Every SEO knows that Google’s most recent update targeted aggressive promotional use of inbound links.  Google aside, are links to at Website inherently bad?  Of course not.  Keep in mind that without hyperlinks, the only other way to visit a Website is to accurately type the Web address in the browser.  Almost every visit to a Website starts with a link.  Links can take many forms including bookmarks, anchor text links, straight URL text links, image links, links that redirect or use tracking code, nofollow, dofollow, cloaked, etc..  These links can be found in social media sites, organic search, ppc on search engines, Web directories, saved in browsers, and links on Websites of all kinds.

Should it not be part of the job of a site promoter to obtain inbound links?  Let’s think this through.  There are some anecdotal reports that simple on site SEO and good content is getting indexed and well ranked in Google for non-competitive terms, with no inbound links at all.  Assuming that this is true, would this not mean that the only way to get to this site (except typing in the URL) would be to use Google Search?  How would Google know that the text content is high quality if nobody cares to link to it?  There are more questions than answers in this post by design.  The intention is to get Web promoters to think through their objectives, strategies and tactics in this ever changing environment.

It is impossible to advertise a Website online without paying for a link.  Pay-per-click, banner ads, Yahoo Directory listings, and every other online advertising method is a paid link.  So what is Google’s problem?  It is safe to assume that they do not want low quality content to rise in rank based on manipulation.  The manipulation in question is the use of paid links using keyword anchor text.  If you are simply buying link ads with anchor text (dofollow only) on high PageRank sites without regards to relevancy or the possibility of a prospect clicking though, then you may want to reconsider your strategy.  Think of promotion as advertising.  When you advertise, you are acquiring links that will attract visitors and prospects.  Dofollow and PageRank are not a factor in this kind of adverting.  Relevancy and traffic on linking page are vital.

Let’s give Google the respect it deserves (as the most successful and dominant search engine) without cowering slavishly, in fear of it’s wrath.  Google can change, interpreter, or enforce it’s policies with or without notice.  A site promoter should promote sites, and forget about manipulating search engines results.