So what exactly is unnatural linking?
Obviously Google has been sending out notifications to site owners through webmaster tools letting them know they have detected unnatural links. What constitutes an unnatural link is something we have to explore more deeply so we can develop a strategy that is not going to bring about penalties from Google.
Who placed the link on the site?
Reading through some of Google’s previous statements about unnatural linking, we can strongly theorize that links placed by a site owner to relevant content would be the strongest. On the other hand, links placed by visitors or registrants to a website with little or no editorial review would be more the unnatural variety.
Examples of Unnatural Links
- A blog or forum that allows comments that do not have to be approved by a moderator and instantly go live.
- A link directory that automatically approves link submissions or accepts virtually any link that is paid.
- Profile links on sites where you can register and place a link without the admin approving the link in the profile.
So what about Directory Links?
Despite there being many directories that have little or no editorial policy, there is plenty of support for the notion that a well edited directory can help with rankings of a site with Google. When there is a directory owner that is actively involved in creating carefully categorized links, and linking only to vetted quality sites, the directory will in time develop into a quality resource.
And why are there many bad directories? How can I make sure mine isn’t one of them?
Because the attraction of getting paid for links can be high. It is easy to just take the money, but that can be very short sighted. Also it can take a long time to develop a quality resource. It’s easy to just sit back and wait for people to submit to your directory. It is much more challenging to make a continuing effort over time. A better idea might be to target a niche.
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