Low Quality Backlinks?

SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday – Interview with Google’s Maile Ohye from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.

Getting solid information on SEO from Google is much like drawing blood from a stone but every now and then they slip up and say a bit too much. This one is about the effect of low quality links on website rankings and their role in penalties.

Jen Lopez from SEO Moz recently interviewed Maile Ohye from Google on a number of topics and one of the questions was about link building, and more specifically, the effect of low quality backlinks on rankings and whether they are a potential threat as cause for penalties. Maile replied saying that low quality links (scrapers, dummy sites and blogs…etc) do not pass much of a PageRank and do not pose a threat as they are not seen as a reasonable effort to artificially manipulate rankings.

It seems that Google sees those websites as a minor nuisance while they pay particular attention to high PageRank backlinks which appear to be sold and abused – and this is of course purely to the fact that they do carry a lot of potential and have the ability to influence the results.

This priority is no surprise as Google recently stated that they are targeting high volume sites first when combating SEO spam as those types of websites are more likely to be affecting larger portion of Google users. One option that is left unexplained is a likely workaround where webmasters and SEO companies can feed high PageRank and trust rank from a handful of high quality sites while passing the anchor text value via small and seemingly insignificant spammy little sites. This concept appears to be safe but whether it’s truly efficient requires further testing.

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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