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Blog > How Not To Build Backlinks and Trust – Don’t Be A Spammer

Meet the author:
Jill Olkoski

Jill has a MA in Clinical Psychology, a BS in Computer Science, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

She currently owns Aldebaran Web Design in Edmonds (near Seattle WA) and enjoys educating her clients on topics related to small business website design.

In Jill's previous life, she spent 17 years in the engineering and quality organizations of a Fortune 100 tech company.


How Not To Build Backlinks and Trust – Don’t Be A Spammer

April 29th, 2008

My partner runs a dog training forum to provide a community space for her clients and others to share information about dog training. This morning, someone posted a fake item that I thought I’d share with you as an example of how NOT to build backlinks to your website and trust in your business.

Like blogs, forums are a way for people to attempt to get backlinks to their own websites. This is typically done by leaving comments that contain links to their website URL’s. If you’re honestly helping others and truthfully representing yourself, there is nothing wrong with having a link to your website, say, in your signature, or possibly to a relevant article you’ve written. But when you simply fake who you are, put in a useless comment in the hope to get a backlink to your website, you are considered a spammer.

This morning, my partner’s forum received a posting that said this:

Hi my name is collins and I look forward to learning about dogs from all of you. My older dog attacks my young puppy. Is there a way to train an old dog to like the new puppy?

Sounds like someone asking for help doesn’t it?

Except that the person added a link to a website in the signature. Where did the link go?

Take a guess. 🙂

A dog trainer! On the dog trainer’s home page, it had this statement. Brace yourself, it’s not modest:

Although she does not claim the ability to “read your dog’s mind”, her knowledge of canine behavior is so vast and her experience is so extensive, that when you describe your pet’s problem, she can not only tell you how to solve the problem, but why the problem exists.

Does the trainer have no idea how to solve dog issues like the one she posted, and she’s misrepresenting herself on her website? Or is she just looking for ways to get backlinks to her website by pretending to be a person looking for help. My guess is that it’s the latter, which is why I wrote this post.

If you want to get backlinks by posting in people’s forums, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. If you are knowledgeable about the topic and can offer good advice to others, then simply do that. If you are indeed helpful, the forum owner will probably let you post your link, because you aren’t a spammer.

In this case, the forum owner looked at the posting and the link and quickly determined that it was another dog trainer trying to get backlinks to her website by pretending to be someone looking for help.

Now, what the other dog trainer SHOULD have done was to RESPOND to another person’s post who is looking for help. In this way, the other dog trainer was ADDING VALUE to the forum, not just simply trying to exploit it.

So a word to the wise: there’s nothing wrong with looking for forums where discussions are going on that are relevant to your business. Feel free to post and join the discussion. But don’t be a spammer and try to get undeserved backlinks. Be honest, be yourself…contribute!

J. Olkoski
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.

2 Responses to “How Not To Build Backlinks and Trust – Don’t Be A Spammer”

  1. Michael Fokken Says:

    So how would I create backlinks to with out signing up for an account on some forum, leaving this website as one I like and then never visiting the forum or blog again?

    I just recieved an email for a program that does just that.

    I don’t want to create a fake account that I will never use again, but I need to get my company back on the first page of the search engines.

    I am not trying to see how many times I put our website in the comments, I truelly want to know how to be honest and get backlinks.

  2. Jill Olkoski Says:

    The only “real” way to build backlinks is to create good content that people will voluntarily link to – like adding a blog to your website.

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