Every business that wants to improve their SEO (search engine optimization) rankings will engage in link building. Link building is one of the most important SEO activities. According to Google, top-quality backlinks and content share the first place as being the most important ranking factors. High-quality backlinks can help businesses improve their website traffic, improve rankings and boost their conversion rate. However, creating such quality backlinks is no easy task and it certainly can't happen overnight.
Rushing to get links or paying no mind as to where you build your links will only result in penalties from search engines. Search engines don't hesitate to penalize black-hat link building strategies and their algorithms become more sophisticated each day. In other words, you can't fool search engines and they'll easily recognize any wrongdoings. That's why it's important to take your link building strategy seriously and ensure you have only the best backlinks for your website or blog. With that in mind, here are a few of the top link building blunders any business should shun.
Quantity over quality
Many businesses believe that they'll boost their website's ranking on search engines by having as many backlinks as possible. For that effort, they're willing to build backlinks almost anywhere and pay no attention to the link's quality. That is a recipe for a link building disaster.
As mentioned before, top-quality backlinks are one the most important ranking factors, which means you must focus on the quality and not the number of backlinks. However, how is a link quality determined? Simply put, a link has a quality score, also called a PageRank. The quality of a backlink is determined by a few factors.
Source – The more reputable and credible the sources you build backlinks at, the more quality your links will have. Low-quality websites will reduce the quality of your links.
Relevance – Your backlinks must be relevant to the content on your website and to the content on the source of your backlink. If your links lack relevance, search engines might consider it a black-hat technique.
Content – Content is of the utmost importance for both link building and SEO in general. If your content isn't relevant, informative, educational or entertaining enough, then search engines won't reward your links with good rankings.
Buying links to boost your rank
Link building is a demanding and time-consuming task. Many businesses decide to skip the difficulties and buy links instead. This is a huge mistake you should avoid at all times. Buying links is considered a black-hat activity by search engines. In other words, you're not building backlinks organically and search engines simply don't tolerate such activities.
Buying links or having links on so-called "link farms" will get you penalized, if not banned altogether. Instead of risking everything, you should consider leveraging reliable link building tools that will help you find valuable prospects for your link building strategy and avoid shady websites. As you may already know, search engine algorithms are updated regularly, sometimes a couple of times a day. That means that sooner or later, search engines will find out about your purchased links and penalize you for it.
Spam your links
It's no secret that SEO takes some time before it starts producing viable results. The same goes for link building as well. In other words, you cannot rush things and expect good results. Building backlinks too fast results in penalties, instead of a ranking boost. Doing things too fast gives search engines a signal that you're too aggressive with your link building and that you're basically trying to force yourself to the top of the search results.
If you manage to build 10,000 links in one week, you're more likely to get banned from search results than reach the top of the first page. Therefore, focus on getting a quality backlink from a single source with a high domain authority instead of having a 100 backlinks from sources with a low score. Simply put, don't rush your link building campaign. In time, you'll be rewarded for your patience and for your efforts.
No need for link diversity
You can build same old backlinks on the same sources over and over again and you'll get a ranking boost. That statement is entirely wrong. Getting the most out of your link building campaigns oftentimes comes down to link diversity. For instance, posting the same article on different sources won't improve the quality of your backlinks or improve your ranking score. Instead, you must make your link building portfolio seem more natural and organic, i.e. diversify it. Here's an example of what you should do.
Don't use the same anchor text – Anchor text encompasses your keyword and represents a visible and clickable text in your hyperlink. Using the same anchor text for your backlinks won't do you any good. Instead, use a different anchor that's still relevant every time you create a backlink on a different source.
Optimize your anchor text – Aside from changing the anchor text for your backlinks, you must also ensure it’s SEO-friendly. In other words, help search engines understand the content and the context of the link's destination.
Include no-follow links – It's no secret that only do-follow links determine your rankings. However, that's no reason to avoid no-follow links altogether. No-follow links are beneficial for referral traffic and for making your link building strategy more organic.
If you build it, they will come
As mentioned before, link building is a demanding and time-consuming process. It takes both effort and dedication to develop high-quality links. In essence, developing content, optimizing the anchor text or establishing a strategy for link building won't actually create backlinks. Instead, you have to make an effort to find reputable sources and establish good relationships with the web owners, in order to have an opportunity to build a link there.
Guest posting, broken link building and any other method requires you to give something to get something in return. That includes reaching out to other people and establishing a connection with them. No one will allow you to create a backlink on their website or blog, just because you have an article ready to go.
Many businesses oftentimes believe that link building is simple and that search engines will let anything slide. Truth be told, there are no cutting corners when it comes to creating backlinks that have the quality to boost your rankings. Therefore, it's best to focus on doing things the right way instead of making a mistake that will cost you more than you've bargained for.