Podcast Blog SEO: How Can Bad Links Penalize Your Site?

Your website is an integral part of your platform as a podcaster. To track the growth and the success of your show, you have to monitor your podcast and website analytics. So, how do backlinks come into play? Are they still relevant in 2022? Tom Hazzard takes over this episode to talk to you about how to get valuable backlinks and avoid bad links that can penalize your site. Tune in as Tom dives deep into the integral role of backlinks in keeping your website afloat. Don’t miss this opportunity to get very valuable backlinks to your website and benefit from them.

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Podcast Blog SEO: How Can Bad Links Penalize Your Site?

I’m going to take a deep dive into a topic that I’m sure many of you have heard about and maybe wondering if it’s still relevant in 2022. That is about backlinks for your website. Why am I talking about backlinks, your website ranking, and why is it important for your website? It’s because, at Podetize, we believe fundamentally that your website is an integral part of your platform as a podcaster. To track the growth and the success of your show, you’ve got to monitor not only your podcast analytics but also your website analytics, and backlinks are a big part of that.

Are Back Links Still Important In 2022?

I’m sure many of you have heard that term before. What does it mean? Are backlinks still important in 2022? Absolutely, yes. They are, but the right kind of backlinks. I’m going to share with you a cautionary tale of two different websites that I’ve encountered that had a huge problem with backlinks. We’re going to talk about not only what not to do and what to be aware of, but also what is a good and viable backlink and why? I’m going to share that with you.

As podcasters, most of us who do especially guest interviews at least periodically, if not in most of our episodes, have a big opportunity to get very valuable backlinks to your website and benefit from them. Let’s first define what a backlink is. A backlink is simply a link on someone else’s website to a page on your website. There are many different kinds of reasons why you might have such a backlink on another site to your website.

FYB 164 | Bad Links


One would be you wrote a guest blog on someone else’s website, and there’s a link from that at the bottom of that blog to you, the author of that blog, to information on your website. That’s one type of backlink. You could also have a part of a list of providers of a certain service on somebody else’s website. They could have a directory or some affiliate links. If you’ve been a guest on someone else’s podcast and that podcast host is doing a good job, there should be some information about you, the guest, on that particular episode and a link from their website to your website.

World Wide Web

Listeners of their show could learn how to get in touch with you, reach out and contact you. That’s why the internet is called the World Wide Web. It’s this incredibly complex web of websites that are interconnected and referenced with each other. The more that your website is linked to other websites, wherever they are, that is a measure of the value of your website. It increases your level of authority in the eyes of Google. The keyword phrases that your site ranks on, which is a whole another part of SEO that I’m not going to take a deep dive into in this particular episode, but those keyword rankings, the things you do rank on, Google will raise your rankings. Maybe you start between 50 to 60 out of 100. You have more backlinks.

Your site is viewed as more authoritative. Google will increase those rankings or reduce that number. You might be between the 40s, 50s, or the 30s and 40s. Eventually, the goal for as many rankings as you have is to be ranked on page one of Google, which would be from result number 1 through 10 because they do 10 results for every page of the organic search results, not the page search results. Backlinks are an important measurement.

FYB 164 | Bad Links


Back on Internet 1.0, there were a lot of tactics used that are not in integrity and a lot of times, that’s described as black hat tactics. If things were on edge, maybe gray hat tactics, as opposed to white hat, meaning proper backlinks in integrity. There are many different computer hackers and companies that were selling and are still selling programs to get you tens of thousands of backlinks in a very short period of time.

Google would see this huge list of tens of thousands of backlinks to your site and say, “This site must be authoritative. Look how many other sites are linking to it.” Eventually, when Google looks at the integrity of those backlinks, it sees the sites they’re coming from are worth much of anything, or many of them are coming from the same websites. Google is pretty sophisticated. They have a way of being able to tell, “Are these backlinks useful or not?”

If you have the wrong kind of backlinks, it can hurt your website’s authority and rankings. If Google believes your site is completely out of integrity, you’re going to be in their penalty box and they won’t send any traffic to your website. Good backlinks remain an incredibly valuable SEO tool for your website. They are a must-have for website visibility. I’m going to share a brief cautionary tale of an example of somebody I met a couple of months ago. This is a good example of what not to do.

FYB 164 | Bad Links


Podcast Marketing

I’m going to come back after that, and talk about what are good backlinks, how do you get them, and how you can podcast generate them. Those people that are working with Podetize to produce their podcasts have this done for them. I’ll share a little bit about how that’s done. I had a prospect reach out to me who has been in business for many years in the book publishing space among others. There are other aspects to her business, but in the book publishing space primarily.

She also has a couple of podcasts. Her name is Janine. I’m not going to out her with the last name because I don’t need to do that. Janine came to me for an audit of her podcast. I evaluated her podcast. Her podcast looked fine. When I got to look at her website, which I always do when I audit a podcast, there were some major red flags that concerned me tremendously. She wasn’t ranking on anything keyword ranking-wise and had a ton of written content on her website.

She’s in book publishing and an author. She wrote a lot of conventional blogs and a lot of good content but it wasn’t ranking. I saw some things in some of the tools that I looked at that said, “Something is not right here.” I had our in-house SEO and website expert take a good look at it. I’ve never seen such a report come back from this person that there are some major problems. One of the things about every website that exists is it leaves a digital footprint. You can go back and read that digital footprint back in time.


Even if you fix something now that was wrong six months ago, you can still go back and look in the history of that and see that data. There was a digital trail or digital footprint. He looked and found out probably sometime in 2017 that Janine might have hired some other company to do SEO to get them a lot of backlinks in a short period of time. He thought it was either that or some malicious malware or a bot had gotten their hooks into her website.

What happened is this bot or this agency used a script to create tens of thousands of backlinks to her website from some Russian servers. I have nothing against Russia in this regard but that is a location where a lot of black hat tactics go on. It probably doesn’t surprise anybody that while there are people of integrity and Russia and good companies to work with, there is also a lot of hacking and malicious stuff that tends to happen in that country.

I’m not particularly knocking Russia but in this case, there was a Russian bot that had created all these backlinks that were worthless. For a short period of time in the eyes of Google before it dug deep and looked at the integrity of the backlinks for about six weeks, maybe eight, all these backlinks to the website put these rankings of the website through the roof. It was like, “This is an authoritative website. It was getting all kinds of traffic from Google,” until Google finally did a deeper dive as they always do. It’s automatic. It takes time for them to do it.


They say, “This is all very spammy backlinks. Forget it. This website isn’t worth anything.” It dropped like a rock in the level of authority that it had in the eyes of Google. The website essentially was blind to anybody searching on Google. It’s very bad news for her. Unfortunately, she didn’t even know it for a few years. Janine comes to me and has a couple of podcasts. I’m evaluating them and looking at the four websites that she had.

Two of the four were in Google’s penalty docs. The recommendation from our SEO expert was, “You can’t even repair this. It’s probably not worth repairing.” He had a whole strategy recommendation for moving content from one of her sites to the other that still was in integrity in the eyes of Google and didn’t have the same problem. He had a plan for what to do with those sites. Eventually, in a couple of years, those domains could probably be used again. For now, she needed to abandon them. This was catastrophic for two of her web domains. It’s very disheartening to learn that, but at least she had two good domains that were in integrity with Google and could be worked with. A lot of the content could be moved there.

Fortunately, one of the domains of the website she had, she’s like, “Is it okay to use this one?” I said, “Yes, it is.” She’s like, “Okay, great. I’m okay with moving all my content.” I basically give her a roadmap for what to do. She has gone and done that. She’s on the road to recovery. Here’s how backlinks from low authority or spammy sites can hurt your position. It’s impacting traffic and if you have a podcast, impacting listenership. If you’ve been listening to this podcast at all, you’ve heard me say probably several times that one of the paths to more listeners from your podcast is having related blog content on your podcast website that casts a much wider net for you to be found by more of your ideal listeners.

FYB 164 | Bad Links
Bad Links: While there are people of integrity in Russia and good companies to work with there, there is also a lot of hacking and malicious stuff that tends to happen in that country.


Good Backlinks

If Google has got your website in the penalty box, they’re not going to send any traffic your way, so it’s going to hurt the listenership of your podcast. That’s why this is so important why I’m talking about this on a show about podcasting to market and grow your brand, your show and your business. Let’s return to good backlinks, what they are, and some of the different kinds. I’m going to show you some examples.

Good backlinks are legitimate genuine links for a good reason from one website to another. I’ll give you a couple of examples. Tracy wrote a column for Inc. Magazine for over four years. She’s got 150 to 200 articles she wrote that are on Inc.com. For each of those, there is a graphic image, title and reference from one of Tracy’s websites. I believe it’s HazzDesign.com. I don’t know if there are any from TheBingeFactor.com. All of her articles that were written on Inc. are listed on her own website.

There is not only a link to that article on Inc., but for every one of those articles she wrote, there’s an author portion of that and a link from Inc.com to Tracy’s website. People who read her articles on Inc. will go to learn more about her on her own website. That’s a very powerful backlink from a very authoritative website. That’s one example.

Every website leaves a digital footprint. Even if you fix something today, something that was wrong six months ago, you can still go back in history and see that data. Share on X

If you’re a contributor, a writer of blogs of some kind on another website, having that link, even back to your main webpage of your website or your about page, maybe your press and media page on your website. That’s one way. Another very powerful backlink for a lot of us podcasters, this is a lot more common, is you have a guest on your show. You have many guests on your show and you feature them in your blog posts on your website about your episode. You have a little guest bio section and you link to their website. Your listeners who go to your blog post as a resource, how can they get in touch with the guests, they get a link, they click and that goes to their website. You’re giving your guests value in a powerful backlink from your website to theirs.

It’s very common to request, but also common to require, that your guests post a little information on their website about your show with a backlink to the blog post for that episode on your website. If you work with Podetize for us to produce your episodes, we set this up for you. We incentivize the guest to do this. This is a graphic image that we create at Podetize. This happens to be for Tracy’s podcast, The Binge Factor.

This is a quote that Tracy said about her guests that is very flattering. It makes your guests look good. It also features Tracy’s face and the brand of her show. We provide this to the guests the day the episode publishes in an email and suggest how they can use it. One of the things we provide is a page where we have all the links to everything created for this episode. One of them is that graphic link, which if you look at the URL for that link, it’s on TheBingeFactor.com.

FYB 164 | Bad Links
Bad Links: If Google has got your website in the penalty box, they’re not going to send any traffic your way and it’s going to hurt the listenership of your podcast.


When we send the email to that guest, we provide them with a piece of HTML code. All they have to do is to edit their about page on their website, or if they have a press page or a media page, whatever page they want to on their website, and copy and paste that code on their webpage. What that will do is populate this image on that page saying, “Benjamin Wong was on The Binge Factor podcast.” Why wouldn’t he want to do that? He puts that code on his website. If he doesn’t know how to do it, he gives it to his web person to drop it in. This is a real simple thing. Paste it onto his website. This is magic.

If you look carefully at this URL, because this image exists on TheBingeFactor.com, the code we give each guest will populate this image on Benjamin’s website, but that image doesn’t exist on Benjamin’s website. Benjamin’s website is pulling that image from Tracy’s website over to his website. That’s a backlink in and of itself. It’s loading an image from someone else’s website to his. Therefore, the image it’s pulling it from is seen as very valuable.

Benjamin wants to display this image on his website. It’s coming from over here to this other website. That’s a backlink. It becomes a clickable image. When anybody clicks on this image on Benjamin’s website, it brings them to this page on Tracy’s website. This is something we do automatically for all of our production podcasters who we’re producing their episodes for. You can play the video here and listen to the audio. You’ve got all sorts of information, and here is Benjamin Wong’s guest bio information and all that. When people click on that on Benjamin’s website, it brings them here to Tracy’s website. That is a powerful backlink. That is why we were doing this with every podcast episode that contains a guest. It’s incredibly valuable and makes your website very authoritative.

Links from low authority or spammy websites can hurt you. Share on X

On Podetize.com, one of our podcasters, Michael Zipursky, has a podcast called Consulting Success. He’s been podcasting for a number of years and got almost 5,500 organic keyword rankings. That’s a different part of SEO. It’s very important but I’m not taking a deep dive into that. He’s got almost 46,000 backlinks to his website. He’s got thousands of them from his podcast episodes. We know because we’ve been producing his episodes for years, but he’s also got a lot more from other places.

Podcast Analytics

He and his team have worked hard to get mentions on other websites and increase this number. This is a very realistic number for any podcaster to achieve within a couple of years. In the Podetize.com client portal, we have our website analytics. We’re the only podcast hosting platform that gives you your key website analytics in addition to your key podcast analytics. That’s important. It’s critical to track your podcast analytics and your website analytics because this is a part of your platform. We give you your top 20 organic keyword phrases you rank on. You can export that list. If you export a spreadsheet of it, I think you get your top 100 keywords.

All these ones that say position 1, 3, 4, 2, almost all of his top 20 are on the first page of Google search. That’s what podcasting can do for you and should do for you if you consistently publish episodes over time and create a comprehensive blog post for each episode on your website. It has to be a significant blog post. The 500 to 600 words do not cut it anymore with Google. It’s got to be at least 2,000 words, but if you publish at least a twenty-minute episode, it will produce about a 3,000-word blog post, at least, the way Podetize does it.

FYB 164 | Bad Links
Bad Links: There’s no shortcut to powerful backlinks, and there’s no shortcut to hacking SEO.


That’s why someone like Michael Zipursky who’s been doing this ranks number two on Google search for “consultancy fees,” and 590 people searched for that term in a month. That’s 590 people that saw his result and I’m sure many of them clicked it. “Consultation fees” is the same thing. There are many different keywords he ranks on. How would you like to rank number four in Google search for “consulting business?” Two thousand four hundred people searched on that in a month.

That’s the power of what podcasting could do for you. That’s the power of podcasting your way to powerful blog posts like this one on The Binge Factor. It is largely a speech-to-text conversion, but it’s a multimedia blog post. It is SEO gold for your website and backlink gold. That is the whole point of what I’m sharing. I want to make sure here that I do not forget anything regarding backlinks. Remember, links from low authority or spammy websites can hurt you. You might get an immediate bump in the eyes of Google before they look too deeply into it, which happens.

There’s no shortcut to powerful backlinks and hacking SEO. What you want to do is produce the content that Google wants to serve people when they search in the search bar. I’m talking about the organic search results, not the page search results. Anybody can pay money to come up in the advertisements, the first few above the organic search results. If you want to pay enough money, you can get visibility there. I’m talking about organically speaking your way to great SEO content on your website, but blogs that are going to get you backlinks from other websites.

If you’re a writer, having that link back to your main webpage or your About page creates a very powerful backlink. Share on X

Populated Links

Another backlink I should mention is in every one of these blog posts that work for people that work with Podetize, anything any podcast hosts or their guests mentions that there is a link to someone on the internet, all those links get populated within the blog post on your website. You have all these outbound links to other websites. There’s usually a summary of those links within that blog post, not just within all the texts.

A lot of those companies have professional IT people working on their websites, especially if they’re big companies. If you have mentioned them in your blog, they probably will follow you back, which means putting a link from their website back to yours as a reciprocal thing. That’s how a site like Consulting Success will get about 45,000 backlinks. That’s how it happens. Every one of these blog posts, like the one on TheBingeFactor.com, contains at least a dozen or more links to other websites.

It’s a cooperative thing where you link to other sites. They are going to take notice and link back to you. It becomes a very reciprocal type of relationship, certainly, with your podcast guests, that absolutely should be happening. Those working with Podetize, we know it is happening for them because we’re incentivizing that guest to do it, flattering them, making it easy for them to do it, and giving them a roadmap. Those backlinks are still very important. They become important for search, not just from Google, but search from other websites. This is that tangled worldwide web.

Creating An Authoritative Website

We talk about all these different sites interconnected. It’s how your website can become authoritative. You can be found by more of your ideal listeners. At the end of the day, that’s the whole point. Raise awareness for your show by people that are likely to be in alignment with what you talk about. It’s not only in searches in Google but being on other websites. It also markets and grows not only your podcast brand but also your business if your podcast is related to your business.

There you go. That’s my deep dive into backlinks for your website. I hope you’ve enjoyed that. We have a lot of other great topics on our website at Podetize.com. If you go to the Feed Your Brand podcast page where all our blogs are, there’s a search bar. You can search on any of these topics and find any of the past episodes, blogs or articles that we’ve written so you can get some support there. Thanks so much, everybody. It’s been great to share this with you. I’ll come back next time for another great episode.


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Tom Hazzard

As a top influence strategist for speakers, authors & experts, Tom Hazzard and helps major publications, sports stars, and entrepreneurial influencers ‘Brandcast’ their original messages via podcasting and videocasting. Tom is a real inventor and successful product designer with over 40 US patents issued and pending. He has been rethinking brand innovation for 30 years. His latest SaaS (Software-as-aService) and MaaS (Marketing-as-a-Service) innovation, Podetize, reinvents podcast hosting, advertising, and brand marketing with an obsessive podcaster-centric focus on solutions to get hosts seen, heard, found, and rewarded in our noisy digital world.
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