Its funny how things change. Two years ago, 90% of SEOs were telling their clients to build links – lots of links – and to do it by whatever means necessary. I have to admit, early on I even fell into this line of thinking, because it worked. Automated software could easily build you an additional hundred or even thousands of links in short order.
But those days of building links have passed, and any SEO agency that is still using them needs to be kicked in the nuts.
The same could be said for blog comments, article submissions and forum comments. If you’re currently paying some SEO service for these things, maybe you need to be kicked in the nuts, too.
SEO is nothing more than learning a system and playing (mostly) within that system. Build the right page structure, write shareable content and be rewarded. Don’t game the system with techniques that the search engines know are now considered shady.
I still can’t believe how many people ask me about putting white font on a white background. Seriously? Writing a bunch of your own business reviews? Really? Commenting on hundreds of non-related blogs just because you get a link? C’mon.
I met a lot of reputable SEOs recently while at Pubcon (the largest SEO conference of the year). Those guys, like me, were there to learn, to grow, and to set themselves apart from all the other snake oil SEOs that are out there. Align yourself with a reputable firm that isn’t going to damage the value of your website.
Oh, and About Those Old Links…
If you did happen to build thousands of links back in the day, it’s very plausible that those old links could be hurting your overall rankings. Have someone look through them, or use one of the many bad neighborhood link services to see if there are some you need to clean up. Then clean them up, either by contacting the webmasters to have them removed, or by using the Google and Bing disavow tools. You’ll be happy you did.