Why Viralinks are a waste of time?

I’m new to blogging, and I’m catching up with a lot of interesting things. One of them is the Viralink, coined by Andy Coates.

I was exposed to the concept while reading John’s blog. One of the readers mentioned he was trying out a Viralink on his blog and he was getting a little bit of traffic.

What is a Viralink? A Viralink is basically a new scheme to build up the PageRank of the participating sites. The instructions at Andy’s blog explain everything better.

———copy and paste the Viralink and instructions below this line———

Below is a matrix of 120 stars, I have already added a link to my blog onto one of the stars, all you need to do is copy and paste the grid into your blog and add your own link to one of the other spare stars, and tell others to do the same!



When I receive a ping back once you have added the Viralink to your site I will add your link to this grid, and each person who copies the grid from here will also link to your site!

No Porn Sites
Only 1 link per person (i.e don’t hog the viralink!)
Please don’t tamper with other peoples url’s

———copy and paste the Viralink and instructions above this line———

I have to admit that it is a very clever idea. By participating in a Viralink, you can potentially get hundreds or thousands of links, and a very nice PageRank.

Now, let me give you the specific reasons why I think this is risky, and pretty much a waste of time.

  • There is no direct or indirect benefit for your readers. The links don’t even have text or descriptions. You can’t expect readers to mouse over the links, and try to guess from the URL whether they want to click to the linked page or not. This is simply designed to fool the search engines.
  • There is no anchor text benefit. I am not sure who wants to be #1 for the highly popular phrase ‘*’.

Quality guidelines

These quality guidelines cover the most common forms of deceptive or manipulative behavior, but Google may respond negatively to other misleading practices not listed here (e.g. tricking users by registering misspellings of well-known websites). It’s not safe to assume that just because a specific deceptive technique isn’t included on this page, Google approves of it. Webmasters who spend their energies upholding the spirit of the basic principles will provide a much better user experience and subsequently enjoy better ranking than those who spend their time looking for loopholes they can exploit.

If you believe that another site is abusing Google’s quality guidelines, please report that site at http://www. google.com/contact/spamreport.html. Google prefers developing scalable and automated solutions to problems, so we attempt to minimize hand-to-hand spam fighting. The spam reports we receive are used to create scalable algorithms that recognize and block future spam attempts.

Quality guidelines – basic principles

  • Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
  • Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
  • Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.
  • Your competitor will see this and report you.
  • This is very easy for search engines to detect automatically. They just need to look for blocks of links with ‘*’ in their anchor text.

Doing this is probably very time consuming. Why not spend the time creating useful content that attracts links naturally (Linkbait)?


6 Responses to “Why Viralinks are a waste of time?”

  1. 1 Jez June 9, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    They are a waste of time for google, but social networking sites such as technorati are not as sophisticated… but they are never the less used as metrics by some advertising networks.

    One of the most interesting aspects of blogging is that google is not all powerful….

  2. 2 hamletb June 10, 2007 at 2:18 am


    I understand your point. I see the value in increasing your Technorati ratings. If you don’t mind Google potentially banning your site for this practice, then I don’t see a problem. There are many ways to drive traffic to your site.

    Please note that Andy Bates, the inventor, promotes it for increasing PageRank:

    Viralink – This will increase your page rank!!

    That is why I felt it was necessary to tell others that long term, this might help achieve the opposite.

    I can tell you that I do not like Google much as a company. I think they are too arrogant. Unfortunately I do like the traffic they bring and I feel many webmasters are on the same boat.

  3. 3 Jez June 10, 2007 at 5:34 am

    Yes the content of that post is nonsesne, its fair to point that out.

    I doubt I will get a ban for it, we will have to see.

    I have a few sites, including three wordpress blogs.

    One I use virals and social bookmarking on, one is WH niche google targeted and another is niche targetted but using automated content genearators to hit longtail search terms.

    They are all interesting in their own way… but it is really google I am interested in learning more about.

    I find social bookmarked / blog traffic easier to generate but almost worthless… wheras targetted google traffic earns money.

  4. 4 Jez June 10, 2007 at 5:41 am

    On another note, what is your opinion of using translators on sites?

    I have installed such a translator on sitelogic.co.uk and now have sone 1200 pages indexed in google.

    I get traffic from non-english google searches so in that sense it works… but, on a niche site do you think this could damage SERP’s in any way?

    I have not installed this on my niche blog for this reason…

  5. 5 hamletb June 11, 2007 at 10:21 am


    As you have probably noticed, Google traffic can make you money (by targeting the right terms). On the other hand, social networking traffic, in my opinion, is good for branding, and for getting links to your site. Depending on what your goal is, you might need to adjust your strategy.

    I can tell you that as long as you are not targeting money keywords, your risky techniques (Viralinks and content generators) will not be detected. Why? I guess you are not facing real competitor yet. Once you do, they would must definitely benefit from having you removed from the results, so they can move up in the rankings.

    The only disadvantage I see in using translation software, is that you might want to have a friend (that speaks the target language) proofread it for you. This will make your foreign visitors feel more comfortable.

    Providing the same content in different languages is not deceptive but useful. I don’t think you will have problems with this.

    Google recommends you use top level domains for you country specific content, ie.: .de, .jp, etc.

  6. 6 Team Tutorials June 11, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    I didn’t see the value in the “*” anchor tag anyway.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Subscribe to my Full RSS Feed

Add to Technorati Favorites

My Top Affiliate Sites

  • TripScan - "vacation package" - 50 million competitors - #13 - Yahoo
  • ReferralPay - "best affiliate programs" - 60 million competitors - #8 - Yahoo | 2 million competitors - #2 - Live
  • InkTrack - "ink cartridge" - 8 million competitors - #5 - Live
  • My Nice Gateaway


    %d bloggers like this: