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Link building strategy and Google penalties

6 minutes of reading
Link building strategy and Google penalties
Category SEO

While link building strategies have changed dramatically over the years, there are still some tried and true ways to build links that can help you rank well in search engines like Google. On the other hand, certain link building strategies can end up getting your site penalized by Google, which can be devastating to your business reputation and lead to serious financial losses. Here’s what you need to know about how Google penalties work and how to build links in a way that won’t get you penalized.


Black Hat SEO practices

It is any practice that goes against Google’s guidelines, in an attempt to rank higher in search results. These practices can result in a Google penalty, which is a negative effect on your site’s ranking in search results. There are a few black hat SEO practices that can result in Google penalties, such as keyword stuffing, link buying, and using private blog networks. The best way to avoid these penalties is by following the rules of white hat SEO, and making sure your content has originality and value.

What are Google penalties?

Google penalties are essentially Google’s way of saying you’re doing something that we don’t like, and we’re going to penalize you for it. This can take the form of a manual action, where someone at Google has manually reviewed your site and decided that it’s violating one of their guidelines, or an algorithmic penalty, where your site is being penalized as a result of a change to one of Google’s algorithms.

With all these different types of penalties, it can be difficult to understand what they mean and how they affect your website. To help you navigate this process more easily, we’ll go over the three major types of penalties below: Manual Actions, Algorithmic Penalties, and Structured Data Penalties.


  • Manual Actions are issued by a human reviewer who has found some sort of violation on your site. The most common violations would be spammy backlinks, scraped content, low-quality content, or deceptive practices. When this happens, you’ll see an alert in the Search Console letting you know that there was a manual action taken against your site and why. You may also receive a notification from Google Webmaster Tools. These alerts will let you know if your site will remain penalized, if the duration of the penalty has been extended, or if the penalty was removed altogether.
  • Algorithmic Penalties are not issued by humans but rather happen automatically as a result of changes to Google’s algorithm. One example of this would be when Google announced the Mobilegeddon update, which gave preferential treatment to sites that were mobile friendly. These penalties usually occur without any warning and cannot be appealed, so it’s best to stay up-to-date with updates from Google.
  • Structured Data Penalties are also given automatically and result from incorrect use of structured data markup. An example of this would be using the wrong Schema markup for images on your site. For example, if you have a product catalog with lots of different categories for cameras, drones, watches, etc., you could put tags around those listings to tell Google what type of item it is, the price range, reviews, etc.

Unacceptable link building practices

According to Google, there are certain link building practices that they deem to be unacceptable. These include:

  • buying links,
  • exchanging links solely for the purpose of cross-linking
  • participating in link schemes,
  • use of link farms,
  • use of hidden redirects.

If you engage in any of these activities, your site may be penalized by Google. One way to avoid this is to try a more natural approach instead. Link building is about earning quality backlinks through content creation and outreach. You can also increase the number of links pointing at your site naturally by using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn as well as creating a blog on your website where others can leave comments or posts with their URL back to their site, etc.

How does Google evaluate the quality of links?

The Google algorithm is constantly changing, but there are a few key factors that they evaluate when it comes to links. The first is the quality of the site that the link is coming from. If it’s a high-quality, authoritative site, then Google will give more weight to that link. They also look at things like the anchor text (the text that’s linked) and whether or not the link is surrounded by other relevant content. Lastly, they measure the quantity of links pointing to your website. That doesn’t mean you should create tons of low-quality links; it just means that if all your competitors have 100 backlinks, you should aim for 100 as well.

The Penguin Algorithm

The Penguin Algorithm is one of Google’s many algorithms used to evaluate the quality of links. This algorithm looks at the number of low-quality links pointing to a website, as well as the overall quality of those links. If too many low-quality links are found, the website may be penalized in the form of lower search engine rankings. Google constantly tweaks their algorithms to identify spammy links, but it’s important that websites with good intentions take precautions to avoid being penalized.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the activity of improving the visibility of a website in organic search results. It is divided into on-site and off-site. In the context of link building strategies, we focus primarily on the latter.

Link building is a process by which a site can increase its number of inbound links, or backlinks. This is important because Google uses backlinks as one of its main ranking factors. A website with more backlinks will typically rank higher in the search results than a website with fewer backlinks. There are many ways to build backlinks, including guest blogging, forum posts, and press releases.

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Link building is an essential part of SEO, but it’s important to do it right. If you don’t, you could end up with a Google penalty. To avoid this, make sure your link building strategy is white hat and focused on creating quality content that people will want to link to. Not only will this help you get more links, but it’ll also help improve your rankings in the search engines. By acting in the spirit of White Hat SEO, you will gain the favor of the search engine, and thus you will achieve a higher ranking position.

Aleksandra Pietrzak
Curator at the National Museum in Poznań, graduate of Art History at the Jagiellonian University and Contemporary Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, curator of exhibitions and author of scientific and popular texts. A lover of contemporary art, literature and travel.
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