The emails always start with something similar to:
A short while ago, Google changed its quality standards and began reviewing websites for bad linking practices. They are searching for websites who are part of link trading schemes and sites with links that are considered “over-optimized”. My site, xxxxxxx, is one of those sites under review for over-optimization.
I am writing to you today with this in mind. We at xxxxxxx are in the process of overhauling our design and content. We are working to create information that others find useful and will link to naturally. While we are undergoing these changes, I am contacting those who have linked to us in the past. I appreciate everyone who has used or posted our information, but I must humbly ask that any links to xxxxxxx be removed from your site, xxxxxxxx.com, specifically the links found on xxxxxxxx/xxxxxx.
This only shows you how all those companies who paid to have comments or dofollow links embedded in random articles are now paying the price and seeing penalties from Google for doing such, that money spent SEO optimizing the old fashioned way of purchasing links or hundreds of comments is coming back to bite them.
You simply can’t shortcut yourself to the top, you have to play it smart and do it the right way. Even guest posting can be abused to where you are violating the ToS of Google, having the same author bio signature in 100 guest posts with the same keyword link may be just as liable to backfire on you, you have to vary it up, be organic, use different keywords and only link from quality sites in the same general niche and category and from articles in a related niche/category to your own site.
Never buy comments from anybody, and if you are going to go around leaving hundreds of comments on other blogs leave quality comments and vary it up, don’t use the same keywords for KeywordLuv or CommentLuv blogs, make sure you vary it up quite a bit.
The best SEO practices are still write high quality content, optimize for long tail and short tail keywords and keep conversations open. You have to get your article noticed, particularly having it seen and shared on Google Plus and other social media networks. It won’t be long before search engines themselves are less likely to drive traffic to your blog compared to social media, I envision web search on Facebook will grow, other search will take foothold and you may find that relying solely on Google Plus SERP page is not going to be enough to gain the market you are seeking.
Don’t be afraid to revamp old articles and update their information to make them more relevant, remove the junk articles that get 0 traffic and may weigh your site down. Reduce pageload times by shrinking overhead of plugins, images, scripts and external calls. This is something I have plans for with DragonBlogger.com in 2013 is to greatly reduce the load overhead, probably by switching out a theme that uses way less scripting overhead, maybe even dumping my featured slider for something less image/script heavy.
Bottom line, there isn’t a shortcut to SEO benefits by buying backlinks from comments or guest posts. Using sites like MicroWorkers to purchase bulk comments or backlinks, or buying links from various services will end up costing more harm than good. Now, I am not saying buying sponsored reviews is bad, in fact purchasing reviews of your product or service through sites like IZEA SocialSpark may benefit and raise awareness for your brand, they don’t violate Google Terms of Service because you are not getting a dofollow backlink, there is a disclaimer, this is purely about brand awareness and you can target geographic or niche audience. It isn’t the cheapest method of promotion but it is still one with a business or product to sell might consider if they want to get a legitimate way to advertise on bloggers sites and not worry about the Google backlash.