Link Building Campaign: How To Prevent Getting Banned From Google

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banned-by-googleGoogle, like any other search engine, values content relevance and quality the most when it comes to determining the page rank of the website.

Its ranking algorithms and crawlers are encrypted to ensure that the top rankings are given to only those sites that provide useful information to the browsers and continually update their content to provide the latest data on a subject.

In its quest to provide the best results to its users, Google is rather unforgiving when it stumbles across some black hat Search Engine Optimization techniques used by a few web masters to trick its ranking algorithms.

As a result, such sites are either banned by Google or, if less menacing, attract a Page Rank penalty.

If you are launching a new site and do not want to be relegated to the ‘Bad Neighborhoods’ – the label used by Google to tag sites that use illegal optimizing techniques, it is advisable to steer clear of methods such as stuffing keywords in your content or HTML code, plagiarizing content from other sites, using hidden text and links in the home page or other pages, and using doorway or robot-generated pages and misleading page titles.

As already mentioned, it is equally callous for a site to use link farms to build back links for their pages.

Thus, it is always a good idea to double check a link request that you get before hosting it on your site. Using such precautionary steps will prevent your site from getting in to the bad books of a search engine such as Google.

A site can also get banned from Google Adsense if it uses unscrupulous methods to generate clicks on its pages.

For now, we have listed some of the most common and deceitful optimization techniques that some websites use to secure higher engine rankings and end up getting banned from Google.

It would do you a world of good to keep away from such back handed modus operandi to get a better search engine placement.


One of the most common terms in Internet parlance, spamming is defined as the abuse of electronic messaging system to send unsolicited bulk messages to an indiscriminating group of people. Some of the most popular forms of spamming are email spam, Instant Messaging spam, more popularly known as IM spam, newsgroup or forum spam, spam indexing – spam targeting search engines, online game messaging spam and spam targeting video sharing sites.

If you do not want to be tagged a spammer, stay away from all of these and focus on the content of your site to help you get a higher search engine ranking. Moreover, spamming is a criminal offence punishable under law in various countries and you can be charged with several criminal counts such as mail fraud, wire fraud and e-mail fraud if you resort to this technique.

Submitting multiple URLs:

A number of web masters try to attain a higher page rank for their site by submitting several URLs for a particular site. This is one of the oldest tricks in a spammer’s book. By doing so, a spammer intends to get multiple search results for the same page, which in turn is expected to spike up the ranking of the site.

Submitting the same URL more than once in a month is also considered spamming by Google and other popular search engines such as Yahoo and MSN. By doing so, a web master runs the risk of getting his or her site banned from future listing on the search engine.


Another popular black hat SEO technique, cloaking refers to having two different versions of the same page. While one of the pages is optimized for the search engine spiders that crawl through it to adjudge its content relevance, another one is optimized for the human user. Thus, in effect, the site has two different pages, one meant for the search engine and the other for the net browsers.

The trick behind this is delivering the content on the basis of the IP address of the visitor. This way, a particular page has different content in its page than mentioned in its search engine description. Pornographic sites to get traffic and to trick search engine crawlers to get a higher page ranking often use this spam indexing technique.

Using Doorway pages:

A different form of cloaking, doorway pages refer to having a homepage stuffed with highly competitive keywords that are meant to deceive the human visitors. Since a page loaded only with popular phrases does not make any sense to a reader viewing the page, the web master redirects him or her to a different page that though comprehensible is not as informative or keyword rich.

Doorway pages are known by many different names such as bridge pages, portal pages, jump pages, gateway pages and entry pages.

Using spoofing, redirects or Meta Refresh:

A number of sites have a Meta Refresh tag that automatically redirects visitors to a different page. This tool is often abused by spammers to take the browsers to a page that has content unrelated to the typed-in key word in the search box. Given the blatant misuse of this feature, a number of search engines, including Google, are apprehensive about web sites that have a fast meta-refresh rate.

Google also views sites that use JavaScript to perform the redirection function with suspicion. Thus, it is best to steer clear of these redirection tools and stick to legitimate server-side redirection if your site’s content and structure calls for the same.

Using hidden text on the website’s pages:

Using hidden text or keywords on a page is a big no-no with Google. This is usually done by minimizing the keywords to unreadable proportions, including it behind an image or by changing its font color to that of the background.

Thus, these keywords are invisible to the human eye but are picked up by search engine spiders as that crawl through the page to check its keyword density. A number of webmasters also use keywords on doorway pages to boost their keyword density. However, once found out by Google, this is a sure shot way to get banned from its listing.

Using hidden links in the pages:

As already stated in the ‘Choosing quality link partners’ section, it is very important to ensure that you engage in back linking only with credible sites that do not use any black hat SEO methods. Using hidden links, in the same way as hidden keywords, will definitely have a negative impact on your site’s rankings and can get it banned as well.

Links can be hidden in a site in the same way as text – by using CSS tools and techniques, setting the font size to zero or by changing its color to the background color. If detected, Google crawlers will red flag your site and it will be dropped from the search engine listings faster than you can imagine.

Thus, having a text or link that is meant exclusively for the search engine spiders is construed as intended deception by Google and banned from its search index for the benefit of its users.

Generating links from Link Farms:

As already mentioned in earlier posts, getting inbound links from link farms or directories is tantamount to committing a hara kiri on the Web. Google classifies Free for All sites, link directories and classifieds as link farms as they exist solely for the purpose of providing links to the sites listed with them.

Whether created through automated programs and services or manually, linking to these directories is considered a form of spam indexing since the link exchange is driven by the greed for links for getting a better page rank rather than linking to high quality and relevant sites to add to the surfing experience of the browser.

Though a web master cannot do much to monitor the back links that he or she gets from other sites, it is better not to give reciprocal links to a particular site until you are certain of its authenticity. Entering into linking partnerships of dubious nature can also get your site into trouble and might even end up in getting your site banned from Google. You can also be fined for associating with such sites by a drop in your page rank score.

Selling page rank:

One of the easiest ways to hurt your page rank or to get your site banned from Google is by selling it to other sites. Quite a few web masters buy links from high-ranking sites to boost their page rank. However, Google sees this as a violation of its quality guidelines and has already issued a warning to web masters to refrain from this practice or else bear its consequences that range from imposition of a penalty on their page rank or banning them from the search engine’s index.

Having multiple identical sites:

Creating multiple identical sites or interlinking your website with spam pages that contain the same or very similar content is not seen favorably by Google as it is done in the attempt to cheat its spiders into ascribing a higher ranking. It is a common occurrence to see webmasters list identical sites in the search engine under different domain names to increase traffic. Also known as mirror sites, these receive the boot as soon as discovered by Google crawlers. This brings us to another popular spamming technique – creating multiple domains.

Multiple domains:

Creating multiple domains or using multiple domain names to reach the same site is not a good idea if you want to get a high page rank in Google. Often, webmasters own several domain names – including misspellings and hyphenated versions of the main site – with identical or similar content that redirect the browser to one page. This is done with the intention of increasing the traffic in the page.

However, by doing so you will end up doing more harm than good as Google spiders will see right through this strategy to get more traffic and penalize or ban your site. If you own multiple domains on the same topic, it is better to develop unique content for each of them and then interlink them to get targeted click-through traffic.

Though one of the main benefits of owning multiple domains is preventing the competitor from capitalizing on your name and branding efforts; do not be tempted to use black hat SEO techniques while interlinking them to improve your page rank.

Excessive links:

According to Google’s Webmaster’s guidelines, a site should not have more than 100 links on any given page. Though a site will not be penalized for having more links than the recommended ceiling, its page rank score might drop due to excessive linking. Moreover, a page with over 25 links does not contribute much to the visibility of the link partner. As has been stressed so many times before – quality rather than quantity should be your catchword while securing links from various sources.

To conclude, the best way to get a good page rank in Google is by adhering to its clearly laid out quality guidelines and resisting the urge to use any of the above-mentioned techniques to cheat its ranking algorithms. Remembering these ‘Don’ts’ while optimizing your site for Google will serve you well in the long run.

This is the last post in this series on ‘Link Building Campaign’. I hope you have enjoyed the series.

You can read the previous Link Building Campaing posts here:

What’s your view on these steps? Have you fallen foul of such techniques?

Please share your views in the comments below. Thanks


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42 Responses to Link Building Campaign: How To Prevent Getting Banned From Google

  1. Colleen September 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Very exhaustive list Andrew. We had a Google penalty several years ago for participating in excessive reciprocal linking. It used to be standard practice that real estate agents would link to each other in a ‘referral’ network of sorts, but Google caught on that we were merely reciprocally linking to each other. There were about 30 of us that got penalized at the same time. We ‘repented’ and Google gave our ranking back after about 2 months. Never want to do that again!

    • Andrew September 3, 2010 at 7:56 am #


      A few years back it was the done thing to do…nowadays I don’t think a few do any harm…but no more than 2 or 3 and not all linking to each other.


      • Colleen September 3, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

        Yeah, we have 3-4 reciprocal links, but anymore we do this stuff like there is “someone looking over our shoulder!”

      • Sandy Miller September 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

        This was great information.
        I had no idea there were so many tricks that could be done to a page to get links and help with rankings.
        I would have never thought of half of those options.

  2. Danny September 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Lot of these techniques have been around for years it is amazing to me people still use them. You don’t want to mess with Google since they one day will rule the world.

    • Andrew September 3, 2010 at 7:57 am #

      You know, Danny, I just think you may be right…Google ruling the world!


  3. Nim September 1, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    Very nice list of tips Andrew! It’s really a big help on our on not just avoiding what Google doesn’t want us to do but giving them what they want to our site.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Loved your blogging course by the way!

    • Andrew September 3, 2010 at 7:58 am #


      You are welcome – I’m glad it was helpful.


  4. Felicia September 2, 2010 at 6:53 am #

    Wow, this is really a very informative and useful article for me. I haven’t digested most of the content in the other Link Building Campaign articles you have previously posted so I hope you do not mind if I save them to my computer as pointers to link building. I’m not much of an online know-it-all so I do not fully comprehend some things in your article here, but little by little I am starting to understand them. Thank you very much for sharing this valuable information!

    • Andrew September 3, 2010 at 7:59 am #


      If you have any questions – just contact me and I’ll do my best to help.


  5. Patricia September 2, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    I have seen some “big time IM” marketers who actually boast about their black hat techniques in their advertising about their products. The same ppl will probably complain when Google ban them. Scary stuff.
    If we do what’s right and just follow the rules we should do well with our blogs.
    Thanks for a really great series Andrew
    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Andrew September 3, 2010 at 8:04 am #


      Many of these IM’ers have techniques that do give results but they are very short term and then Google catches you up!


  6. Jason September 2, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    wow, that was a breathtaking read. I’m actually using meta refresh on some of my pages to hide affiliate links, but no black hat intentions. The real lesson is to just stick with quality – as always!

    I truly enjoyed this series Andrew, and I think I’ve retweeted almost all of it 🙂 But this one is definitely a great ending for the series.


    • Andrew September 3, 2010 at 8:01 am #


      I am truly grateful for having you here and commenting. All the Tweets you have completed have really helped – thanks again…and I’m pleased you liked the series.

      I must just collate them into a little e-book and give to my list as I’m sure many will have missed it.


  7. TrafficColeman September 2, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    These are some excellent rules to follow, people just need to do legal seo marketing and the links will come..cause if people love your writing..they will link to doubt.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

    • Andrew September 3, 2010 at 8:05 am #

      Google say that when people link to your posts…that is the most natural way of getting backlinks.

      You linking to any of mind? LOL


      • TrafficColeman September 3, 2010 at 11:42 am #

        LOL Well not just yet, hopefully we can when we get this interview done.

        “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

        • Andrew September 4, 2010 at 7:06 am #

          Yeah – this week will be good.


  8. Dennis Edell September 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    A lot of the multiple domain users are doing it for type in traffic; word of mouth “telephone game” mistakes and what not, not really caring much about the engines.

  9. Jane September 5, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    Thanks for sharing. I’m trying to learn all I can. How often does google change their algorithm? How do you stay on top of it?

    • Andrew September 5, 2010 at 10:34 am #


      How often does google change their algorithm?

      We don’t know but quite often I would think.

      How do you stay on top of it?

      By reading other blogs and Matt Cutts blog, especially.


  10. Jake September 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    Actually Google is not that strict. It gives penalties and removes them after month or two. I have noticed that almost everything can be forgiven by Google. Well, I am not talking from my own experience, but this is how I look on things based on many forum posts I have read.

    • Andrew September 6, 2010 at 8:13 am #


      Thanks for sharing. My view is…why take the chance and waste a lot of effort.


  11. Udegbunam Chukwudi September 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    I’ve been getting quite a number of requests for link exchanges lately and the only thing keeping me on the good side is that Google has been good to me this past few months in terms of traffic and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize that in


    • Andrew September 9, 2010 at 10:23 am #


      Yeah – I agree. Best to keep away from such activity.


  12. Mary September 19, 2010 at 3:44 am #

    Wow! What a very scary list!
    Thank you for being so detailed.
    I did not realize it, but in the past I used several related domain names linked to one site– in other words the .com, .info and .com versions of the same domain name. This was important especially when moving sites from one hosting company or platform to another.

    Thanks for the info

  13. Henway September 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    I’ve seen so many credible websites use cloaking and Google seems to do nothing about it. Is it just the case that they just go after small websites and no-namers?

    Also, what if your website has hidden text for the benefit of the user? Such as hiding some comments and only showing them when they press the expand button, does Google frown upon that?

    • Andrew September 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm #


      I don’t think anyone knows the answers to your questions.

      However, I’m sure Google knows about all the little tricks people get up to and frowns upon them.


  14. Ana November 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    Wanted to add something RE: multiple domains, Andrew.

    The only plausible and great of doing it is buying aged domains with pagerank and authority and doing a 301 redirect to your main domain.

    That way, the pagerank will eventually transfer to the main domain – benefits with little work!

    Here’s a post I wrote about it:


    • Andrew November 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm #


      That is a great secret shared!

      Where do you buy your aged domains?


    • Andrew November 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm #


      Just read your post and you do provide info of where to buy.



      • Ana November 14, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

        You are very welcome, Andrew.

        One of these days I’ll catch up with you on Skype – when you are both up! 🙂


        • Andrew November 15, 2010 at 8:12 am #


          “when you are both up!”

          I know…I know…you think I have a split personality!!!


  15. Rick LaPoint November 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    Linking is an interesting topic for many reasons.

    Reciprocal linking is going on all the time, in one form or another within a blogging community where so many are friends with each other.

    A few weeks ago I linked to 5 or 6 different friends, all who have linked to me at least one time, if only thru ComLuv.

    Then of course, there are all the Fiday/Sunday posts full of links to “Best” articles from the week, and many of those sites have probably linked back to them at one time or other.

    And if a DoFollow site has too many comments on a popular post, oy, the problems there 🙂

    I would like to think the Google algorithm takes into account the recent trends in legitimate linking and can differentiate.

    But who knows how those crazy people REALLY think 😉

    Ultimately, it seems to me the very best strategy is to become so well-known you don’t need Google. Then they will want to Rank you high simply because you are getting so much traffic.

    Just a few thoughts, lol


    • Andrew November 15, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

      Exactly, Rick.

      We are all guessing really!


  16. Nawaz December 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    I have not got the point ” Submitting the multiple URL”. Is is related to directory Submission? Is it to commenting on the same page many times? Can you make it clear to me?

  17. Rob McCance December 6, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    Regarding Multiple Domains.

    I own a shorter, non keyworded URL, that points to my main site.

    I never thought about it but I wonder if this is hurting my rankings.

    I parked the URL in my Hostmonster account and set up a permanent (301) redirect to my main URL.

    This this is an issue?

    • Andrew December 6, 2010 at 9:52 am #


      That should not be an issue.

      Having the odd one or 2 domains set up like that. It’s when you have hundreds that Google would become suspect.


  18. December 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    Thanks for your submission to the Eighty Sixth edition of the Blog Carnival: Blogging. Your post has been accepted and its live:

  19. jack April 30, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    Most of them I never heard of and would never consider, so I am happy to say that I don’t think I fall into any of those categories. Thanks for posting, I have always wondered about that.

  20. Pete October 4, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    I still don’t understand about multiple domain, whether that will be banned by google. Then why wpmudev are still selling the plugin for multiple domain


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