitemap, rss feed, robots.txt etc.  Make your website SEO friendly.

4. Branding is everything
Old Domain Age + Google Trust + Popularity + Social Media = Branding

Social Media – Promote your website on social media. Use all social media marketing to improve your network. Join communities and groups on social media and talk with people and tell him about your website. People love to share great info or link so post in-depth blog on social media.

Make relationship (Popularity)Make relationship not links. Join relevant communities and forum and provide the solutions. You can use other platform to make relationship like email marketing, free seminar etc.

I researched with many keywords and analyze Branding is everything. I got top brand sites in top ranking mostly. Have a look an example…

Branding Is Everything

5. Paid Campaign
If you are running a business and want to grow early then paid campaign is a good idea. You can choose top paid services to get fast result like Google Adwords, PPC, Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube etc.) paid services. Make sure your budget should be good.

Final Touch

Now it’s time to give answer of this question that how to rank your website by using link building
The answer is that avoid link Building especially dofollow. Google also has said that do SEO without using link building or hire SEO agency/guy which can market your website without using link building. This process may take time. There is no shortcut to get ranking within a month or 2-3 months.

If you are using bad link building techniques then you may get ranking within few months but after 6 months or 12 months+ you can be penalized by Google Penguin or webmaster manual action. The point is, some time you will feel that bad/huge link building works for ranking but after 1-2 years you can loss your website ranking on Google.

Suppose you make a link on a quality site and after some time it is penalized by Google, so now your back link becomes bad link and generally we don’t check website’s back links regularly. Google can take action against this lately.


NickLink Building is the most confusing Google’s ranking factor: Case study

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Join the conversation
  • wrq - July 16, 2015

    Nice article! Thank you, but if you follow all google rules you’ll rank nothing. My point of view is that the trick is to know how much to brake a rule.. Like for anchor link building, you can use anchors but not for all links, you’ll have to keep a proportion 5% from all links is considered to be safe.

    admin - July 17, 2015

    I agree with you @wrp but we can do link building without breaking any Google’s rule. I have already suggested many tips. Read the topic “Check some link building tips” and i have also written in it’s 17th point that “Don’t create links with same anchor text.” so you can create links with different keywords but don’t force any keyword to rank. You can also create few links for services or promotional pages because Google don’t take action for few links generally. But I will still suggest you that don’t make links for google, make links for users. Google may increase his quality in future and it can penalize your site..

  • Shiya Shamsu - July 16, 2015

    Terrific article with top quality and invaluable information about SERP, Hats Up..

  • Trieu Sung Hop - July 17, 2015

    Great informations from this blog

  • google analytics tutorial - August 13, 2015

    You want to improve your followers and community, spamming people isn’t the technique
    of doing it, end of story. Yellow pages are a good method to obtain off-line telephone leads via
    fliers and other modes, online is an alternative but referrals, according to whatever you do, are
    local. The more difficult a URL or more a URL changes, a lot more it
    can be to index like a link destination.

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