We’re always trying to give you great ideas, but sometimes the best way to help someone is to show them what not to do! Here’s a list of link building strategies that will kill you dead; avoid these tactics and you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.
- Purchasing links. OK so we have been preaching against this for years, but right now, it’s going to get you in more trouble than ever before. You will almost always be caught out, and even if you get away with it, the likelihood that anyone who is selling links is going to be selling links of high value is low. It’s more likely that you will buy a link from someone who will take the link down once you have paid your money, never to be seen again. Just. Don’t Do. It! Instead, look to build relationships that will lead to links.
- Link exchanges. Almost as bad as buying links. That’s not to say that exchanging links can’t be a good thing. Sometimes it makes perfect sense, but it’s quite often the case that the people who are involved in lots of link exchanges are also involved in buying links. This means that the link that you get is unlikely to provide you with much value because it has a very clear footprint which highlights other nefarious behaviours in the chain. Instead work collaboratively with other site owners that are relevant to your own site. You may end up with sharing links but this will be an offshoot of the work that you do together, rather than through a plan to simply share links.
- Redirecting. In the eyes of the search engines, this is very bad news. It is clearly black hat SEO and can be seen as nothing else. There’s no hiding when you’re caught out for this sort of behaviour. It is sometimes possible to boost rankings by buying domains and redirecting them to your site, or by using them to mask some manipulative links through the method of aiming them to other domains that then go on to redirect back to yours. Firstly, a URL that redirects to another will never gain links of its own. This sort of work is highly obvious to Google so it’s just not worth doing.
- Poor guest posts. Panda helps Google spot poor quality guest posts. You won’t be able to get a low quality guest post up on a high quality site, and anything that is poor and is on a poor quality site is going to be picked up pretty quickly. You will end up with guest posts of poor quality on poor blogs which are losing value all the time thanks to the Panda update. Concentrate on producing fewer posts that are higher in quality. You will find that better sites pick up on your work and you add more value in the long run.
- Interlinked domains. Something that should work in theory but just does not. Some people have been known to set up many different websites, and link them all together to try to improve their rankings. This just doesn’t work. It’s normally the case that all sites are sitting on the same server, which really highlights that they are owned by the same person or company, which naturally leads to a downgrading of some sort. You might be able to get round this by placing the sites on different servers, but you would pay so much more for hosting, that this just wouldn’t be worth doing.
The bottom line is that we now operate in a web space where it’s pretty hard to cheat. That’s something to celebrate. Just get out there and add value by producing fantastic content that you can be proud of.