Walter from Dallas, Texas is getting advice from spammers. He’s been speaking with local SEO firms about getting his construction company ranked on Google. Some search engine optimization geeks tell him he needs a few thousand links. Others swear it’s best to get a handful of high-PR links.

Hi Peter-

Help– it’s beginning to feel as if I am getting a variety of advice here from a few local SEO consultants. But I’m not sure who to believe? Some say backlinks are important to my site rankings on Google. Others tell me I’ll get hit by Google Penguin if I build spam backlinks. What’s the real truth? If you can share some insight I would be deeply appreciative. BTW–your site is filled with great stuff:-).


Ouch Walter. I feel your pain. The problem you’re having is no different than millions of other site owners. It’s called lame advice that ignores current Google standards.

If you wrote to me 4 years ago I would tell you to go wild building backlinks. But since April 2012 when Google Penguin was released, spam backlinks can penalize your site.

Since you’re project is pure local SEO, I recommend you avoid all backlinking. Why? A few reasons…

  1. Local search isn’t as competitive as global
  2. Your competition is likely buying into spam backlinking
  3. Genuine, rich content optimized will help you rank

Walt, if you can wrap your head around writing 10-20 optimized pages or posts on your site for a dozen keywords, you’ll do fine. Aim for at least 450 words per page. Here’s a great article I wrote about the exact steps you should take to optimize your content. These days Google is awarding sites good rankings that offer genuine content.

Although before you start writing, be sure to find exact-searched keywords for services you and your gang of carpenters offer. For help about keyword research read this. Good luck Walt!