Often times a link exchange sounds like a great way to get an organization’s website higher up in the search engine rankings, because cross linking from website to website helps increase the number of inbound links.
These links, also called backlinks, are important referrals that help the search engines identify the most important and popular information on the internet. The problem is, some folks have figured out how to game the computers that derive the results. One of the techniques they use are with link exchanges called link farms, intentionally set up for no other reason but to improve SEO (search engine optimization). One can also franchise local marketing services to improve a website’s SEO.
Google has a policy against this practice and will punish websites for being a part of a link farm. Their policy specifically says that examples of link schemes can include:
- Links intended to manipulate PageRank
- Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging (“Link to me and I’ll link to you.”)
Read three interesting articles on this topic:
NAPFA’s (Not So Secret) Link Farm
Mike Byrnes explains how advisors might be gaming the system to get better search engine rankings.
Social Media Consultant Mike Byrnes Highlights A SEO Black-Hat Tactic
Andy Gluck, a veteran financial reporter and Owner of advisors4advisors, shares his take on what some advisors are trying to do to get better search engine results.
As Google Tweaks Searches, Some Get Lost in the Web
Sara Needleman and Emily Matby from the Wall Street Journal reported on how some businesses’ websites in other industries are paying the price for being involved in activities that are deceiving or manipulating search engines.
If you need help building an online marketing strategy and want to be careful not to jeapordize search engine rankings, contact Byrnes Consulting for assistance.