In this hangout, this webmaster was concerned about links and asked John Mueller what his advice was for getting them. John also explained a few things regarding bad links.
John explained that problems occur when one goes out and creates the links themselves. The entire idea behind link building is to allow others to build links back to your site and that this happens naturally.
But, if Google finds that you’re building these links back to your site, this could be a major problem and may result in a penalty, for example.
However, the usual processes of creating great content—spreading the word about that content, getting influencers, and getting them to write about your site—are all perfectly fine.
Just don’t go buying links directly on other people’s sites.
This discussion occurs at the 14:39 mark in the video below:
John Mueller 09/10/2021 Hangout Transcript
Webmaster 3 14:39
Okay, thanks. And, um, what would be your advice for building links because obviously, in creating great content, and then we can send that across to other, other sort of like relevant websites and awesome to, I guess, check it out and link to it if they want to. But what’s your advice, like, if we gave you like 100 grand and you weren’t working with Google? What would be the strategy that you would do?
Yeah, I, I don’t know. It’s, I think it’s, it’s always tricky to try to simplify it into one quick, like answer type thing because then people try to take it out of context. And like say, “Oh, John said, we should do this.” And therefore we’re going off and doing it en masse. No. I think kind of the approach of creating good content and spreading the word about that content, finding, finding people who are maybe influential, who are interested in that topic who might want to write about it, I think all of that is fine.
What is problematic is if you go off and create those links yourself. So if, like you go off and just buy guest posts or you buy links directly on other people’s sites, from our point of view, that would be problematic.
And essentially, when it comes to web spam, if someone from the web spam team looks at something and they look at a website, and overall, it seems like while there’s like a wide variety of different kinds of links here, and some of them, like you don’t really know if there’s like a weird story behind it, or they might be kind of questionable, but there’s enough out there, that’s also reasonable then usually, the webspam team will say, well, we’ll let the algorithms take care of it.
But if they look at it, and they see like, all of these links are essentially things that look quite a lot like guest posts, even though they’re not labeled like guest posts, then that might be something that they would take action on. So essentially, when it comes to links, on the one hand, creating really good content is definitely the first step. But it’s also not, not the only thing, like just having good content is not going to make your site pop up in Google search.
We do take things into account like links, but lots of other factors as well. But really kind of spreading the word out and trying to get a contact to who are interested in the kind of content that you create, and encouraging them to maybe link out or at least check out your content as well. And that can be all kinds of people like you could, for example, also just run a newsletter and just include the newest pages that you have things like that.