What are Link Networks, how can I check if my SEO company is using a Link Network?

Link NetworksLink Networks are multiple websites all with the sole intention of increasing the ranking of your website. Imagine a network of websites that are of reasonable trust discussing a range of topics and subjects. These website have an array of external link types pointing to them. They are all hosted on different web servers and most hide their ownership identity.

Why do SEO companies use Link Networks?

The most labour intensive part of SEO is link building, therefore if an SEO company owns a Link Network this makes their job quicker from a technical viewpoint.
Let’s consider the cost benefits of doing this. Say for example an SEO company owns 50 websites, all with fresh unique content being generated on a regular basis. This scenario would involve various expenses, including copywriting, hosting and bulk management, along with other issues that arise with management of domains. Each of these domains would naturally be split over many hosting companies to diversify IP addresses. Generally the investment wouldn’t bear fruit for six months to two years depending on many factors, such as maturity.
Compare this level of investment with making contacts within each sector that your clients are in with the sole purpose of acquiring a link, and for the technically minded SEO company, the Link Network option looks appealing.
From a financial point of view, an SEO company could offer discount basement SEO to “easy to rank” niches and all the hard technical work would be paid off many times over.
Compare this to link building where communicating with hundreds of people for each client is necessary, and you can easily see why Link Networks have thrived.

Google has changed the power of Link Networks

Most Link Networks foundations are not built on trust. By their very nature, they are built to deceive Google regarding who owns the domains, IP addresses, and the authors of the content.
Google’s head of spam, Matt Cutts, is the most visible of the department which continues to battle against the glut of spam. A typical example of how good they are at preventing spam is sending spam to a gmail account and take note of the filtering.
So if Google is looking to authenticate content, link networks that attempt to hide what they are get flagged up for review by Google.
If an SEO company that owns a Link Network wants to increase it’s revenue stream as a business, they often sell “advertising space” to other SEO companies.

How Can I Tell if My SEO Company is using a Link Network?

Each major algorithmic change from Google is identified with a codename. One of the latest to be released is Penguin. If your website has been hit by the penguin update, you would have seen a 20-45% decrease in traffic. If your website has seen an increase in organic traffic, this likely means your SEO company is carrying out ethical link building.

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