Google is cracking down on manipulation of Page Rank using links. Google, like most search engines use link-based analyses to determine the reputation and popularity of a website. Using the quantity and quality of links that lead back to a site helps its algorithm to decide if a certain site is useful or valuable to searchers. This is an effort to ensure a high-quality user experience on the browser.
Search Engine Optimization experts and website owners often buy and sell links that pass Page Rank, which is against Google’s guidelines. Those who acquire these links are generally not concerned with the quality of the links, sources, or its impact on the site. Google calls this link schemes.
It is worth noting that just the act of buying and selling links is not a guideline violation, especially when done as a means of advertising. However, when the purpose is expressly to manipulate search results and rank higher, it becomes a problem. As long as you mark the links purchased for advertising as such, you’ll be in the clear in terms of being penalized by Google. Nevertheless, you should be aware that tagging the link as an advertisement will have the exact opposite of the intended effect, assuming that it was done as part of SEO link-building efforts.
According to Google, examples of such link schemes that could impact a site’s ranking negatively are – exchanging money, goods or services for links or posts that contain links, too many link exchanges exclusively for cross-linking, large-scale guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links, using automated programs to create links to your site, etc.
Additionally, unnatural links like paid native ads and text ads with links that pass Page Rank, comments on forums with optimized links in the footer, low-quality directory links, etc. could also be considered a violation of Google’s guidelines.
If you engage in such practices as part of SEO efforts, it is best to stop and undo some of the damage before the websites you optimized face heavy penalties or even be deindexed from ranking. Even though this makes an SEOs work a lot harder, the best and perhaps the only sustainable and viable way out is high quality, unique, and relevant content creation. This in turn will lead to people organically linking to your content with their audience. This will also increase the overall quality of the content on the internet.
At Pentagon, we make it a point to ensure that all Google guidelines are strictly followed. Our experts are constantly upskilling and staying up to date with industry knowledge, allowing us to not be caught unawares. This makes it possible to provide the highest quality of service to our clients.