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July 1, 2012

10 SEO and Link Building Mistakes

Mistake 1 – Neglecting On-page Optimization:

I think more people are beginning to understand the importance of on-page optimization when it comes to ranking their web pages. With so much focus on keywords and link building though, often I see webmasters focusing too heavily on the “off page” stuff, without realizing what they do “on” their website is just as important. Proper internal linking, keyword density, LSI, image text, no follow tags, just to name a few, are also very important to search engines. There are free plugins available to help you with a lot of this stuff, so do your due diligence and implement whatever strategies need be.

Mistake 2 – Freaking Out When Rankings Plummet:

Go onto any internet marketing forum and you will see this every single time. People are literally freaking out when they see their rankings drop. Most often this is due to a thing we call the Google dance. All new websites go through what is called a “honeymoon” period where their websites rank very well at the beginning, but after a couple of weeks they settle in the search results… usually at a much lower ranking, again, this is natural.

If your websites have age and have dropped in rankings, you may need to work harder to get your position back. You may need to update your content more often, you may need to build more backlinks or you may need to re-evaluate your SEO strategy. Google’s algorithm is changing frequently these days so it’s important to find out what they want, and go give it to them. The days of gaming the system through black-hat techniques is coming to an end.

Mistake 3 – Writing for the Search Engines:

This is one of the biggest mistakes I see being made day in and day out. Webmasters are writing terrible content that is keyword stuffed for the bots. While it is important to have a certain keyword structure within your content so that the search engines know what your content is about, it is very important that you write for the human visitor FIRST. Some say for every 100 words, you should have your keyword inserted once. So, if you have a 1000 word post, you will put your target keyword into the article 10 times. I think this is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Make sure that when you read your article out loud, that it sounds natural and not robotic like. Always remember, if inserting your keyword too often into your post takes away from the natural flow of the article itself… then do not do it. Google is clamping down really hard on over optimized websites. Always write with your target human visitor in mind.

Mistake 4 – Building Thousands of Low Quality Links:

I cannot believe this is still going on with all of the changes Google has made. There are still idiots out there blasting thousands of links to their money sites in the hope of climbing the serps. I was offered 10,000 free links the other day to my website and I told the person to take a run and jump. Those kinds of links are going to have an adverse affect on your ranking. It has to be bloody obvious that Google hates these kinds of links and, if your business is solely dependent on this kind of strategy, then you are playing the fools game. One solid PR5 backlink from a relevant site will be far more powerful than a million links from low quality, non-relevant crappy sites.

Mistake 5 – Not Being Aware of Nofollow and Dofollow:

When I first started out in this industry I had no idea about these two terms. I built a lot of links to one of my first websites and it was taking forever to gain traction in the serps. After a bit of investigating I found that almost all of my backlinks were placed on web pages that were nofollow. Needless to say, those links were just not as effective for rankings as the dofollow links I needed. I’m not saying that nofollow links don’t have their place. In fact, it’s important to have diversity in your linking structure, but most of your links must be dofollow to gain maximum benefit.

Mistake 6 – Expecting Quick Results:

I know when I first started online, I expected to make a lot of money fairly quickly. Boy was I brought back down to earth over the next 6 – 12 months. I almost threw in the towel on more than one occasion because it became very frustrating, trying to make this thing work for me. I built website after website, built a hell of a lot of backlinks, wrote hundreds of articles and participated in all the social media sites, but, it just wasn’t happening as quick as I was led to believe it would.

I realized later on that NOBODY makes money online quickly. They all have to put in the hard work. Your progress can be accelerated if you are willing to spend some cash and outsource a lot of the grunt work, but in my experience, expecting to make money very quickly online usually works against you in the long run. The failure rate is so high because people find this out the hard way.

Mistake 7 – Not Being Consistent:

If you are serious about making money online then you must be consistent every single day with your efforts. This can be the biggest stumbling block for many. It almost was for me. You can work very hard to get top search engine rankings for a particular keyword, but even after the fact, you still have to be consistent with your efforts, else your competitors will overtake you fairly quickly. Everything you do in regards to your online business has got to be consistent. You must put the work in everyday if you are to see the results you’re after. Go read Jeff Olsen’s “The Slight Edge” and practice what you learn.

Mistake 8 – Not Diversifying Your Link Building:

To make your link building look natural, it’s important to gain backlinks from many different sources. Backlinks from just article directories and no other places for example, do not look natural and can hurt your rankings. You need to get links from social media sites, article directories, blogs, blog comments, forums etc. Diversifying your link building looks natural and can put you ahead of your competitors in the search results. A naturally good website will get links from many places, not just one or two.

Mistake 9 – Not Getting High Page Rank Links:

Every day you are backlinking, you should be looking to place your links onto high PR websites. Google values links placed on higher PR websites exponentially higher than low PR websites. These links are obviously harder to get, but that is exactly the point. The harder it is to get a link, the more valuable that link is likely to be. This is why all these push button software programs that can get you thousands of links are crap. You will not come across a software program that gets you high quality backlinks with the push of a button. Anyone who tells you differently is either lying or a moron.

Mistake 10 – Not Updating Your Content Often Enough:

Obviously the more high quality backlinks pointing to your content, the higher your search engine rankings will be. You will then get lots of free traffic. While this is the basic approach that everybody uses to climb the serps, there is another way. Google loves websites that update often. I have built a website that has very few backlinks pointing to it that gets me 10,000 visitors a month from the search engines. The reason for this is because I regularly update my content.

I see webmasters spending so much time building backlinks to their websites every day. This is important of course, but if they actually spent an hour each day writing a new post for their website, they would get far more traffic further down the line. I know this works because I have used this approach many times in the past. With all the Panda’s and Penguins about these days, I have found my websites gain higher search rankings, simply because I always have fresh content on my sites. If you do not want to write every day, then write at least 3 times a week – it helps.

Article by Declan O Flaherty. We don’t make mistakes when we teach people how to market online. See for yourself with our 100% FREE Training Bootcamp Series.

47 Responses to “10 SEO and Link Building Mistakes

    Great article and right to the point! I have experienced everything you have described in your article. Having your own website is a lot of work and it needs to be done right. I have been blogging for 2 years and am still learning new things every day. Blogging is not a business to get rich quick – that’s for sure. Thanks for posting these useful tips!

    I agree with all your 10 points. I would include to vary your anchor text for your backlinks as much as possible, according to Google’s Panda and Penguin guidelines and buy or renew your domains for at least 2 years.

    avatar Stuart Taylor says:

    This is something that I have been doing a lot of research into recently as I have been starting a few SEO campaigns.

    Something to add to point 4, using a link building service is never a good idea. I recently had a client who used a directory submission service who submitted their link to sites like and this obviously had an adverse effect.

    avatar khaled says:

    Great post , it will help all webmasters
    thank you very much

    avatar Alec Ward says:

    Good article but you are forgetting’ snippets’. A good snippet, 160 characters or so, can be as good for search rankings as a well thought out ‘description’.

    avatar The wise investor says:

    Just been through the Honnymoon period with my site. Visitors have dropped back by about 30%. One question where do you get do follow links from.

    One solid PR5 backlink from a relevant site will be far more powerful than a million links from low quality, non-relevant crappy sites. A very fruitful information. Thankyou Declan O Flaherty

    avatar Avish says:

    Excellent Information Thanks for sharing

    avatar Victoria says:

    This is excellent and exactly why I focus on at least adding 1 new post a day, if not 3.

    One thing that does get tiring is all the spam comments, but I have noticed a lot more traffic that is organic.

    Thanks for an excellent and helpful post!


    avatar e-solutions says:

    Great article.

    I do find it tough some days when things aren’t quite going the way you want them to. However just gonna stick in there and keep going.

    avatar Rich says:

    Great blogpost. Very informative information. Nice share. Thanks for helping.

    I totally agree with everything you posted. You can’t do everything yourself and will need to hire others to help. However, there are also alot of con’s out there that will tell you they will do work for you and if you don’t know how to do the work yourself then you don’t know if they really did the work or did a good job and you may have paid someone for nothing. Know how to do the job your paying someone else to do so you can verify their work. Thanks for sharing and reminding us of these steps for a successful online business

    avatar AC says:

    Very helpful. Thank you so much for the nofollow and dofollow advice. I always knew this but it was nice to have someone hammer it into my head a bit to make it stick. Sometimes doing all of this SEO feels sisyphisian. Good to know tried and true methods from a pro.

    avatar Michelle Maria Nicholas says:

    I am relevant new to Internet Marketing. I started learning the craft 2 years ago and only in the last 6 monthe made the leap to devlop my business around the service. I get offers regularly for link exchange which I either ignore or respond to with a no. However, even though I’ve seen companies link to my website without my approval. I don’t offer link building service and I don’t consider it to be a self sustaining strategy to increasing rankings and visibility. Social networking and snippets will soon erode those link building services being offered as it is too abused. But in the mean time, is there something that one can do about linking to my site by spammy websites? These links do not contribute anything to my business.

    avatar phil says:

    Articles like this helps people like me to avoid these mistakes and also gives me hope that one day i will start making good money online, so thanks and keep up the good work

    avatar Ola says:

    Well written article that explains all the nooks and crannies of search engine optimization and this will surely helps a lot of business owners to understand how SEO works. If anyone provides SEO service or needs SEO service, please check out for further details.

    Great article. I am in the process of trying to outsource some of my link building so I can concentrate on designing exhibition stands – as there are just not enough hours in the day to do both. My freelancer is now getting much better results for me. Getting into a good routine…like you say – to update your website is best. My biggest problem is that you get very anal checking on search engine positions – rather than getting stuck in and doing the actual on-site work itself.

    avatar Mehmet says:

    it is very helpful, thank you.

    avatar R.Baylon - SEO Expert says:

    Thanks for the useful information. This deserves a tweet! I have encountered a lot of clients who expect quick results. I always have to explain to them that SEO is a long term activity and results don’t happen overnight.

    Thank you very much! – My english is not very good – but i understood most – and i realy love your article. – Is there a chance, that you could help me with my website also ?

    best regards from Vienna


    Thanks for the article. I have now noticed mobile sites showing up in the SERP’s. It may also be a very good idea for businesses to create their mobile web presence.

    avatar Terry Burgess says:

    Good read.

    I wish I had read it 6 months ago so I wouldn’t be shaking my head in agreement as I read each point.


    avatar Walter says:

    Mistake 11: Not using social media.

    Very nice article, keep doing this!

    It can be really difficult when you’re following all these guidelines, but your site still takes a hit and you really can’t tell why. There are lots of tools which will tell you the difference between your link profile and a competitor’s, but when there appears to be little difference, it’s really frustrating. I read that Google is rumoured to be bringing in a new system, whereby you can request that they ignore certain links (say if a rival or dodgy SEO service has created links from bad neighbourhoods); any idea if that’s still coming?

    avatar Barb says:

    Victoria, to get rid of the spam comments, click to edit your post, scroll down then uncheck the “allow comments” on your posts. Or you can activate the Akismet plugin and configure it to not show any comments unless you authorize them.

    I got so sick of the spam, the ability to comment has been turned off. The comments never related to the post, so there was no reason to allow it.

    avatar Pesi says:

    Great information and so succinctly put!
    One question though – I am as ignorant as you once were about no-follow/do-follow links. From what I understand, why would anyone need no-follow links at all? Don’t we want as many links as possible to be followed?

    Thanks Declan for your wonderful article I do know for a fact that the #1 reason most people fail is because they do not see results right away and quit. I have seen this first hand. Thanks for sharing your story perhaps it will help others follow through and take consistent action to reach their goals in life. Keep up the Great Work Chery
    Love What You DO & Do What You Love

    avatar Noriel says:

    Excellent article! Very straightforward. Many of the mistakes pointed here seems to be matching with what I am doing. Though some tips are being done by me, I need to improve more. Thanks for sharing this article. I like Mistake #6. I believe most entrepreneurs are expecting quick results. But it’s the not. I’m on my 8th month and I’m still not getting it. Maybe on the 12th or 18th.

    Liked your content.
    Am practising seo…
    Would help me a lot….

    avatar Alex Faiers says:

    Good advice, good article – we’ve seen a lot of freaking out lately! Keep calm and carry on – optimise for the user and the rankings will follow…

    Thanks for posting these useful tips! No easy and fast ways to be on top of Google, we just will keep and trying our best!

    avatar Steve Markey says:

    I find you article to be very useful, just curious but actually how long did it take before you started to make money?

    avatar Raul says:

    Verry good article. This are the steps that needs to be followed to get a good ranking in organic search.
    Great post – really opened my eyes.
    Thank you,

    avatar widyanti says:

    useful article for me to optimize my blog. Consistency in managing the blog turns out to be the most important key of SEO.

    avatar Coseom says:

    Excellent article. These all tips should be in mind while doing SEO of any website and all are very beneficial to get ranking on search engines. Thanks for great share

    We are really impressed with your great information. Keep it up……

    avatar max says:

    Thanks for sharing such vital information with us. sorry but i need some more clear cut information about follow & nofollow.

    Thanks for the article- picked up some great tips. What I identified the most, however, is the issue of ‘patience’. It can be very frustrating when trying to communicate to clients that it takes TIME to get ‘locked in’ at those top spot in Google. There is not one easy solution and there is no guarantee or specific timeline. It’s important to remember that if you stick with it and have patience you will eventually reap some great benefits.

    Very nice to read about some very good point on Seo mistake it’s give me lot of good ideas to work on. biuro rachunkowe Gliwice

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the net. I’m going to highly recommend this website!

    avatar digiturk says:

    I believe that I learn things very well, thank you

    avatar mobile marketing forums says:

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something too few folks are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy that I came across this during my search for something concerning this.

    avatar Alexia says:

    What you wrote is absolutely correct and genuine; it is really hard to get dofollow blogs with highpage rank. best known to me is wiki, which is also a nofollow website.

    Surely your article is a wise advice for many of us… thanks for reminding us once again for what may go wrong with us.

    Thanks once again

    avatar Oluwatobi says:

    Great post Declan! I wish I have seen this post before my latest blog post, i would have made some adjustment; Anyways, I really enjoyed this post, thanks for pointing out the common mistakes that beginner bloggers make when starting out!

    avatar Rubel says:


    I do agree with some of the points you are making here..

    I also think this is a great thing to talk about, considering that knowing what to do is only half of the battle; you also need to know what to avoid when link building.

    However, I also have to disagree on a few points.

    Natural Anchor Text: It should look like the links were built by users, not for SEO sake. Don’t use the same anchor text in all your links; vary it by throwing in a useless word here and there and yes, do a few “click here” anchors as well.

    Links from Varied PR Pages: Don’t make it a point to get all your links for PR 5+ pages. As you can imagine, that kind of SEO link building looks unnatural.

    Also, your links Should Not Be Temporary. If you employ a link building company or use subscription software and pay a monthly fee for SEO link building services, then your links are only good for as long you are paying for them. As soon as you stop, your links will disappear.

    It’s been speculated that this can even be a factor of the Google Sandbox filter.

    My personal opinion: save your money. There are plenty of ways to get permanent links that are absolutely free – i.e. done by you.

    What do you think about my suggestions?

    avatar Reene says:


    When it comes to Link building, I always fall behind, don’t know why, but I have never succeeded, when it tried building links manually, although, I am good at writing content and sometimes, I get natural links, but not much, those links are not enough.

    So, I tried things like Guest Posting, but never has any benefit from it.

    Now, I am very much confused, whether to build links to not.

    What Should I do now? Should I build Links or avoid?

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