Link building constitutes an integral part of off-site and on-site SEO strategies and helps you get more traffic to your website. The principle behind link building is establishing trust between various online communities and your customers to enhance your website’s (and brand’s) authority on search engines. It also helps create a relationship with other websites in exchange for shared traffic.
Link building includes internal links and backlinks; therefore, it affects both on and off-page SEO. However, marketers and SEO experts still make a few common mistakes while trying to build quality links. These mistakes can often result in penalties, reduction in traffic, lower or no rankings, and if not fixed, can also lead to Google discrediting the website for good. To avoid all of this, here are some mistakes SEO professionals should avoid when working on link-building
1. Why should you avoid purchasing too many links?
Some websites sell backlinks by the dozen. It is common to get sidetracked and believe that purchasing links from sellers will save a lot of time and effort while generating higher traffic quickly. However, search engines do not reward this practice with good rankings on SERPs. It may seem logically impossible for search engines to identify between a purchased link and an original link. There exist patterns and clues that can help the search engine’s AI detect foul-play.
If caught, search engines like Google tend to penalize such practices as they violate their terms and guidelines. It can also permanently damage the website’s reputation and credibility. To avoid falling into such link-building traps, educating oneself on internal linking SEO is highly encouraged.
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2. Why should you avoid linking to websites with a dodgy reputation?
There are several websites out there that do not maintain standards of quality. Often the links to these websites lead to plagiarized, reported, or explicit content. Such websites also tend to employ black-hat SEO practices which are discouraged and penalized by search engines. Therefore, it is essential to avoid backlinking to such websites. Try to focus on websites with a high domain authority; otherwise, your website will carry a bad reputation just like the dodgy one.
3. Why should you avoid spamming links on your website?
There are two common ways link spamming is practiced. The first one tends to take place on comment sections of blogs and forums where users spam links on poor-quality websites. Such comments can be commonly found under posts that tend to get flagged and negatively ranked by search engines.
The other type is spamming anchor texts in a post. When websites try to use this spamming technique, search engines quickly pick up on it because the flow of content does not appear natural. Therefore, it is crucial to avoid any spamming strategies involving links because it also falls under the emblem of black-hat SEO practices.
4. Why should you avoid focusing on high DA websites?
It is essential to understand how search engine algorithms work. They are designed to pick up and rank the most authentic and natural-looking content they can easily crawl to. Also, it is generally believed that getting backlinks from websites with a higher DA tends to work in favor of a website. While this holds true, often, websites work on building excessively high DA backlinks.
There exists a myth that search engines treat this strategy as trying to hack the algorithm. Regardless, this practice makes a website seem less authentic. The key here is to build a natural mix of high DA and low DA backlinks to make one’s website seem genuine. Maintaining a balance and variation between backlinks is recommended. However, the credibility of backlinks should never be compromised.
5. Why should you avoid relying heavily on Private Blog Networks?
Another practice common in SEO circles is relying too much on PBNs. There exists a debate amongst SEO communities regarding labeling PBNs as grey-hat or black-hat practices. Regardless of the conclusion, it would be best to avoid using PBNs altogether instead of taking unnecessary hits on one’s website’s reputation. The reason being, getting penalized for using PBNs can lead to more issues than solutions to problems.
On the other hand, PBNs are an easy solution for those who wish to take a shorter approach to optimize for the search engine. Rest assured, such practices can result in getting punished by search engines, thereby doing more harm than good. Link building should be a natural process that requires an investment of time and effort. Getting organic traffic is a natural process. Using strategies to hack the system can result in penalties.
6. Why should you avoid neglecting social signals?
Search engine algorithms, especially Google, have gotten more intelligent over time. With the new release of updates, Google is trying to determine sites’ value through a different strategy. The algorithms now focus on signals that are harder to manipulate, such as social signals. Social signals, in simple words, are the number of shares a website’s content receives on social media. They serve as a signal for Google to determine that the content has inherent value, and since it is getting shared on social media, it deserves higher traffic. Therefore, Google ranks that content higher.
In other words, websites should invest in getting a higher number of shares on social media. Using legitimate users to get those shares goes without saying.
With this article, we’ve tried to assist SEO professionals and link builders in identifying the areas where they might have been committing errors unknowingly. The objective is to identify the consequences of these bad practices to hack the algorithm. It is always recommended to follow the guidelines and code of ethics laid down by search engines.
Finding shortcuts and indulging in black-hat practices might fulfill the objectives in the short-run. It will create a lot more traffic instantly (mostly irrelevant or subpar quality). However, the benefits will only be short-lived until the search engine AI takes note. Therefore, it is essential to utilize best practices and stay away from quick fixes on the path to success.