February 26th, 2010 Add Your Comments Bookmark and Share

There is a lot of myth that gets spread around the webmaster community. One of the favourite debates concerns the speed at which it’s OK to build links to a page. Whilst some people will argue that building more than 10,20,30 links a day is enough for Google to take a dump on your page there are others that claim to have built 2000 or even 10000 without problem. I’ve been running an experiment and I have a new take on it, it actually agrees with both sides of the argument but for a very specific reason:-

Can you be penalised for building too many links too quickly?

I believe the answer to this question is yes you can, but it depends massively on what page you are pointing the links at. I took 2 websites, one with a page rank of 3 and just under 2000 links to the home page. The other was a page rank 1 website with under 30 links to the home page. I added a relevant article to each website and waited a couple of weeks for Google to index the new articles and settle on a SERPs position. This is all quite straight forward.

I then set about pointing links quickly at the 2 new pages. I decided on the article marketing route and over the space of 2 days added in excess of 200 back links to each page. I was only using the target phrase as link text. I then waited a couple of days for the results.

On the page rank 1 website my new article was nowhere to be found after those couple of days. From a respectable page 3 it had gone completely from the search results. With my page rank 3 website the new page had jumped from page 4 to page 2. I should point out that the page that was lost from the search results did pop up again 4 days later but was way lower than where it was initially positioned (without any back links being built for it). Just to make sure I tried another new article on the page rank 1 website and repeated the back link process, but this time only creating 5 back links. The end result after 3 days was a page that moved several places up the search results.

So what can you take from this? To me it appears as though the more respected a website is the more you’ll get away with creating lots of back links to individual pages on it. If you attempt to create a load of back links to a page on a less respected website then you do appear to be running the risk of an algo slap. None of this is conclusive because there are so many variables involved but it’s significant enough for me to personally make sure that I don’t go overboard with my article marketing efforts for my less popular websites. Slow and steady would seem to be the order of the day. On the other hand it also means it’s open season on my more popular sites 🙂

Has anybody else tried anything along these lines? I’d love to know if your results were the same as mine?