8 Bad Link Building Tactics To Avoid
A backlink is when one website cites another website by linking to it. The link has to be clickable for search engines to acknowledge them as backlinks. High-quality backlinks are one of the significant determining factors that help your website advance its rank in search engine results. In addition, these backlinks should be on sites with corresponding content. Similarly, these sites should be authoritative sites that have high rating positions. The more high-quality backlinks from various sites you have, the higher your ranking will be.
Building high-quality links is a vital piece of a good SEO campaign. Referrals from respectable sources can help your rankings and naturally bring target clients to your website. Just build those bridges the right way and focus on the quality of links, not their quantity.
Search engines have cracked down on many bad link-building practices. Here are some to stay away from.
1. Bulk Link Purchases
When you buy links in bulk, they’re positioned on sites randomly and without any relevance. So these links are not likely to drive relevant traffic to your website, but they will pop up on Google’s radar.
However, there is a significant difference between paying for individual link-building services and making a bulk link buy from someone on a gig website that offers 1000 backlinks for £100.
Carefully positioning high-quality links on domains relevant to yours is time-consuming. The price you pay for those services should reflect the effort that goes into them.
2. Spamming Comment Sections
Don’t post comments on blogs or articles just so you can link to your website, especially at scale. Most of the time these will at some point be removed by the site owner. It is okay to link on relevant websites and use links if possible just don’t overdo it.
3. Using Low-Quality Directories
As Moz clarifies, avoid placing your business on directories that prioritise money over being helpful. Directories are not a good place to place a link as there usually have very high spam scores. Search engines monitor these sites and penalise outgoing links accordingly. You really do not want to be associated with these kinds of sites.
4. Excessive Forums Links
Online forums are often spam targets, with bots littering links throughout discussion boards. Add comments and links to forums only when relevant to your niche, and you are giving value. You should always have a relevant discussion within the forum and get involved properly with the other users rather than just adding your link everywhere. It will look more natural. Forums also tend to have high spam scores so choose wisely.
5. Relying on Exact Match Anchor Text
Don’t overuse popular keywords when backlinking. Make sure there’s a lot of variety in the anchor text. Never just focus on your keywords. It will need to look natural not just keyword stuffing. There’s a lot of value in creating backlinks that use generic anchor text and include keywords as questions. Long-tail keywords bring in a lot of traffic.
6. Spinning Content
Content spinning is a “black hat SEO” technique where a single piece of content is altered just enough to mislead crawler bots into thinking it’s unique. When Google detects this practice, you will be given a manual penalty. Although writing original content can be time-consuming it is far better than spinning. Eventually, you will be caught and penalised.
7. Using Blog Networks
A private blog network (PBN) is a network of websites used to host poor-quality articles with backlinks to other sites. PBNs are a significant infringement of Google’s Quality Guidelines and can result in your site being penalised. Google and other search engines can recognise PBNs despite what some SEO marketers tell you. Most PBNs are harmful to your site as they are very spammy which damages your website’s reputation.
8. Link Swapping
Swapping links with well-matched websites might seem like a harmless marketing method, but if you have exaggerated mutual links, Google could analyse it as an attempt to affect rankings. This is not to say that swapping links is a bad idea, just keep it minimal and natural-looking.
9. Using Link Farms
A link farm is a group of websites that exist to artificially boost another website’s page rank with backlinks. Link farming is considered a “black hat” method of search engine optimization (SEO) because the content on the websites linking to each other is usually not anything to do with that niche, not created by a human (it can be produced by programs or services) and is often of an extremely low quality.
Backlinking is an essential part of SEO and if done correctly will give you amazing results. Always check every link you buy and add them manually to avoid any errors. If you would like to know more about how to build safe backlinks with back2link then read our helpful article How to build backlinks.