Very interesting case study: Flaticon is “buying” dofollow backlinks at an unimagined scale, and they have built a $20 million business around this. Google is simply closing their eyes on this, ignoring their “black-hat” SEO strategies that they have been using for many years.

With over 70K unique domains linking back to them, no wonder that they dominate the SERP for almost all icon related keywords.

Now to clarify things, they are not really buying links as in the traditional method.

But they state that in order to use their icons, you either subscribe to their service (£80/y), or you must link back to their website.

❗And they provide you with an HTML code containing a “dofollow” link – which is clearly against Google’s guidelines, and this practice got many small, insignificant websites a manual penalty.

Now, if the link that they require would contain the “nofollow” tag, I would not be posting this.

It seems a bit unfair for G to let the big players get away with unapproved techniques at a large scale, while they threaten, and penalise small players.

Do you think that they get away with this because the anchor text in the link is a branded one?

Or do you think that they might need to get those 10Ks of domains to nofollow their links, due to a future penalty?

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