Many SEOs are still basing a large chunk of their link building strategy on submitting to link farms or exchanging an excessive amount of links, only to find that this actually has a detrimental effect on the company / person they are promoting. While it may be logical that more links equals more authority, the reality is much more complex and many times, link building can cause more harm than good. Sadly, most internet marketers, virtual assistants and digital agencies still employ outdated SEO methods when it comes to online marketing, and in this article I will attempt to go over some of the main ones….
DO NOT BUILD TOO MANY RECIPROCAL LINKS
In certain link submission directories, which don’t take long to create and thrive off outside content, it is stressed strongly that the link must be mutual, so the blog should put a link of the directory on it’s home page, while the reciprocal link will be found somewhere in inner pages of the “FREE” directory. In this situation, the directory is clearly benefiting more than the blog, and so the exchange is most likely worthless and perhaps even negative for the blog owners website rank. This doesn’t mean that you should not build reciprocal links, but rather that you should be careful when and where to build them.
BEWARE OF PAGES WITH TOO MANY RANDOM LINKS
Some link directories are well edited and organized, and at other times your site could end up sharing a link page with poker rackets, pharmaceutical companies or other inappropriate sites. These could be considered link farms or adult by the search engines, especially Google, and in severe instances serve as a cause of Spam Report to potentially remove your site from Google search results. This is a serious matter that anyone looking into any type of SEO outsourcing should take into account, and one I’ve had to educate our staff and clients extensively on.
KEEP AN EYE ON THE PAGE RANK (PR) AND QUALITY
If submitting an article, check whether the directory should include the entire article, or just the link to the original site. It is also important to know if the link is DoFollow or NoFollow, as the big search engine boss provides more value to the latter. However, the idea that NoFollow links are worthless is simply not true. In addition to this, having a link profile with an unusually low ratio of NoFollow links can cause your link profile to appear suspicious to search engines.
Ideally, you would want to check the page rank of the directory you are submitting to and make sure it is above PR2+ post penguin. A good PR score is a good indication that the site your are submitting to has passed the tests Google uses to distinguish between original, aggregated and copied content. While some claim this doesn’t matter, you will be hard pressed to find high quality websites below a PR3, and I believe this metric provides a much better measurement of quality then Alexa rank or anything similar.
DON’T BUILD TOO MANY LINKS TOO QUICKLY
For long term results, make sure you perform your link building in low, reasonable numbers over long periods of time. It’s against Google policy to build links unnaturally or to buy links, so be very careful with submitting to any kind of directories in high volume. Always keep in mind the quality of the site you are submitting to, the quality of your submission as well as the long-term implications of cementing a link there.
KEEP YOUR LINK PROFILE ORGANIC AND DIVERSE
Think about it… How natural does a link profile look when 90% of the links are made up of article and press release submission sites and link directories full of spammy links? If you are spending more time submitting to these kind of sites than you are on building up your social media presence and producing quality content, chances are you are guilty of having what Google sees as an unnatural link profile. A good way to avoid this problem, is to imagine what a link profile would look like of a website going viral on social media, and try to replicate that to the best of your ability. This means mixing it up between social media signals, blog comments, forum posts, article marketing and good ol’ quality content on your money site.
ORIGINAL CONTENT IS THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR LINK CAMPAIGN
When you produce original, well–written articles Google will take notice and reward you. I can tell you from personal experience this will drive far more traffic to your site than any type of generic article or directory link ever could. For an extra kick, be sure add videos to your blog posts and always remember, the goal of SEO is not to build links, but rather to drive traffic to your website as a result of those links. Once you have a nice amount of traffic, your readers will do your link building for you… This should be the long-term goal of every SEO.
It’s often said those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. As I discussed in my most recent article, many sites took a plunge in popularity since Panda came along and drastically improved Google’s anti-spam algorithm and we can only expect Google to become more elaborate and effective in this respect. Rather than trying to fight it, we need to embrace it and understand that we are no longer competing with SEOs who spam the internet in a world where the biggest link building budget wins, but rather with internet marketers who produce relevant content and understand how to engage their respective audience effectively.
When looking for a digital marketing company or virtual assistant to run your internet marketing campaign, don’t fall for the hype and false promises of short term gains, when you should be focusing on a long term strategy and producing relevant content which will bring users back again and again. The message from Google is becoming increasingly clear as seen in this video by Matt cutts:
In the long-run, pleasing Google and pleasing your website visitors is quickly becoming an integrated strategy. As a result, we are already learning that those who place importance on quality, consistency and variety will be among the winners, both with Google and with potential customers.