8 Link Building Techniques You Should Avoid

Guest post by David Murton

We’re delighted to have David Murton appear on our blog for a second time as a guest blogger. David, a professional writer and blogger, shares 8 Link Building Techniques You Should Avoid for today’s post.

See below for David’s guest post:

Different people have different ideas about the reputability of certain SEO tactics. For example, some SEO Services warn against using black hat tactics like cloaking, while others claim that tactics like mosaic cloaking are in the gray area. The same is true for link building. Many of these “don’ts” are debatable to one degree or another, but ultimately should probably be avoided.

1. Paying for Site Wide Links

From a purely SEO point of view, there is little value in paying for a link to every page on a certain site, as this could involve paying for many individual links that Google counts as a single link. This defeats the purpose of buying those links in the first place. Site wide linking generates traffic, no question; but in terms of SEO, the practice is arguably unprofitable. Building good links manually takes time, but it pays off.

2. Independent Backlink Networks

IBLNs are costly to join, and you don’t necessarily get what you pay for with this strategy. Search algorithms detect such rings of people linking to each other, and those people get banned when they are caught. Joining an IBLN is a method of networking with others who share the goal of building links. That said, there are plenty of people to network with—it takes longer to network using just elbow grease, but it negates the possibility of a ban.

3. Poor Configurations

A misconfigured robots.txt file can affect your investment in link building negatively. Link building is a means to an end—generating traffic and increasing conversion rates. Failing to update robots.txt after updating content and links means that spiders will not index the additional material.

4. Ignoring Content Quality

As stated above, the goal is increasing traffic and revenue. A good link building strategy is damaged by poor content quality, which can really hurt user experience. Post links out there to your website’s poor or mediocre material, and even though people may follow the link out of curiosity, it is unlikely that they will return.

5. Doing Too Much at Once

If paying for links, keep a steady and reasonable pace because incredible spikes draw attention. Google warns webmasters against buying links, so if you choose to anyway, your mileage may vary.

6. Free-for-all (FFA) Link Farming

How many visitors reach your site because of directory listings? Other questions to address in deciding if FFA link farms are profitable options are: Do the farms use rel=”nofollow” on their links? How many dead links do they have? Dmoz, for instance, contains over 10,000 dead links. Generating and maintaining an advertising budget could be a better option.

7. Concealing Links with Hidden Text or CSS Layering

Using this tactic is akin to calling Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, and asking him to blacklist your site personally. There are other ways to hide links on a page, and they will work until discovered. If your goal is a lasting revenue stream, refrain from using this technique.

8. Stocking Up on Low Quality Links

Linking to and from so-called low quality sites is not a bad technique in and of itself. However, relying solely on them to help boost traffic is a bad idea. Some of those links will become inactive after a while, so keep tabs on them over time to make sure they still work. This holds true also for higher quality links from sites that gained their rank in a manner Google deems inappropriate.

This is a list of “don’ts”, and a list of “do’s” deserves a post of its own. Be creative in building links. For example, you could host a contest for Best Post on a certain topic—a post providing an inbound link—and give the winner a prize. One final “don’t”—don’t let this list of “don’ts” get you down. Just use your imagination and follow your instincts—if a link building technique seems suspect to you, don’t do it.

About David Murton:

David Murton has been helping companies build and maintain their online relationships with customers since 2006. He is also a professional writer and blogger, with a particular interest in the open source Drupal platform. On a more personal note, David is an avid piano and accordion player, drawn especially to music of the classical and romantic periods.

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