The only link building tactic that nearly every marketplace shares is badges. Yelp, Tripadvisor, Thumbtack, Houzz and many others use batches. Typically they bait the businesses on their platform to put a badge to ‘highlight accomplishments’ and receive a link back in the process.
As a result, the more you grow your business, the more relevant links you get. Many of these aggregator sites end up outranking the original small business brand’s site for the latter’s branded term, stealing away some of that business’ traffic. Some might say they’re taking advantage of the small businesses, while others argue it’s a fair value exchange. But we’re not here to debate ethics – companies do it, and badging seems to be alive and well.
However, many websites have been penalized for using badges for link building. It’s quite easy for Google to see a pattern with badges, and they are certainly ‘manipulating page rank’. Google’s official stance says the following:
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