7 Ways To Know You’re Getting Bad SEO Linking Advice

Before I begin I want to wish everyone who celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday a very happy family day, and I hope you’re eating as much turkey, dressing (many people call it stuffing but not me) and pie (I prefer sweet potato pie) today while watching football (I’ll be watching the Cowboys game while holding my breath) or however you end up celebrating the day. It may have a clouded historical past (don’t worry, I’m not going there today) but its meaning these days (I don’t mean the day before Black Friday) is an important one.


Today I want to talk about bad SEO linking advice, why so much of it is bad, and how it’s ended up leading me to decide that I’m not going to accept guest posts on the one blog that I’ve been accepting guest posts on any longer.

With Google updates coming at what seems to be a furious pace, many businesses are scrambling around trying to get people to remove links that they paid someone to leave. Sometimes it’s contained within a guest post they paid someone to write for them with their links in it. And then they decide, after getting some “advice”, to try to get those links removed.

On my SEO blog I wrote a post titled Are You Being Used In Link Removal Requests (that blog is now gone), because there are some people who are writing blog owners asking for links to be removed by representing themselves as someone working for that particular company. Yeah, that’s pretty smarmy, but I’m not sure that’s the norm. I do know that the norm seems to be people writing me from Gmail addresses saying they’re representing someone, not calling me by name even though my name is all over all of my websites, and every once in a while threatening me with filing a disavow link; idiocy.

The final straw for me and my finance blog accepting guest posts came yesterday when someone who’d written two articles for the blog in 2012 wrote and asked if I would remove other links from those posts that were internal links from articles that I’d written, citing Google updates and anchor text links. I decided that I was done with it all, thus I wrote this post announcing the end of guest posts on the blog as soon as those which are already scheduled have gone live. In a way I was inspired to go this route by Kristi Hines, who wrote a post in March that I remembered saying she was ending guest posts on her blog and would take it over again.

With that said I thought it was time to address some of the stupidity (yeah, I said it) that keeps coming my way, either through these idiotic emails asking me to remove links or some of the other concepts that I’ve seen here and there. You don’t have to listen to me after you’ve read this though; just go do some research yourself and you’ll find that I’m correct if you’re reading the right authorities. Let’s begin!

1. Anchor text links are bad. No, anchor text links aren’t bad. A2 a matter of fact, if done right anchor text links are the best way to let search engines know what your post or website are about.

What’s bad? What’s bad is linking to the same exact word time after time with the same link or over-linking one specific word or phrase within an article. If you want proof that anchor text linking isn’t a bad thing, visit any news site and see how well they’re ranked. What you don’t see is, if they’re talking about a murder somewhere, them linking to that word over and over. And they could easily do that because murder seems to be the new recreational sport in the States.


2. Comment links on blog posts can hurt your website. Really? Let’s be realistic here. Your comment link would probably hurt me more than it can hurt you. Using this blog as an example, there are over 27,000 links here. Unless you’ve employed a campaign that lays out tens of thousands of links on blogs all over the world in a short period of time, that’s probably not anything you should be concerned about. Overdoing anything is bad, but if you paid someone (which you probably did) to leave comments on my blog, most probably there are fewer than 5 comments from the person you paid over the course of time.

This is the type of thing that leads many people into believing that they shouldn’t ever comment on a blog that’s not in their niche. Let me tell you this; if the only reason you’re commenting is to drive traffic to your blog by getting a free link, you don’t think much of yourself; yeah, I said it. You should be commenting on things you’re interested in, whether or not it’s in your niche. Otherwise you’re a phony, and your comments are probably pretty lousy as well. I’d be surprised if most of your comments actually remain on many quality blogs; think of how many I delete from this blog on a daily basis.

3. Links in your guest posts back to your site are damaging you. Once again, unless you paid someone to overwhelm the internet with your presence, you’re not in any danger at all. On the post I wrote for Adrienne Smith’s blog titled 11 Essentials of Social Networking, point #3 was to link to someone else every once in a while, especially if your inspiration came from them. Anyone with any sense isn’t going to be upset that you’ve linked to them because it’s free one way publicity they’re getting, and you’re using that link in context; it’s a win-win for everybody.

4. Even internal links can be bad for you. Now you’re just being silly. One of the highest ranked websites on the internet per Google and their page rank is W3C.org, the folks that actually create the HTML standards that the rest of us try to live up to when creating our websites. They’re almost nothing but internal linking and almost all of it is anchor texts. In these cases what you’re doing is helping search engines figure out how your sites internal links are actually connected, and it helps your authority because you’re not trying to hide anything but make things easy for them to share with others. And, of course, that’s the best thing you can do for your visitors, link to other articles that are on the same topic you’re currently writing about that are related.


5. You shouldn’t have any links in your sidebars to anything without adding the “nofollow” tag. Did you know that Google recommends that website owners shouldn’t try to sculpt their pages too much because it could lead them to looking unnatural? Did you know that my advice is to do what you feel is necessary as long as you don’t overdo it?

Both websites and blogs have lots of links if they’re worth anything. Worrying too much about the duplicate content thing as it applies to links is pretty silly; remember my news site comparison earlier? Where it’s bad is if you’re overdoing it on specific phrases again. On one site they used “wedding” as an example where a site might constantly use that word and follow it with others such as “dresses”, “rings”, “shoes”, “tiaras”, etc. That definitely looks spammy (what a strange word that is) and will get you and your site into search engine trouble. Do you really think your visitors will come to your site, know it’s about wedding stuff, and not be able to figure out that all those things are related to wedding stuff without your telling them?

This gets back to the old discussion of whether you should add things like a blogroll to your site. Trust me, you’re not going to lose much ranking or traffic because you support certain websites or other blogs, and they’re not nofollow. I’m of the opinion why put them there if you’re going to nofollow them?

6. If there are too many links back to my site, Google’s going to think it’s all my fault so I have to take care of it. What are you, a man or a mouse (or a woman or a… I’ve got nothing lol)? For an example here I’ll use my main business website. That site has been up 11 years now, and back in the day one would try to get onto a few directories for search terms we hoped to be found for.

For one particular search term that website is linked to more than 6,000 times. I certainly didn’t contact 6,000 sites to ask them to add me to their directories for that term. I didn’t pay anyone for it either. What you’ll find is that sometimes you end up on a list because many sites find things on their own or through their own robots and such and add you. This blog is on many lists of dofollow blogs, as my finance blog was on a list of multiple blogs that accept guest posts. Does anyone really expect me to contact all those people and ask them to remove my links from their site?

Google has recommended that people only go through this process if they send you a letter. They’ve also said that they’re going to try to give you examples of where you’ve failed. Trying to get everyone to accept what you’re trying to do is illogical. Any company promising you that they’ll get it done is lying to you. They might get many links moved but truthfully, it’s your fault for doing it in the first place. The best way to overcome it all is to start adding better content to your own site and working your way through things that way.

But since I know you’re not going to listen to me on that one if you haven’t listened to the previous 5, it leads me to my last point, that being…

7. Threatening sites with a disavow threat. Ooohhhh, I’m scared! Seriously, this is happening and it’s stupid. Actually, though I’m going to talk about it, here’s the link to Google’s disavow policy. You know what it says midway down the policy? Here’s the actual quote:

“If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm
your site’s performance in Google’s search results

The disavow tool is meant for sites to ask Google not to penalize them for certain links. Anyone using it to complain that you wouldn’t remove a link that they actually paid someone to leave on your site could backfire if that’s the majority of what you had someone doing for you. If you paid someone to help spread your links and they’ve ended up spamming certain websites over and over, possibly even being paid for by someone else, those could benefit you. But you sending in a disavow request does nothing to me or anyone else whose site you’ve left a link on. Not only that but I’ve given thought to calling out some of these people for threatening me and also posting the email. Now, who would that hurt more?

As I said, you might decide I don’t know what I’m talking about but don’t just argue it with me. Go and do your research if you don’t believe me, or continue doing it your way. I can honestly say this. I’m Just Sharing did take a minor hit after the very first algorithm Google came out with, and hasn’t been touched since. My finance blog has never taken an algorithm hit. If your links were on either of those sites you’re good multiple times over. My business blog did take a big hit earlier this year but it’s back to where it’s always been now. What this proves is that it’s got more to do with you and your site than outstanding links for most of us. For those of you who went overboard trying to buy links… well, you’re probably the unlucky minority in this game.

I’m done; what’s your thought?

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24 thoughts on “7 Ways To Know You’re Getting Bad SEO Linking Advice”

  1. Hey Mitch, I found a typo……check Check your second sentence of your first point. 😉

    I’m still getting people asking me to remove links and unless it’s within the post itself I ask them to pay for the privilege. As for those threats about using the disavow tool, yeah, as if that’s going to get them anywhere with me ;D

  2. I recently had a request to remove a link. It was from a friend, so really – happy to do that. Then again, I was busy, so I made them track down all the URLs to make it easy for me. Then, on reviewing the posts in question, I realized they were all crap (free advertising for all, because I’m too lazy to clean up those old contest posts!)

    Really, I’m grateful to the ONE who did his own housekeeping! LOL I got rid of the posts altogether.

    BTW, I’d almost lifted my ban on guest posts. I gave plenty of disclaimers, but forgot ONE (out of a possibly infinite number) of the “things I will not promote on my site.” *sigh* It would’ve almost covered a year’s hosting, too. C’est la vie…

    1. Yeah, there were benefits to my finance blog in that people were covering some things I knew nothing about. However, I knew about a lot of them, and some of the articles were poorly written, little personality. It’s just tiring to deal with; you’re better off.

      As for those letters… well, I’m just not dealing with those folks anymore. But I will go through the finance blog to see what’s out there that maybe I should pull or make private, just to be sure. I probably need to do it with this blog as well but I’m getting close to 1,500 posts; not an enviable time.

      1. I am actually LESS inclined to take guest posts on things I know NOTHING about, if you know what I mean – at least not unless I personally know the author and feel they’re an expert in their field. (Or at least know they’re a reputable writer who understands “research” and knows the difference between a primary source and… well, the Internet.)

      2. Well… though I didn’t know anything about these things up front, once I read the articles I did look them up to make sure it was true. If it wasn’t on finance I might not have gone that way.

  3. Hi Mitch Mitchell

    I have noticed everyone took google updates as big thing that is only coming to attack your blog. But fact is google doesn’t harm you in anyway if you are strict to Quality content and follows proper SEO rules.

    You get hit only when you start searching for shortcut to success of your blog.


    1. RIGHT!! Problem is that “proper SEO rules.” Everybody and his brother claims to be an expert. Hard to know what’s “proper” if you don’t know, and you end up relying on bad advice.

      It’s like advice for writers – beyond the mechanics of it, the best advice is “just write.” Same with blogging. But what do you write or blog about when you know nothing else, and there’s a big pool of readers who want nothing else?

      1. I’m with you on this one Holly. I don’t claim to be an expert, but it is a service I offer when I’m home instead of on the road. However, I like to apply some common sense to it all; I don’t promise the moon and I don’t make stupid recommendations that are going to waste a lot of time and money.

    2. Well Maddy, that’s fairly true, but not always. With their very first algorithm change most of my sites took a major hit, including this blog. I was averaging $400 a month in Adsense; now I’m down to $175 and that’s actually an improvement. But I’ve taken no hits since, and if it does happen, I’ll know that it’s not because I’ve violated any rules, and truthfully I’d just deal with it & move on. Why fret over stuff like that?

  4. Hey Mitch,

    there’s also one more myth about bad seo linking,
    everyone is worried about links coming and going from a website that’s not relative to your content or niche.
    just take a look at any business website that have a portfolio, they are linking to their clients and their clients are linking back to them, and look how well they are performing in the search engines!
    to my knowledge, (please let me know if i’m wrong), the only links that can hurt your site are links coming from sites that are already flagged or blacklisted from the search engines.
    Many thanks and Best wishes!

    1. Hey look, another Mitch! lol True, my business websites link to folks who aren’t in my niche, but they’re either clients or places I recommend to others. It’s silly to think that you can’t comment anywhere you like because you’ll get hit with a Google penalty, but that’s the stupidity behind asking people to remove links I suppose.

  5. Hello Mitch,

    The no 5 point is my point of interest. I have been considering whether having links i.e from recent post-is a bad practice or not, but with your explanation, it is.

    My question is, how can I add a nofollow tag or rule to it since they are added from a widget.

    Your advice will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks for the helpful content.

    1. Hi James,

      If we’re talking blogroll, all you have to do is go into links (I assume you’re using WordPress), edit, then look for Link Relationship. There’s a hidden arrow to the right, but if you hover over it the sucker will show up. Click on that and another menu opens up, and right at the top you’ll see Rel, and that’s where you type in nofollow. Hope that helps.

  6. Hey Mitch,
    Nice long post on SEO… Yeah, I have been toasting my brain thinking too much about the linking aspects as well. Google won’t let bloggers to keep focused on their main business, right? Lol

    PS: How come no post since this one? I see, however, that you are very active on Twitter.

    1. Ajith, I had a post go live today; you were just a couple of hours too early. lol I’d written a bunch of long posts in a row so I felt they needed some time to be found.

      Actually, I’m of the opinion that most of us worry too much about how Google affects our blogs. I think they know who’s violating principles and who’s going about their business and somehow become victims of circumstances. I don’t overly worry about any of it; I just write. 🙂

  7. Hello Mitch,

    Indeed agreed with your points reading the bad seo linking and of course Anchor text links are bad and you know some dumb people are also use to comment using their anchor text lol.


  8. Hello Mitch,

    Your article is informative as well as shocking for me, I published too many guest posts using same anchor text (My blog name), Will it create any problem for me at the time of penguin update…Any way to recover from it..?

    Thanks You..

    1. It depends on how many guest posts and how many links you put out. If you wrote less than 100 you’re probably safe. Even if you wrote more than that, if you didn’t get them all posted within a month or so you’re still probably pretty good. If you haven’t received any kind of notice by now I wouldn’t worry about it.

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