Apr 11, 2011

Beware of this Link Scam

Garden Bloggers link scam
Today I received a number of offers to write articles for one of my blogs and I was reminded of wanting to blog about this link-building scam since last year when I saw a few garden bloggers fall victim to this trick. Here's how it usually works: A company selling some garden tools, plants, greenhouses or equipment sends you a message saying how much they like your blog and that they'd like to write a guest post for your blog. In return they will let you write a guest post on their blog that links back to your blog. You're usually promised exposure to supposedly "thousands" of visitors to their blog,  links back to your own blog and maybe being added to their blogroll. 

Sounds good, right?

Well, usually, in this situation the only people benefiting from guest-posting on your blog is the company making the request. The article they publish to your blog is usually filled with links that use anchor text for keywords they're looking to rank high in Google for. When it is time to return the favor they'll publish your guest post on a blog that is on a separate domain from their website that you linked to. You can safely assuming that any traffic figures you're quoted about this blog are dubious. The blog you'll be getting links from probably has less traffic than your own, and you're one of among dozens of others bloggers which makes the links from here worthless.

What's the point?

Mainly the company is trying to build many inbound links to their website to boost their own Page Rank so they can rank higher in Google for important keywords. The other benefit to them is that they may get some of your readers to buy something from them because your readers trust you and see you as an authority. You get links from their blog on a different website that probably has no Page Rank to speak of and no visitors who will be visiting your blog. The blog where you're guest post will be featured may even be abandoned or deleted after the marketing campaign is over. Think of it as making a deposit in a bank account from which you can't make withdrawals and that has no interest rate.

If you have participated in one of these guest post schemes in the past, don't worry about it. Learn from this and keep it in the back of your mind going forward. I've seen it happen to the best of them and some big named bloggers even.


  1. Thanks for letting us know how this works. I've gotten those emails too, even though I only have 46 followers. I figured it was some kind of scam.

  2. I have been contacted by these sorts of people too. Some that did not even pertain to gardening at all. I tell them I am the only author or guest writing on my blog. LOL!

  3. Then there's another scam where they contact you to say they've linked to your blog from their blog which gets squillions of hits and would you like to link to theirs in return. They give you a link to look at and sure enough your blog's there. BUT if you go to the Home page it's not obvious how you get to the page with your link on it.

    I'm sure there's plenty of other variations on this theme :(

  4. Also beware the person approaching you to guest post on your blog who's own blog looks perfectly legit and like they're an upstanding and friendly member of the blogging community even though you've not seen them around before.

    You agree content outline and style which fits your blog, then when the actual post arrives it's full of links to various commercial websites you've never heard of.

    I've turned the post down, but am worried at the fallout which may result.


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