Search engines didn't used to be very smart. You could trick them into displaying your website at the top of search results by using several black hat tricks. Link stuffing was among them. Make sure you aren't using this bad strategy in your website's SEO, and learn how to actually improve your website's SEO and search rankings below.
What is Link Stuffing?
Back in the early days of search engines like Google, their algorithms for scanning web pages on the internet were fairly basic. They counted things like keywords, meta information, links, and more, and the one with the most showed up at the top of the results page.
One of these techniques, link stuffing, involves linking to high ranking sites that aren't relevant to your site. Links to relevant large websites can improve your website's SEO by improving your credibility in the industry. However, the relevancy of these links is crucial. Just linking to any high-ranking site will not help you. In fact, it will hurt your website's SEO.
Example of Link Stuffing
For example, on our Graphic Design page, say Captevrix decides to put a link to Trip Advisor on the page. This link is completely unrelated to the content on the page, however the link to this popular site will give us higher credibility, right? No.
Don't give into temptation. Don't do this.
What Happens to Link Stuffers
Google and other search engines are able to detect link stuffing, and can tell whether your links are relevant to the content on a page. Search engines simply want to serve results to users that are truly relevant to their searches. As punishment for link stuffing, search engines may:
- Give your website a lower ranking
- Remove your website from its listings
- Completely blacklist your website
So What Do I Do About It?
First: If you have link stuffed your website, stop now and remove these links.
Second: Only add relevant, useful links to your content in the future
Third: Run away from any SEO company or service that suggests using link stuffing to improve your SEO
Have questions? Leave a comment below.