Q. Is it safe to use website backlink services? Are there any downsides to using these services?
Generally, we do not recommend utilizing these services as they can possibly hurt you more than they can help.
Backlinks can be very important for increasing rankings; however, if done improperly and/or seen as spam, they will lower your overall rank. Most of the companies that offer these services simply have scripts that find various blog comment boxes, etc. and they submit comments with your url within them. Most will be marked as spam by webmasters that pay attention, though some will get through. If Google happens to see those as spam, it will lower your overall ranking.
While it is more difficult and time consuming, we generally recommend you generate backlinks organically. This can be accomplished by:
- Social Media. We would recommend creating the various social media profiles and list them on your site. This will increase your backlinks and provide another avenue for someone to engage with your company.
- Local Listings. These include social profiles along with Google Plus Business, Four Square, and Yelp. Creating profiles on these sites will not only generate more backlinks (improving your ranking) but will also increase your overall Internet footprint and add more places for someone to learn more about your company and possibly find you.
- Contribute expert articles to local publications or blogs. Contact the editors to get started and write sample articles so they can see your writing style and that you know what you’re talking about. Also, share your professional credentials so they know you are qualified.
- Join relevant or niche-related Groups on LinkedIn. You can answer Group questions and post news and events about your organization.
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