Link wheels, a SEO solution?

by Tim Hill (aka Doodled)

May 13th 2011
Real SEO practitioners don't get too close to linkwheels
Real SEO practitioners don't get too close to linkwheels

There are plenty of SEO companies pushing the link wheel solution at the moment. Have you lost your position in the search results because you were using link farms? No problem, use link wheels instead because Google sees these as natural.

Is it that simple?

Not really. Link wheels are a short term low(ish) cost solution and when the Google algorithm catches up any investment you have made in this direction will be flushed down the toilet.

A history of short term SEO solutions

This is not the first time that some not-so-honest SEO companies have taken money knowing full well the only long term profit is theirs.

A few years ago they were offering link swapping services. "Google likes websites with links so just get links, from anyone about anything - pay us and we'll do it for you". When Google saw the pattern and started to ignore simple link swaps the only people to have made a good profit were the SEO companies.

They were quick to spot another work around and this time it was directories. They would build them and you would pay to have a link on them - one way links - perfect. Perfect until Google announced this kind of artificial link farm would no longer count.

Now these same businesses are punting link wheels and the only reason is that the Google algorithm can't spot them ... yet.

The shady SEO pattern

Really these SEO companies are saying, "We won't build you any proper links, we'll build links that fool Google and when Google can recognise those we'll have a new idea, and each time you'll have to pay us again".

Now if you pay more for a proper SEO company to build real links the short term cost will be higher, but over the long term you will not have to continually invest in schemes to fool Google and in that sense you will save a great deal of time, cost and resource.

Well engineered, natural looking links will also offer your website, and your business, stability in the search results. Link wheels (or whatever the next big idea is) will not.

When rings became link wheels

For the historically minded of you this is an afterthought. Link wheels are not new, only their purpose is.

In the 1990s internet sites used rings where you swapped banners with other related sites. So there were health rings, sports rings, tv rings and a whole lot more besides. Their intention was to attract real internet users in a time before Google and before the link itself was seen as a value by search engines.

Dare I say a time before SEO?

Rings were to attract real human visitors, link wheels are to please search engines, and this is the fundamental issue - because search engines are always trying to become more like real humans.