what are link schemes

What Are Link Schemes: Understanding Black Hat Seo

Link schemes also known as link spam are a popular black hat technique. It attempts to manipulate rankings in Google’s SERPs by building unnatural links. The link schemes can be any link directed to the website or outgoing from the site.

Search Engine Optimisation has been evolving since its beginning, giant search engines like Google strive to make platforms more efficient, user-friendly, and transparent. SEO has soon become a crucial way to dominate the online world and everyone is racing to rank high on SERPs. Every business strives to rank higher for more visibility, organic traffic and leads.

To achieve this purpose, various optimisation strategies are used by SEO experts. However, few people seek shortcuts to achieve their ranking agenda, and link schemes are one of those black tactics.


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The link schemes are against Google SEO guidelines, and the user might gain short-term benefits, but once caught, the site can be penalised.

In this blog, SEO Syrup brings a comprehensive guide on what link scheme types, features, and effective strategies can be used instead of link spam to optimise websites according to search engine guidelines. So, let’s get started:

What Are Link Schemes:

Link Schemes popularly known as link spam are attempts to manipulate search engine results to rank high via inflating the number of links directed to our going out for website.

Types Of Link Schemes:

There are different forms or types of link spam. Let’s have a look!

Purchasing Links:

It is the most common type of link spam. The money or any other exchange is done to get a link directed to the desired website. It includes paying for the link to your site and accepting the money or any good to place the link on your website.

Exchanging Links:

It is a mutual understanding between the two websites where they agree to exchange the links on websites solely for higher ranking on search engine pages.

Use Of Automated Programs:

Sometimes a software or automation system is to generate links for the site. It often results in spammy and low-quality backlinks.

Guest Postings & Article Spinning:

Guest posting is a good off-page SEO. However, sometimes it is done solely with the purpose of link-building with low-quality content. Likewise, many times few people publish the same article on multiple tools through the article spinning tool. It usually spins the article with different links and keywords, but the content is un-authentic and unnatural.

Use Of Hidden Links:

Many times links are placed cleverly so that they stay invisible to the users but search engine bots can read them. It is like writing with a white pen on a whiteboard.


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Why Link Schemes Are Problematic?

Search engines like Google have always struggled to provide authentic, genuine, and user-friendly content. The link spam falls into the opposite category. Here are a few of the reasons link schemes are considered problematic:

Google Penalties

Google is a giant search engine for online users, and it has designed a sophisticated algorithm to detect and take strict manual actions (penalties) on websites that follow black hat practices. The steps are taken to ensure transparent authentic, fresh, and genuine content. Here are a few penalties that can be faced in the case of link schemes:


The first penalty is a significant drop in search engine rankings. It reduces organic traffic and visibility.

Manual Penalties:

Apart from de-ranking the search engine can issue manual penalties. It might result in removing the website from indexing permanently or temporarily.

Damaging the Reputation:

Once the website is linked or associated with spammy practices, it can damage business trustworthiness and reputation.

Effects User-Experience:

One of the types of link schemes is generating excessive links because the tactics focus more on quantity over quality. It results in irrelevant or low-quality backlinks on unauthentic and spammy websites. The strategy ultimately leads to a bad user experience as visitors are directed to unrelated, artificial, or low-quality content. The irrelevant links heavily damage the credibility of the website.

Link schemes often prioritize quantity over quality, resulting in backlinks from irrelevant or low-quality sites. It can lead to a poor user experience as visitors may be directed to unrelated or subpar content, damaging your credibility.

Raises Ethical Concerns:

SEO is all about offering valuable content and improving user experience. Spammy Links undermines the basic rule of ethics and manipulates its way to high ranking rather than putting efforts into genuine, organic growth. The core value of SEO ethics is to build site authority on merit, not on manipulative and deceptive practices.

How To Build A Sustainable Link-Building Strategy?

Here are a few of the tips to build a Google approved link building strategy:

  • Create High-Quality Content
  • Go for legitimate Guest posting
  • Use social media for promotion
  • Use online resources and directories for link-building
  • Disavow any Bad links directing to your site.


Spammy links / Link schemes are undoubtedly a shortcut to higher rankings, but the risks easily outweigh the genuine benefits. By engaging in spammy practice you can face penalties such as de-ranking, bad reputation, and poor user experience. The only way to dominate SERPs is through following ethical SEO practices. Ethical SEO strategies help in high ranking in the long term and build the business’s credibility, trustworthiness, and authenticity.


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