Last week, Google brought down BuildMyRank. Frankly…this was a bit of a shock to me. There are plenty of more spamtastic linkbuilding alternatives. In fact, BuildMyRank was all about quality – but obviously not enough.
Check out this post by Pot Pie Girl which goes into her spiel about how anything we do to affect rankings will eventually make Google mad. If you want a more technical take on how this went down or how to foresee future events, check it out.
If you want the laymen’s version – stick with me.
I mention this often but remember that Google is a business and that business (among other things) derives from search. All those ads people pay for? That is a direct result of search. If people didn’t “Google it” anymore because the rankings were full of spam then nobody would buy adwords space.
So the reason behind Panda, Caffeine and all the hundreds and hundreds of algorithm tweaks each year are for the benefit of search. Pot Pie Girl makes a point that Google only does this because of bad press like this NY Times article that shed light on SEO practices. I frankly don’t have enough information to make a decision on that. In other words, I don’t really care. The bottom line is Google is cleaning house. And for me – it’s a great thing.
Let me explain exactly what BuildMyRank and other paid blog networking does/did. Essentially you pay for admittance into a network. That network (in return for your payment) agrees to post your articles with in-text links around their network. That means you get in-text links and sidebar links and all sorts of goodies.
Why Google Frowns On It
Generally, outside of these paid services the only way you will get in-text links is if someone thinks so highly of your content or person that they genuinely mention you in their post. For example, I respect Pot Pie Girl and happily mentioned her in this post. She is rewarded for her quality writing by a do-follow backlink from this very blog.
If I were to have a sidebar or blogroll or something, I would probably mention her blog – which would be a sidebar link. As you can imagine, genuine sidebar links are valuable because they alert Google that your stuff is so consistently good that it should be regularly shared on the sidebar of another site.
What BuildMyRank did (and what all paid blog networks do) is provide those links for pay instead of value. Now, BuildMyRank was a more quality driven service than many others – but obviously Google doesn’t care. The point is that Google only wants you to get valuable link juice from genuine links. Not paid ones.
What You Should Do – Options
Now, there are a lot of options to this dilemma. Some people think you should just be more crafty about it. Like, don’t use the service everybody has heard of because obviously that means the peeps of Google have heard of it too.
Or, those same people might tell you to spread your paid links around like a well balanced stock portfolio. The thinking behind this is as long as you are spread around chances are that you can limp along when a few things get dinged. As opposed to the poor people that put everything they had into BuildMyRank who are now suffering for it.
Of course the other alternative is just to write quality stuff and stop being shady altogether. Don’t get me wrong, I think backlinks are great and I wish I had more – but if this doesn’t put some fear into you I don’t know what will.
The great news it that Google isn’t malicious or crazy – and the day will come that purely white hat SEOs will reign supreme.
My Major Takeaway
In laymen’s terms: the good guy doesn’t have to finish last. Keep building a quality site, a valuable brand and creating engaging content and your day will come. And unlike all those craptastic spam-filled bullcrap scraper sites, you won’t have to stay up nights worrying that Google will modify the algorithm and put you out of business.
Google wants your site to be legitimate. They want to see you rank for appropriate terms. So stop cutting corners, stop paying for links that can disappear, and focus on seriously good content. The type of content that will garner genuine results you’ll have forever.
And I couldn’t resist including this image of what the people currently shopping for BuildMyRank will find. BTW, they have refunded all current members so the management itself is good people :)