Successful link building drives your website up the search engine results, drawing significant attention and traffic. It can be confusing to people starting out, and if done incorrectly will significant harm your search engine rankings. Here are 10 of the most common mistakes to avoid when implementing a link building campaign.
1. Excessive Directory Submissions
Submitting your website to as many directories as you can does not have the impact it did several years ago. The only directories you should submit to are those highly relevant to your website, and reviewed by humans. Placing your website in several highly relevant and quality directories will pay more dividends than submitting to hundreds or thousands of unrelated directories.
2. Automated Article Submission
Using software or a service that sends your article out to be published on hundreds or thousands of websites is very harmful because excessive duplicate content is penalized by search engines. Instead, submit your article to sites that do not produce excessive copies of your article. EzineArticles is one such example.
3. Anchor Text Spamming
Anchor text is an important factor that tells search engines what that link is pointing to. Avoid using the exact same anchor text on all backlinks you create, as this is considered spam and unnatural by search engines. Instead, vary the wording of anchor text in a natural way.
4. Buying Links
Search engines, especially Google have cracked down on link buying, and heavily penalize websites that are caught doing it. Avoid buying links from websites that directly advertise they are selling links, these places are known by search engines. Instead, be more discreet and under the table if you are buying links, make sure you leave no online tracks and are not obvious.
6. Forum Spamming
Don’t register on forums simply to add links to your website in your signature. This is seen as spam by the forums and you may be kicked out. More importantly, these links do not have much weighting by search engines. If you do use a forum, make sure it is highly relevant to your content, and add value to it with solid posts.
7. Obsessing about Page Rank
Do not use page rank as a deciding factor in whether or not to obtain a link. It is simply one factor affecting your search engine rankings. More important than page rank is the quality, trust, and relevance of the content on the website you are obtaining a link from.
8. Placing Quantity Ahead of Quality
Link building is not only about the number of links to your website you can obtain. The quality of the links is very important. A few quality backlinks are more desirable than hundreds of irrelevant ones.
9. Avoiding NoFollow Backlinks
Never avoid obtaining a backlink to your website because it has the nofollow attribute. What you should be more concerned about is if the website with the backlink is similar and relevant to yours. Would you want to be associated with it? That is the most important question to ask yourself.
10. Using Link Farms
Link farms are groups of websites that link to every other website in the group. While this practice was effective many years ago, it is heavily penalized by search engines today and should be avoided.
Successful link building takes a lot of learning, patience, and practice. Keep up to date on how search engines treat various link building practices, as their algorithms constantly change, requiring you to adapt as well.