One of the most popular (and widely abused) methods of SEO is links. For years, the number of inbound links to your website weighed more heavily than your own onsite content in getting your site found online.
Because of this, many sites (possibly even yours or your competitor’s) engaged in the act of buying links. On the surface, this doesn’t sound too bad since other services cost money as well, but unfortunately there were too many companies that were placing quantity over quality and Google frowns on that. Some businesses were buying links by the thousands…including many irrelevant links.
Since the very essence of being found through the search engines is based on relevance, Google had to do something. And they did.
At the end of April, Google’s Penguin update changed the game when it comes to getting links to your website. Not only are they now not nearly as important as they once were, you will now be penalized for having too many links from the wrong places. This includes too many affiliate links, irrelevant links, etc.
Many businesses lost their ranking completely as a result of this update, and once that happens you’re basically starting from scratch again. If you’re buying links in huge quantities for your website, just stop it. You will regret it as the search engines continue to de-emphasize links and penalize you for having the wrong links.
Now, that doesn’t mean to stop link building completely. It is still an important part of the equation and, done properly through article writing and guest posting, can help you build a stronger online presence.