Can Link Building Give You or Your Client a Bad Reputation?

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Reputation management is a growing concern on the Internet, as it takes a lot more effort to get a negative item off of the top 10 search results for your name or company than it does for that negative item to get in those results.

Bad Rep Through Link Building

While quality link building can certainly help generate a positive online reputation, bad link building can do just the opposite. Here are three ways that your link building campaign could affect you or your clients.

1) Links in Bad Neighborhoods

I know we hear it over and over again – try not to get links in a bad neighborhood. It seems like it is pretty easy to avoid bad neighborhoods when link building, but sometimes they are unavoidable.

Let’s look at blog commenting, for example. You find a blog and throw in your comment with a casual link to a website. Everything is fine at that point. But then you come back to check on your comment to see it followed up by the following.

Needless to say, if a potential client were to come across these comments, they would not want to click on any link on the page, assuming it was similar spam, including yours.

WordPress blog owners can go one step further – if they see a comment they consider spam, they can mark it as such using spam filter programs, which will log the website URL in a database and prevent comments including that URL from being added to other WordPress blogs. This mean if a client hires a service to link build, and that service gets the client’s URL entered into the spam database, the client will (usually unknowingly) be blocked from commenting.

2) Being Exposed as a Link Builder or Using a Spam Agency

This warning is especially aimed at agencies that send out unpersonlized, bulk link requests. Programs that do these kinds of link requests often send multiple requests for several clients to the same website owners. Needless to say, if the website owner becomes annoyed by them, they can do anything from adding the company’s information to a blog post (including the link requester’s name, agency name, and the client’s name).

Annoyed webmasters can also report agencies to spam blacklists. Sites like will list the agency and any clients that are linked to that agency. It doesn’t take much searching on their site to find a list of commonly known agencies and clients who use them.

3) Misreprenting the Client

Alternatively, if an agency goes the route of getting an email from the domain of their client, that agency is now representing them in any communications or requests they make. Can you imagine if you were a website owner, and you started getting spammed by requests from your favorite company or if your blog was getting spammed by a brand you liked by someone who appears to work for the company?

How to Keep Your Reputation

So what are some ways you can prevent getting a bad rep while link building? These are just a few simple suggestions…

Your Thoughts on Creating a Bad Rep Through Link Building

The above are just a few of many ways bad link building can lead to a bad rep for a website. As a link builder or website owner, what are some other examples of bad link building that has led to a bad reputation for the website being linked? Have you ever had your name, agency name, or client’s name publicized as part of a spammy link request? What advanced reputation management strategies to get the negative remarks removed?

Kristi Hines
Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and blogger who develops high-quality content for businesses.
Kristi Hines
Kristi Hines
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  • Julienb_seo

    I'd also say keep a track of the website you contacted for link exchange so chances are better not to contact them again and again and again!

    • Kristi Hines

      Yes, that's definitely the smart move. A lot of software doesn't do that automatically though. My site gets hit with the same spamming software, and if I ask to be removed, it is just a month or two before I'm back on again.

  • Vinicius B. Peixoto

    I just cannot figure out how can people waste their money/time on spamming around instead of building tools, infographics, pools, contests […].

  • keepupweb

    Thanks Kristi. It never occurred to me that someone could leave a spammy comment under a legitimate comment of mine. If you comment a lot, it must be nearly impossible to find out if this happened. Thanks for the warning. I didn’t realize that I needed a reputation management strategy that involved my comments that are left by someone else reflecting poorly on me.

    • Kristi Hines

      It is a hard thing to find out ahead of time, and usually nothing you can do about it later (unless you can subscribe via email to follow up comments and ask for yours to be removed). But I know I have come across blogs with a lot of spam comments and that deterred me from clicking on any of the commenter's links, even though I'm sure not all were spam.

  • modified cars

    The point 1, which you mentioned was exactly correct and i have also come across these type of things when i check back by comment there are hyperlinks in my comment. Yes, webmaster should be very careful while building links.

  • Jadeslair

    If you just avoid paying for those 9.99 link building plans that companies put out you will avoid a lot of this kind of trouble.

  • Irregular Visitor

    So basically if I use above methods for my competitors I'll ruin their reputation, right?
    Thanks for the tutorial;).

    • Kristi Hines

      Not quite the interpretation of this article I had in mind, but I guess it probably is already being used that way.

  • jack

    depends on back link you are receiving.

  • China Electronics Wholesale

    It sure can