Q and A: Is this an effective link building approach?

QuestionHi Kalena

My boss has received a proposal from a website development company that included link building.

They tell me it involves 5,500 websites in a partner database that will link to us; sites spread across a range of sources and types to ensure a “natural” link profile growth. 1500 of these are related to our specific industry. The company says websites that will link to us are “confidential” - ranking from blogs to directories and more. And they vary the anchor text across a spread of keyword phrases to emulate as close as possible a “natural” link profile.

Does this sound effective to you? Wondering what your thoughts on this approach are?

Dear Susan

Hmmm. That sounds very dodgy to me, particularly the “confidential” part. If a marketing company won’t actually reveal what sites are going to link to you, you should be suspicious because that means you lose control of how your site is being marketed.

If any automated link farms, blog commenting or dodgy link selling schemes are used (and this is what I suspect with the high volume quoted), it could potentially damage your site’s reputation in Google or earn a ranking suppression of some kind.

As Google states in their Webmaster Guidelines:

“Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.”

Read more info on what Google considers link schemes.

Susan, it’s probably not the answer you want to hear, but there really is no shortcut to link building. It should be done carefully and in my opinion, manually and the process should be completely transparent between client and supplier. That’s the way I build links for clients and I always let the client have the ultimate decision about a potential link source.

Link building the traditional way does take time and money but is well worth the investment. The resulting effect on a site’s PageRank and traffic can be substantial.

Spread the joy!