Link Building Software a Bargain? Think Again!

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It’s no secret that the fastest way to get a page-one ranking with Google is to have lots of juicy inbound links, also known as backlinks. There are many diverse ways webmasters go after backlinks, and this has been the situation from the beginning.

Link Building Software in All Its Ugly Glory

However, there are devious people on the Internet, and they have devised some truly pernicious ways to get those links. One of the worst is link building software which leaves comment spam like a trail of excrement across the Internet. You will see it advertised for sale wherever webmasters meet, and sometimes, it will be referred to as commenting software.

To thwart this ugly and malignant form of spam, Google has recently updated its algo to penalize for incoming links that can be identified as spam. If you’ve ever seen them, you’ll know it’s simply not that hard to tell spam links apart from the real thing. They generally don’t make sense and they look as if a foreigner who barely speaks English wrote them.

Link Building Services-the Good and the Bad

Before I go on, a quick word about link building services. They are not the same as link building software, although unscrupulous link building services may well use link building software. It is definitely a case of buyer beware! You have to take all the precautions you possibly can to ensure that if you pay someone, even an agency for links, they are not creating spam links for you in any way. This is not SEO, but negative SEO. It will mean, that at some point, you will need to employ someone else to remove the links or face the consequences which in some cases can be complete exclusion from the SERPs.

Sometimes, it’s just not possible to undo all the damage that negative SEO wreaks, so the watchword here is definitely extreme caution. If you are in any doubt about the ethics of an SEO agency, better stay away from them.

A Quick Word About Negative SEO

Back to spammy links. They constitute what’s become known as Negative SEO. Basically, they do far more harm than good. They’re not the only aspect of Negative SEO, though. Read Kristine Schachinger’s article on what constitutes Negative SEO to learn how you can end up being added to Google’s adult filter without even knowing about it!

Now, the thing here to note is that these spam links don’t only harm the person who pays for them. Oh no. If you let more than a few bad neighborhood links through your comment spam protection, your website is toast. And good luck claiming it back from Google’s realm of toastdom.

One of my domains, Wellwrittenwords, reached the covetable Google PR 5 (I think back in June). I was overjoyed because I have been away from the field of SEO for almost three years and could only work on my websites sporadically. Because I planned a return, the PR 5 was a gift indeed. But then, it was snatched away again just weeks later because of a few spammy comments that managed to get through the filters over time. I have spent hours going through 10 years’ worth of comments to try and rectify the situation. This has left me bereft of the little humor I had left this past month and is the reason for the tone of this article.

If you have experienced a similar drop in page rank recently, along with the accompanying drop in traffic, it may or may not be bad incoming links. It’s always worth giving your site a thorough checkup with Google Webmaster Tools, and Sujan Patel explains just how to do that.

To some, the disgusting procedure of leaving highly undesirable comment garbage on blogs all over the Internet is big business. To find out more about how and why, Greg Stevens has written a superb article about the process over at the Kernel: Revealed: The Grubby World of Comment Spam.

OK, so we’ve covered some of the ways you should definitely not create links. Can’t leave you hanging, and you’re probably wondering how you should do it. Again, our very own Sujan Patel has the goods on ethical link building for you.

Patricia Skinner
Patricia Skinner is co-founder and Search and Social Director at Mideast SEO, and spends her days doing what she loves best; cooking up winning strategies... Read Full Bio
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  • Turko Digital

    Totally agree. A good linkbuilder is able to do is job without a linkbuilding software.

    • Nilesh

      Perfectly right!
      once i heard about a company using seo softwares but when i asked them, they told me that they never use any kind of softwares. Only skilled professionals are enough and yes their services are awesome.

  • Cynthia

    This is a timely post Patricia considering how Google’s furry animals knocked out millions of websites.

  • Nick Stamoulis

    “You have to take all the precautions you possibly can to ensure that if you pay someone, even an agency for links, they are not creating spam links for you in any way. ”

    It’s unfortunate, but very true. Site owners have to keep in mind that no matter who builds the links their site is the one that deals with the consequences, both good and bad. Insist on transparency!

  • Igor Mateski

    soooo true. I have the misfortune to work on a few sites that had spam links, az well as plenty of directory links that combined, account for brand related fall in traffic of about 50% relative to july. terrible. sometimes it seems its better to just dump the url and start afresh. a few other clients that are with me since day 1 see constant growth in traffic, and theres hardly any link building. mostly its content marketing and it seems like a smart way to go. google will never go against high quality texts.

    • Rifat

      Hi Mateski , I agree with you! I think the ethic link building only remains in content marketing.

      @Patricia, so true and those devious people are paying now for their deeds! they got penalized by Google.


      • Patricia Skinner

        The trouble is, sometimes it’s the innocent that become casualties of the situation: innocent website owners who don’t know the dangers of buying linkbuilding services from the untrustworthy. Spammers deserve a bad ending in my book!

    • Ruben Couto


      Do you think directory links also hurt your ranking? Does that mean we shouldn’t submit our URLs to directories?

      • Patricia Skinner

        Hi Ruben,

        Yes, some directory links can hurt your rankings. Depends who is signed up with them. Check out your directories carefully folks. Their Google PageRank should be a first indicator. If they are legit it should be 5 and above.

  • Justin

    As expected, Google is getting more strict when it comes to rankings. In promoting our websites online, we only need to think of one thing – QUALITY. That’s what Google is after so that’s what we should offer.

  • George

    I totally agree with you that most link building applications are very dangerous; sadly, the same thing goes for some of the link builders, who use automated tools most of the time. And since going after a high quality backlink is a time consuming operation, it’s clear that you can’t get great links if you have a small SEO budget.

    I heard about your website’s PR drop a while ago and it wasn’t good news. I’m wondering what would happen with a blog that auto-approves comments; my website gets about a dozen of spammy comments each day and it’s definitely much less visited than yours.

  • Pete

    This truly proved nothing other then comment spam = bad. How much time have you actually spent using the software that is “bad”. SEO done poorly does not matter if you use software. The use of software for me is just to speed things up. This seems like biased posting without prior experience. The article reads well but needs research. I do both ends of SEO. White hat = costs more, but better in the long run. Black hat or grey hat = cheaper and quicker results. Im not saying this is wrong but there seems to be zero proof of the opinion.

    BTW to most of you who use some link building or seo service. Check the work they do for you. Most companies use some sort of software or tactics frowned on by big G (spun content, etc). If you have some $199 (example) monthly package, guess what, look at what is offered in that. Blackhat. 🙂

  • essaadi yassine

    hello : really now i use wordpress for my web sites and i use ABC 3 K plugin for automated build backlinks to backlinks, just test since 10 days,and i want to know ,at net theer are a lot of tools said we are best we are best,but please could anyone help me to find good tool efficient and not expensive to build backlinks and quality backlinks,

  • Dwayne Campbell

    Is there any good Link Building software out there that will actually help your page rank and not hurt it? They all claim to do such a great job yet I keep hearing that spinning articles out to sites that have low page ranks or none at all is actually worse than doing nothing at all? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • Luke Hale

    the success of offshore software development does not depend on offshore teams alone.

  • Gustavo Viera

    Whats the best automated software for link building to non-spma sites? Or does it not exist?

  • Steve

    The first paragraph is just not right, you CAN get on 1st page of Google and stay there WITHOUT back link building.

    I’ve done it and am still on 1st page of google.

  • Steve Sims

    Re the comment above, can I ask what search terms you rank at position 1 for please….

  • John Kross

    So what your saying, is all I have to do is build spam links to my competitions websites and they will get kicked out of the Google rankings? That will leave a clear path for my website to raise to the #1 spot.