The Result Of Shady Backlinks Over 5 Years
The long term results of your online business are inescapable. Whether you're doing "best practices" or trying to cheat the rules, long term you will reap what you sow. There are many examples of this, but I recently stumbled upon three great charts to demonstrate what I mean.
The first example is near and dear to my heart. This is a website in the MMO niche. The owner of the website has commented on several of my blog posts mocking me for outranking me, and telling me that Wealthy Affiliate teaches "useless" SEO tactics.
These comments were several years back when I wrote a negative review of the company he was promoting.
For about four years, this person experienced growth! Whatever secret SEO sauce they used was working for that time.
Building A House Of Sticks (VS Bricks)
Fast forward to 2019, and let's look at what happened to their website.
This is exactly what I mean by "long term results".
Maybe this person was making $200,000 per year from his website, we'll never know. But even then, what's he going to do now? Unless he wisely invested his income and paid cash for a house, he's still going to have to pay rent or mortage, health insurance, and gas for his car!
Gaming search engine algorithms may work for a bit, but in the end, they'll figure out what's going on (Google gets smarter every day!).
When you're building an affiliate business in Wealthy Affiliate, you're building one that will last 10, 20, 30 years or more...unless you sell your website at some point!
Watch Out When Buying Websites
Speaking of selling, here's another great graph to check out. This website was part of a "niche site case study" by a semi-famous online guru.
Part of the training this guru was preaching was to purchase backlinks from a PBN or build your own PBN. A PBN is a "private blog network", and it's basically a bunch of blogs you build out to in order to spoof authority in Google.
The PBN backlinks would get you results faster! Yes, they worked for a short time!
Backlinks can help you rank better, but they are tough to get naturally. That's why people fake this process by building hundreds of other blogs, then linking back to themselves.
Once the website is getting gobs of traffic and making good sales, they flip the site and sell it to a new owner.
Though this particular website wasn't actually sold, the arrow below represents right around the time a seller will typically offload the website, leaving you holding the bags on the way down!
So what was all that work for? He probably make 10's of thousands of dollars with the website, but now it's basically useless. Was it worth the time?
What Happens When You Go Legit Long Term
Lastly, I want to show you one of my favorite traffic charts of all time. This particular website got in trouble for backlinking practices, but the owner realized his mistake and kept posting high quality content for years while seeing very few results.
Relatively recently, The site recoverd fully and is now doing even better than before
There's a period of about 4 years where traffic languished, but the site is doing great now! Of course, this could have been avoided by following the WA training more closely, but we all make mistakes. I, myself, have a number of websites that got punished with algorithm changes due to my own crappy backlinking schemes back in the day.
Avoid PBNs, But That's Not All
These particular examples are all due to problems with bad backlinking practices. However, that's not the only thing that can damage your online business long term. Article spinning, content curation, selling guest post links, and many other shortcut tactics are popular for churning out quick rankings and earnings.
Long term, they don't work though. Whatever 3 months shortcut you take now could cause you problems in 3 years.
If you are building a true business asset - something that you can feed your family with every month, the Wealthy Affiliate training is where it's at. Be suspicious of anything that will "supercharge" your traffic and earnings. Keep your website visitors in mind!
PS. Don't Stress: As a newbie, you're going to make mistakes. Everything is fixable, recoverable, and do-over-able. The catastropoic charts you see here are specifically from people trying to manipulate search engine algorithms. As long as you do your best and folow WA's training, you'll be fine!