Evil Link Building Method: Copyright Image Backlinks


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The other day I checked my inbox and found an email that looks something like this.

Copyright image backlinks may be one of the dirtiest, most evil link building methods out there right now. Essentially, someone has sat back and thought;

“Let’s add a free image copyright free for six months, and then six months later, we’ll move to copyright and then go for legal action if they don’t add a link to our content. That’s an amazing way to get free links to our site.”

In this article, I’m going to teach you exactly how this evil link building method works, why I wouldn’t recommend using it, and how to avoid getting stuck in this trap.

Offer Copyright-Free Images

The copyright link building method is like the backdrop of link building, because you’re letting other people use your image for free with zero copyright.

Then six months later you say, “Hey, you’ve used my copyrighted image, and it’s too late to take it down because you’ve already broken corporate infringements. Therefore, I need a link to credit my image”. If the site using the image doesn’t do this, someone could potentially press legal charges.

There are More Ethical Link Building Methods Than This

However, this is not a link building method that I would recommend to anyone. There are easier and far more ethical ways to build links. If you use the above method you won’t build relationships with website owners for potential links, but you will be annoying them.

You’re damaging your brand’s image when you use this evil link building method, and therefore, I don’t recommend it to anyone. In the next section I’ll show you how far people go to get a backlink to their website.

How Does it Work?

In terms of how this works, the first step is to upload an image to a website like unsplash.com; where images are copyright free and can be openly shared.

There are literally thousands of people using unsplash.com. You use it to upload your image, and if it’s good quality it will be used by quite a few websites within six months.

Step two is to wait about six months while other websites use that image. They’re going to download it, add it to their website, and include it in their articles.

That takes about six months for the process to sum. At this point the copyright will be removed, and the image will be removed from unsplash.com.

Finding Your Prospect

Now it’s time to prospect. Start by doing a reverse image search on an image on Google, and see the websites that have used this asset and now have copyright.

You can find a list of all the websites that have used that image previously, and contact them. I recommend saying something similar to the image I’ve shown here.

You can simply say “You’ve used this image, it’s got a copyright on it. Because you’ve already breached the copyright, you need to add the backlink as a credit to this site. And if you don’t, then you’re at risk of legal penalties”.

It’s a bit of a catch-22 because if you don’t add the link you’re at risk of legal penalties. But, you have technically used an image that was previously copyright-free, so you are also doing the right thing.

It’s a tough decision, but usually you’re just going to link back because you don’t want any negative consequences.

Evil Link Building Method Realization

Something that I would recommend doing after reading this article is to stop using stock images. Not just because it is an evil link building method, but because it also doesn’t add much value to your website.

When you look at stock images, you can usually tell right away that it’s a stock image. It really doesn’t add much value to your content.

Therefore, I would start using your own customized images instead because they’re so much better. They’re probably going to be much more relevant to your content and will make it more engaging.

I would avoid using stock images in 2020 because it is outdated. They will not add a whole lot of value to your blogs or your articles.

I hope you have learned something from this article. Once again, I would not recommend using this link building strategy, and it’s something to be aware of.

You should also subscribe to my YouTube channel. My link building videos will help grow your website, drive more traffic, and boost your rankings on Google.

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!


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