The search engine market is serious business, and like all aspects to business there will always be those who self-aggrandize through content that offers minimal value to clients and consumers. It’s common knowledge that success online means adding value, when it comes to building your online reputation anyway. For the little guy to have a chance against search giants, it would be naïve to think that they could possibly stand a fighting chance without building up their website authority –in addition to the standard practice of building up content and promoting genuine user engagement, link building is also a common practice to build up your inbound link count and number of online referrals.

Google recognises that link building is still a part of the trade and acknowledges this, but there are ways to go about building up your inbound link count that are legitimate – put simply, Google doesn’t mind link building so long as you’re not spamming, or black-hatting as it is colloquially known. Not sure about what Google considers to be a black-hat practice? Here’s what Google recommends:

  1. Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  2. Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.
  3. Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
  4. Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.

Google does well to paraphrase the above for points in a comment made on the official Google Webmaster blog:

*Our general advice is: Always focus on the users and not on search engines when developing your optimization strategy.

Every “by-the-book” SEO knows and understands the quality guidelines, but there are still a lot of companies out there who love nothing better than to turn the internet into a spammy scrap-yard with their exploits. In light of these wonderful men, women and… uhhhh…. Robots who continue to abuse the loopholes in search I would like to give my personal thank you for some good lolz over the years. To the readers of this post, whether you’re an SEO guru or a novice, here’s a little bit of trivial link-fodder to lighten up your day:

  1. The  blog comment-bot that barely speaks English – Every time I log into the 28K blog to moderate comments, I’m always given a cheap laugh or two by the same spammer types who try ever so hard to make me hit the “approve” button. Thanks for “enjoying” our articles and letting us know that you will “bull-whip it” as often as you can…
  2. The pointless post – It feels like millions of my brain cells die every time I set my eyes on an abysmal post topic, often Twitter related, adding little to no value to anyone reading it and at times boasting a hearty following of social media drones – all of them reverberating the same response over-and-over…. To this day, I still cannot believe that people are making thousands off Twitter “how-to” publications, but I might save that rant for another time.