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May 23, 2017

10 Link Building Tactics to Avoid in 2017

Backlinks (links) from other websites are still good for your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) because it indicates to Google that your website is popular. Backlinks from other websites are also handy because they draw in a fair amount of direct traffic, especially if you gain links from other websites that work in your website’s niche.

Building links is a good idea, but it is easy to get it wrong. Here are 10 link-building tactics to avoid this year:

1. Creating Cheap, Flimsy Or Useless Content

If you are going to write content for your own website, do it right. Cheap or poor-quality content may be quick and easy, but it gives others less reason to link to your website. Create high-quality and very useful content, and you will attract links like a beautiful woman attracts praise.

2. Grabbing Links From Any Old Website

Getting links from other websites is always helpful because it increases the chances of getting more direct traffic. However, links from some websites may not help your case. Some newer and less-maintained websites are destined to become spam websites, and too many links from spam websites will hurt your website’s credibility.

3. Poorly Planned Content Marketing

A classic example of poorly planned content marketing is when people concentrate almost exclusively on social media. They get plenty of mentions and links from social media, but they end up with nothing to show for it after a month or so.

4. Buying Links For Your Website

Spending money to have somebody else link to your website is still a dumb idea. This also includes if you are paying another company or website to allow you to guest post. Google always becomes aware of which websites are buying links and typically lowers their standing on the search engine results because of it.

5. Relying Heavily on Press Release Websites

If you are one of these people who is still submitting press release after press release, then please stop it for your own sake. The value of press releases is so tiny that you could put your effort into almost any other link-building avenue and get better results. Google relies on authority websites to produce rank-worthy news.

6. Random Link Exchanges

The logic seems sound. After all, if it is a random link exchange, then how can Google ever be sure you swapped links with others? You get a link, another person gets a link, and no connection is made between you and the many other link exchange users. There are two reasons why random link exchanges are a bad idea in theory.

The first reason is because there is no guarantee that the website that links to you is in the same niche as yours, especially if you have a very limited or highly targeted niche. The second reason is because heavy link exchange users will create a pattern that Google can follow.

7. Over-Linking in the Hopes of Pulling More Traffic

Any form of over-linking is a bad idea. A big surge in your backlinks is going to look suspicious if it is not backed up with a similar surge in website, search engine and social media activity, and it is unlikely that you will be able to generate such a surge in popularity.

8. Setting Up a Bunch of Websites With the Aim of Linking Them

One trick is to set up a number of different websites and then keep linking from them. It is a great idea in theory, but it requires a lot of work and effort from you. Each website needs to be interesting, useful and frequently updated. Each needs to be able to attract users and maintain its own popularity. Having just one website is hard enough, and few people are able to manage several websites at one time. Instead of having one great website, such people end up with several mediocre websites.

9. The Use of Any Off-Page Automated Link Building

Nobody with any sense still uses blog comment programs, but there are still link acquisition programs out there that help people build off-page links without putting in the effort. Even if such automated means work well right now, it won’t be long before Google changes the rules to punish people who use them.

10. Over Optimizing Anchor Text

Some people still stuff too many keywords into their anchor text when they link from off-page websites. Don’t make the same mistake. Add your anchor text in a manner that makes the most sense. There is a lot of online chatter about the wrong type of anchor text and how using words such as “link” may be a bad idea, but even a backlink that says “Link” is more powerful and/or useful than no link at all, so don’t worry too much about it. Even over optimized anchor text isn’t the end of the world, it is just a little unnecessary.

Page Popularity Always Wins Over Link Building

If you are trying to increase your rank in Google’s search engine results, then the popularity of each page will have a bigger effect than any of your link building tactics. There is nothing wrong with a little link building if you want to gain a little extra traffic, but think more about each page’s popularity if you want to prosper in a big way.


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Robert Morris is a marketing manager and a freelance writer with 10 years of experience. He writes about branding, SEO, content marketing and social media optimization. Now he works for the essay writing blog Askpetersen.

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