What’s this about selling back links?

This is an extract from TWIS SEO Update 9th June 2017.

You can read actionable insights into the reasons for Selling Links to Google in this post. If you would like to discuss ways these insights could impact your web business, please feel free to contact me.

#SEO #LinkBuilding #WebSpam #InternalLinking

Selling Links to Google


  • There was a small kerfuffle and general amusement when it was revealed a webmaster had tried to sell Google links on a “high DA” site.
  • Google reiterated that it penalises “egregious link manipulation schemes”, but otherwise ignores most schemes.
  • Google will ignore links on *any* site. DA, age, or other factors don’t matter.

TWIS 09 June 2017 Selling Links to Google

Actions to take:

  1. Don’t sell links to Google.
  2. If you’re going to spam webmasters, at least clean the list first.
  3. Don’t be afraid of placing links on your website. It’s how the web was built and how it works. Google understands that and still values links.
  4. Do be wary of placing links to “bad neighbourhoods”.
  5. Do be wary of using links in a scheme to pass PageRank, or other value to the destination page / domain.
  6. Contact me if you would like to discuss effective ways to link to your own and other people’s content.


This caused some mirth this week. I get the feeling with Google posting a few snippets about links in recent times, eg their Spammy Article Links warning that this is something they are working on at the moment. It’s natural to discuss topics you are working on…

In general, webmasters should feel free to link to whatever they feel would be useful for their users and worthy of their attention. If it’s not, what’s the point of linking?

There is far too much worry placed on linking by the webmaster community. The days of PageRank sculpting are gone (if they ever existed), and Google, although still a long way from perfect, is better at identifying links placed only for organic search benefit.

Undoubtedly, this little burst of posts will launch 1000 “Don’t Link to Anything Ever” articles, but they are wrong. Use footer links if you want to – they can be handy for UX and secondary navigation. Use in-page links. Link multiple times to the same page. Do all of this if you feel it benefits the user and the link should be there. Here are some guides to internal linking and external linking.

More info:

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The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now.

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  • Read The State of SEO in mid-2017.
  • Selling links is a bad idea, even worse if you try to sell them to Google.
  • Link freely and normally, just don’t try to manipulate.
  • Google mainly ignores links it thinks are manipulation.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

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