In my business we do a lot of link building for our clients and we always try to make sure that what we are doing is effective and up to date. Things have changed a lot over the past year or two in the SEO world and what used to work well doesn’t necessarily work now.
So whether you are doing your own link building or paying for professional SEO services, here are 6 link building strategies to avoid…
This is an oldie, but really it just doesn’t work nowdays. Firstly there are just thousands of directories all over the internet not really offering any value. Directory links have little editorial weight and hence are heavily discount by the search engines.
Another thing to consider is that in most directories your specific listing will likely be in a deep page, buried along with everyone else’s links. So a good proportion of the time Google might not even find your link, and that means you don’t get the credit for it.
2. Article submissions
Articles aren’t a terrible way to build links, but they really don’t carry the weight they used to. Ezine articles is of course the one site that always used to be worth it, but since the recent “Panda Update” they have lost 90% of their rankings. If Google has dropped so many pages you have to think that the links on these pages have lost some value too.
Ultimately, the value of article linking remains to be seen; but our experience has been that automatic syndication to 50 different directories at a time just doesn’t work anymore. If article marketing does still have a future the emphasis will very much be on quality and not quantity.
3. Purchased links
Hopefully you already know this one, but no list of link building sins would be complete without it. Quite simply, buying links is against Googles Terms and Conditions and if you do it for SEO purposes you risk being banned from the search engine altogether.
4. Reciprocal links
Another old favourite, unfortunately reciprocal links are pretty close to being a waste of time these days. Swapping links with other (related) sites might be a good way to get some new traffic, but it is virtually irrelavent as far as the search engines are concerned.
5. Multiway link swaps
When reciprocal links stopped being effective, some SEO’s started finding more complex ways to swap links. You might well have had emails before offering to get you a link from one site in return for a link to another.
Google is cleverer than that though, if you get into this practice then you risk ending up being grouped into a certain “neighborhood”, and that is never good for your SEO.
In general, if your link building strategy requires giving away links then you’re probably not going to acheive much.
6. Anything automated
This final one is more of a general philosophy to cover lots of different strategies. Nowdays a really good link can be more beneficial than a thousand bad ones.
In general, any link building technique which is done in an automated way by some clever software should set off alarm bells.