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Can too many links hurt your web site?

Many webmasters are unsure if too many links can hurt their web site rankings. Others think that links to a brand-new site might be a spam indicator. How many links are good for a web site? Should you wait before getting links to your site?

Too many links? What's the problem?

It's no secret that Google heavily relies on the number of links and their anchor texts to determine the ranking of a web site. However, Google's recently filed patent indicates that Google might also use historical information to determine the value of links.

Google reveals the details

The patent specification indicates that Google might record the discovery date of a link and its anchor text and the link changes over time. Google might also record the life span of a link and the speed at which a new web site gets links.

Google also seems to monitor the rate at which new links to a web page appear and disappear. They also monitor the growth rates of links as well as the link growth of similar documents.

What does this mean to you?

Google doesn't expect that new web sites have a large number of links. If a new web site gets many new links, this will be tolerated if some of the links are from authorative sites.

Google's patent specification indicates that it is better if link growth remains constant and slow. You should vary your anchor texts as much as possible to make sure that your links look natural. Burst link growth may be a strong indicator of search engine spam for Google.

How to build links to your web site without getting penalized

You shouldn't go for one-shot solutions when building links to your site. If you participate in quick link exchange schemes or buy links to your web site so that you get many links at once, changes are that Google will consider this spamming.

When you exchange links with other web sites, do it slowly and constantly.

Invest some time every week to build the links to your site and vary the texts that point to your site. Make sure that the links to your site contain keywords that are related to your site and vary the link texts. ARELIS and IBP's Link Popularity Improver are the ideal tools to help you with this task.

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July 2005 search engine articles