More and more I have new clients come to me and complain about a drop in rankings in recent times, even though they have been doing only “White Hat link building”. This link building is done by using HARO, or “Help a reporter out”. With HARO a multi-day email goes out to subscribers asking for content to be used by reporters in the creation of news content. The problem is… much of this content is not being used by “reporters” it’s being used by junk site creators and the resulting links, are worthless. This is how the scam works.

  • Junky, link-selling blogs use HARO to get encourage webmasters to provide them with free, unique content.
  • They build sites using this content and then sell links from them.
  • Google then treats ALL links from these sites as paid.
  • Even though the webmaster who provided the HARO content didn’t pay for the links…. Google treats them as paid and discounts them.

How do I know this is what the junk site builders are doing?  As an SEO consultant on Linkedin, I get pitched with sites to buy links from every day, and I can see the websites selling links, are the same websites asking for free content on HARO.

So webmasters who are madly filling out HARO requests, thinking they are doing the right thing, getting a white hat, unpaid links… are getting links of little or no value.

With any site, you are providing content to… check the quality of the site.

If it’s a junky-looking site, with low-quality content, covering a random plethora of topics…. Why do you think Google should value a link to your site, possibly completely unrelated to your area of expertise, or site topic?