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What exactly is a link scheme? And how can you avoid using them in your own SEO efforts? In this post, we’ll explore what link schemes are, some common examples, and how you can stay on the right side of the law (and Google’s algorithm) by avoiding them. Read on to learn more!
What is a link scheme?
In SEO, a link scheme is any plan or strategy for artificially acquiring inbound links (i.e. links from other websites). Link schemes can take many different forms, but they all have one goal in common: to game the system and boost a website’s authority and search engine rankings without providing any real value to users.
What are some common link schemes?
There are literally hundreds of different link schemes out there, but some of the most common include things like link farms, private blog networks, and paid links.
Link farms are networks of websites that all link to each other in order to artificially inflate their link counts and improve their search engine rankings. These days, most link farms are pretty easy to spot, because they typically consist of a bunch of low-quality websites with very little original content.
Private blog networks (PBNs) are another common link scheme. A PBN is a group of websites that are all owned and controlled by the same person or organization, and that are used to link back to each other in order to boost their search engine rankings.
Paid links are exactly what they sound like: links that someone has paid for, either directly or indirectly. For example, a website owner might pay another website owner to link to their site, or they might offer some type of incentive (like discounts or coupons) to encourage people to link to their site. Paid links are generally considered to be a form of link spam, and they can get your website into a lot of trouble with Google.
How can you avoid using link schemes?
The best way to avoid using link schemes is to just focus on creating high-quality content that people will want to link to naturally. If you’re creating content that’s genuinely useful and interesting, you shouldn’t have to worry about resorting to shady tactics like link schemes. Just promote your content in ethical ways (like through social media and email) and let the links come in naturally.
Of course, it’s not always possible to avoid every single link scheme out there. But as long as you’re aware of the risks involved and you’re careful about the links you’re acquiring, you should be able to stay on the right side of Google’s guidelines.
Link schemes can be tempting, but they’re almost always a bad idea. Not only do they violate Google’s guidelines, but they also provide very little value to users. If you want to avoid getting penalized by Google, just focus on creating high-quality content and promoting it in ethical ways.
Jamie Fallon is an SEO expert who lives life to the maximum, redlining every day on a rollercoaster straight to the grave.
In an SEO career of almost ten years, he’s seen it all, he’s done it all, and he’s not impressed: from white text on a white background to today, when you can have robots paint or write for you like some kind of sick science fiction come true.
No matter what life throws at him, Jamie always manages to come out on top. He’s an expert at seeing the silver lining in every cloud and making the best of every situation. His positive attitude and unshakable faith in himself have seen him through tough times. For some people, success goes to their heads; but Jamie never forgets what got him to wherever he thinks he is.
When he’s not busy gaming the system, you can find him writing angry thinkpieces on how Google is ruining everything good about the internet, or hanging out with his wife (pictured).