Google’s John Mueller to Investigate Deceptive Link Building Practices

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller plans to investigate a particular link building practice and is looking for SEO help.

Aleyda Solis has started a thread on Twitter drawing attention to a deceptive form of link building that has surfaced.

The tactic involves an individual claiming ownership of an image used in an article and asking for credit in the form of a backlink.

Solis explains how it happened to her and that the image in question cannot belong to the person from whom she received an email.

“Today checking the @remotersnet email I see we received a message from someone saying we used their image in an article and therefore needed to resend to ‘credit’ the image …

… the thing is, I’m sure we buy the images we use on the site. I’m the person buying them with @123rf -which I can highly recommend, by the way-. I checked on the 123rf site and saw when I bought it, and who is the author of the image: certainly not the person of the message…

…then I see that the “proof” of the person asking for the link to credit the image is: “Here is a link to our article with this photo:”. I checked the URL and saw that it was just a random post where they “inserted” the image 🤷🏻‍♀️ Not real proof of ownership 🙄🙈 …

…So these are people building links to their website by “trying” to trick, saying they are the owners of images that others are using (they clearly aren’t). Fortunately, I know where our images come from and thanks to my web/SEO experience, I can see through the attempted deception…”

Several people commented on the thread saying the same thing happened to them as well.

Eventually, the thread caught the attention of John Mueller, who says he would love to see more examples of this link building tactic.

Mueller adds that it’s “curious to check how we’re handling this on our (Google) side.”

It is unclear what action, if any, will be taken as a result of the investigation. If you’ve come across this tactic yourself, you can help by sending Mueller some examples.

Source: Twitter

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