3 Linkbuilding Tactics that Can Wreck Your SEO

January 18, 2016

When it comes to SEO basics, Links are the lifeblood of your campaign. The right number and type of links can skyrocket you up the SERPs and earn you hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

Building the wrong kind of links, however, can earn you a Google penalty and flush all your hard work down the drain.

To help you avoid this catastrophe, here are 3 link building mistakes that can wreck your SEO and destroy your internet marketing strategy.

  1. Paying money for links, or indulging in link exchanges

This is a big no-no straight from Google itself: buying or selling links that pass PageRank (i.e. do-follow links) violates Google’s quality guidelines.

It used to be that you could get away with paid links, but as Google’s algorithm has become smarter, it has also developed methods to detect paid links. In fact, if you try to buy your way to the top of the SERPs now, Google will even show you a warning in Webmaster Tools about ‘unnatural links’.

The same applies for link exchanges. If you didn’t earn the link through quality content, you’re violating Google’s guidelines. There

It’s easy to fall for this paid links trap. Try to avoid the following:

  • “Automated” software generated links.
  • Paid links in low-quality directories.
  • Text link ads that don’t use the ‘nofollow’ tag.
  • Webmasters or bloggers offering to sell links on their sites.
  • ‘Widget’ link exchanges where you get a backlink when you link to the widget provider.

Backlinks present on such websites will only hurt your rankings and can even get you penalized.

  1. Choosing shortcuts over solid content

There is only one approved way of getting backlinks – to create solid content. If you don’t know where to start, you can always check out content marketing examples to plan and produce link worthy blogs. Everything else is frowned upon and eventually gets listed as a black or grat hat SEO technique. Tactics that were once popular, such as article marketing, press releases, etc. are now disregarded by Google and can even be bad for your site health.

Similarly, low-effort link building methods, such as leaving comments like “great article!” on a blog post isn’t going to work anymore. Nor will you get much success from writing 500-word “guest posts” on low-quality blogs.

The same applies to ‘spinning’ articles and publishing them on article directories and web 2.0 sites. Google simply sees this as what it really is – spam.

At the same time, you have to be careful of outdated SEO techniques such as overly optimized anchor text and keyword stuffing.

The easiest way to stay safe is to write for your readers, not Google, and consistently put out good content. Combined with white-hat SEO techniques, this will get you all the rankings you need.

  1. Having no linkbuilding strategy at all

The biggest linkbuilding mistake you can make is to not have a linkbuilding strategy at all.

Unlike Ray’s Field of Dreams, SEO doesn’t work on the promise of “build it and they’ll come”. You might have great content, but unless it is supplemented with a dedicated link building strategy, it won’t earn you the ranking boost you need.

After creating your content, you should reach out to bloggers who’ve linked to similar content, influencers, and webmasters who might find your content useful. Ask them for backlinks, or failing that, at least some shares or tweets. The easier you make it for readers to discover your content, the more your chances of earning natural backlinks.


There’s much more to linkbuilding than simple outreach – a dedicated SEO agency might be able to help you with that – but if you want to see SEO success, you have to devote as much time to promotion as you do to content creation.

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