Growth Hack Exposed

I ran through ahrefs the other day. Google appears to be moving up rapidly in the SERPs, even answering questions about recipe ingredients. I figured they must be doing some shady link practices because nobody should be able to own that much search real estate nowadays.

Sitewide Links

Right away, I noticed that Google has over 1 billion sitewide links pointing back to their domain! Buy links much bro? Can’t believe I busted them so quickly.



Take one look at Google’s anchor text and you’ll notice a startling growth hack: They link back to! “Add To Google” is the anchor text for over 20 million pages! Clearly this is some sort of widget building links on auto-pilot. Check this out…they even built a widgets section to get backlinks!

Using Google+ To Mine Backlinks

In order to verify your Google+ account, Google recommends linking back to their site with a followed link. They even have a nice post about it.

Forcing people to pass PageRank back to your domain? That seems like a clear violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Manipulative Anchor Text

Google is a producer of great content…sometimes sites will manipulate the anchor text of the links coming into their site to earn favor in search engines.

For example, Google has over 18,000 backlinks containing the words “lyrics” pointing to their domain. Clearly, they are participating in link schemes here.

Take a look at this manipulative anchor text so they can rank highly for lyrics keywords.


This is a clear attempt to trick search engines and a domain that practices these types of SEO hacks doesn’t deserve to rank in the search engines.

Websites, especially such a well-known site like, should be able to fully control all inbound links to their site. It’s a shame to see them sink to this type of SEO in order to gain standing in the search engines.

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