I read an article in the SMH about how an online gift store in Australia was sent into oblivion on Google for having spammy backlinks. They had hired an overseas SEO agency to increase their ranking but found out all of a sudden one evening that they went from page 1 to page 13 due to this penalty. (full story here)
Link building has long been a strategy to increase the rank of your business on Google. The basic premise is similar to medical & scientific literature, the more people that cite a particular article, procedure, illness scientific formula e.t.c. the more popular the author and it’s procedure or thoery becomes, likewise the more websites that have a hyperlink to your site, the more popular and therefore higher you will rank on Google. However Google constantly updates its ranking algorithm to address such issues and a few years back updates named Penguin and Panda addressed this exact issue.
If Google sees you have links to your site on spammy, low quality sites like porn, drugs, low quality blogs, low quality directory sites & the like it will penalise your site as opposed to promote it. This problem is at the forefront of SEO companies, particularly overseas ones that use automated software to spam links to other low quality sites.
Most WebMasters and small business owners will have received an email from a company somewhere in Asia (mostly India) from someone promising 1st page ranks within 1 month.
This rings warning bells for 3 reasons:
A: SEO consultants should now spam email you, you should find them through their marketing & advertising or their high Google ranking (this is their business), spamming goes against everything a decent SEO now works for.
B: In highly competitive industries (i.e. most industries) a 1st page ranking will take 1-2 years
C: Overseas companies don’t know your culture, demographic or geographic data which is paramount for creating an effective SEO profile.
My recommendation for businesses in New Zealand who are looking for a boost in Google ranks is:
- Use a local New Zealand company
- Dont engage in link building unless its manually done to high quality sites associated with your industry and includes some original content.
- It should be equally balanced with SEM (Search Engine Marketing, i.e. Google AdWords e.t.c.)
- It should spam a minimum of 3-6 months if not made a permanent place in your marketing strategy