Jan 18, 2022
In Discover Awesome Features
Year-end has always been a popular time for charitable giving. It's a way to give back to a cause close to our hearts, and also to easily reduce our taxable income. The newly enacted movement was an extension of that and created a way for nonprofits to encourage more giving during "giving season."For SEOs and link builders, charities have long been a used source for high-quality backlinks, in a variety of ways. While this may sound very selfish, it should come as no surprise: creative SEOs will generally eliminate any means of link building on the web, from white hat content marketing to hacked site spam, and more.Introduction to link buildingFor those unfamiliar with “link building”, I will provide a brief introduction. One of the main ways Google determines which websites to rank well in their search engine is through backlinks, ie 3 rd party sites that point to a given website or webpage. Links are one of the most effective ways to improve rankings, but also generally the C级执行名单 hardest ranking factors to influence.For this reason, a whole field of practice has emerged, “link building”, which tries to find creative and effective ways to generate and analyze backlinks.These tactics can vary enormously, some examples:Friendly Outreach, (i.e. “Hello! We created this content, it’s awesome, would you please link it?”); Outright purchases, (i.e. "How much for a blog post?");Building broken links (i.e. “You link to a 404 page, my page is better”);Automated spamming, (i.e. scheduled posting of content/links to publishing platforms like forums, web 2.0 and article directories); Hacked sites (i.e. exploiting vulnerabilities in CMS like wordpress, posting links or content without owners consent or knowledge).Because of the value associated with search engine rankings, the SEO community can and will find any way to build links. This includes leveraging charity, the subject of this article.A word on ethicsI would like to address any concerns about the ethics of leveraging charities for link building up front.I get it, it sounds weird. We should give to charity out of the goodness of our hearts, not for personal or professional gain. But I would frame it like this: 1Companies have budgets associated with link building. Would it be better to allocate this budget only to for-profit institutions?2If these tactics help funnel more money into the hands of charities, can that be considered a bad thing?3Companies leverage their charitable donations to undermine the credibility of these good causes, this is a well-known business tactic intended to influence the psychology of customers.4Companies leverage their charitable donations to undermine the credibility of these good causes, this is a well-known business tactic intended to influence the psychology of customers. Which is worse, influencing customer behavior or influencing a soulless algorithm?That being said, if you don't feel comfortable with any of the tactics/strategies listed below, feel free to opt out. However, none are unprecedented or outside the realm of ethical practice, in my view.