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Gareth Goddard

Are adult backlinks bad for mainstream sites

One of the biggest challenges of building backlinks is finding backlinks! You may be tempted to grab links from whatever site is offering them especially if they have a high pagerank. While its true high page rank sites pass a lot of juice and power to your site and in some cases that can seemingly overpower the relevancy issue, one of the biggest questions is are adult backlinks harmful to mainstream sites or non adult sites and will they hurt my business site.

In a weird twist where most sites won’t offer links TO adult sites, sometimes you can find good link trades from adult sites and it could be tempting to dive in and start trading or asking them to put up your links up on their high page rank pages or in their posts.

There are a few different levels to this question. First of all there are links from purely adult sites with videos images and little else in the way of legitimate “other” content, linking back to small business sites and it should be slightly obvious that this isn’t ideal and should be avoided. But there are sites that sit on the edge. The might be geared towards adult topics or products but not technically p*rn sites and there can be some confusion about whether links back from a legitimate business that could be classed as an adult site can harm or hurt your business site and its ranking.

The most simple way to look at this is to take the “adult” out of the equation and look at it this way:

Is the sites content related to yours.
Do you sell similar products, is there a legitimate crossover in topics and customers? Sometimes sexual health sites can legitimately get links back from adult sites or where particular issues are being discussed.

Would you be considering a link from them if they had pr0 or pr1
Sometimes the most simple way to see a links true value is to see if you’d want a link from that site if it had no pagerank or you weren’t getting a quality link back. Does the deal suddenly not look so great when you take page rank out of the equation.

Are they linking out to bad sites?
Check their blogroll and outgoing links. Are they linking out to low quality sites and unrelated sites. If you stick your link in with those is yours going to look spammy to google too.

Will it pass quality traffic?
Will the link pass quality traffic on to you (quality traffic! not shear volumes of traffic). If it will send good traffic with customers who are interested in your site, but you are unsure about the *adultness* of the site. It might be worth asking for a link with the rel=nofollow tag to allow users to benefit from the link but tell search engines not to count it as a backlink.

The issue of adult backlinks hurting mainstream and non adult sites is not from the fact the sites have adult content it is more to do with the fact the links are not relevant to yours and this becomes even more obvious when an adult site is linking back to a small flower shop in London with no obvious crossover in topics or pages.

The other issue is that adult sites tend to link out to dodgy neighbourhoods and you are now including yourself with those sites. If they are offering links to your unrelated site they might not be so picky in ensuring every link is only pointing to another quality site. The other issue is that some (not all) adult sites have spammy backlinks pointing to them and a lower quality of backlinks, partly because of how hard it is to get adult backlinks and partly because of the nature of the sites linking in.

So in summary if you can legitimately link your business or product page to an adult sites content then consider the link (Eg cams to a webcam retailers or an adult site to an adult toy store or subsection of your store) Otherwise if you are trying to justify the link and come up with a reason why its relevant, chances are search engines are going to struggle too and either ignore the link in the best case scenario or in the worse case scenario penalise your and be harmful to your site.