If Google doesn’t slay any other link network in the remaining two weeks of 2013, this will be your list to refer on those link networks that Google crushed this year.

What are Link Networks?

Link networks are websites which serve as a medium between advertisers and website owners in the selling and purchase of links.

Link acquisition is a prime activity of SEO agencies as they are hired by businesses to build search engine visibility.

If you have been using any of these link networks, the organic search rankings must have suffered a setback. Hasn’t it? If you haven’t, well it is good for you. Make sure to stay away from link networks.

Google frowns upon unnatural link building. It is another matter that most of us don’t understand the nature of natural and unnatural link building. It is difficult to get links “naturally” and therefore, we depend on link acquisition but it is something to be ventured upon carefully.

The latest crushed link network is Backlinks.com.

Matt Cutts tweeted this after the site got penalized.

Matt Cutts on Backlinks[dot]com

Backlinks.com has been in business since 2006. The site is still up and surprisingly, they don’t have an ‘About’ page. Upon Whois.com search, I found that the domain is owned by the Nevada-based Next Net Media LLC.

The next in the list is Anglo Rank. Evidently, they have taken down the site and according to a recent update on this post at BackHatWorld; they are planning to rebuild the site.

I fail to understand how rebuilding and re-launching the site will keep it safe from future Google penalties if their modus operandi remains link selling.

I am surprised that even after being penalized in September 2013, Ghost Rank 2.0, another Google penalized link network, is still functioning. This is how the black-hat SEO industry works. Even though people know it is wrong, they still get trapped by such link networks.

In May 2013, Google penalized a Russian link network called SAPE Links. The SAPE site is still functioning and getting clients selling PR 1 – PR 8 links.

One of the oldest link sellers on the Internet, Text Link Ads, was penalized in June 2013. It was re-branded as MediaWhiz SEO. How much would this rebranding help? Only time will say.

If you’ve used any of these networks, check Google Webmaster Tools for a manual penalty message.

What is your opinion on using link networks?