Say, can I link with you?

I’ve never been the paranoid type. I’m pretty much the laid-back type who prefers to see the good in people rather than the bad. You know this cuz, and that’s why you like me so much, right?

This is pretty much why I’ve never had much trouble being friends with people, both online and in the real world. Being a nice guy also means that you really don’t need to go through the formality of asking a person to be your friend. If you really think about it, that’s kind of sad, asking a person for permission to be a friend? Sad, cuz, just sad. Connecting to people through friendship is really different from connecting to people online through links. Or at least it was…

It seems recent events on the Internet will definitely affect how we connect to people online. Asking permission to link to another site was mostly a formality in the past. Now, however, it seems that in the interest of keeping out of legal trouble, asking permission to link is a necessity. Read more about it from this post by Barry Schwartz.

As you know, Google has been notifying webmasters for unnatural links pointing to their web sites. They stepped up those notifications drastically this year and has gone to greater lengths to penalize link networks and warn about gray links.

So SEOs and webmasters are less about link building these days and more about link clean up. We have articles on how to remove bad links and SEO tool providers building out spam detection tools, despite the controversy around them.

But despite many webmaster and SEO efforts, removing unwanted links to your site might never actually work enough to remove a Google penalty.

So some webmasters are taking extreme measures and threatening to sue publishers and webmasters who are linking to them. The topic of needing permission to link to web sites is not new, we actually covered it in 2008. But I have no doubt in my mind that the topic will come up extremely frequently now that links to your site can hurt the ranking of that site in Google.”

Just remember, jumping in blindly never resulted in anything good for anyone. Be aware of your options, and make educated decisions.Links are vastly important in an Internet marketer’s life. What happens now that you never know if a link would help you or get you in legal trouble? Even worse, what if Google decides that the links who have helped in the past, are sites that earns you and your links penalties? I don’t think an Internet marketer will survive without any links to speak of, so go ahead and link up with others BUT be completely aware of who you link up with. Don’t be dazzled by how high they rank or how much link juice you stand to earn from them, who knows how they got these? After all, it may be these unknown factors that could get you in trouble with Google should you decide to go ahead and link with these sites.


Andy “May I” Jenkins

  • AllThingsPondered

    Interesting perspective there Andy. I could see a scenario like that happening with a link network. When a webmaster gets one of those ‘unhappy’ messages from Google they will probably ask for their links to be removed. But maybe the link network doesn’t have a way to remove individual links – in that case, they probably won’t remove the links. And what if there are thousands of them? That could indeed be a legal battle at that point. Better not to use link networks – don’t you agree?