Link Building: Dos and Don'ts
Link building is a process of creating anchor links back to a website in efforts to raise search engine rankings, which then will result in higher online earnings and exposure. Link building is just one element of search engine optimization, yet it happens to be one of the most powerful. However, many individuals working on link building campaigns often fall for the same mistakes that could result in penalties to their search rankings and viability on the web.
This article will explore the dos and don'ts of link building, including common mistakes and ways to avoid practices that result in a negative impact for the website.
Do: Scale Link Building
Make an effort to scale a link building campaign in a way that new back-links are created on a daily basis but over the coming months and years. Manual link building is the best approach because it allows search engines to see that a website is growing organically and that links are being built from relevant locations. When building links, strive to create consistent and high profile links from authority websites through methods such as guest posting, article writing or "winning" a link from the website owner.
Don't: Utilize Mass Submission
Don't fall for mass link building submissions to profiles, forums, blog commenting and directories. Search engines, such as Google, use complex algorithms that detect when large amounts of links are created and sent to a single source. If flagged by search engines, a website can receive a ban on the IP address which will then de-index the website from search engine results. Likewise, massive submission link building tricks rarely build links that are of high value and are often a waste of money.
Do: Focus on Main Keywords
Always focus on the main and secondary keywords of a link building campaign because they will give the greatest value for search engine placement. Use main keywords as the sole link that also points to the web page for its focus. Do use alternating anchor links in the link building campaign between the main and secondary keywords. However, don't get too carried away with only utilizing a single keyword for every link. For added benefit, go one step further down in the link structure by tapping into third tier anchor links that may point to internal sections of a web page.
Don't: Use Irrelevant Keywords
Don't begin the process of aiming to rank for keywords just on the basis that they have high search volume, especially if they do not fit the subject of the destination website. The use of irrelevant keywords will have very little positive effect for search engine rankings and wastes a great deal of time that could be going towards proper link building. Links should be relevant to a website at all times. Using keywords from other industries will merely tell search engines that the website is trying to rank for irrelevant, in which it has no impact on the overall link building process.
Do: Use Relevant Sources
Build links from relevant sources within a niche topic or category. Search engines match anchor links to the content which surrounds them, along with the overall domain. Failure to use relevant websites will come across as a spam technique to trick the search engines for back-links. Focus on reaching out to relevant websites, blogs and social platforms that are synonymous with the main website to guarantee that links will have high value and impact for search rankings.
Don't: Build Links from Bad Communities
Avoid, at all costs, building links on link farms and other bad communities which generally fall under this category if they sell links to any buyer. Links should be built naturally and come from high-quality sources rather than cheap links from communities which may also be linking out to websites which are flagged in search engines for being inappropriate. A great rule of thumb is that if a link offer is from a website that seems out of sorts, than it's likely a shady offer and not worth pursuing.
Do: Genuinely Use Social Media
Utilize social media to bring awareness to a website but do it in a manner that doesn't overload users with information. In essence, don't nag for people to view the content. Use social media to reach out to influential people and followers. This could result in them building links back to the website naturally, because they have found the information genuinely helpful. Build a following that will support a cause, share information with their own followers and provide feedback that will further improve link building efforts.
Don't: Spam Social Networks
Don't use social media to force feed information to people. People use social media to connect with others and to share information they find relevant. They aren't using it to be hammered by a marketing message that nags them to visit a website. A website owner that spams their message on social media websites will not receive the feedback they seek. This is simply because people want relevant information in intervals rather than a massive blast of contacts.
Do: Natural Internal Link Building
Use internal link building to its maximum potential by identifying the main "money" pages of a website and interlinking to that page from support sources. Every website is generally composed of "money" pages and support documentation since "money" pages are what convert visitors. It's important to link to these pages whenever possible using relevant keywords. Additionally, interlinking will allow search engines to index a website and find pages it may not have yet added to search engine results. This means even more traffic in the long-term.
Don't: "Craft" Page Rank
Don't make a habit of trying to "craft" Page Rank (the value of a page according to Google) by overloading a website with internal links, "no-follow" tags or through shady tricks such as deliberately hiding content. Websites should have a natural internal link building structure that benefits the end user (visitor) rather than trying to trick search engine algorithms, which will ultimately hurt link building efforts in the long run.