Links are the most crucial aspect of any SEO campaign. The more links you have, the higher your rank will be on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). If you are just starting with link building, it can be hard to decide which strategy to adopt and which techniques to follow. And if you manage to find yourself dabbling in black hat link-building tactics, it could ruin your entire campaign! In this blog post, we’ll discuss ten pitfalls to avoid when building links.
Bulk link purchases: When you buy links in bulks, they are placed on random websites that may or may not be relevant to yours. And since these links are placed randomly across the internet, their chances of redirecting high-quality traffic to your website are zero to none. And to top it all off, random links also pop up on Google’s radar. In the long run, you are more likely to get penalized by Google for random backlinks.
Spamming comment sections: You read a blog that is super relevant to your website. You scroll down to the comment section and post a friendly comment that says something along the lines of “Hey! We also publish similar content, why not check our website” and paste a link to your website at the end. We have all done this, and while this is not exactly a bad practice, it is not taken kindly by search engines. Mindlessly spamming comment sections of every blog post you come through might not be the best way to go about building relevant backlinks.
Using low-quality directories: There comes a time when every SEO campaign needs at least one directory submission service; however, make sure that it is high quality and relevant. Remember; submitting your website to entirely unrelated directories isn’t going to benefit you all that much (even though it looks like an easy route). Google loves unique content, and using these types of sites as your primary source of links could ultimately get you penalized.
Spamming forums: This is similar to spamming comment sections, but with one significant difference – the target audience of these sites is different. Not only that, it requires a certain degree of intelligence and creativity to come up with a good post on popular forums because you don’t want your account banned/deleted after all the hard work! Spamming Forums could have dire consequences for your website if done wrong, so be careful when choosing which forum to use as part of your link-building campaign.
Using exact match anchor text: More often than not, Google does not like websites using too many exact-match backlinks. If they see overuse of keywords in links pointing towards their site (or even just a large number of them), it could be interpreted as over-optimization, and the consequences will not be pretty.
Spinning content: Content spinning is a black hat SEO strategy. Without getting on the technical side of things, content spinning means making just enough changes to a piece of content that makes it seem unique. The primary purpose of content spinning is to trick the crawl bots into believing the content is unique without actually putting in the effort to deliver value through it. Using content spinning techniques could get you penalized for trying to game the system.
Using blog networks: Blog Networks are popular in some industries because they can provide easy backlinks for websites looking to rank quickly on Google’s SERPs. A private blog network is created with the sole purpose of providing backlinks to other websites. But since Google has long banned link farms, blog networks post low-quality content with a ton of backlinks to other websites. But ever since Google has started evaluating the quality of the website offering the backlink, private blog networks have decreased in number.
Swapping links: Swapping links is an entirely normal process in SEO, provided that both blogs are industry-relevant, offer unique value, and are high-quality. However, swapping links with just about every blog post is not the best way to build backlinks. Google has become quite smart at detecting spam patterns, and you do not want your website to be penalized for these kinds of backlinks.
Syndicating press releases: Press Releases are a great way of getting backlinks from top-tier sites as long as they have some news value attached to them. Syndicating these press releases means you will be posting the same thing across different websites, which could get your old content scraped or, worse – completely ignored by search engines altogether!
Using link farms: This is another black hat tactic. Link farms are just a list of links that point back to your website. By using these types of link-building tactics, you will be losing rankings and giving yourself a bad reputation.
Even the safest backlink-building tactics will backfire if you don’t use it properly or start overusing it. Google’s algorithm has become increasingly sophisticated at detecting and penalizing web admins for using these techniques, so you’re only hurting yourself if you use them.