Blog networks and artificial networks are still out there. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why so many people are confused about Google’s new rules when it comes to link building.
This was one of the questions answered by Matt Cutts in a video update.
According to Google, many webmasters, afraid of getting penalized, asked them to actually remove links they normally would have considered important to their sites. They are also afraid of linking to their own content and not sure whether to use Breadcrumbs to provide a better user experience on their site(s).
A year ago, Google’s first Penguin update, initially called the “webspam update”, hit many webmasters. There were only two more updates since the first one, one came in May, and the other in October 2012. But Google has already indicated another big update…
That’s why this article is about what Google really says about blog networks and artificial networks, about linking to your own content within a domain and building links to own, but different domains with thematically related content.
What Google really says about linking to your own content
Watch carefully what Google’s Matt Cutts says:
Google will not penalize you for linking to your own content, even if the content is on different domains you own. As long as the content is of high quality and thematically related to your main topic, you provide additional information to your visitors. That creates a positive user experience and that’s what Google loves (at least right now). So taking the example of the fishing site mentioned in the video, you should be safe when you build those links.
BUT… don’t overdo it. Don’t create hundreds of mini-sites with low quality content and link them. This will not work. Not anymore. Build genuine, organic links and you’re safe. And stay away from blog networks and artificial networks although I’ve seen some of them doing quite well these days.
Blog networks and artificial networks
Google checks very carefully whether the content on your site(s) is of high quality and thematically related or not. So when you create hundreds of sites – some of them not even thematically related to your main topic – and link them, Google may see them as blog networks, or links created artificially to get backlinks. That’s exactly what Google does NOT want you to do. Artificial networks and artificially created backlinks are not what Google is aiming for.
Here is the original message they sent out about inbound links, paid links and much more, back in 2012.
To sum that up, here is Matt Cutts’ message again:
“Just linking from A to B is not a violation of our quality guidelines,” says Cutts. “If you only have two sites, they’re thematically related, a person on A would be interested in B…then it makes perfect sense to link those two sites. The problem gets into [when] you don’t have two sites, but you have fifty sites, or eighty sites, or a hundred and fifty sites, and then suddenly linking all of those sites starts to look a lot more like a link network and something that’s really artificial, as opposed to something that’s organic.”