Artificial links and affect on Rankings
Link building has a vital role to play in making any site Search Engine friendly. People who are well acquainted with the Web World know how important the Search Engine rankings and their results are. It all depends on how well linked you are? How relevant your website links are? And how well ranked are the sites that you are linking to?
It is known that Google aims to locate pages that are both reputable and related , and usually those pages are picked up, which more trusted websites have chosen to link to. That is why it is important to choose a Link Partner which is reputable, relevant, and trusted.
So while Link Building is an immensely important practice to gain high Search Engine rankings, Artificial Links are something, which can affect the rankings of your site negatively!
But what are Artificial links?
Artificial Links can be known as those links which are used for the sole purpose of increasing link popularity. A rtificial linking can also be referred to as deliberately misleading links.
Search Engines term such links as "artificial" because they identify a pattern of interlinking sites between the websites which are each, more popular from each other but are in no way relevant or related to each other. A link that is paid for, traded or bartered is generally done so with the purpose of fooling a search engine's algorithm into believing that link was naturally earned.
Artificial links may be good sources of direct traffic, but for rankings, they have no value at all. This is because for the Search Engines, such links are less reliable than a links that occur naturally. Links at the bottom of the webpage such as 'powered by' and 'hosted by', are considered artificial too.
This does not mean that bartered or reciprocal links are not important at all. But care should be taken while looking for links, you should not completely rely on Reciprocal link building as you're only linking approach. Link building consisting of only Reciprocal links makes it look suspicious and artificial.
From a visitor's viewpoint, if he clicks on the linked page, but finds it not relevant to the source website at all, he will no longer be interested in surfing your site and would start searching for other relevant sites.
From Search Engine's perspective, although webmasters use artificial links to increase a webpage's link popularity, a Search engine spider can ignore this link and would go on to further for content relevant links. Such Artificial links can also be penalized by the Search Engines.