Backlink Creator Methods to Ignore: Avoid Unnatural Link Penalties

Last week Google launched the long anticipated Penguin2.0 to further reduce web spam and penalize websites that indulge in the practice of using spam to get higher search engine rankings.

Here at ShoutMeLoud, I have often written about safe methods for generating backlinks.  It is very important for webmasters to be careful not to use any shortcuts or backlink creation methods which might lead to Google penalties for his website.

Here are a few articles for your reference in this regard:

There are many online web services selling backlinks or offering a way to generate thousands of backlinks with little work. This does work for a couple of hours or days — until Google completely bans your website from their web index as a penalty for web spam!

Google is getting smarter with time, and they have started notifying webmasters for unnatural links pointing to their websites. In fact, one can now use Google’s disavow link tool to nullify the effect of such links.  (Once a link has been disavowed, the next time Google crawls that link they add what is basically an invisible “nofollow” tag to the link.)

Say “no” to following backlink generator methods:

It is often said that quality products never come cheap.  The same is true for quality backlinks!  A backlink is an essential SEO element for the higher ranking of a webpage, and it is obtained when you have a quality website or page with outstanding content.

There are many safe and reasonable methods (guest blogging, forum posting, infographics, etc.) that help to create Penguin-safe links to your site.

For now, let’s look at a variety of methods for backlink creation  which we should avoid at all costs:

For reference:

Paid link from a high PR page:

No paid backlinksMany webmasters offer paid links from their high PR pages, but Google is very strict about link selling. Any paid link which is placed to pass the link juice will lead your website to a Google penalty.

In the past many companies hired freelance writers to write guest posts on their behalf.  Since Penguin 1.0, they’ve have to eliminate all such links.

There are also many websites selling high PR backlinks, including .edu backlinks which, while it may sound very profitable, can instantly lead to a Google penalty for paid links.

Backlinks from social media profiles and forums :

There are several types of automated software available that will create hundreds of backlinks via social media profiles or other forum profiles. They produce very low-quality links, and these will not help you in any way. Perhaps they will increase your backlink diversity and density, but again – they are producing low quality links back to your site. Penalty!

Furthermore, because the links are created using automated software and thousands of other sites are also using the same method of backlink creation, they are very easy to detect as spam. While paid links may not be harmful in and of themselves, they can (and likely will) lead to Google Penguin penalties for your website.

The message? Stay away from any type of software that promises to create links on auto-pilot.

A better method is to create a social media profile manually on hand-picked, high quality social media and networking sites, and update the profile to get a link back. For example, you can verify your Pinterest account to get a quality dofollow backlink. Similarly, you can consider becoming active on selected similar niche forums and use forum signatures to get links to your website.

You can learn more about how to get legitimate backlinks and traffic via forums here:

Private blog network:

No to Private link building networkMany webmasters create a network of blogs (private blog networks) and use it for link-building and link-selling. Generally they use the different IP (Internet protocol – webhosting) to keep all blogs in the network separate, and use various other techniques to ensure that Google’s web spam team does not recognize the connection.

In the past these private blog networks were actually quite successful, but this is no longer the case. Google is cracking down on private blog networks, and webmasters who have purchased links using these networks are seeing a significant drop in ranking and traffic following every Penguin update or refresh.

If you are receiving mouth-watering emails from some SEO link-builder about link-building via private blog networks, hit the “delete” button and ignore them.

Links via plugin or via free themes:

Before the Penguin update, free themes and plugins used to be one of the easiest and highest quality ways to generate lots of links. However, since the Penguin update this method is no longer safe. Many quality websites such as WPMU and QOT were penalized due to the fact that too many of the same anchor text links were generated using this method.

If you are an individual freelancer or web-development company with a credit link in the footer of your website, be sure to maintain a variety of anchor texts, and make sure your client site is relevant to your niche. Otherwise, it is better not to have a link, than to have a link which can negatively affect your website ranking.


  • Paid links can lead to Google penalties.
  • Stay away from automated software providing backlink tools.
  • Don’t fall for the private blog network link-building method.
  • Backlinks to your website should come only from relevant niche sites, using variations of anchor text.

For further reading:

Here is a video published by Matt Cutts before the launch of Penguin 2.0, which will give you an idea about Google’s SEO changes:

In future posts I will write more about safe methods of backlink generation, and other tips for Penguin-penalized websites.

Let me know what other methods you think should and should not be used to keep our websites Penguin-safe.

If you find the information in this post useful, please share it with your friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

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Article By
Harsh Agrawal is a blog scientist and a passionate blogger. He is blogging since 2008 & writes about Blogging, SEO, Make money online & tech. His blog, ShoutMeLoud receives 1 million Pageviews/month and have over 700K subscribers.


COMMENTs ( 26 )

  1. says

    Really a nice post, I like the images that you use for your post :-D

    Q. Well I have a question, what if I use “Personal Network Blog” (PNB) for creating backlinks?

  2. suresh says

    thank you so much for sharing your knowledge about the backlinks. you are always my inspiration. i have improved my blogging by reading your articles. i just feel good when i read your articles. please keep sharing your ideas with us as you always do. i hope i will make best backlinks after reading such posts.
    thank you once again for this great knowledge. :)

  3. says

    Really nice post, these back link creator methods will surely helps for bloggers and business peoples like me. Thanks for this valuable post and waiting for your next guide.

  4. Rohil Dev says

    Really worth reading this post. i would like to thank Harsh for some hot tips. These days link building should be wise, otherwise you might fall big time. I am a victim of it. Be careful while building links.

  5. says

    Hi Harsh, i have been working on building links for quite a while now. One of my site was penalized by having mulitple sites all interlinking to one another. I wish i had read this article before and i wouldnt have been caught out. I am now going to try some of your methods which i have read.
    Thanks for this useful info.

  6. Monu Kumar says

    Nice Job Harsh Agrawal Sir & this is a very amazing and knowledgeable post for new and old bloggers. Sir can you tell me the hardest way to create back links. Because today’s time everyone use simple way for create back links.

  7. Swapnil Sahare says

    Thanks for sharing such things. I am new to blogging and learned lot from this blog. I read all things about SEO and they are really helping me out. Please keep posting such good things on new panda and penguin update in details as you always do.

    Thank you once again.

  8. Michelline says

    We have been busting our butts doing SEO and wow it seems as if my work day has become more of a 24/7 then a 9 to 5!! But its worth it in the end, thanks for the great article!!

  9. macnross says

    Thanks Harsh Agarwal…it is useful to me bcoz i m learning how to do seo and how to create backlinks..very useful..once again thanks

  10. Tushar says

    BIg companies like Argos, John Lewis and Amazon purchase site wide text links on lots of different blogs. Will these big brands get penalised? Or can they get away with it as they are ‘big brands’?

  11. Rajib Kumar says

    Don’t higher any cheap SEO service from anywhere to build links or anything else. They will destroy your site. Last yes my service site rank was 4; i hired a SEO guy from oDesk. Now, my site PR1. Google visits was 300/day; it’s now 30-60/day.

  12. yogesh says

    Hello Harsh, it a really very nice post especially a new blogger.Between i want to know if we create a backlink from a website whose alexa ranking is more than our website than is effect our optimisation in a negative way or not ??

  13. Manu says

    Thank You Harsh sharing this valuable information here. Please tell me but is the first thing to do in the off page optimization. As we known there are number of ways to get links under off page optimization such as article submission, directory submission, social bookmarking, blogging, social media, blog commenting. Here i am confused about, but be do first to all and what is the ratio … Now i am start form blogging, word press or blog commenting and article submission. Is this sufficient or not?

  14. Josie Moyo says

    Good article Harsh, In addition to what you’ve already mentioned. It may be useful to make use of the Google Disavow tool eespecially with Penguin 2 already on the shores

  15. says

    Thank You harsh. I am so happy to read such a nice post. I think there is no need to make backlink through Software or any other automatic tools. It will definitly harmful to our site. Google will not leave our site if i done such mistak.

  16. sai charan reddy says

    Great Post ! I Experienced it in my First blog ! Thanks for sharing

    I create back links by commenting irrespective of niche and quality Finally my blog gets punished by unnatural links

  17. TechStake says

    Hardwork always pays off…same applies in link building too…after all quality iz better than quantity…I think Content iz the king here if you can provide really good content via your own blog, then fellow bloggers would likely to link to it, and thus it will earn reputation…other than this guest blogging (in niche blogs), forum posting, social bookmarking (natural way not automated) are safe methods too…

  18. says

    Hi Harsh…!!
    Gr8 Article..The Backlinks are affected to website..!!
    i like your writing style..
    Thank U Harsh..!!
    this is useful information for my website..!!

  19. Lakhyajyoti says

    Agree with you. Guest posting is the safest way to build backlinks now a days. But what about blog commenting? You didn’t mention about it on your post. Thanks for the share.

  20. says

    Hello Harsh, What about backlinks from blog commenting ? I am building the same anchor text ‘ my name ‘ for all back links from commenting. How does it effects on my blog PR ?

  21. Stephen Malan says

    We prefer blog commenting as it accomplishes more than just garnering a backlink. It helps create traffic and authority to our blog. We don’t just say “good post” and then leave, we actually try to leave an informative comment that may be useful to others.

    Google constantly tweeks their algo, so it’s best to stay on the right side of Google all the time. No telling when the next Panda or Penguin change will come down from Google. We haven’t done anything yet with Forum commenting, will be looking your articles on that and see if it may work for us. Does anyone here care to comment on their results with Forum commenting?

    Thanks again!

    • says

      I tried forum commenting once but it’s hard to stay on the right side, as you called it. The forums are so full of spam that having a real conversation is next to impossible. I think Reddit is technically social media but it seems rather forum like to me and it’s full of real people having real conversations. Have you tried it?

  22. Abdul says

    Thank harsh bro ! but m in just trouble from now ? :( can you please let us know what type of methods are safe for building high quality backlinks for a website you just mentioned 1 method please show more.