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Love/Hate Linkbuilding Relationship

“I have to have linkbuilding. Google says that it’s the only way I will be found in searches. I just need lots of links. Can you get me this?”

Let me stop you right there! Do you understand why you need links, or do you want them because you were told you need them? Let’s shed some light on the subject.

Good linkbuilding takes time and real engagement. If marketers had set up linkbuilding properly years ago, then we wouldn’t have Google running around and killing small businesses just to prove a point. Poor linkbuilding has led to Matt Cutts as the biggest assassin of web history, and his weapon of choice is a penguin.

Ok, so I may have lost it there for a minute. The truth is, the mentality of needing links now is a trap for the weak.

If you want your site to rank and be successful there are 5 factors that need to be considered when nurturing links. These are:

  1. Authority
  2. Trust
  3. Relevance
  4. Quality
  5. Uniqueness

Taking these factors to weed out poor or weak links takes some major resources.  A link that meets all of these  requirements is not easy to come by. I could easily see a budget of $1500 to $2500 a month be used and even then the links established would not all be guaranteed. This work would need to be performed on a monthly basis over a period of about 8 months before your site would start to see improvements. The investment is well worth it if you are patient long enough to see it through.

If you have been a victim of the Penguin updates, hold on tight. It’s going to be a rough ride. The Penguin updates effect any and all linkbuilding that you have ever done, not just what you have done in the last couple months.

Lets say you’ve been with an SEO company for 3 months and you were penalized before but you recently were penalized from Penguin 2.1. This isn’t the work of your current SEO company (although it could be if they were performing bad linkbuilding). However this is more likely the work of the SEO company that you used a year ago and who you were so excited about when they go you to the top of the search results so quickly.


The days of jumping to the top of the rankings and staying there from  linkbuilding alone have come to an end. That practice could be compared to a get rich quick scheme, and we know how those end up.

To dig yourself out of this hole you should start by contacting the old linkbuilding company to have them remove the links. They will more than likely charge you for this service. If they are unable to or no longer in business, hire another agency, or your nephew, to start contacting the websites to request the removal of the link to your site. Don’t be surprised if the bad site informs you that it will cost money to have it removed.

If that doesn’t work, you can contact another agency to request their help in removing these links. The sooner these links are removed the better for your organic rankings. If you are an ecommerce site, then time is money, hurry and get those cleaned up.

Just as a budget to start linkbuilding, a similar budget starting at $1,500/month for getting rid of poor links would be necessary. This would really depend on how bad your site’s linkbuilding profile is.

Cleaning up a poor linkbuilding profile is never pretty. It takes a great amount of work that could have been avoided.  So the next time you are looking into linkbuilding, take the time to ask yourself if the links that are being established pass the 5 factors of Authority, Trust, Relevance, Quality, and Uniqueness.


About the Author

Rick is a marketing strategist at Netmark. He has been in marketing since 2009 with a background in construction marketing, food marketing, and event marketing. Rick Graduated with his BS in Business Management and minored in Marketing. His business skills allow him to be both analytical and creative in both business and marketing. Rick has an entrepreneur heart who enjoys serving and working with others.