What is a Link Scheme?
A link scheme is any black hat link-building tactic done with the intent of increasing the number of backlinks pointing to a webpage.
Link schemes are intended to manipulate search engines into thinking a site is more valuable than it is. This causes the search engine to increase the site’s rankings on search results pages.
Typical link schemes include:
- The use of link farms
- The buying and selling of links
- The use of automated link-building software
- The creation of excessive and irrelevant links
While white hat SEO link-building tactics like reciprocal linking and link exchanges are not link schemes, they can become one if done inappropriately or aggressively.
Link schemes generally involve practices that violate Google’s guidelines. For that reason, they can earn you a manual action and cause Google to demote your rankings or deindex your site.
Instead of engaging in link schemes, search engines prefer that you focus on building natural, high-quality links that provide value to your visitors.