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Cleaning up after poor link building

Link building is a simple idea. Get other websites to link to your website. The results should be that more visitors arrive at your site from other websites.

Increased traffic = more sales / enquiries. 

Job done, let's move on to the next thing.

You can even buy these links in bulk rather than go through the laborious process of building up connections with other sites to negotiate a link swap (very few sites worth linking with will do a one way link). Pay a few $ to a man in Azerbajan/Belo Horizonte/Shanghai and let the links roll on in
- please be aware this is not as simple as it may first appear! Keep reading.....

Oh, and Google will like you more too (feel the love) if you have a lot of incoming links to your website.

Google sees a popular website as carrying more sway than a less popular website and pushes it up the search results.

Reasoning?

If lots of other sites like your site, then so will people who use Google to search.

As Matt Cutts at Google puts it;

“Backlinks, even though there’s some noise and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really, really big win in terms of quality for search results.”

But of course there is a catch in all of this, so beware....

Google vets the quality of the links to your website.

One good link from one popular website e.g. a link from the BBC website is better than 1,000 links from 1,000 small websites.

Its about who you know, not how many you know.

Google is also strict about quality, even for the 1,000 small links. It needs to know that these are genuine links from genuine websites and not just a bunch of ringer websites (also called link farms) that were set up with the sole intention of doing nothing but providing links.

Google has cracked down on link farms to the point where if it smells a rat (sees lots of junk incoming links) it will simply remove your website from its search results before asking you nicely to remove the links.

Why?

Because paid links are against Google’s guidelines.

Trouble is, the man in Azerbajan/Belo Horizonte/Shanghai that you paid a few $ to to get the links in the first place is no longer around, and even if he is he's going to struggle to help you.
Undoing simple link building is much harder than doing it in the first place - even Google recognises this at it allows you several weeks to undo the mess that has been made (but you will have no Google results for several weeks while this is being sorted out).

The clean up process takes a lot of time and effort - think oil spillage from a tanker.

So, it turns out that hard work and doing things properly in the first place instead of a quick and dirty fix will pay benefits and cost less in the long run.

Surprised? I thought not.

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