Inbound Links from Other Sites can help a website move up in natural search rankings. But if the search engines conclude that your website is stockpiling links solely to move up in search results, your website may be penalized and see the site virtually disappear from search engine pages.
Links had evidently been purchased solely to enhance search engine rankings, in violation of Google’s rule against buying links in order to manipulate search results. Google typically gives more credit to links from educational sites with .edu domains because they are deemed to be more objective than commercial sites.
Only Google’s own Webspam team knows exactly what search engine optimization tactics raise red flags, but certain SEO practices are known to be risky.
Manipulated anchor text in inbound links: Search engines can easily identify inbound links that contain manipulated anchor text, the highlighted word or phrase in web content that someone clicks to get more information. A
classic example of this violation occurs after you identify a specific keyword phrase or group of phrases that command high search volume, and then you attempt to own these phrases by purchasing many identical links that use the exact words in the targeted phrases.
When search engines see unnatural repetition of precise keywords within the text of these links, originating from hundreds or thousands of sites, they may deem this to be an indicator of manipulated anchor text.
Links from irrelevant sites: Relevance is one of the most important aspects of any link portfolio. Just as search engines evaluate each site in terms of its relevance to particular search terms, so, too, do they evaluate sites linking to that website. If the linking sites tend to be relevant to the website and the products it sells, this provides a greater boost than links from irrelevant sites.
However, garnering many links from sites that have little or nothing to do with your site content not only provides little benefit, it can be seen by search engines as an indication of unsavory SEO practices and lead to penalties.
Links from unrelated foreign sites: Links from sites based in countries where a you do not do business can also raise a red flag. If you do not sell in Russia and China, Google may look askance at links from sites using the domains .ru
(Russia) and .cn (China). Though these links can occur naturally, and are not under a retailer’s control, the rapid acquisition of many such links may suggest intentional link manipulation and trigger penalties.
Link Spam: Each inbound link your website can be evaluated for the contextual relevance of the linking source page. But if that source page also links to a number of other unrelated sites—most likely taking payment for that link spam—it can raise a red flag and get labeled by search engines as an undesirable inbound link for your site.
Links from bad neighborhoods: your site can be evaluated for links from sites with low PageRank scores and or questionable incoming link portfolios. Google prefer sites to avoid links to web spammers or ‘bad neighborhoods’ on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.