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. ðŸ™‚
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!Jill
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.