Be Natural, Says Bing

Scott Lambert

Bing has been giving advice on link building with hints about how it approaches penalizing sites in its rankings. Some of what is forbidden is pretty straightforward – hacking other people’s sites to inject links, for example – but other rules are more ambiguous. When is it acceptable to request a link? When is it satisfactory to include one in a guest blog piece? The key, it would seem, is to be natural.

What does this mean? Taking the example of link requests, it could mean that asking for a link from a trading partner or from a happy customer with a review site is fine, but sending out mass email requesting links from everyone on a mailing list is not. If the latter is a bought mailing list as opposed to one a business has compiled for itself organically, the best case scenario could be that no-one responds. The worst is that people do and some of the resulting links are from sites that automatically flag up on search engines as problematic – places that potentially damage the reputation of anyone they connect to.

According to Bing, posting links in forums is no longer useful at all. It will not automatically result in a site being downgraded – unless it is obvious spam – but it will not do anything to boost it either. This does not mean that forum posting loses all its usefulness. Search engine marketing is not the only technique that can be used in building a brand. Old-fashioned direct engagement with potential customers still has its uses.

When it comes to guest blogging, both these aspects of promotion need to be considered. An obviously off-topic link in a site known for running almost entirely blog posts – a site where, essentially, contributors are paid for content with links – could harm a site. A link to a business site that is relevant to the topic at hand, however, would be fine. Users who link where it is natural to do so are unlikely to be penalized and are also more likely to impress the human readers of the site. Sites that genuinely focus on a particular subject rather than accepting anything to keep the content flowing are also more likely to have human readers in the first place.

If all this sounds rather obvious, it is surprising how many businesses still run into difficulty with it. To keep your business going strong and make the most of legitimate search engine marketing opportunities, contact Xcellimark by giving us a call at (888) 318-3950 ext.211.

Topics: SEO