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The art of link building is to have a key strategy for your backlinking exploits. To have an excellent understanding of backlinking is to know how to market your content so it gets maximum outreach. This is particularly important for blogger outreach as well as your business content on your professional blog. However, link building has a lot of pitfalls that aren’t so easily avoided as one would hope. This is why we believe that now is the time to really look at what makes backlinking so great but also, how to avoid getting it wrong. There are lots of things that we could cover, but then we’d be here forever. So, to give you a comprehensive understanding and best-foot-forward strategy, we have just focused on the 10 biggest mistakes to avoid while building backlinks.
Try to think of backlinks like votes. Google wants to place the website with the highest amount of votes, right at the top. However, just piling in as many backlinks as you can muster is not going to do it for you. You need quality backlinks, or in other words, linking to websites that have authority. This helps Google to promote content which it knows, won’t have lies, won’t mislead it’s audience and will bolster trust among its users. So one way to avoid getting your page to be dropped in SERPs is to only use high-quality backlinks.
If you can, avoid using backlinks to websites or pages that do not have verified information on them. If you’re using a backlink to give evidence for a point you’re making, such as the metal we use has a higher wear and tear rating’ then make sure that it’s not just a quote from a metallurgy expert, CEO’s opinion, or a new report that isn’t backed up. Try to link the actual report that shows this, along with expert commentary.
One of the most common Link Building Mistakes to Avoid is to not link non-relevant websites. So many users do this without knowing it, but when you are linking to a website that has almost nothing to do with the content you’re marketing, then you are causing more harm than good. But why do marketers accidentally do this?
- They might not have enough authoritative links, so they’re making up for it with additional numbers of links.
- The website might be of a brand that is related to the topic in question, but the content isn’t really exactly matching your own.
- You haven’t understood the content you are linking.
The bottom line is, the quality will always trump quantity in backlinking. Try to avoid linking to brands that are not in the same industry as your own. We also believe that reading through the content that you are linking to, can easily sidestep any non-relevant links that you were about to include. Be aware of your own niche marketplace, and ask yourself, would your customers be impressed with this particular link, before you inject it into the content.
Linking to plagiarism
There are so many copy-cat websites out there, that simply rip content away from an authoritative website and post it as their own. You need to become adept at spotting such websites and follow your intuition. If the content doesn’t seem to be backing up claims and you have never really heard of this domain before, double-check everything. Go into Google and simply copy and paste a link from the content into the search bar. If it comes up with multiple websites or just one, then you have grounds to believe that it may have been plagiarized. Google does not look kindly upon websites that plagiarize, especially from authoritative websites.
It also sends the wrong message from Google, showing that if they were to allow it, they wouldn’t care about high-quality linking for good practice. Trusted news websites would no longer wish to be on the platform. So, always stop, look at the websites, does it look legit, does it have a high number of followers on social media, and does it have copied content?
Not being retroactive
If you do find out that you have done any of these things on accident, such as including links to plagiarized content, linking to dubious websites, or not having linked to a relevant website, then don’t be afraid to backtrack. Remove these links as soon as you can if you come to the conclusion that they do not meet the standard. With Google supporting very high-quality pages, no matter how old they might be, you can always make good use of your SEO marketing way after you have posted a page.
Google will still rank a page highly, even if it is many years old. Definitions pages are particularly high up on the list because they provide good base information for a topic and allow millions of people to understand a product, company, industry, sector, or event more clearly. Wikipedia for example has many of these pages.
No No-follow links
It can be a dog-eat-dog world sometimes and link building is a practice that has a little flicker of this as well. If you are linking to a rival, but don’t want their website to rank higher due to the clicks they might get from your content post, then always make them a no-follow link. No-follow links tell Google that you do not want this website to gain any traction from the link you have in your own post. Google might also want you to put this website into a no-follow link status on your page because there might be something sketchy about it.
For example, you are a business that makes leather gloves. You want to show customers that your leather is ethically sourced, so you compare your practice to a rival’s who is not ethically sourcing their leather. There might be an article that shows animal rights violations and so, rather than promote this content, you want to no-follow backlink the website so it won’t organically grow due to your page. The same can be done for the rival website.
Unnatural anchor texts
When you are backlinking, you are quite obviously linking off the page. Therefore you want to make it seem natural as possible, and not too obvious that it may be an advertisement, or perhaps something that will needlessly take users off the pages to another website. Generally speaking, users get annoyed when a new tab is opened and their attention is taken away to a completely different part of the internet. So, always make sure that the anchor texts you are using, are naturally going to go with the links you are using.
For example, if you are a sports brand, backlink to a page about an athlete using your clothing, with the anchor text that shows who it is. Link their name instead of something like ‘this athlete’ or ‘Yankee’s pitcher’. Actually use the name and the backlink will automatically seem to have a good purpose for taking the user away to another page. It’s more natural this way.
There’s no way around this, but when you make poor quality content it will really show. It’s all well and good to have great backlinks, but if no one takes the time to read the content and eventually arrive at the backlinks naturally, then it has all been a wasted effort. You will also have a high bounce rate which could affect your rankings despite having great backlinks. A high click-off rate might also be incurred if you don’t have content that immediately grabs the reader upon landing.
So, how do you get users to carry on reading beyond the first line or so?
- Pose a question. You need to have a point about the article or the blog post.
- Pose the answer. Give readers a reason to continue reading on, knowing that they will be rewarded.
- Include some quotes from relevant people or interesting current affairs events that show your piece is adhering to modern questions or key concepts.
- Link to authoritative websites that backup or support any claims that you make.
Excessive backlinking will always give off bad vibes to the reader. This is why pages like news articles on websites like The Sun or Daily Mail have been downgraded by Google. Simply having far too many links on one page, aroused suspicions. Google will tend to think that the page is going for quantity rather than quality. As you can imagine, this is going to give other pages with fewer but authoritative backlinks a chance to rise above such rival websites.
It’s also a good idea to space your backlinks apart. Too many too close, can overwhelm the reader as well as give Google a reason to inspect the page and perhaps rank it lower for reasons just mentioned. So spread out the links on the page but make them flow with the content. Careful writing and narrative planning are a must. This is why SEO services that deliver great content marketing are so highly used by companies large or small. It can be difficult to get the balance just right.
Losing your cool
Backlinking is difficult, especially when you want to get the right balance between authoritative links, and general links that have interesting or supportive content in other ways. You will not get it right the first time and even after years of experience, you may not get it right the first time when making a new post. And by the way, Google is constantly changing. Going by their pattern of updates, it’s usually every 1-2 years when they make a substantial change to the SEO marketing rules or abilities on the platform.
Patience is a good virtue to have when it comes to making content with great backlinks. It’s important that you remember you need to experiment and observe when you are doing something right and when you are not. Inherently, you must be proactive and vigilant in your backlinking skills. Developing the right strategy is the most important thing, as it is your starting point. Do your research and pay attention to the latest updates Google releases.
Obsessing over domain authority
So many companies that want to boost their content will only use highly-authoritative domain names in their link building strategy. However, this obsession with only the top-ranking domains is not healthy. It’s going to limit your scope and make your content become predictable. We recommend that you diversify your list of high authoritative links and update it every month. Some top-ranking websites can lose their position or they might have had a bad run of articles that have needed to be retroactively edited.
Besides, other websites that are not as highly ranked, might have better information, better exclusives and perhaps, be the firsthand authority on a particular subject. You never know, a lesser domain name might one day become the single-most authority on a particular subject.
- Don’t constrain your web of links to just a select few. This can easily make you become an elitist and thus, lose out on linking to up-and-coming domains.
- You will very likely fail to spot a new trend because you are not venturing into more domains and exploring their promise.
- Users will also recognize that you have a limited field of view, only sending them to a small group of domains. This implicit bias will sour the mouths of your users who are seeking a different perspective.
It’s very easy to make anyone if not all of these mistakes when you are building your backlinks. We recommend that you keep this list on hand, remember to go through it with each and every post you make and when you are developing your latest backlink plan.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at all. We would love to hear from you and engage in any topical discussion about backlinks, their importance, the right tactical deployment and what lies in the future.