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Arnold Ma

4 Link Building Strategies to Avoid – With Alternatives

7th Nov 2011 SEO, Link Building, SEO, SEO, SEO Resources 4 minutes to read

Bad Link In my last post I went through a list of 28 top link building resources, if followed correctly and with a bit of creativity you shouldn’t have any problems with search engines while your rankings continuously improve.

However, as I mentioned in the previous article, some people still believe all links are good links – quantity over quality. This kind of attitude not only negatively affects your rankings, but in extreme cases can actually get you de-indexed completely from search engines.

So, below are some link building strategies that are floating around the internet – which you should avoid completely. In each point I will try and give you an alternative for these common mistakes and bad techniques, so watch out for the “what to do instead” heading!

Paid Links

Paid links are never a good thing. It is by the far the easiest way of obtaining a link to your website, but as the saying goes, if it’s easy it’s not going to be good. Buying links is explicitly stated by Google to be against the webmaster guidelines. It may net you a few ranking improvements in the short term, but the long term repercussion will be far greater than your short term gain.

What to do instead: if you really have money to spend on links, don’t, just send them to me at: …just kidding! I’m not a huge fan of paid directory submissions, but some directories are good enough to actually pay.  Remember you are not paying to be included, rather to be reviewed by the editors. So there is still a chance you won’t get a link – get disapproved. These highly reputable directories are few and far between, as well as being expensive. Yahoo, BOTW, and Business.com are the top ones.

Link Farms / Three Way Linking

Link farms have been around for almost as long as SEO. The original concept was originally developed in 1999 to take advantage of Inktomi search engines’ dependence on link popularity. While links still play a huge part in search engine rankings, their algorithms have completely evolved past link farms. Google as well as other search engines have made link farm pretty much worthless. It is simply not worth the risk of joining a link farm or creating a three way linking system for that, literally, zero gain.

What to do instead: rather than wasting your time looking for link farms to join, or coming up with complex and elaborate ways of three way linking systems, why not just contact your customers, service providers, or people in your interest groups for a link. Get creative and reach out – just as you would reach out to your friendship and professional circle in life.

Blog and Forum Spam

I’m sure you’ve all come across posts for approval on your blogs in the form of “It is a matter shut to my heart, cheers, in which are your speak to facts although?” – this is a real example on one of my blogs… posts like those are done by bots that crawl through thousands of blogs and forums, posting randomly generated comments with a link in the author name. Out of say 1000, 10 might get through where approval is not needed, but those sites are filled with spam anyway making your link completely worthless.

What to do instead: Natural blog and forums links are great in your link profile. Make some accounts on forums and blogs that are related to your industry, join in on some discussions and contribute your thoughts – just as you would do normally on a forum you enjoy. Doing this on blogs not only nets you a link on a non-spamming website, but also helps to build relationships with like minded people that you can call upon later. Win win.

Over Stuffed Mail

Scraping and Spinning Content

This involves crawling websites for articles and rewriting them with synonyms to generate a “unique” article. I don’t know how this terrible strategy came about, but I do know it doesn’t work, at least not anymore. Google’s latest panda update penalised a huge number of sites for duplicate content. We all know Google’s algorithm has features to weed out duplicate content, doesn’t matter how many times you spin them.

What to do instead: see an article or topic of discussion you like? Instead of copying it why not just comment on it with your personal views and opinions, we all have them, this is perfect time to use it. Not only is this good unique content, but it also might get some link love without even trying – people like linking to good articles.

I hope this post has helped to get you onto the right tracks. Remember to be creative and think outside the box. A general rule of thumb to follow: a hard to obtain link is a good link to have. Feel free to leave any comments or questions.

Image Source

Bad Chain via BigStock

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Arnold Ma
About the author

Arnold Ma

Arnold has a broad experience in both traditional and digital marketing. His degree in Internet Engineering gives him the perfect technical expertise for SEO and PPC. He writes about his experiences in both of these topics.

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