The importance of genuine back-links

Towards the end of March, Google released the latest extension to their Google Panda update.  Read on to find out how you can prevent your sites from becoming victim to search penalties.

Google are constantly updating their algorithm in a bid to provide users with the best possible user experience; whilst link building is, and always will be, a key part of Google’s Page Rank algorithm, the latest in a line of changes have placed a focus on quality rather than quantity.

One genuine, high quality back-link is far more valuable than 10 links generated by a link farm. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that any back-links you have are of the highest possible quality if you want to boost your rankings and avoid search penalties.

Here are 3 things to keep in mind when back-linking:

  1. Would you build that link if Google did not exist? In Google’s eyes, a good link would still be valuable even if search engines weren’t there.

  2. Did the person linking to your site intend this to be a genuine endorsement?

  3. Are you proud of the link that you’ve built? Would you consider the link to be brand building?

As a general rule of thumb, don’t build a back-link that might not be considered genuine. Moreover, ensure that all links are useful and brand building.

Along with building high calibre back-links, there are additional methods that should be central to any SEO strategy.

The key things to remember are:

Use relevant content.

Badly written copy is present on dating sites all too often. It’s easy for humans to tell when text is littered with keywords purely for the sake of being scanned by a search engine, and it’s easy for Google to tell too.

By all means, write keyword rich content, but make sure it makes sense; don’t sacrifice the quality of your content so that you can stuff it with keywords – it will not boost your organic rankings.

Incorporate social media into your campaigns.

Twitter, Facebook and Google+ give you the greatest opportunity to build relationships with other site and product owners, as well as consumers, within your own network and/or niche. The key to social media success is to build lasting relationships. In the same way as keyword spamming will get you noticed for the wrong reasons, if you use social media to spam users with news of your site, you will do more harm than good to your brand reputation.

Think about social media how you think about making friends; if users ask you to ‘retweet’, like their page or comment on their blog, do so and you’ll receive the same in return.

Use title and meta tags correctly. 

  • Title Tag: This is the first thing a search engine will scan to determine where your page should rank; include a keyword or two and your site name. Do not stuff titles with keywords; doing so will make your site look like Spam.
  • Meta Tag (Description and Keyword Tag): Descriptions should read like a sentence, again don’t stuff it, but do include essential and relevant keywords. Keyword tags are generally disregarded by search engines due to so much keyword stuffing, however, it doesn’t hurt to include vital keywords here.

Remember, even if you’ve been involved with using black-hat link building techniques in the past, there are still ways we can rectify this – as long as you tell us before it’s too late. Moving forward and engaging in quality SEO activity could really put your site on the map, boosting your ROI.

Finally, remember to talk to your Partner Manager if you need any help or advice with your SEO strategy. Get in touch today – it’s what we’re here for!

David Adams, Partner Manager @


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