Backlinks are still Google’s most important ranking signal.
That’s why many businesses buy links to artificially improve the rankings of their websites. This can be very risky because Google doesn’t like paid links at all.
If you use paid links to promote your website, you put your rankings at risk.
Google has 3 ways to detect paid links:
1. Your competitors can send spam reports
- On its information page about paid links, Google encourages webmasters to report the paid links of other sites:
- “If you see a site that is buying or selling links that pass PageRank, let us know. We’ll use your information to improve our algorithmic detection of such links.”
2. Google’s manual spam fighters can find the links
- Google employs people who do nothing else than judging the quality of Google’s search results. They also employ people who look for spam and paid links.
3. Google’s algorithm can detect the links
- Based on the paid links report, Google could develop algorithms that can detect paid links automatically:
- “We’ll use your information to improve our algorithmic detection of such links.”
- Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, said in several of his blog posts that Google’s algorithms had been able to detect paid links before they were reported in a manual spam report.
It is difficult and time-consuming to get good backlinks to your website. That’s why backlinks play such an important role in Google’s ranking algorithm.
Avoid fully automated link building systems. These link building systems have been created to game Google’s algorithm and that’s why Google will downrank your website as soon as they find out that your website participates in such a link system.
If you want to get lasting results, use SEO tools that play by the rules. You can analyze the backlinks of your website and the websites of your competitors here.