Staying in Google’s good books is essential when you are competing for the first page or top ranks, as it influences the ability of your law firm to be found online. The search engine giant rewards websites that stringently follow its guidelines and modify their practices as it introduces new rules through its algorithm updates. On the contrary, it penalizes and demotes those that resort to shortcuts or black hat practices for climbing up quickly in the SERPs. One such practice is link scheming that can significantly harm your law firm’s reputation and ranking.
What is a Link Scheme?
A link scheme is a form of link building that delivers little to no value to the end user, i.e., the visitors and customers. It is generally used for increasing ranking or obtaining monetary benefits without being useful to people, which may affect their user experience. Since link schemes manipulate PageRank, they violate Webmaster Guidelines of Google, and are considered to be a black hat practice.
In March, 2012, several websites were deindexed by Google that used BuildMyRank.com, a link network, which was closed afterwards as a result. If you are simply linked with such a link network even though haven’t linked back to it, you may suffer the consequences as Google may penalize everyone involved in the scheme. Sometimes, websites are unable to control who links with them because of spams and whatnot, you can be careful on your part and avoid personal participation in these schemes to protect your law firm website.
Types of Link Schemes
Here are a few common types of link schemes to give you an idea of what you need to avoid to ensure you do not end up being penalized:
These are low-quality sites with thousands of poorly written articles, and are there for the sake of link building. They do not have articles from any specific industry, provide literally no value to users, or serve any purpose other than being a place for websites to post articles. However, niche directories are an exception to this as they feature articles for specific target audience and are useful for users.
Automated Link Building
Link building through any automated process is a type of link scheme. The most common form of automated link building is spam bots that post links throughout the internet. However, for Google, it is also the easiest of link schemes to detect, and if you are caught in being involved in this black hat practice, your firm’s website is likely to face a harsh punishment.
They are a group of websites that are created for linking to each other and serve no other purpose. Link farms usually have no content to back them up, making them even worse than article directories. If you are linked to a link farm, your website is likely to be straightaway penalized.
A rule of thumb is that if you are paying for building a link, it will fall under the category of a link scheme. However, if you are using an affiliate link strategy, it will not be considered as a link scheme because affiliate link building is a white hat practice.
Is your law firm website a part of any link scheme? There is a chance that you may not be aware of being involved in such a practice. For a complete evaluation of your web presence and revamping your link building strategy, you may contact FORWARD Marketing today at (888) 590-9687 for more information.