Google has worked very hard to improve the quality and relevance of its search results. SEOs, and website owners have had to adjust and adapt their link building strategies regularly over the years in order to remain at the top of the search engine results page, or SERP. Unfortunately, there have been many instances where people have either willingly, or unknowingly, attempted to cheat their way to higher PageRank with unfortunate results. As a website owner of integrity, it is up to you to rise above those types of link building strategies, educate yourself on how to do it correctly, and put in the work to achieve your desired results.
Though not an all-inclusive list, here are 5 link building pitfalls that you should avoid at all costs:
- Buying links – Buying links is the worst offense you can make under Google Law. Still, many people still think that they can get away with it in order to increase their PageRank easier and faster than putting in the work to do it correctly. This type of link building strategy is really quite risky, as Google has a firm, no questions asked policy about buying links. Once you’ve been caught, there is no question about whether you will be facing a penalty, only to what severity it will be handed down. Since purchasing links usually entails monthly subscriptions, this could potentially be a very expensive mistake.
- Link Networks & Link Wheels – In the early days of Google, Link Networks/Wheels were a real pain to Google. Basically, sneaky SEO’s would build a ton of websites and link them one to another, back and forth, to cheat their way to a higher web rank. Even though it took a ton of money and effort, it worked well for a while, regardless of how underhanded it was. However, no link network is foolproof. One reported or flagged link could alert Google to the entire network and once that happened, the entire thing would be penalized or de-indexed completely. It’s not only a huge waste of time, a futile one as well!
- Getting Backlinks From Irrelevant Websites – This is a common mistake that many website owners do. Remember that links point to or from a site should look and feel natural to the visitor and also to Google. If your site is about arts and crafts, it would be a huge red flag for Google to see it being linked to by health and wellness or dog training sites. These types of links do not help you and could, in fact, adversely affect your PageRank.
- Too Many Homepage Links – A good link builder realizes that most of their backlinks will point to their homepage. With that in mind, they will work towards getting links to other pages of their website in order to rank those pages as well. If all of your backlinks point to one page of your website, it will look suspicious to Google. Avoid this by having a good mix of backlinks to different pages of your website.
- Link Stuffing Instead Of Link Building – This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – stuffing a piece of content with as many links as you can in order to build a large number of backlinks. The fact of the matter is, the more links you have on a single page, the less value each link provides. And, as far as Google is concerned, this is a signal of manipulation and will dole out punishment quickly.
If you really think about it, as long as you are building your business based on honesty, authenticity, and integrity & providing quality content for your customers, it won’t be hard to avoid the link building pitfalls mentioned above. Put thought into what you are doing and why. If it seems dishonest or misleading to you, then it probably is – don’t do it.
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