What are considered bad backlinks to stay away from? I am still trying to understand backlinks that can hurt your site. If I hire a backlinking service, they promote your backlinks with article marketing or a blog network, is that considered a "bad backlink" that Google can penalize your site with? I'm confused by the information I'm getting. Why did JCPenney get slapped with their backlinks? What kind of backlinks did they do?