Links plays a very important role in Google’s ranking algorithm. This is why people who wish to rank higher, will want to generate as many backlinks as possible. However, Google will only consider certain types of links as legit because what they would prefer is that you get links that are purely editorial.

What these editorial links imply is that your content is worth reading, Google basically treats links as a voting system. Each time your link is shared it is a vote that boosts your site’s trust rank. Google search engine checks for links that are non-editorial and nature and enforces a link penalty if the number of these links is inordinately high.

The reason for this Google penalty is that these unnatural links start to disrupt the working of their search algorithms. Keeping this in mind, here are some types of links that count as bad SEO.

  1. Paid links

Google will crack down on links that involve any type of payment. If these links are being generated due to paid ads, then ensure that you have the “NoFollow” attribute enabled for such links so Google does not crack down on you with manual link penalty.

  1. Web directories

These sites organize a large list of websites by categorizing them. But sadly, only a few web directories are considered quality (Best of the Web,, Do not aim for more than one to two links in directories that operate within your niche.

  1. Bad anchor text

Google uses your anchor text to better understand what the page content of the link is like. Earlier, people would obtain multiple links with SEO-rich anchor text. But too much can be a trigger for Google to tag you as an aggressive webmaster.

  1. Affiliate spam

If you are paying someone to generate clicks on your site, or indulging in a revenue share or getting sales commission by the directed traffic, Google considers that a no-no.

  1. Comments spam

If you’ve been dutifully signing up on forums and message boards to spam them with backlinks or posting comments on blogs only for backlinks, you are being spammy in Google’s eyes.

  1. Link exchanges

While exchanging links with business affiliates and major media sites is completely acceptable, if the majority of your link portfolio consists of link exchanges it will raise a red flag for Google.

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