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The Link Building Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Costs The Link Building Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Costs

The Link Building Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Costs

There is no denying that link building is difficult. In fact, 65% of marketers state that it is the hardest SEO tactic to accomplish. It requires plenty of time and effort to get just one link in return.

So, how do you make link building easier for yourself?

Begin by knowing what to do and what to avoid at all costs. Without your knowledge, you could be doing things that hinder your SEO.

In this blog post, we’re going to discuss link building mistakes you should avoid at all costs. These are mistakes that could impact your search engine rankings and even get you penalised by Google.

Let’s get started.

Failing to diversify your link profile.

All links are not created equal. In fact, some can give you more “authority” while others have no perceived value. It is all dependent on the quality, reputation and authority of the site that links to you.

While not impossible to achieve, gaining links from influential sites with high domain authority scores is a challenge.

Before we proceed, let’s define a few terms.

  • Link Juice – This is the “authority” one webpage can pass to another through a link. Websites with a high amount of traffic, social media shares, and links are able to provide more link juice.
  • Follow Link – This is a link that can transfer link juice from one website to another. These are usually links on websites owned by businesses and individuals.
  • No Follow Link – This is a link that cannot transfer link juice from one website to another. These are usually links on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and so forth.

Based on the above definitions, most people would attempt to generate follow links. They pass on link juice, so they’re more valuable, right?

That isn’t always the case.

Instead of targeting follow links, aim for a diverse link profile. A diverse link profile includes links that are follow and no follow from a variety of sources.

If only follow links are pointing to your website, it will become obvious to Google that you’re launching an aggressive link building campaign. The links you generate will no longer seem organic, no matter which sites they’re from.

Depending on one link building strategy.

Learning and implementing several link building strategies at once can consume plenty of time and resources. You may not think it’s worth it and decide to focus on one strategy instead.

That would be a mistake.

If you want to build high quality links, there are several strategies you can implement at the same time. You will get more links in a shorter period of time, which means that search engines will start noticing your site and ranking you higher very quickly. These strategies are also diverse, which mean that each link is coming from a different source, not just an affiliate link or directory.

For example, focusing on guest blogging can help you garner links from authority blogs in your field. However, reaching out to blogs and writing blog posts takes up plenty of time.

Blogs receive hundreds of pitches from people hoping for a backlink, so it’s harder than ever to receive a response. Your pitch needs to stand out amongst the hundreds of pitches in a blogger’s inbox. It’s not an easy feat to accomplish.

While waiting for responses from blogs you sent pitches to, you could focus on other resources instead. You could answer questions on Quora. You established yourself as an authority in your field and creating no follow links at the same time.

This is only one scenario.

Other link building strategies include:

  • The Skyscraper Technique
  • Submitting your website to online directories.
  • Providing testimonials to people you’ve worked with before.
  • Creating infographics.
  • Leaving comments on relevant blogs.
  • Becoming a source for journalists.

The options are almost endless. You could mix and match several strategies at once. This way, you receive links from a variety of sources, including blogs, social media sites, directories, and more.

Buying links.

Link building requires plenty of time and effort–two things you may be running short on.

Buying links may sound like the perfect solution. You get links from reputable websites without having to send pitches to hundreds of blogs.

However, search engines are now smarter than ever. They have safeguards in place that detect whether you purchased links or not. Instead of boosting your search engine rankings, you could drag your website down or even get penalised.

Here’s an excerpt from Google’s quality guidelines that explains its stance on buying links:

“Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behaviour that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.

The following are examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results:

  • Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links, or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.”

Imagine this scenario.

You find a website with high domain authority, and they’re offering a link to your website in exchange for $50. It sounds like a reasonable enough option, especially when you take the link juice you’ll be getting from such a website.

But if you check the website’s Alexa ranking, you discover that it doesn’t receive a decent amount of traffic. Visitors long ago discovered that the site accepted paid links, resulting in lacklustre content.

It becomes clear that paying $50 for a link may not be worth it at all.

So, what can you do instead?

It might sound like a complete cliche, but you need to focus on creating better pitches. This way, websites with a high domain authority AND stellar content accept your guest post pitches.

You can do this by:

  • Carefully examining the website’s existing content. What tone do they use to write their blog posts? What topics have they published before? What images do they use?
  • Read the guidelines. This might sound like a no-brainer, but you will not believe how many people skim guest post guidelines. Make it clear in your pitch that you read the guidelines. Mention their required word count, address the person in charge of accepting guest posts, and so forth.
  • Personalise your pitch. Yes, sending a template may be the most efficient way to send the most number of pitches, but attempt to add a personal touch. Address the right person or mention something specific about the blog you’re pitching to.


Link building is not easy. In fact, a huge majority of digital marketers consider it the most difficult SEO strategy.

But the results will be worth it. You’re signalling to search engines that people trust and enjoy your content.

Make sure you’re avoiding the mistakes mentioned in this post. You could be making them without your knowledge, damaging instead of boosting your search engine rankings.

Need a top-class SEO strategy? Cornerstone Digital is an SEO agency in Sydney that can lead your ideal customer to your website. Call us on (02) 8211 0668 or email us at [email protected].

Darlyn Herradura

A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.

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