Avoid link schemes

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Updated: 2017-02-27

Understanding link schemes

Any links intended to manipulate a website’s ranking in search engines may be considered part of a link scheme and is a violation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines. This includes behaviour that manipulates links to or from your website.

Some examples of link schemes include:

  • Buying or selling links that pass Google’s PageRank algorithm; this includes exchanging money for links or posts that contain links, or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
  • Using automated programs or services to create links to your website
  • Excessive link exchanges or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking
  • Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns containing keyword-rich anchor text links

The best way to get other websites to create high quality and relevant links to your website is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity. That being said, it’s not always easy to create unique content that can reach a large audience.

For instance, there’s nothing unique about this article, so there is close to zero chance of anyone discovering it unless I promote it myself, either directly or indirectly. It is therefore likely that you discovered this article because I promoted it myself, or because my other, more unique, articles brought you to my website or helped increase my search ranking in a way that wouldn’t have been possible with non-unique articles.