A common way of manipulating Google is by buying backlinks. In an effort to make their website appear important, website owners buy backlinks. Buying backlinks is a way to get a lot of backlinks to your website in a short time. Google is not happy with these practices, to say the least. Buying backlinks therefore violates the Google Webmaster guidelines.
Google’s aim is to give the users of its search engine the best possible user experience. Google does this (among other things) by providing its users with the most important websites for a specific search term.
When websites buy backlinks, they buy their ‘importance’ when actually this is all important. If the website had been really important, they would not have had to buy backlinks at all, they would have obtained their backlinks in a natural way.
An example of natural authority
Wikipedia ranks high in Google for many keywords. That’s not because Wikipedia has a deal with Google or anything, this is because Wikipedia with 149 million backlinks is a very important website. Wikipedia did not buy these backlinks. People have posted a link to Wikipedia on their own initiative because it provides valuable information. You can buy backlinks and have the best deal.
Buying links is penalized
Several years ago Google started penalizing websites that buy backlinks. This to take the wind out of the sails of websites that dealt with this.
The penalties for buying backlinks don’t lie. Not that you can expect a fine from Google on the doormat when you buy links, no, worse. If you are ‘caught’ buying backlinks, Google will remove your entire website or web pages from its index or at least let it fall far in ranking. And since Google has a market share in the Netherlands that is greater than 95%, this will cost almost all your website visitors and with that, of course, your turnover.
Google cannot request your data from your accountant to check whether you have purchased backlinks and has therefore developed an algorithm to detect purchased backlinks. This algorithm is called the Penguin algorithm and was introduced on April 24, 2012.
The Penguin algorithm is still separate from Google’s core algorithm and it is expected that the Penguin algorithm will soon become part of the core algorithm.
Google is of course mysterious about the operation of the Penguin algorithm which (among other things) detects purchased backlinks. If one finds out how this algorithm works, there will be ‘smart’ webmasters who can manipulate this again.
In order to determine whether a backlink has been bought, Google looks at characteristics that match the bought links, at least, that is the general assumption. The Google Penguin algorithm is believed to look at characteristics such as:
- Words such as ‘advertisement’, ‘ads’ or something along the lines of ‘sponsored’ around the backlink
- A large amount of backlinks that are placed within a short period of time
- Multiple backlinks in a short time from websites that have one owner
- The frequent use of commercial anchor texts for the backlinks
- Backlinks which are placed sidewide
- Backlinks that are suddenly included in old content without any changes being made to the content.