The Slippery Slope of Backlink Acquisition

A prior post explained why backlinks are so important to your search result ranking and started explaining how link networks are both poorly understand, and dangerous.

The issue is not the acquisition of links from other websites. The issue is HOW you go about this.

There are some practices that are universally understood to be acceptable and other practices that are universally understood to be unacceptable. In the middle is the grey area and no one can outside of Google can (and no one inside of Google will) state definitively where this illusive border is.

Law has a “reasonable person” provision.

Simply put, it asks whether a reasonable person would find what you did (or are doing) is or is not acceptable.

You should use the same concept for techniques for obtaining backlinks.

Let Me Share a Few Concrete Examples

Family and Friends

You bring up a website. It publishes articles on a topic of interest to you. You tell your family and friends about it. They link to some of the pages on your website.

Is this web spam? Absolutely not. This is something any reasonable person would do.

People You Meet While Networking

You attend a networking mixer of some sort and you start a relationship with a business owner with whom you share a customer. Let’s say you have a dog walking service and someone else has a dog grooming service. You agree to exchange referrals, help promote each others businesses and even go so far to so exchange website links.

Is this web spam? No. This is something any reasonable person would do.



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