Top 5 Backlinking Mistakes to Avoid in Your SEO Campaign

linkbuilding-mistakeSearch engine optimization is an ever-evolving process. The major platforms – Google and Bing being the most popular – update their algorithms frequently in order to provide the best service to their users.

For those trying to rank their sites, these changes can be confusing. However, backlinks still remain at the heart of SEO, with only their application changing.

Simple or outdated mistakes when backlinking can damage any chances of a site ranking, but these errors can almost always be avoided.

The following mistakes have been made by all SEO professionals, with the experience playing a part in future successes.  Also remember, not anyone, not even I know exactly what Google really thinks about links.

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Over-Optimizing Anchor Text

Anchor text should appear natural, but an over-reliance on a small number of terms is common.

SEO typically takes time to achieve results, so many people attempt to quicken the process by acquiring more links. However, the overall result is to make your link pattern appear unnatural.

SEO requires patience and planning, so ensure you are cautious with your backlinks. A typical backlink profile will include branded terms, the URL, main keyword variations, and broader industry terms.

Linking from Irrelevant Sites

Relevancy has taken on a greater importance, with search engines better able to discern the theme of each page. If you have a large number of links from irrelevant niches, this will look unnatural and could cause problems.

If you have a site about golf, for example, a link from a powerful golf site will have authority and relevance. You can still get results from vastly different sites, but this could cause a problem in the future, particularly when it is done in bulk.

Using Sites with Spam Penalties

Links from sites with spam penalties can be problematic, particularly if you receive a high number of them. A site can look normal, but it could have been flagged in the past.

There are a few quick checks you can perform, though, and they should give you a clear impression.

A search for the URL in the search engines should give you one of the top placements.

If the site does not appear on the first few pages, or is not even indexed, it is likely penalized.

Using the Wayback Machine, check if there are any signs of low-quality content, spammy niches, or excessive linking activity in its previous incarnation.

Finally, Moz Open Site Explorer has a spam rating that could flag up any problems with a domain.

Again, not every site’s backlink profile is perfect.  Every site has one, two or even a few bad links.  Just don’t make a habit of building spam links.

Always check before building.  Another great place to do this is Link Research Tools.

Building Links Too Quickly

As mentioned, SEO requires patience, but it is easy to go overboard when you first start promoting. A burst of links is not always a problem, with a new piece of content naturally bringing about an influx of backlinks.

However, if a new site suddenly starts receiving many new links, particularly in niches where this is uncommon, it can appear strange.

It is important to build authority first, using quality press release services, directories, and citations, so any subsequent links do not cause problems.  And notice the word quality.

Stopping Link Building

Another common mistake is to promote your site heavily, see some good search engine results, then stop promoting your site. An authority site should be receiving backlinks on a consistent basis, with content releases and news causing an increase.

When a site stops receiving new links, it can appear unnatural, but it will also suggest that the site has lost popularity. A site that is no longer as popular should eventually start to slip down the rankings.

Individually, each of these mistakes should not be too damaging on a small scale.

However, if these mistakes are made a great deal in unison, for example quickly gaining a large number of spammy links with limited anchor text, you can expect problems.

Look to gain authority by finding quality links from reputable sites, track your backlinks with a service like Moz or Majestic, and ensure your on-page optimization is taken care of.

Search algorithms will continue to change, but avoiding these mistakes will put you in the best position for long-term success.

If you really try and take short cuts, you are only setting yourself up for disaster.  I have seen many people spam their way to the top of Google, were there for a little while and then an update hit and they were gone.

While this may be ok for blackhat Seo’s who play the game of churn and burn, it is not a strategy to take with a real business or client who is paying you good money and depending upon you.

When approaching linkbuilding, you need to think long term.  And, if you do things right, you can gain a lot of traffic in the process.

What you need is to, stick with quality relevant links and don’t worry about things like no=follow.  If the link will bring you traffic and is relevant, then get the link.  Not everything needs to be about Google all the time.

There is where many Seo’s make mistakes, thinking about nothing more than Google.

But, there is so much more out there than just a search engine.  Yes, it is one of the best and highest converting sources of traffic out there.  But you need to protect yourself and your business and build links that will send traffic also.

Risks Involved With Linkbuilding?

Are there inherent risks involved when it comes to link building?  Yes, there are.  Some may not be noticed for years and some may be noticed quickly.  However, if you build links to your websites and or blog, you should be aware there are things that could happen down the road.

Micheal Martinez wrote a great post lately about how to assess so called white hat linkbuilding risks.  It is a great post and I highly recommend you read it, if you want to see the other side of linkbuilding and all the efforts you are making.

In his post Micheal covers many of today’s popular linkbuilding techniques and how risky each one can be.

Why Are There Risks Involved With LinkBuilding?

Well, for one, most people just care about one thing.  And that one thing is, gaming Google and worrying about search engine rankings.  But, on the other side of the coin, it makes sense why people do this.  After all the web is all about content and links.  And search engine traffic is one of the best converting sources of traffic out there.  Especially if you know what you are doing.

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But there is one thing many people forget and that is Google and other search engines are filled with smart PHD people who have nothing to do all day but think about search and web spam.  And if you think engines like Google, are not investing huge amounts of money in fighting web spam, then I’m afraid you are wrong.

Sure, something may work for you now but, will it work in the future and more importantly, can you fix it when and if it does come around to bite you?  So, if you have one websites and all your blood sweat and tears are in it.  Think twice about who you take advice from.

Taking The Easy Route

Iv’e seen it for years.  Many people either do not know what they are doing or they just think they can get away with it.  But, either way, many people try and take the easy route when it comes to gaining rankings.  Does it work for some?  Hell Yes it does.  But again, do you know how to fix things when they go wrong?

Also, the web its littered with huge amounts of bad advice especially when it comes to linkbuiding.  And there are so many so called experts now popping up all over the place.  And many just have 6 months to a year experience when it comes to web marketing and or search engines.

Build It And They Will Come

I have seen people ask in forums over and over.  How do I make my website high in Google?  And then someone goes on to give crappy advice about build these links and Blah, Blah Blah.  So what do most people do?  Well, they build a few articles and then try and get as many links as they can.

So what about building content and trying to gain links naturally?  Well, I hear people screaming all the time, “this does not work man”! or “don’t give me that crap”!

But, lets go back to what the web is made of.  Again, that is content and links.  So, the question becomes, what drives the other?  Do links drive content?  Or does content drive links?  Interesting isn’t it, when you think about it that way?

Take for instance, the worlds biggest websites.  Mashable, Lifehack, Microsoft, Amazon and even more.  What is the biggest thing these sites all have in common?  Yes, you guessed it, it’s content.  So which drives which?  You be the Judge.

Why Build Content?

So, why do you build content.  Ok, take for instance a newspaper.  What if that newspaper had some articles and then was all mostly ads?  And, you bought a copy.  Would you buy a copy ever again?  Or what if you subscribed to a newsletter for $20 a month and you found the same thing?  Would you cancel your subscription?  I though so.

In my opinion, it’s actually content that drives links.  Your first quest should be to help people with your content.  Why?  Well lets go back to the newspaper ads example.  If all you do is sell, people tired of this easily.  They move on to something else that keeps their interest.

But, if you are an expert in any given subject, write content and as much as you can.  It doesn’t always have to be a masterpiece.  But it has to be good.  Then, you can share it on social networks, after you build some up of course and get some followers.

And having a good amount of helpful content will allow you to go far and wide in the search engines.  meaning, it will allow you to show up for more keywords, especially long-tail type keywords. But again the key is helpful content.

Can You Still Build Links?

Sure, you can still build links.  And yes, you need links.  But, start going about it in a different way.  Don’t always think about search.  Sure, keep rules and Google in mind but build links like the search engines didn’t exist, while following the rules.  But, also remember, one day your linkbuilding can come back to haunt you.  Google could change their rules tomorrow.  They have done it before and I don’t think they are going to stop.

Content in effect, will become your biggest and brightest strategy to gain links.

The most important way I build traffic!

Today I am continuing my series of how to build backlinks to your website or blog.  I want to show you one of the most important ways I get backlinks to my blogs.

Now, I will not lie to you, this takes work.  But the pay off can great once you grasp the hang out this.

Now, many people when building these, think they need to get thousands of them pointing back to their websites.  And, I would tend to agree with some of this.

However, when building backlinks relevance and trust are most important.  This means, if you build good one, you will not need as many as you really think.

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Now, I know many of you build backlinks these in may ways with articles, blog comments and whatever ways you have chosen to do.

But today I want to show you one of the best ways I know to get really good backlinks which can bring you traffic and trust from the engines.

Now, if you are not aware, websites and blogs have what’s called a backlink profile.  A backlink profile can be used by search engines such as Google to see what is really going on with your website when they are deciding how they should rank your websites.

The Backlink Profile!

Now, as I have stated in other posts of mine, I usually forget about search engines when building them.  I do this because I do not want them to dictate to me how I get my traffic.

Now, this does not mean I forget about them by any means.  They are a great source of traffic for sure.  But, you do not want to rely on them solely for your blog traffic.  So, when building these type of backlinks I always ask my self would this make sense if there was no SE’s.

You see, before Google or Yahoo ever came along.  The only way to get traffic to your website was to find other relevant websites and ask for an exchange.

Or exchange with them.  Now, I have done reciprocal linking to some of my blogs and I can tell you it does work, as long as you are not over doing it, you will not have to worry about what a search engine thinks.

But today we are going to focus on one way backlinks.  And we are going to do it the hard way.  What’s the hard was you ask?  By asking for it.  The manual way to build backlinks.

Again, yes this does take some work but you will really not need as many of these as you think.  And by building these you will diversify your backlink profile to your website or blog.

And, you will not need to worry about deep linking either when doing this type of building.  Again, this type of link building is about relevance, trust and traffic.

After you build a few of these though, I would not ever stop building these.  Why, you ask?  Well, because, these backlinks will bring you traffic.

So, you can build them until you are happy with your traffic numbers.  And, the best part is, you are sleeping well at night because you are not getting all your traffic from places like Google.

One of the best tools I have found to help me build backlinks is with Keyword Country.  This is one tool I use all the time to build traffic from other websites.

Check out Keyword Country here!

Getting Started Building Links!

Ok, so enough about theory.  Let’s jump in and see how to build backlinks!

Let’s start with this example.  Let’s say you have a local landscaping business and you want to build up your web presence.  You have also decided to forgo the pay per click route in order to focus on free traffic.

You have also made your websites seo optimized and you have a few keywords showing on the first page of Google.  So, you get a few leads here and there for your business, which is great.  But, you know you could be doing better.

Ok I set the scenario, and here’s what I would do to build these for this type of local business website.  Again, remember you want to think relevance. trust and traffic.

So, I would start by thinking what other types of business’s are relevant to my landscaping business.  What, other types of business’s can benefit from my business?  Well, lets think here.  I would say these types of business’s are relevant.

  • Home remodeling
  • Air conditioning
  • Driveway cement and pavement contractors
  • Roofers
  • Home inspection
  • Garage door installation and repair
  • Window contractors

Do you see where I am going here?  I am sure this list can go on and on.  The point is, these are all pretty relevant and you would love to have a listing placed on any one of these business’s websites.

By placing one on these websites you can bring in leads and traffic to your landscaping business.  Plus if the websites you chose are good one’s, you will gain trust from a search engine.  It’s a win win situation.

How I find the links!

Ok, so how would I find these backlinks?  Before I cover this, let me explain to you a thing or two.  Looking for these can easily cause frustration.

You might do a search on Google and only find one websites to be listed.  This is ok though.  You are not looking for shear numbers here.

You are looking for a good backlink which will bring traffic and trust.  So, do not give up if you find it hard.  It may take some time but as I have said the payoff with be worth it.

You will get good relevant traffic and see your website at the top of search engines after some hard work.

Listen, I know you want the easy way.  Heck, even so do I.  But, just as a carpenter has to spend time planning and then time building a house, this type of linkbuilding works in much the same way.

And, in the end you will have a website or blog which will bring you business.

So, after I have my list of business’s to go after, here’s what I do to find them.

First, if there are any business websites I know of I would go to their website and see if they offer a resources page.  Now, you want to find websites which do not have a lot of listings on these pages.

If I find a website which has hundreds of listings on a resource page, I pass it up and move on to the next one.

After I think of all these websites I head over to Google and type in, “useful keyword links”.  So, in this case I would go down my list and type in keywords such as , landscaping, air conditioning, home remodeling and so on.

I would then look for business websites which offer a good quality page.  I would then find the owners email and name and then send an email introducing myself and asking for my blog to be placed on their page.

Now, again this may take some time and your success rate may not be that good but keep at it and you will start to see targeted traffic and leads.

Listen, things are changing when it comes to internet marketing.  So, you better learn the skills to get traffic from other sources.  And this traffic source for me, good ole fashioned backlink building has never failed me.  It takes time but in the end you reap the rewards.