Do forum backlinks work for SEO?
Will they increase your website’s rankings on Google?
Honestly, I can’t believe webmasters are still building forum backlinks in 2020.
I’ve seen people paying good money for links like these on Reddit/Upwork, and that’s exactly why I’ve created this blog.
In this blog, you’re going to discover:
- Why building forum backlinks for SEO is insane
- How to avoid them
- Why this is literally one of the worst link building methods for your website
Make sure you read to the end, where I’ll cover the best link building strategies in 2020 and how you can start using them right now.
Table of Contents
1: Potential Google Penalty!
Building backlinks on forums is a Google penalty waiting to happen…
If you want better rankings, you need to understand this:
Google specifically mentions on their Link Schemes Guidelines (a set of rules for website owners), that you should not build backlinks on forums with over-optimized anchor text.
What does this mean?
Well if you’re just building links on forums to increase your site’s authority, you’re violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
And it could land you in trouble with Google including:
- Receiving a Google Penalty
- Getting deindexed
- Losing all your traffic overnight
So it’s really not worth the risk.
And in this day and age, it’s a very outdated link building strategy.
2: Forum Backlinks Are Blackhat
This is why my clients hire me for whitehat link building instead.
There’s a huge difference between high quality and low quality links to your website.
This is what’s known as white hat and black hat link building:
- Whitehat link building: Will get you amazing results on SEO by building links that do not violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
- Blackhat link building: Like building a straw hut in a hurricane – by manipulating Google’s algorithm and cheating your way to higher rankings
What’s the difference?
- If you’re building links with forums, that’s black hat/spammy.
- If you’re building links with cold email outreach (which I specialise in), then that’s a great way to improve your website’s rankings without the risks of blackhat SEO
Now you may think, what’s the worst that can happen?
e.g. If build a few forum links, and you don’t get results, you can move on to white hat link building, right?
Your backlink profile can go against you for a very long time.
If you’ve got a spammy backlink profile with tons of forum links and you receive a Google penalty, then you may never recover from that.
So that’s why you have to invest in white hat link building first time round.
3: Can Google Identify Forum Links?
You will get caught, and it’s just a matter of time.
Eventually you’ll get found out:
Because Google can easily track your backlink profile.
They can see where you’ve landed backlinks from previously.
It’s built into their algorithm.
Google’s algorithm is smart enough to detect how many links you’ve got, what types of links you have, and whether they’re authoritative or spammy.
4: Don’t Lower Your Website’s Reputation
Forum link building only hurts your site’s reputation.
The problem is that every link that you build leaves a footprint across the internet, and it’s very hard to hide this.
So spammy link building methods leave a trail.
Google’s algorithm can easily see that you’ve built low quality backlinks in the past.
That’s why I recommend investing in white hat link building from day one.
Otherwise, it’s just a matter of time before you get caught, and there’s no hiding once you’ve done it.
And who even posts on forums these days?
It’s not 1990.
Most forums are dead websites that have no active community.
And quite often, social media has replaced them.
So be very careful with the links that you build from day one:
Forum links aren’t the right move for your site.
If you decide to go down this trail, it’s just a matter of time before you get a Google penalty or you’re penalized for the links you’ve built so far.
5. Bad Link Neighborhoods
Link building is a bit like choosing where to live.
Let me explain…
If you’re getting links from forums that have already been spammed by low quality websites, then that reflects badly on your backlink profile.
In the eyes of Google, you’re guilty by association.
If you get the same types of backlinks as websites that have been already penalized by Google, then that destroys your authority.
It hurts your backlink profile, and it makes you look very spammy too.
Plus, most forums have been spammed by low quality sites:
Casinos, Viagra sites, gambling websites…
These are all the types of niches that are going to spam forums simply because they can’t get links from anywhere else, and no one else wants to link from them.
Is that a link neighbourhood you want to be associated with?
6. Forum Links Are Spam
Another issue is that forum link building is unethical.
It’s basically just spam.
If you go onto any forum right now, it’s pretty much dead.
And if you’re spamming it with your website and loads of keywords that you’re trying to rank for, then that’s disrespectful to the person who owns the forum.
You’re just making the Internet a worse place!
So it’s not good for PR or your brand image.
And if you want to protect your site’s reputation, spamming forums with links isn’t the best way to do that.
7. Nofollow Links
Most of the time, links on forums are usually nofollow.
That means they’re not driving link juice to your website.
This is the difference between dofollow and nofollow links:
- Nofollow links don’t pass any authority or add any value in terms of backlinks.
- Dofollow links are going to increase your website’s authority. They funnel link juice from other sites, and can help your rankings on Google.
You have to be very careful about which one you choose.
Now you might say:
“Link from forums are going to drive referral traffic to my website. People will click on my forum links.”
But forums are pretty much dead right now.
Most forums have died out a long time ago and nobody goes on them.
Therefore nobody’s going to be clicking the link that you just spammed anyway.
They were valuable 10-15 years ago, but now this link building method is very dated.
What Links Should You Build Instead Of Forums?
Building high quality and authoritative links that actually increase your website’s rankings on Google is easy with the knowledge I’m about to share.
Here’s 3 easy ways to build backlinks to your site:
If you’re not sure how to get started building white hat backlinks to your site, check out the links above.