Do irrelevant backlinks hurt SEO or just not help?

16 replies
  • SEO
  • |
A simple question..

Do backlinks from websites that are NOT relevant to the topic but are high-authority:

A: Help with ranking
B: Do nothing for ranking
C: Negatively Impact ranking
#backlinks #hurt #relevant #seo
  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Thinking beyond SEO, it sure helps to build bonds with heavy hitter site owners who give you backlinks. I think relationships over Google So in any case, no worries.
    Signature
    Ryan Biddulph helps you to be a successful blogger with his courses, manuals and blog at Blogging From Paradise
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114017].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author zorbee
    I will go for B. Do nothing for ranking. Well, If you are creating such backlinks then it will not beneficial for you.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114020].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Originally Posted by mikeandtomphoto View Post

    A simple question..

    Do backlinks from websites that are NOT relevant to the topic but are high-authority:

    A: Help with ranking
    B: Do nothing for ranking
    C: Negatively Impact ranking

    The correct answer is A, but in some cases could be C.

    Sites get links that are not 100% relevant all of the time. It's normal. Sometimes I might write a blog post talking about link building and link out to a site about remote control helicopters because I have a funny story about one crashing and burning like many people's rankings.

    Stuff like that happens naturally all of the time.

    Where it can cause penalties is when it is obvious that it is for ranking purposes only.

    An old technique for shitty link builders was to build these crappy network sites with a bunch of spun content. The article might be talking about the best ways to get rid of a slice in your golf swing, and all of a sudden in the middle of sentence you would see a link using the anchor "best dentist in San Francisco, CA" for no reason whatsoever.

    That kind of stuff can certainly bring a penalty.
    Signature
    Get the TIPS and STRATEGIES I use to HELP businesses GROW through SEO.
    Delivered to you each week!

    >>> Sign Up Now <<<
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114043].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mikeandtomphoto
    So as always a pretty even split between everyone's opinions.

    As an example...

    What are your guys thoughts on infographic marketing. For example, I create an infographic about plumbing. It gets used on hundreds of thousands of plumbing sites all with high authority. It even gets used on sites such as yahoo on a post about plumbing. But my site is about golf.

    I obviously know that it would be much more beneficial if all the people using the infographic and linking back were discussing golf but its not the case.

    Thoughts...
    Signature

    Wedding Photographer based in cheshire at Mike & Tom

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114057].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      No, it's A, unless its' C (for the reasons Mike described). (You'd need a lot more responses to concluded anything about evenly split... and have it be meaningful.)

      Originally Posted by mikeandtomphoto View Post

      So as always a pretty even split between everyone's opinions.

      As an example...

      What are your guys thoughts on infographic marketing. For example, I create an infographic about plumbing. It gets used on hundreds of thousands of plumbing sites all with high authority. It even gets used on sites such as yahoo on a post about plumbing. But my site is about golf.

      I obviously know that it would be much more beneficial if all the people using the infographic and linking back were discussing golf but its not the case.

      Thoughts...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114097].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author mikeandtomphoto
        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        No, it's A, unless its' C (for the reasons Mike described). (You'd need a lot more responses to concluded anything about evenly split... and have it be meaningful.)
        Aren't all answers really going to be C based on my first point though? "NOT relevant to the topic"

        Would google be penalising because its a PBN or because its not relevant? Back my previous question, it wouldn't be within the article it would be somewhere on the page maybe below the infographic or at the bottom of the article but not related to the post.

        All links are naturally, no outreach just someone using a resource.
        Signature

        Wedding Photographer based in cheshire at Mike & Tom

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114120].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author DABK
          No, because there are different ways of getting irrelevant links. What's relevant is: Will Google 'think' the links are created for the sole purpose of manipulating ranks?

          If the answer is yes, you've got a problem. If it's not, you do not.

          There are PBN's that will help you and PBN's that will hurt you, the main distinction: one exists for the sole purpose to manipulate SERPs, the other one has other reasons for existing.

          Proof: Amazon.com's PBN has not caused Amazon.com any issues.

          All sites get some irrelevant links (whois and value of your site kind of websites linking to yours), for instance, none of them link with your main keywords, though.

          People who create infographics for the sole purpose of backlinks is short-sited. Your infographics can do more than get you backlinks, they can position you, get the word out about something that's important to you, etc.

          A wedding photography site getting links from tux sites, wedding planners, travel to Jamaica, cake maker sites and such is not a problem.

          A wedding photography site getting links from a mortgage or real estate insurance broker might be pertinent (depending on the content on the page the links originates).

          A wedding photography site getting a link from a die casting site is a stretch...

          Originally Posted by mikeandtomphoto View Post

          Aren't all answers really going to be C based on my first point though? "NOT relevant to the topic"

          Would google be penalising because its a PBN or because its not relevant? Back my previous question, it wouldn't be within the article it would be somewhere on the page maybe below the infographic or at the bottom of the article but not related to the post.

          All links are naturally, no outreach just someone using a resource.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114817].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    If you are intentionally distributing an infographic about plumbing with the intent of making anyone who uses it link back to your site about golf, then yes, that is the kind of thing you could get penalized for.

    Not to mention (and not to sound like a dick here) it's just kind of dumb. Why not create an infographic about golf instead?

    Oh, and for proof of what I'm saying there have been multiple accounts of widget and plugin designers getting "unnatural link notices" from Google for stuffing followed links into their coding. It's basically the same thing as what you are talking about.
    Signature
    Get the TIPS and STRATEGIES I use to HELP businesses GROW through SEO.
    Delivered to you each week!

    >>> Sign Up Now <<<
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114137].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mikeandtomphoto
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      If you are intentionally distributing an infographic about plumbing with the intent of making anyone who uses it link back to your site about golf, then yes, that is the kind of thing you could get penalized for.

      Not to mention (and not to sound like a dick here) it's just kind of dumb. Why not create an infographic about golf instead?

      Oh, and for proof of what I'm saying there have been multiple accounts of widget and plugin designers getting "unnatural link notices" from Google for stuffing followed links into their coding. It's basically the same thing as what you are talking about.
      Isn't anybody who creates infographics for links actively distributing infographics for the purpose of links.

      Obviously, it would be better to have a relevant infographic to my subject.

      Yeh links in their coding embedding I understand is a no no. This isn't this.

      So to actually full explain the situation and how we have got into this situation...

      We used to be wedding photographers, people that write about our weddings such as wedding blogs write articles about weddings. This isn't nec wedding photography, it could be 'top wedding venues in the world' where one of our pictures is used.

      However.. we now no longer shoot weddings. We are just photographers but have a good resource of people that have used our photos that we are hoping to now link to our new photography site none wedding related.
      Signature

      Wedding Photographer based in cheshire at Mike & Tom

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114494].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by mikeandtomphoto View Post

        Isn't anybody who creates infographics for links actively distributing infographics for the purpose of links.

        Obviously, it would be better to have a relevant infographic to my subject.

        Yeh links in their coding embedding I understand is a no no. This isn't this.

        So to actually full explain the situation and how we have got into this situation...

        We used to be wedding photographers, people that write about our weddings such as wedding blogs write articles about weddings. This isn't nec wedding photography, it could be 'top wedding venues in the world' where one of our pictures is used.

        However.. we now no longer shoot weddings. We are just photographers but have a good resource of people that have used our photos that we are hoping to now link to our new photography site none wedding related.
        What I said was if someone is intentionally distributing a non-related infographic for the purpose of getting links that could be a problem. Something way not related like golf and plumbing.

        Google is not going to see a drastic difference between a wedding photographer and a photographer.

        It is still photography.

        What you are talking about would be more akin to the difference between commercial plumbing and residential plumbing, not plumbing and golf. Google is not going to have an issue.
        Signature
        Get the TIPS and STRATEGIES I use to HELP businesses GROW through SEO.
        Delivered to you each week!

        >>> Sign Up Now <<<
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114636].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author mikeandtomphoto
          Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

          What I said was if someone is intentionally distributing a non-related infographic for the purpose of getting links that could be a problem. Something way not related like golf and plumbing.

          Google is not going to see a drastic difference between a wedding photographer and a photographer.

          It is still photography.

          What you are talking about would be more akin to the difference between commercial plumbing and residential plumbing, not plumbing and golf. Google is not going to have an issue.
          like i say in my above post, its not about wedding photography, its more about weddings eg top wedding venues, mistakes to avoid at your wedding, how to save money on your wedding. All these posts use my photos and I was wondering the impact on these sites linking to my non-wedding related site.
          Signature

          Wedding Photographer based in cheshire at Mike & Tom

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114732].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
            Originally Posted by mikeandtomphoto View Post

            like i say in my above post, its not about wedding photography, its more about weddings eg top wedding venues, mistakes to avoid at your wedding, how to save money on your wedding. All these posts use my photos and I was wondering the impact on these sites linking to my non-wedding related site.
            It won't be negative.

            I would only worry about it if they are linking back to you and all using anchors like

            Atlanta's best photographer
            Photographer in Atlanta
            Atlanta photography

            (I have no idea if you are in Atlanta. Just using that as an example.)

            If they are using the website name or business name, it won't be an issue.
            Signature
            Get the TIPS and STRATEGIES I use to HELP businesses GROW through SEO.
            Delivered to you each week!

            >>> Sign Up Now <<<
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114757].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    I'll go with MikeFriedman and DABK on this one. I'd further add that it depends on your entire link profile. If NONE of the sites that are linking to you are related to your niche, it certainly would cause me to look into that if I was Google.

    It's definitely not "B".
    Signature
    StoreCoach.com - FREE TRAINING - Learn How to Build Your Own eCommerce Website
    My PROVEN ecommerce process, as seen on: Fox Business News, the NY Times & Flippa
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114204].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author amankhare385
    Irrelevant backlinks may be used to increase traffic on your website. But , In total It doesn't work for your benefit.
    Because, getting users of your niche on your website will work in positive directions rather being irrelevant.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114429].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ajha
    You should care more about the link being from an authority website than for it being relevant.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114504].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I've ranked irrelevant test pages with completely spammy backlinks pages, I mean they had hundreds of other domains with pharma and payday spam links. It did help rank pages but I would never use that on any site I cared about.

    Relevancy is a better long term plan.
    Signature
    Hi
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11114917].message }}

Trending Topics