One of the ways in which Google grants a page rank to a website is by taking into account the number of links that other websites direct to it. Google assumes that the pages that receive the most links are interesting pages for users and gives a higher category so that it gives better search engine rankings. The importance of backlinks or incoming links to a site is such that there are several SEO tools that help us know who is linking us, with what anchor text, whether they are following or not follow links, etc. One of the best known, for example, Ahrefs.com, although you can keep track of incoming links to a portal with Google’s own webmaster tool.
Knowing the importance of these links, many SEO consultants , to improve their search engine positioning, employ techniques that aim to get links in an unnatural way , something that Google, as we will see below, penalizes. This penalty that Google applies to companies that carry out these SEO techniques is not limited only to a loss of search engine positioning. You can also reach the complete removal of search results, as happened to the Rap Genius portal .
Negative SEO techniques: manipulated links
Rap Genius is a web portal in English that offers the user explanations of song lyrics, poems, books … The case of Rap Genius and its problem with Google began when the company captured people who had blogs to make an exchange that had, as an objective final get notoriety and improve the SEO positioning of both Rap Genius and the collaborator . If those bloggers put links in their posts, Rap Genius would link the post in question in their tweets. With these SEO tools, they assured the blogger of a massive dissemination of their post (and therefore also the links in it) taking advantage of Rap Genius’s followers, and the company would benefit from dozens of links that would appear in various external entries to them.
However, Google detected this SEO strategy and considered it fraudulent, so it decided to impose a penalty that consisted of eliminating Rap Genius from Google’s results. In the end, all the SEO techniques that the company was carrying out to improve its search engine positioning led to not appearing in the results, being considered as unnatural. The company itself, in an article on its website explained the reasons why its SEO consultants had carried out this action. In their explanation, they show reasons that, in their opinion, show that the attainment of these links was not artificial, in some cases. But, beyond the controversy, the SEO consultant must learn from this story that an easy and quick way to achieve a better SEO positioning through links can result in a penalty in your SEO strategy.
The SEO strategy must be (or seem) natural
Therefore, to carry out a good SEO strategy you have to be careful with the SEO tools we use since if Google detects any unnatural behavior, it will proceed to eliminate the site in question, and all efforts will have been in vain . It is important to have proper SEO techniques since otherwise they will play against our website and will be counterproductive. It is better to achieve a good search engine positioning legally, and not opt for the simple path, since it can take us to a completely different place than we wanted.