Link building is not one easy task for everybody. This can't be done just by anyone because there are rules to follow. These do's and don'ts are strictly followed because there are consequences behind in every actions against those rules.
One perfect example of it is a can be found on Google Webmaster Guidelines. In this guideline, Google tend to warn webmasters to plan to manipulate their PageRank in return of high position ranking in SERPs for their target keyword phrases.
Throughout the years, link building had been the main focus of webmaster to increase their organic keyword ranking. They believed that links are the key to get high ranking results in search. While I can't disagree to their belief, link building should be done the right way without manipulation intent.
In this article, let's highlight the crucial tips that every link builder must know when building links.
1. Don't build links for the sake of links
Links are made to be click. The reason why you should create links is to drive traffic to your website, ranking is next. This should be the main purpose of your link building campaign to ensure you can get the most out of it, instead getting links to increase your inbound links.
2. Don't focus on a single metric
Using one single metric is a blind quality indicator. DA, Ahrefs, Rank, TF/CF are created outside Google search quality team. There is no clear answer whether or not a high DA/Ahrefs rank/TF-CF is a good indication of quality website. You need to cross check websites to check its quality such as:
- Link profile and issues
- Index status and issues
- Ranking visibility
3. Don't build links using commercial anchor text
I know most of us want to rank for commercial keywords. However, whether you agree with me or not, it does not look natural to get a link from websites with anchor text like "insurance services arizona". Regardless of the relevance, if your links from other websites are commercial keywords, you are only risking your website.
4. Don't build links to conversion pages
Similar to commercial anchor text, building links to commercial pages such as services page is non-other than questionable link. Why? because it does sound unnatural to get a direct link to a services page from other websites especially if it is an exact match. This will only look an advertorial intent with an aim to manipulate its ranking position in organic SERPs.
5. Don't build link for ranking purposes
Admit it or not, a lot of SEOs are still obsessed to rank #1. Because of that intent, they keep their link development process on the go in a monthly basis at high frequency. This practice is not guaranteed to get quality results and this can have negative impact in the long run.
6. Don't build links you control
A lot of link building activities have become low quality. Whether you like it or not, any link that you build and control of is not a good type of link. It will be a problem if not now, eventually.
These are samples of links you can manipulate:
- Widget links
- Signature links
- Forum links
- Guest post
Cyrus Shepard, a former Mozzer, did a whiteboard friday about the rules of link building. While there’s a lot of it, Cyrus highlighted the most important rules at that time.
7. Don't build links from blogs with one owner
Blogs own by a single person looks suspicious. Especially if they are hosted under the same IPor server. These blogs are cross linking to one another and easy to track their footprints for link manipulation. Getting links from these sites is not a good idea and should be avoided at all cost.
8. Don't approach websites that sell links
There are websites or blogs out there that offer link in exchange of money. These site owners completely violate the guidelines of search engine about link selling. Identifying these websites is easy to trackdown.
By following some tips below, you can have an idea of what to avoid:
- Questionable anchor text
- Questionable links to commercial pages
- Requiring compensation during conversation
- Multiple links to different commercial pages from a single page
9. Avoid not indexed websites
Getting links from websites that are not indexed by Google itself is sure a no. It is a completely waste of time if you will build links from websites that even Google is not aware these sites exist.
To check if the site is indexed or not, use the following command:
10. Avoid hacked websites
Hacked websites are devalued in Google, this results to less ranking opportunity of a hacked website. If a hacked website is devalued by Google, the outbound links from it can be affected. As a link builder, this is one of the things you should avoid to keep yourself away from penalty.
You can identify if a site is hacked through the following:
- Google will let you know straight from SERPs
- Google will let you know through Google chrome if a site is potentially harmful to your computer
If you are using wordpress, chances that you are prone to hacking. But there are ways to secure your wordpress from getting hacked. A good example of it is the process that Jamie wrote on his blog about wordpress security.
There you have all 10 link building don’ts that every link builder need to keep in mind. In link building, quantity don't matter. Quality is the most important tip to keep in mind when you build links. As time goes by, the practice you know working today, may not work tomorrow. This means that any practice works for you must not be abused and should remain acceptable in general guidelines.