Assalamu alaikum, brother.
I have some concerns about ‘halal’ income.
I have websites where I do affiliate marketing. I earn a small commission when people buy through my link.
I get free visitors mostly from Google. Google ranks websites using different factors. Backlink is one of the most important factors. Google prohibits to create/pay for backlinks. Because by creating backlinks on your own or purchasing backlinks, you can manipulate the search result. But, without link building, it is very hard to get ranked in Google.
Google kinda playing here double standard. I am really confused. Should I follow Google guidelines properly? If I do that it will be hard to get ranked, therefore there will be fewer visitors, so less income. My competitors are doing free and paid link building and they get ranked in Google quite easily.
Google’s algorithm is not very good enough that it can differentiate which link is natural and which is paid. That’s why they prohibit link building.
Links about what is backlinks and how it works in 2020:
Here is google’s guideline about link building: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en
So, should I do link building to rank in Google or it will be not halal?
Please, let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
Since Google are very emphatic and specific in their prohibition of backlinks, and they will also ban and penalize anyone found guilty, it will not be permissible to earn whilst violating their terms and conditions. The fact that their are many others doing it, and Google does not have an algorithm which is good enough to differentiate, will not legalize this breach. This is exactly the same as a person working in a company and stealing from them, since they do not have a system in place to realize to lose and
Try alternate methods of SEO, and if it does not work out, then look at other avenues of earning. Allah Ta’ala says,
وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا . وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ ۚ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا
“Whosoever fears Allah (by abstaining from sins and fulfilling his obligations) Allah will open up ways for him out of every difficulty and Allah will provide sustenance for him from such avenues which he can least perceive. Whoever places his trust in Allah, Allah will suffice him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set a measure for all things.” (Surah at-Talaq, 2,3)
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)
This answer was collected from Fatwaa.com which is an excellent Q&A site managed by Mufti Ismail Moosa from South Africa. .