When you own a business or a website, you can be tempted to use one of those services that offers “Cheap PR8 Backlinks!” or “Get on Page 1 of Google!” It’s an easy decision if you don’t know much about how these services work – What’s that? Get on page 1 of Google? Why sure, I’ll pay for that!
What these services do is spam a massive number of links to a whole bunch of non-relevant sites. That is bad for your business for 2 reasons:
- Google doesn’t look very favorably on backlinks from sites that are not relevant to the destination page (although it’s still not a punishable offense, just stupid)
- Depending on the methods that the service uses to get the links out there, it actually MIGHT be a punishable offense, in which case your entire site could get slammed and sent back to the hundredth page, or worse.
I actually had #2 done to me recently. I wasn’t using a paid backlink service (tried it once, never went back), but I was testing out some different techniques and theories that I had for getting my page ranked. I went from page 3 of Google for a certain keyword all the way back to page 92. You can guess that I was pretty bummed when I found out it happened. I lost a lot of revenue on that site as a result.
I’ve been able to build it back up to page 15 so far, but it has been a long, arduous process that could have been avoided if I had just stayed away from that one technique. Now, I know I didn’t pay for the backlinks that did this to me, but the point is that you never know what these services are actually doing to get the promised number of backlinks out there.
Google doesn’t tell you when it punishes you, and it doesn’t tell you what you did wrong. It just sends your page way back and leaves you to figure it out for yourself.
If you want to get onto the 1st page of Google, put the effort in and do it yourself. Article directories don’t have the same sway they used to since the Google Panda updates, but they still hold some weight, so don’t count them out completely. Social networking sites like Facebook are apparently going to be given more weight, so make sure you use them as well. Ask other people to share your site on their pages to help get the word out.
If you are offering a quality service or have useful information on your site, people will have no problem linking to it and sharing it for you. If you want some quick backlinks, you can hire a freelance content writer to write some articles and then get them up on article directories quickly and painlessly, controlling the process so that you know exactly where your links are coming from.