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11 Backlink Types Google Hates

By Eric Miltsch on Sep 3, 2013


Backlinks are still a core element of any organic search results strategy. The key to mastering this activity is knowing the quality factors Google is looking for when they're evaluating the links they scan every day. 

Even if you're not actively building your own backlinks, it's still a wise move to understand the guidelines Google has created. Maybe you're looking to hire an outside agency to assist with your organic search results. If so, you need to be prepared to ask about their methodology to protect your dealership's website. 

Here's a list of 11 backlink types Google doesn't want to see. And if they do discover any of these activities happening within your website, you could either be penalized or even worse - stripped from the organic listings altogether. 

1. Google does not like paid links

Buying and/or selling links that pass PageRank can negatively impact your website's ranking in search results. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a 'free' product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.

Do not buy or sell backlinks if you don't want to risk your website or blog rankings.

2. Google does not like excessive link exchanges

Exchanging links with other websites is fine. It happens all the time between websites. So, websites about electric or green cars can cross-link to other websites about electric or green cars and not worry about getting in trouble.

If the cross-linking looks unnatural (the electric cars websites links to a bike store and vice versa), Google might think that you're trying to build unnatural links.

Use common sense when exchanging links with other sites. If the link exchange makes sense for a human website visitor, everyone will .

3. Google does not like large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns

It's okay to publish your articles and guest posts on other websites as long as you don't do it in bulk. If you do guest posts just to get keyword rich backlinks, your website might get penalized.

Only publish articles and guest posts on other websites if you really want to contribute a valuable article.

4. Google does not like automated programs or services that create backlinks to your site

You've probably seen the ads for tools and services that promise hundreds (if not thousands) of backlinks with very little work. Don't use them. Ever. 

Avoid tools and services that automatically build backlinks to your website. Google is very, very smart. If you (or your vendor) found them, Google already knows about them as well. 

5. Google does not like text ads that pass PageRank

If you place a text ad on another website, be sure the ad uses the rel=nofollow attribute in the link. Google sees these as a manipulative backlink. 

6. Google does not like advertorials and ads that include links that pass PageRank

Simple rule: Always use links with the rel=nofollow attribute if you pay for an article or an ad. If the ad includes a paid link that passes PageRank, it might trigger a penalty.

7. Google does not like links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases

If your article contains paragraphs that look like the following, you might invite Google's spam algorithm to take a closer look at your website:

"With so many automotive parts stores on the market, if you want to have buy online parts, you can visit the best online parts store in the region. You can find the automotive parts you're looking for easily at our website's eCommerce parts store."

8. Google does not like links from low quality directories or bookmark sites

If you're submitting your website to hundreds of Internet directories that will never send you a single visitor, don't waste your time as most of them will be classified . These links won't help your Google rankings.

If a directory sends your website visitors, it's worth getting the link. You can ignore other lower quality directories. (Keep in mind, a high quality directory that doesn't send traffic to your site is still worth the effort) 

9. Google does not like widely distributed links in the footers of various websites

Some websites put keyword rich links to other websites in their footers. These links are always paid links and you should not use them to promote your website.

This doesn't apply to 'About us' or 'Privacy policy' footer links but to backlinks such as 'buy insurance' or 'buy automotive parts.' This is simply a no-no today. It worked years ago but won't float today. (It was also a great way to earn extra income from your website - I did it on my blog until the algorithm updates warned against it) 

10. Google does not like links that are embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites

Some widget developers offer free widgets that contain links to other websites: "Visitors to this page: 4,723 - buy car parts"

If a widget developer offers you a widget to advertise on your blog, just make sure the links use the nofollow attribute. But you also need to consider the utility of the widget as well - is it really something someone needs? Or are you simply doing it to help boost rankings and/or earn a payout on it?  

11. Google does not like forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature

There are automated post commenting tools that can be used in forums - Google isn't a fan of these as well. The efforts need to resemble natural human efforts - not something that is going to generate 7,000 low quality links in 48 hours. That's simply not possible by even the most dedicated and focused employee.

"That's an awesome blog post with great information! Thanks so much lot!
buy online automotive parts buy car parts best aftermarket car parts"

Just don't do this. Google hates this. Avoid tools that automatically post your links to forums. It's really simple: Google does not like bulk links and they also don't like artificial links.


Are you aware of how your agency is building backlinks to your dealership's website? 



The only links that google "likes" are editorial links from other websites. Any linking outside of that in the eyes of google are manipulative.

Sep 5, 2013

Yea, those are definitely preferred Paul. But if I had written that my blog post would have simply been a tweet:)

Sep 5, 2013

Great post. Question, what do you advise clients that had "old school" seo doing article marketing or guest blog platform posting? Should they ask those sites to remove links, disavow....would love your thoughts on that.

Sep 5, 2013

Chris without knowing more about the site your question is like asking "How long is a piece of string?". No two situations are identical...

Sep 5, 2013

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