Self Service Links and Why I Hate Them

Are you in denial?
Self service linking has attained ridiculous proportions on the web as naive, ignorant and lazy webmasters look for the easiest ways to obtain as many backlinks as they possibly can with as little effort as possible. This also fuels the myth that overall link popularity is one of the most important factors for ranking a web page in the search engines.

Visit the average webmaster forum and it’s easy to find several comments and advice advocating the use of self service linking as the preferred method for ranking one’s website. I can only image the quality of the sites being promoted using these methods. I wouldn’t point these types of links at throw away domains, much less anything being developed for the long term.

What do I consider to be a self service link? Any link that results from a direct action of your own accord or one that is attained through automated means. This is one of the favored tactics of inexperienced webmasters or those claiming to be SEO experts or offering so called SEO / link building services. In other words, a link that has no editorial merit.

Blog Comment Spamming
If you’re going around posting inane comments with links or using anchor text instead of a name – you’re a comment spammer.  You’re only there for the links, so don’t try to justify your presence with the gratuitous crap suggesting how nice of a post it is. Commenting can be mutually beneficial if it’s done for the right reasons. Adding comments which only serve to confirm your ignorance by defacing someone else’s website does little for your credibility.

Profile Spamming
Are you one of those who creates multiple forum identities only to include links to your sites from those profiles? Manually or automated? You’re pathetic. Is the content of your site such garbage that this is how you must obtain your inbound links?

Social Bookmarking
Similar to the above; going around creating multiple accounts for the sole purpose of linking to your sites is basically spam. Outsourcing the task is no different than doing it yourself, nor does it relieve you of the responsibility.

Directory Submissions
I’ve no problem with submissions to a directory that has editorial standards for inclusion and holds all of their submissions to the same high standards. Directories such as DMOZ, Yahoo!,, JoeAnt, GoGuides, and maintain editorial standards and are not there to just peddle links and accept anything and everything submitted “as is” or give preference to someone who is willing to pay a fee to be listed at the top of the page.

Directory submission services that submit your website to thousands of directories for a fixed fee are pure crap. What do you think it suggests to the search engines when you have an extraordinarily large amount of “directory” links with the same anchor text and descriptions?

To tell you the truth, I kinda love these links and those who promote the methods of obtaining them. I’ve yet to encounter a serious challenge to the sites that I’m promoting or responsible for from any of the so called “experts” using these methods of obtaining links. I can well imagine that these links will soon meet the same fate as did the guestbook links in the past.

SEO encompasses quite a bit more than just defacing other people’s websites with crappy links pointing to your own sites, but I’m fine with you doing it.

The longer you remain obsessed with the quantity of links and the rate at which you acquire them, the longer it’ll keep you out of my way, if you know what I mean. Would it be safe to bet that you also have an unhealthy fascination with foolbar PageRank? 😉

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