This article is guest posted by Angie.
This is a question that I get asked from clients from time to time and in most instances, the answer is NO.
Google and other search engines do not make it easy for competitors to damage your business. If inbound links could have a detrimental effect on your SEO than it would be in your competitors’ interest to ‘sabotage’ your site, thereby improving their own positions by knocking you out of the search engine result pages. That would be crazy! Search engines will not penalise you for something which you as a site owner have no control over.
According to Google: “There’s almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index.”
However, there are certain link-building techniques that can be seen as “unnatural” and result in the links being ignored or discounted. If you’ve got a link building campaign going on and are quality links coming to your site at the same time as you suddenly get 100s of links from a known link farm or websites associated with a “bad neighbourhood” you could run the risk of all links being discredited, even the quality link that would have otherwise benefited your site.
Too Many Links Too Quickly
If you suddenly get 100s of links to your website as soon as it goes live or in one go, they are likely to look unnatural and be discredited. For this reason, link building should be an on-going, gradual process that is carried out throughout the life of your website.
Link farms sell text links. As a norm, they are likely to be of little value. For the reasons discussed above, they are unlikely to have a detrimental effect on your site or search engine rankings, however, they are likely to have no effect and can risk detrimentally affecting other link building efforts that are being carried out at the same time.
Vary Your Anchor Text
In order to keep your back links looking as natural as possible it’s best to vary your anchor text. Therefore, if you’re targeting, “Whitening Toothpastes” for example, try using variations such as “Toothpastes for Whitening”, “Tooth Whitening” & “Lightening Toothpaste” in conjunction with your main target keyword.
Linking out from your website.
At this point it would be worth a quick mention that whilst links to your site are unlikely to have a detrimental effect, links from your site to others can. Avoid linking to web spammers or link farms on the web, your web ranking may be affected adversely by promoting those types of sites.
Guest Post by Angie Stewart, Online Marketing Consultant for Maginus. Maginus provide online marketing service, specialising in ecommerce marketing solutions.