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What are the link-building strategies to avoid? Here are the mistakes you have to gloss over to get a clean link profile, based on a qualitatively unassailable work by Google.

Several link-building mistakes can undermine the success of your work. This operation allows you to acquire hyperlinks and useful mentions to climb the SERP. And better position your content on Google.

Don’t do quantity-based link building.

Compared to link earning, the concept of building includes the need to build an artificial network of links to your website to climb the SERP.

And you know that this is a possible problem since Mountain View prohibits actions aimed at acquiring links to manipulate Pagerank. This is why this activity must always be managed by professionals able to avoid link-building errors. Which ones are they? Here are several activities to avoid when you want to get good links.

Press releases and article marketing

Content index

  • Press releases and article marketing
  • Subscription to any web directory
  • Sitewide link in the footer and sidebar
  • Satellite sites, blog networks, and PBNs
  • Excessive link exchange with other sites
  • Purchase paid links (evil)
    • Paid links but also reviews and exchange of goods
  • Link building errors with guest posts
  • Links from forums and blog comments
  • Play on the baiting link for Pagerank

One of the techniques that once returned thriving results but which today risks doing damage. There’s no point in sending a single press release to 300 different sites. On the contrary, aiming at hypertext links coming from these obsolete practices means taking a big risk. Once there was a lot of work with links to press releases, today it is better to go beyond these techniques and use this content in the right way.

That is to do digital PR, involve online and offline journalism professionals to get the right attention. And aim for healthy link popularity. Maybe with quotes from industry blogs.

To optimize the dissemination of press releases and article marketing with direct links to your blog it was sufficient to write texts for the search engines, and choose the best sites to publish them. Today this is one of the techniques recognized as penalizing by Google. So link popularity heals it differently, not like this.

Subscription to any web directory

The rule is very simple: the best web directories were paid or very selective (like DMOZ ) but this does not mean that there were no valid and free directories in circulation. Even this solution, if abused and used without criteria especially concerning low-quality directories, is referred to as spam.

Wasting whole days posting your blog in all the directories on the web is useless. Only  Yahoo! Directory, DMOZ, and a few other services helped.

The mistakes of link building: avoid low-quality directories.

Today these realities have disappeared. They are dead and buried services. I can’t say that working on directory listing can always be a detrimental activity, but certainly today you risk finding yourself with some spam links.

Sitewide link in the footer and sidebar

Not all link positions are the same for Google, some points can transform the fate of a  hyperlink. For example, those that correspond to the sitewide zones of a website. That means:

  • Footer.
  • Sidebar.
  • Blogroll.

The basic feature of these links: they are present in areas that repeat themselves on each page, so they send a lot of links to the domain. At least in principle, links in these areas shouldn’t necessarily be spam.

Certainly, they have a lower value than a contextualized link, in rich content and therefore with greater usefulness for the reader. In any case, today it is better not to give up a priori, but pay attention to spam links coming from these areas.

They are not spontaneous and come from some poorly done link-building activity. You can’t monitor all the websites that link to your domain from these areas, but don’t invest personally in this activity: avoid putting credits to webmasters and agencies in the footer, and don’t ask your customers to do so.

Satellite sites, blog networks, and PBNs

Curating blogs to increase the inbound links of your webspace can be a double-edged sword. To take care of a single blog it takes time and dedication, to take care of 2 the commitment doubles: if you are not willing to make this sacrifice it will be useless.

This is not how we do link building.

Do you want to take a step forward and create a PBN, a private blog network? This is the dream of many, but I assure you it is not easy. Not forgetting that Google does not consider this technique as a source for obtaining quality links.

Creating portals in which to promote your content can be a good solution if you know how to move. To bear real fruit, however, it is necessary to optimize, fill with content and push these satellite sites, otherwise, they will only return fake links. This means possible penalization, better to avoid.

Excessive link exchange with other sites

If you contact any blog you pass under your nose, without taking care of the consistency between the topics, I think you are doing everything wrong: the results will be minimal and your blogroll in the sidebar will look like the first volume of the yellow pages.

Then there is the link exchange with cheat.  Hateful, in no uncertain terms! Accept a link exchange invitation, insert the link in your good sidebar. Then after a week, the other blogger has already removed your link. Bad attitude, right?

You are playing your reputation seriously! The exchange doesn’t work anymore, the only thing you earn is a flood of spam links coming from unhappy areas (like sitewide) of the web pages. Like the sidebar and the footer. Without forgetting the sponsor page.

Purchase paid links (evil)

According to Google, this is the worst way to acquire links on the site. Buying a hyperlink is the direct way to influence Pagerank and risk a penalty. Then, someone will say that if done right the risks are reduced.

And that links have to be bought, nobody puts them spontaneously. There are so many ways to get links to your content and buying remains one of the most dangerous ways to increase link popularity. By purchase we mean:

Exchanging money about links or posts that contain links, exchanging goods or services about links, or sending someone a free product in exchange for a positive review and inclusion of a link.


I say it outright: the purchase of hyperlinks is a reality that many professionals take into consideration in very competitive contexts.

I disagree, or rather: being specialized in the creation of quality content,  I always try content marketing, digital PR, and blogger outreach card. Also because Mountain View is very hard to hit.

Paid links but also reviews and exchange of goods

The spam links to avoid are those that come from the purchase of services related to these practices, but also from reviews that have as a counterpart a free service, a gift, a special treatment. How does  Google know this?

Recognizing patterns, overly schematic behaviors related to anchor text, acquisition times, landing URLs of inbound links and links, types of blogs and sites, link positions, and other elements that are difficult to predict.

Link building errors with guest posts

Being a guest blogger is a decisive job, not an easy one. Sometimes dangerous. Especially if you work without a clear strategy. And if you try to build link popularity with these articles. I have always considered guest posts a fundamental resource for link building, even superior to that of press releases.

Writing a guest post on a blog allows you to get valid clicks and a very interesting link if you have been able to choose the best platform. So why do I insert this item in the guide to understand how not to increase link popularity?

Here are the guest post link building errors.

Simple, if you overdo it with this technique you risk big. Especially if you trade guest posting for simple Insurance article marketing, cheap press releases, and advertorials. Matt Cutts has repeatedly said words of warning to the guest blogger who is too pushed on the SEO side.

All this requires commitment, do not try to sell a text already published as your spearhead: you will only make a bad impression. And Google disagrees with those who want to pass the purchase of links for a guest blogging action.

Attention, guest blogging is not an a priori practice. It becomes so when you use this content to justify purchased and particularly strong link campaigns, on decontextualized sites and with wild anchor text.

Links from forums and blog comments

Attending forums can indeed be an excellent way to insert links, but this must be done gradually. For example, in some forums, you can insert a URL in the signature only after a certain period of active attendance. If you don’t stick to the rules you get banned, if you overdo it with link building too.

Comments can also be a problem

Commenting on a blog with solid topics and content analysis could bring you some real benefit. Being present at every post with unnecessary interventions and a signature that carries anchor text with exact keywords is a bad idea.

The comment marketers do differently and professionally if you use the interactions just to get links are only multiplying the link spam. Even if nofollow.

Play on the baiting link for Page rank

Write engaging and really useful content  (therefore no spam) to facilitate the natural tendency to be linked. The link baiting is a path that returns a force to link equal to that of the guest post, if not greater.

But much more difficult to go. The risk is to fall into the trap of fake content to get links, and this becomes a problem for the brand.

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About Post Author

Alex Musk

Alex Musk a freelance content writer and SEO expert.
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