Much like Paul Revere’s cry “The British are coming”,or better yet, the warning of the boy who cried “Wolf”, was the announcement that Google’s Page Rank Algorithm based a large portion of its ranking formula on the number of links. These links point to (or link to)a website. However, one reliable source after another has rung the death toll for links and link building as the number one method to raise your website to the top of the search results pages.
In 2012 Google themselves have sent email messages to suspect websites through their webmaster tools interface, warning that links to their website were suspicious or downright fraudulent, and that if the website owner did not resolve the situation, Google would have no choice but to take action to penalize the links, the site or both. Consider that by 2012 many businesses book a significant portion of their sales via the internet and the largest referrer of such business is Google. It’s not hard to understand why many a business man that is otherwise logical in the course of carrying out his business, hearing this, would run like his hair was on fire. He would immediately to try to remedy any perceived or real transgression he may have made with regard to artificially building his website’s link popularity.
Now let’s also consider that the internet is often referred to as the web: the World Wide Web. This name comes from the linking nature of websites, one to another, sharing information amongst their combined visitors. When you come down to it Google is nothing but a bunch of organized links.
The problem with most SEO’s is that they don’t observe Google’s golden rules, and they beileve that if a little of something is good for a website al ot will no doubt be better. Take directory links as an example: there was a time where being listed in certain directories held great value in the eyes of Google, even paid directories. Chief amongst these directories was Yahoo (pony up $300/year after 2002 to request consideration for listing) and the Open Directory Project (ODP) dmoz.org, the man made directory assembled by volunteers. ODP depended on which category you submitted to, you most likely would never hear back from them as they were under staffed from the beginning. Google even purchased dmoz.org to use as its own man made directory to compete with Yahoo.
Unscrupulous SEO’s began to suggest to their unknowing clients that regular, frequent directory submission was a requirement for getting or maintaining search engine rankings. If they could submit their website to hundreds, make that thousands of directories each month that would guarantee them top rankings. Worldwide, directories sprung up for every possible topic, many with no topic at all, accepting any website on any topic and listing them in broad categories, for example, geographical regions.
Now 99.9% of these directories had no visitor trafffic, beyond the traffic of submitters and listing verifiers, and offered no value to a real visitor. Do you think it took long for Google to understand this trafficking of directory links was going on with the main intent of gaming their ranking algorithim? No sir! They quickly adjusted their algorithim to sift out these worthless links: not soon enough to prevent many an unknowing website owner from being hundreds, if not thousands of dollars lighter in the pocketbook.
Today the time required to build links is so much longer because all of the bogus seo companies have scared most webmasters to the point that they won’t even consider a link partnership.