Check out link building errors that may be hindering your SEO strategy.
It’s no secret that having links pointing to your domain is one of the main factors taken into account when defining the authority of your site, directly influencing its placement on search pages.
As an essential part of an SEO strategy, it’s important to know good link building practices , but it’s crucial to understand which tactics are not welcomed by search engines, and may even be penalized. .
This text will focus on the key mistakes you should avoid in your link building strategy .
To understand why Google penalizes some types of links, you need to understand how Google values the value of a link. For the tool, a link must be a natural way of delivering value to a user, using another page as the source of that value .
This other page may be from your own domain or from a different domain. The important thing is that the link has relevance within the context of the page where it appears .
Based on this, we will understand how each of the links listed can be viewed negatively by the search engine.
Let’s start with the easiest ways to get caught and punished by Google, and then address some points where attention and discernment are important.
Do not buy or sell links
Google is increasingly prepared to identify unused links naturally, and the same goes for purchased links. Think that every link that points to or is pointed to by your domain is a record of its value. You want to ensure that all records are positive, so be careful when negotiating them.
Buying and selling links is one of Google’s biggest points of attention, and it’s definitely territory you want to stay away from. After all there are much better ways to build authority.
Remembering that if you want to place a business partner link on your page, you can try placing it naturally, or inserting the NoFollow tag. This tag causes the search engine not to follow the link, and therefore does not associate the two domains.
Do not use private blog networks
This feature is about creating a network of private blogs, on different domains of your site, to generate links to your main site where you focus on capturing customers. So you can’t have a blog in another domain?
Of course you can! The important thing is to make sure your blog has relevance by itself.
If your private blog is constantly being updated, receiving visitors, new content, and external links, it’s likely to generate value, and you have nothing to worry about.
However if you plan to purchase multiple deactivated domains to generate links, and leave them “moth-free,” you will have a big problem at hand. If Google understands that these domains only exist to house links to your primary domain, it will penalize you.
Don’t use hidden links
Using hidden links, such as a white text link on a white background, was once an easy way to get links to rank. Today is one of the easiest ways to be spotted by Google.
Hidden links do not add any value to the user, and are intended to manipulate search engines only, so it is seen as negative and will result in penalties for your domain.
Do not use directory links
Link directories were once the best way to accumulate a large number of links pointing to your site. Today, however, several reference directories, such as Dmoz and Dihitt, don’t even exist anymore.
Having your link in a directory generates no clicks and no credibility: is a step backwards in your strategy . Focus your attention on getting only links that really add value.
Do not use tools to create links
There are a number of tools that can help you monitor the links you receive, and prospect for quality link sources. However, tools that aim to automatically link to other sites will throw your pagerank to the ground!
Tools such as ScrapeBox, which have become famous for generating a large number of links on other sites, are now easily detected and penalized by Google, which sees them as spam. You definitely don’t want this for your site.
Be careful with Guest posts
Guest posts are a great way to reach different audiences by spreading your company name on other blogs, generating value, gaining market authority. However it is important that you stick to guest posts that are meant to generate valuable content.
Swapping guest posts just to link to other domains is a hit, and Google is increasingly prepared to detect links that don’t come from content and value sources.
Take care of site-wide links
Site-wide links are equal external links that are on multiple pages of the same site, usually at the same page position. This type of link is extremely common, and can be viewed naturally by Google.
There are two factors that must be taken into consideration when evaluating site-wide links. The first is the fact that as the number of links from one domain to another grows, the relevance of each decreases. A site’s 20th link to yours will have much less or no weight compared to the first.
The second is that it is important to evaluate the link and relevance of the connection between the sites. Site-wide links can be harmless and beneficial if they have a logical connection, or negative and passive punishment if they don’t.
To ensure that the site-wide links your site has do not negatively affect your page rank, place the nofollow attribute on each one.
Beware of links in comments
Links in the comments section is one of Google engineers’ biggest points of attention when looking for spam. They are a very easy way to place your link in another domain, but also one of the simplest ways to get caught and punished.
Links in comments can be very valuable, and have only positive effects on your placement, as long as they follow the same link value logic that Google takes into account with any other link.
Is your comment relevant? Does it add value to page content? Does the link placed in the comment make sense in this context? Will it add to the person who clicks it?
These questions are crucial in determining whether you should link to your domain in a comment section.
Take care of specific anchor texts
Anchor text is the visible and clickable text that contains the link to another domain. Since it has become a factor evaluated by search engines, it is important to have anchor texts that meet your requirements.
An anchor text must fit the context of the linking page. The anchor text should be a natural continuation of the subject matter , and the connection between what is written and the linked page must be clear. If people click on your link, and when they arrive at the destination they find it unrelated, they will leave the page quickly, showing Google that the link was not helpful.
Another caution is not to ask all links you receive to have the same anchor text. Even if they all come from business partners, having all the anchor texts saying something like ‘Company X – The best in service y’ may sound programmed for search engines.
Whenever you see a link to your underused site, ask for a natural change to anchor text.