I very rarely read autobiographies that some years ago I read Richard Branson's and all the part I remember best was his tale of finding an apparent loophole in the payment of taxes on vinyl records by pretending the records were export sales rather than domestic… how this was all well and good till he got caught and then things will all very well and not good. From that moment on he swore not to take shortcuts in his business in terms of not treading a legal path. There were ways to make money without breaking the law and doing things the wrong way was setting yourself up for a fall if you got caught.
It is this same philosophy that the SEOguys apply to SEO but I've got to tell you it's a philosophy that seems to have not been shared by a great many SEO companies for a very long time, in fact quite the reverse seems to have been the philosophy. Take all and any risks especially with link building and everything will be fine.
Well I have to say it's been a long time coming than I expected of the day has finally arrived when Link Building in India is not only a danger to Webmasters is an unmitigated disaster. The techniques of generating links through:-
- outright buying them
- publishing junk articles spun from originals but now themselves making little sense with links embedded in the articles
- publishing links in masses of blog posts and forums
- publishing your links and thousands of junk directories
has finally and unequivocally being stomped on by Google and employment of these techniques has overnight seen the rankings of many sites devastated. That is not to say that the site themselves were not quality sites that deserves to rank well. If the Webmasters of these sites had used Google approved methods for generating links and increasing their site popularity likely they would have achieved the same high rankings they had previously enjoyed – albeit likely that greater cost than taking a longer time period. The Penguin update seems to have a huge focus on penalising sites not necessarily because the sites themselves a bad – the penalties are coming because the quality of the recommendations of the site is a good are not genuine.
I'll admit to having been frustrated over the years when quoting clients for SEO and hearing back from them comments such as ”I don't understand why you want to charge me so much what I have all these guys from India saying they can help me get 1000 links for $250”. The thing is? If it sounds too good to be true there is a good chance that it's too good to be true.
Links that can be obtained for such a low price… they cannot possibly be true votes of confidence in your website. Sure this technique worked for a while whilst Google struggled to determine how to actually spot them. We all got a wake-up call with Google Panda first destroying article farms as sources of link building and now the even more scurrilous scourge of spun articles and junk content sites built solely for the purpose of link building have been hit. I submit these should have been Google's first target as opposed to the article sites but I can't begrudge Google going after the lowest hanging fruit.
Indian link building companies for years have been claiming that they only part talk in “white hat" techniques – claims which have now been proven as I've said all along to be absolutely false. A white hat SEO technique involves reading and following Google's guidelines regarding SEO and only using the techniques Google recommends to increase the quality of your site content, the usefulness of your site, the speed of your site, the popularity of your site and thus the rankings of your site. The Indian Link builders’ definition of white hat SEO is “all link building is good as long as you aren't hacking into peoples websites to place them. Don't worry about Google’s Webmaster guidelines just punch out links left right and centre as cheaply as possible. Don't focus on user experience, site content or site speed as these things are inconsequential, all you need to do is punch out bunches of cheap links.’
They have been cheating the system for years. I’ve been telling my clients not to buy into it as eventually the hammer would fall and sites using these techniques would then realize their business had been built within a house of cards on a foundation of sand and the storm of Google Penguin had now arrived to demonstrate that building rankings using such dangerous strategies is… well…… dangerous.
So here we are in the first week of May 2012 and the rankings at the SEO guys clients are going through the roof of the rankings of many of our clients competitors have begun crashing through the floor.
All I can say is thank you Mr Matt Cutts from Google for finally doing what you've been promising to do for so long
Getting tough on spam, I am LOVING IT!
(Note. Yes yes, we know the article is a comedic article… but a quick trip to Google Groups will show you the many, many Indian link builders who in fact do feel this way.)