Manipulative links are extremely harmful to any kind of website. Maybe you are using some backlinks in a hope that it will give you a better ranking. In reality, backlink contributes very little in ranking nowadays, but it will damage your website if you make google think that this is a manipulative link.

What is Manipulative Link?

Any irrelevant link is regarded as a manipulative link. Well, a manipulative link is a link that is built in a strategy aiming at misleading google to think that this website is better than other websites by showing it in a better position.

How does a link become a Manipulative Link?

Let me give you an example to make it clear when you will be hit for manipulative links. Imagine that you have a website. It is example.com. Now, example2.com wants to put a link from his website to your website. If you allow him, you have risked your website. Because now you are in control. When you put a link of example.com on example2.com, you are not liable for this link. It was example2.com who allowed you. So he bears the risks. Controls bring risk. If 1000s of hacking websites put a link from your website on them, Google will not penalize you. But if you allow a hacking website to put his link on you, Google is 100% going to crush your website.

What are the Criteria of Manipulative Links?

Now, you have decided to put other websites’ links on your page. You need to know what kind of links will hurt your website. There are several criteria when Google tends to consider a link as a manipulative link. Some of them are:
1. Irrelevant: It brings the attention of Google. If you have paid links and it is relevant, Google will not hurt you.
2. Excessive Cross-Linking: Excessive amount of cross-linking makes google suspicious.
3. Too much guest posting.
4. Undisclosed affiliate links.
5. Undisclosed guest posting ( When you don’t disclose that this article is a guest posting )
6. Showing unsafe ads banner without disclosing and using these ads too much time on page.
7. Links in a comment.
8. Exchange Links
9. Hidden Links (Using white fonts)

What can you do?

A couple of years ago, backlinks mattered very much. Remember one thing – if it is you who is allowing other websites to put their links on your website, you are the responsible person. If you allow low quality, spammy, hacking intended website links on your website, Google is going to ban you. But if others are doing it, Google is not going to hurt you unless you exchange links.

And still, if you see that you are hurt by others’ manipulation, you can use the Disavow link tool. Use it only when you have no time. And you should use it very carefully. In fact, you are discouraged from using it. In my case, I never used this tool. Others’ dirty work didn’t ruin my website.
Thank you.