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What are link spikes

What Are Link Spikes?

Link building is a crucial component of any well-executed search engine optimization campaign, but building up a healthy amount of quality inbound and outbound links for a site doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort and dedication to become ‘important’ to Google and get ranked well. Google considers link building a significant factor in determining your site’s importance.

When you review your weekly and monthly link building reports, you may see some natural peaks and valleys in your link building chart. These are called “link spikes” and they happen during any point in time where your backlinks may go up sharply, and then go back down sharply as well. This isn’t exactly a trend, or necessarily a good thing, but it does happen in certain cases.

You may have cashed in on some white hat link bait, a press release or article or your products and services are in the news. For example, with the unfortunate death of Michael Jackson, you may have seen a spike in search for white, glittery gloves or black fedoras. If you are an online retailer who sells these products, you may see a surge in link building while the news is a hot topic.

You can also experience a link spike if your product, service or industry becomes a Trending Topic on Twitter, the Digg Homepage or throughout social media in general. This is obviously not going to happen to a custom origami shop, meat market or a landscaping company, but stranger things have happened.

One scenario that link spikes would be a trend is if the business is seasonal, such as holiday websites, landscaping companies, and sports-specific sites. The spikes would come in somewhat predictable intervals and are easily explainable.

Link spikes, however, can be a red flag for search engines for black hat activities, in some cases. If that origami shop does experience some severe link spikes, but doesn’t correspond with any online or newsworthy trends, a red flag goes up for the Google gods to scratch their heads over. Determining whether a link spike is organic or non-organic can be difficult for the search engines. If there is no corresponding trend, it does look a bit shady.

White hat link bait is the most common cause of organic link spikes. To avoid these link spikes with your link bait executions, you should seek advice about strategy and long-term goals. If you front load all your PR at the beginning of the month, then you should also expect to see corresponding spikes. Planning to do more than one piece is a great way to keep your link building natural and avoid the suspicious eyes of the Google gods.

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