Google loves links, specifically high-quality editorial links that help identify websites and webpages that bring most value to users. And Google hates link schemes.
Google upgrades its algorithms that distinguish editorial links from paid ones on a regular basis by analyzing link patterns. Here are three examples:
- You’ve been in the cleaning business for years, but your site got zero reviews. Suddenly, Google comes across dozens of reviews about your company. All of them feature a link to your site, specifically one single inner page that describes services you provide.
- Your site’s backlink profile has been stable for years, but suddenly it receives 100+ inbound links. A massive spike like this, especially if you haven’t posted any content, suggests to Google that something fishy is going on.
- You’re smart about links and consistently earn them through guest posts. Unfortunately, all of your articles are published in the sponsored section. This is a clear sign to Google that you paid to be published and, consequently, paid for the link.
A spammy anchor list raises a big red flag to Google, too. Actually, it’s one of the easiest ways for Google to identify spam.
If 100 percent of your site’s inbound links feature one single anchor text, it suggests to Google that:
- You do everything you can to rank for this phrase.
- You build links artificially (i.e., purchase them).
This is why you need to diversify your anchors. Links pointing from similar anchor phrases, even if they truly are the best editorial links, will harm your site rankings. Don’t let this happen – perform regular link profile audits.
Don’t use any SEO practices that might suggest to Google that you rely on paid links rather than editorial, naturally-acquired ones. Even if your links are good, and Google thinks that they are bad, no matter what you do, your site is in a real danger zone.
Should you be worried about bad INTERNET reviews?
88% of consumers are influenced by on-line reviews. If you have negative ones showing up for branded/direct searches, kiss that customer goodbye.
In short, yes. Especially if your reviews are on a platform other than your website (e.g. Facebook or comparison websites). However, if you provide a good quality product or service then you should not have anything to worry about.
It is worth, however, thinking about a backup plan if you are faced with a bad review. If I ever have a complaint, I am far more likely to put it on social media because it is where more people are likely to see it. It is also most likely to prompt a response from the place I’m complaining to.
The best ways to deal with negativity:
1. Always apologize – Whether or not it is your fault, the customer is always right and if they’ve felt disgruntled enough to write a complaint, then it is worth defusing the bomb before it goes off.
2. Offer some sort of concession as an apology. A R100 off voucher, 25 percent their next order or simply a cheap freebie.
3. Learn from your mistakes. Sometimes a customer’s complaint is valid. They’ve had a bad experience and they feel ripped off. I imagine that is not the experience you wanted to create when you started your business.
Find out where it went wrong and implement a process to change it in future.
Amassing proper back-links for your site and content can be somewhat time consuming, although it is absolutely necessary to increase your SEO ranking and to help establish a reputable and respected on-line name. By linking to various blogs, social media platforms, and fellow writer’s pages, you’re increasing awareness of your own content and efforts as well as establishing more credibility and authority. This in turn will directly affect how your company ranks in the SERPs. Remember that the development of compelling content becomes even more important with link building because no one will want to send their visitors to mediocre material.
One word to the wise: Only link to sites that are both relevant to your industry and high quality. Links for the sake of links is one sure way to see your rankings drop. It’s a black hat tactic and it will get you in hot water eventually. Make every link count, and your results will reflect these efforts.
Many people have seen the benefit of having a healthy back-link profile, but many others have also experienced penalties or spent countless hours building links to no avail. While the importance of back-links has certainly dropped, a high-quality link is still powerful. The link itself should not be the goal.
If you post great content, the back-links will follow.