Bad Backlinks vs Good Backlinks


It used to be that any link pointing to a website benefited its overall rankings on Google and other search engines. In fact, it was Google that introduced the system back in 1998, making it one of the most important factors in its search algorithm’s decision process when assessing a page. Recognizing that, webmasters spent more than a decade accruing as many backlinks as they could find, with questionable results

Google meant for backlinks to stem from high-quality websites to establish a website’s authority but, as is often the case, marketers found creative ways to exploit the system while putting in as little work as possible. This led to entire websites devoted to spun articles, published solely for the links they contained. Soon it became necessary to have thousands of backlinks to remain competitive in many niches. These articles contributed nothing to readers, and people compensated for a lack of quality by sheer quantity.

Google Cracks Down

Unfortunately for those who invested in spam and shoddy directories, Google knew what was going on and set out to level the playing field. The Penguin update, released in 2012, began punishing websites with too many suspicious backlinks. Suddenly, marketers were paying for businesses to remove their links rather than add more. It sent shock waves around the Internet and fundamentally changed the way search engine optimization, or SEO, is managed today. With so much outdated information out there, it’s critical that new marketers understand this shift and adjust their plans accordingly.

Why Backlinks Still Matter

The basic idea behind backlinks is still one of the best ways for Google to judge a website’s value. The company knows better than to trust a program, even one with highly intelligent coding, to rank every aspect of a webpage. With that in mind, a niche’s community becomes Google’s informal poll for every site. The theory goes that if a certain blog post or page has garnered the attention of related authors, it must be worth sharing on the search rankings.

Of course, reality never goes quite according to plan, and once the search results became skewed toward aggressive SEO, Google started tweaking to protect its primary revenue source. That doesn’t mean that Google has abandoned its system entirely. Backlinks must still be part of any SEO strategy, but the old methods are no longer a viable option.

The Old Backlinking System

As mentioned earlier, the last decade of SEO had been dominated by precision keyword use and a constant search for more links. It didn’t matter where the links came from, even if the directory never saw human eyes and had a plunging rank for its search string. Spinning an article and then publishing it hundreds of times was easier than manually leaving quality comments and posts that could benefit other webmasters and readers.

Following the Penguin update, the marketers who had built their entire income off of these links were left scrambling to determine which backlinks were acceptable by Google’s standards and which were weighing their websites down. In the next few months, the community began to develop a clear idea of the new backlink system.

The Bad Backlinks

Google is now assessing every link it stumbles across. The first check is whether or not it’s a do-follow link. When a link is marked as no-follow, Google bots move on and do not count it as a backlink. This is often used by blogs or forums that would like to encourage discussion without drawing in spam. No-follow links are great for bringing in direct traffic but meaningless for SEO purposes.

Do-follow links can either harm or help a website. The ones that will damage page rankings are attached to low-quality content and repetitive anchor text. Google also analyzes the content around a link. Poor grammar and spelling are a dead giveaway that the article or comment has only been posted for personal gain. Google also analyzes when backlinks were posted. If a website has 50 links posted to it within a few hours, it’s an obvious sign that they were bought and pushed out by a bot, and that’s what’s going to sink your SEO.

The Good Backlinks

Today, one backlink from a top website within the right niche is worth 100 of those poor links. Even more importantly, those links need to be varied, with different anchor texts and posting times to mimic a natural progression of reputation. The blogs that are ranked in the first five search results for a keyword are prime real estate, but they tend to guard their reputation carefully. That means SEO marketers must focus on quality instead of quantity. Interact with your colleagues and build off each other for mutual benefit. If you help your niche grow and expand and become an active contributor, you will be rewarded with not only better page ranking, but also the greater respect and loyalty of your readers and clients.

Working With Google’s New Rules

Now that Google has steered SEO away from automation and toward a more organic style, many Internet marketers are struggling to keep up with the change. Placing backlinks used to be so easy that webmasters themselves could boost a page’s ranking in less than an hour. Now, however, creating links takes time.

Rather than spending hours puzzling over blog comments that will be approved by a site administrator, it’s far more economical to outsource the job to experienced professionals. Adblaze stands out as a premier SEO company offering a free backlink report followed by a comprehensive and effective link-building system to help your business prosper while others are driven under by their own lazy practices.

About us and this blog

We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.

Request a free quote

We offer professional SEO services that help websites increase their organic search score drastically in order to compete for the highest rankings even when it comes to highly competitive keywords.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More from our blog

See all posts
  1. Reply

    Since I’m obviously being tagged as a “badlink” and have no intentions of ever taking advantage of anyone or any SEO, what actions can I take to be considered a “goodlink”. I simply want to run a small business with the intent of offering other small businesses an affordable option when looking for ways to increase their productivity. I’m no web designer and have no intention to pay for a website. So I guess I ended up with a website that falls into your type category. It’s a bit frustrating for me and I’d appreciate some feed back.

    Best regards, Jon

    • Xavierhland
    • February 16, 2013

    Google certainly has improved a lot over the years weeding out bad backlinks, but they’re far from foolproof and the evidence of that can be found when you do searches for many of the top relationship or weight loss phrases. There are still massive number of spammy websites that pop up on page one and two and it shows clearly that google can still be duped. But at the end of the day, it is better to build good links over a longer period of time, then to get lots of bad links in as short period of time for a faster boost in SEO.

    • Ricky Davis
    • February 16, 2013

    This is probably correct. Gone are the days when you could game google with poor backlinks and now you have to be much more technical if you want to get past google’s link filters. It’s probably best that we as webmasters concentrate on the contents and the design of the website and leave the SEO business to the professionals. Just be careful and don’t hire some black hat SEO company.

    • mahendra
    • January 30, 2013

    thank you very much for explain bad back link and good back link.

    • mahendra
    • January 30, 2013

    suggest to me what is bookmarking?

    • Dezmod_Raids
    • December 25, 2012

    This is completely constructive article.I have been working with various freelance marketplace since last couple of years as a link builder.I often deal with client regarding this issue.I came to know few hidden truths from this post which will definitely help me further.As a link builder i myself gonna bookmark your site.Thanks for nice sharing.

    • Jenny Clarkstere
    • December 21, 2012

    Thank you for posting, I never knew that there were so many differences between good and bad links.

    • Ernest Sliter
    • December 21, 2012

    This was an excellent post because for weeks I’ve been struggling to differentiate a good backlink from a bad backlink.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment