You may have seen some of those comments here — they look like indignant opinions with questionable link backs to other sites.
Except for I either delete them after the welcome email I send kicks back, or take the bite out of the post by removing the link and stating so in my response.
Andrew Shotland has a simple story at Search Engine Land that drives to the heart of the problem with questionable SEO practices.
He is right, in the haste of getting someone to get you good rankings, you may have gotten yourself in an online reputation pickle.
Shotland suggests a few questions you should ask to figure that out:
- Are you doing anything that can get my website banned/penalized in the search engines?
- Are you buying links?
- Are you comment spamming?
- Are you writing fake reviews?
- Are you creating fake addresses and profiles for me on Google Places and other local search sites
- Are you doing anything that might result in my having a huge black eye in the SERPs for queries for my business’ name or my name?
Indeed, many aggressive marketers do employ a combination of these techniques. They are probably the same ones who are looking too closely at the short term without considering the long term impact of their decisions on the organization or brand.
They don't benefit from the long tail of content because that's not their strategy in the first place.
Otherwise, they would know what makes content worthy of links. No, it's not a broadcast email from a perfect stranger to a bunch of high ranking sites or blogs requesting a link exchange with some version of the following wording in the body:
I have checked out your website and read about you on some of the Social Media sites which is the reason that I am contacting you. I have been very impressed with your attitude and approach on Social Media and network marketing and would like to create a mutually beneficial relationship.
Flattery will not get one everywhere, especially when the next sentence contains a request for the site or blog owner to do something for them — generally a version of "you could leverage your network" when they really mean *they* want to leverage it for (pick one) "paid links on the blog", "link exchanges", "driving traffic to a site", etc.
You get the idea. And they are willing to offer, get this, free membership to site "xyz", so you can do more of it. In other words, you could get paid to peddle some product or other on behalf of perfect strangers with whom there is no existing trust relationship or product vetting.
The offer is usually for a limited time only and to a select group, of course. Who doesn't love to feel like a VIP?
The truth is there is a direct correlations between credibility, reputation, and links — both inbound and outbound. My own take on link building skews towards organic with consistent effort over time. I write for people, not search engines.
To me, for any business to succeed, you need to have a real value proposition distilled into a real message that means something to people, that inspires them to better understand things, or see them differently — not just a way to get your hand into their pockets.
That is the stuff that gets forwarded and linked to. Which is why many of the tactics you find above may work for the short term, and will damage you long term. People are spending more and more time online. They're learning to see through that kind of stuff.
My one wish for search and link building is to be honest and, if not that, at least transparent. What is/are your wishes?