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 Cheap backlinks - be cautious

Looking for cheap backlinks? Be careful where you obtain them as you may be making enemies, doing damage to your brand and probably not getting any search engine ranking juice anyway.

An ad on site offering thousands of backlinks for just pennies each caught my eye the other day. The service involved were offering 10,000 forum profile backlinks for just 50 bucks. That should be a red flag straight away - that many inbounds for so cheap? 
 

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The mob involved says for the money, they will create a profile on thousands of different forums and add a link to your site.

Have a think about this.. does it sound ethical to you? Nope. I don't know of any forum owners who appreciate anyone spamming their forums. Do you think Google knows about this little rort? You betcha.
 
While the company says these links are permanent and they will never remove them, I can assure you the some of the admins of the forums who have been targeted by this company will... and in some cases, they'll come looking for you asking to explain why you have hired spammers to do your online marketing and SEO for you. Depending on how angry it makes them, they may even post publicly about what you are doing.
 
Good SEO isn't about trickery. It's not rocket science either. Any short term gain you get from this little SEO scam or other black hat tricks will likely translate to long term pain. If what you are doing to improve your search engine rankings falls outside Google's webmaster quality guidelines, you're skating on thin ice.

For the 50 bucks, you could sit down for an hour, write a good original article or useful content to publish on your site and that could bring you far more traffic and sales than the 50 bucks you spend on crappy backlinks.

Press release tips

Press releases aren't just for big companies - small online businesses can benefit too! Free tips on how to write a press release, learn where to submit them and grab a free press release template.

By supporting companies offering such services, all people do is create work for others in clearing the crap out that these link spammers leave behind. The same goes for some services that offer to post comments on blogs along with a link to your site. You can bet if the package is cheap, they'll be posting garbage in very poor English - and many blogs use the "nofollow" attribute for links in comments these days anyway.

These cheap, spammy forum profile backlinks are becoming a real scourge and it makes me wonder how the search engines will deal with them in the future. 

The sad thing is, many online merchants do personally participate in forums and contribute knowledge of value. In their case, a backlink isn't too much to want in return. However, this wave of backlink spam could see all their efforts go to waste if the search engines decide to dampen even further the ranking power of outbound links in forums.

Would you allow a competitor or even a fellow retailer in a non-competing business walk into your store and take a dump on your shop floor? By buying these cheap backlink packages, it's pretty much what you are doing to thousands of web site owners - and they likely won't take too kindly to it. 

If the backlinks are accompanied with spam comments praising your business, you could be subject to legal action and be fined heavily as fake reviews are illegal in some countries.

Weigh it up - little to no traffic, no search engine ranking boost, angry webmasters, litigation and possible brand damage. 

Ask yourself - it is really worth the risk?

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
http://www.tamingthebeast.net 
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