Why my SEO campaign failed? Part 4: Common Link Building mistakes

linkbuildingThe Link Building is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Having quality links pointing to your site not only helps your Search Engine Rankings but also it can provide quality traffic to your website.

In the previous 3 articles we examined in detail the most Common On-page Optimization mistakes, several Common Web Development mistakes and some Common Link Structure mistakes that affect the SEO campaign. In this article we will discuss about the common mistakes that take place during Link Building.

1. Focus only on getting links from High PageRank pages

Backlinks from high PageRank pages can pass valuable PR juice to your website and affect your Search Engine Rankings. Nevertheless you should not get obsessed with this. Don’t forget that hyperlinks were created to drive traffic from one page to the other. Thus while developing your Link Building strategy you should not only focus on getting backlinks from high PageRank pages but also on getting links from a high traffic websites that can drive directly relevant traffic to your site.

2. Use incorrect anchor text in your backlinks

Backlinks don’t only flow PR juice but also they contain valuable information in their anchor text about the target pages. Have in mind that the anchor text of those links is a very important factor for search engine algorithms. Avoid at all costs placing links with irrelevant anchor text (such as “click here”) and always make sure that you incorporate the keywords that you optimized in the pointed page. You can find the targeted-high KeywordRank terms of a page by using the Keyword Analyzer tool. Usually you should place in the anchor text an attractive but not misleading title that will help you increase the click through rate and affect your rankings.

3. Place links in the wrong place

Search engines try to simulate the behavior of a real person, evaluate the pages/links and find the most relative pages for a particular search. Thus while evaluating the links of a page they try to find the ones that carry the most editorial weight and the ones that are more likely to be clicked by a user. This means that Search Engines take into account both the position and the context of the link. Hyperlinks placed in the footer or in other isolated places of the page often carry less weight than the ones that are found naturally in the text. Thus have in mind that the best place to add a link for SEO purposes is the one that will increase the click through rate.

4. Add backlinks in pages with lots of Outgoing links

According to Google Guidelines each page must have a reasonable number of links, generally less than 100. Pages with lots of outbound (outgoing) links can be considered as links farms and thus getting backlinks from them will not help your rankings. Additionally have in mind that the PageRank that flows through each link is related to the total number of outbound links that are contained in the page. Thus pages with too many OBLs (outbound links) flow a very small amount of PageRank through each link.

5. Don’t use/misuse Social Media

Social Media is a great way to communicate with others and share news, interesting articles, tools and services. Communicating your message to the correct target audience by using the social media can help you increase your website’s traffic. If your website/blog provides quality content, more people will learn about it and the chances of getting more backlinks increase.

Nevertheless don’t fall into the trap and believe that the backlinks from the social media can be considered quality links. Almost all the popular networking websites nofollow the external links and thus no PR juice flows through them.

socialmedia

6. Place backlinks only to your homepage

Normally your homepage is the page that has the most incoming links of your website. Since each page can effectively be optimized only for a small number of keywords, if you add links only to your homepage, your internal pages will probably not appear high in the results. Don’t forget that the internal pages can be equally important so make sure that they are also optimized and that they receive a large amount of quality backlinks.

7. Get links from irrelevant pages

The Links that come from pages that are irrelevant to your website’s theme look more like paid links. Search engines do their best to detect such links and exclude them from their evaluation. Have in mind that naturally obtained links tend to be placed in fewer places (not repeatedly in all pages), incorporated within the main text of the page and point to sources that are relevant to the content of the page.

8. Get lots of nofollowed backlinks

Nofollowed backlinks are links marked with the rel=”nofollow” attribute. Even though that those links can drive traffic to your website they pass no PR juice and the search engines don’t take them into account during their analysis. This means that nofollowed links that come from blogs, forums, directories, Wikipedia etc have absolutely no effect on your rankings. Thus while developing your Link Building strategy, make sure that only a small percentage of your backlinks are nofollowed.

9. Spend all of your time/money adding links of uncertain quality

Link Building is the most difficult part of SEO because the quality links that are needed can’t be acquired over a night. Quality links come from affiliations with other popular and influential websites and from the development of unique quality content. As a result many SEOs try to increase their links by spending all of their money on paid links, by using software that automates the process or by spending their time placing backlinks on low quality websites, directories, forums, blogs and article submission sites. Our suggestion is to avoid spending too much resources and effort on such methods since their results are far from the expected.

timeAndMoney

A great tool that can help you find and manage quality backlinks is Link Hound. Link Hound is web based application that allows you to create and manage your Link Building campaigns. The main target is to help you find the most relevant websites, retrieve Webmaster Contact information and help you evaluate potential affiliations. It provides customizable Search Filters and it allows you to export and download the Keyword Report. Note that this is not a tool for those who want to build automatically low quality backlinks, but for the SEOs that want to manage effectively their backlinks and make the correct decisions.
linkhound

10. Use Black Hat – Spammy techniques

Black Hat or Spammy techniques that promise to improve your rankings in a short period of time can get you in a lot of trouble. SEO, unlike PPC and other forms of advertisement, is a long term investment and requires time and effort. Have in mind that search engines get more sophisticated over time and thus they are able to detect either algorithmically or manually the paid links. Our suggestion is to stay away from black hat techniques since the risk of getting banned is significantly high.

11. Link to bad neighborhoods

Exchanging reciprocal links could be a good way to start affiliations with other webmasters and exchange traffic. Nevertheless be extra careful when you place outgoing links. As mentioned above getting links from link farms will not help your rankings but it will certainly not hurt you, since as a webmaster, you can’t control the links that are placed in other sites. On the other hand you have full responsibility for the links that exist in your website. That’s why placing links from your site to bad neighborhoods can lead to bans.

12. Ignore the Referring traffic

There are lots of examples of high PageRank websites that even if they can provide quality backlinks, they receive very low traffic. As a result those backlinks can help you improve your domain’s authority but they will not provide you directly with significant amount of traffic. My suggestion is that your number one target should be to acquire links that will increase the referring traffic of your website.

Searching for high PageRank links that can’t provide you with traffic can’t be considered as a long term investment. Search Engines change frequently their algorithms and they evaluate differently the websites and the links. As a result such high PageRank-low traffic links can become useless on the future. Thus make sure that when you design your Link Building campaign you will focus on getting links from high traffic websites.

referring

What is a quality link?

Remember that in link building both Quality and Quantity matters. So what you should consider as a quality link? Generally as quality links we consider the hyperlinks that have the following attributes:

  • They come from High traffic & authority websites.
  • They are placed in a High PageRank pages with relevant to your website content.
  • They are placed in strategic part of the page.
  • They have relevant anchor or alt text.
  • They are placed in pages with few outbound (outgoing links).

That was the 4th part of the “Why my SEO campaign failed?” guide. Feel free to add you comments and propose your ideas about the subject. The best suggestions will be added in the list.

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  • SEO Training

    Thanks – this is very useful!

    Getting quality links is difficult but far better than spammy ones. However it’s depressing when link analysis of high ranking competitors uncovers successful black hat seo techniques!

    Do you have a post with ideas on how to get high quality links? Guest blogging is one method but obviously v. time consuming…

    Natasha
    Social Media Assistant
    Silicon Beach Training

    p.s. shared this post on http://www.facebook.com/siliconbeach

  • SEO blog

    Nice reminding, thanks
    An other error consists to focus on main keywords.
    Sometimes, at the begining, it’s better to start on long tail.

  • Ruchi

    Hi,

    Just started with my new website and was searching for seo tips and link building techniques when I tumbled upon this page. I always thought that backlinks from the social media very quality links. Thanks for the useful information! Hope my seo campaign works.

  • bbriniotis

    @SEO Training: The high quality links (high traffic, high pagerank, well positioned, followed, textlink etc) are not acquired easily. They come from websites that you own, or that they are in the same network, from affiliations with other webmasters or from a loyal community. That’s why Search Engines consider links very important; acquiring quality links is hard.

    @Ruchi: Social Media provide “quality” links in terms of traffic since usually they drive lots of users to your site for a limited period of time. Nevertheless they pass no pagerank juice. In the article I make it clear that on the one hand it is a mistake not to use social media to make your website popular BUT on the other hand you can’t base your link building campaign on social media. Those links are nofollowed and it will not help you in terms of SEO.

    Thanks for your useful comments. :)

  • Blog Directory

    Black Hat or spamming always lead to mistakes or default work , I like this article very much because drawback of spamming are written in this and their after efffects

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  • Financial Freedom

    Are NoFollow links really useless? As I understand, although it can’t pass any PR juice, it can still improve the link popularity of the site and that can still help in the target site’s rank in the SERP. So it still worth collecting those NoFollow links.

    Great article indeed, thanks for sharing!

  • bbriniotis

    @Financial Freedom: Thank you for the feedback. :) The main point is that nofollowed links can be useful because they can generate traffic but they have no effect over the search engine results since they are dropped from the link graph. Matt Cutts clarifies the issue in the following video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g37bwBlifnk

  • treuemax

    Just started with my new website and was searching for seo tips and link building techniques when I tumbled upon this page. I always thought that backlinks from the social media very quality links. Thanks for the useful information! Hope my seo campaign works.

  • Jim Cavagnaro

    Excellent article. I know that many SEO Consultants will not heed this advice and keep making the same mistakes again and again. Good for companies who can do it right. All the best Jim

  • jochen Hubschneider

    Thanks – this is very useful article!

    SEO can be a soooo timewasting, but your technics are so great and also logic simple

    Thanks that will help me to come further

    Jochen

  • idietcola

    Enjoyed the article above – some classy techniques indeed – point 3 was my main interest – although i see your logic- there is something to be said for having links in what appear ‘natural occurrences’ on page…

    I also think this point ties closely to point 7 – whereby linking from deep pages is a good idea when used appropriately – thus instead of slapping up sitewides simply choose the most relevant page in the first place.

    Best of luck – thanks for the read.

  • Klimatici

    You reminded me some my mistakes that I made in the past. And it so good to read about it. Thanks for reminding it :) )))

  • SEO Company

    You Know Marketing a Business Online Can Be as Simple as Getting as Many One Way Links as Possible Pointing Back To Your Site With The Right Anchor Text Which Increases Your Rankings.

    For Example Go To google.com / Type in The Search Phrase ( Click Here ).

    See What Comes Up, Why Is This Site Number One, It is Because Of The Anchor Text Associated With The Domain The Most Coming From Thousands or Millions of Other Websites.

    So If You Want to Rank For a Certain Keyword Get as Many One Way Links as Possible Pointing Back To Your Site, With The Right Anchor Text, and You are Sure to Rank Well, You Only Need to Do 1% More Than The Site That is Already There to Rank Higher.

    It Can As Easy As That.

    Thanks
    Ken R.

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  • Offshoreally only

    I like the way you demonstrated your blog…Yeah better to get your basic right other wise there’s no use of working on it and yea Blackhats SEO can get you backlinks in short amount of time but also it helps you to get your site blacklisted so avoid it as much as you can.

  • seo consultant

    You say High traffic & authority websites yes your correct great place to start is edu sites that allow you to have profiles.

  • Recharddo@paris accommodation

    Do follow blog is very convenient in the sharing of all information such as technical, computer, education, economy, tourism. Exchange information with each other by how to have a good websites, blogs and pretty impressive. I communicate with my friends through blogging. It is very convenient. Do follow blogs is how to share comments and exchange information with each other.Thank alot.

  • PSD to XHTML

    quality links pointing to your page. Make sure they contain the correct anchor text and avoid the common link-building mistakes.

  • seo consultants

    I like the way you demonstrated your blog…Yeah better to get your basic right other wise there’s no use of working on it and yea Blackhats SEO can get you backlinks in short amount of time but also it helps you to get your site blacklisted so avoid it as much as you can

  • cheap SEO

    I think the page rank concept is not a powerful ranking factor now, You can simply find page rank 0 sites in search results, before the site which have PR4. And google’s page rank updation is not coming regularly, sometimes its happening in 2 months, But their planned updation is once in every 3 months. Google is giving importance to social bookmarking more than anything now, so if you have a list of 500 social bookmarking site, you can simply bring your site on the top in one month, I have done that.

    thanks

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  • ambani59

    I also think this point ties closely to point 7 – whereby linking from deep pages is a good idea when used appropriately – thus instead of slapping up sitewides simply choose the most relevant page in the first place.

  • Online Marketing

    Great & wonderful article, you have given the solid tips,and this is good for the companies who did it well.

    ******

    Mark Ping

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  • Amit Sharma | Make Money Blogging

    Very good tips. Link building is all about relevancy. Sometimes people tend to get high PR irrelevant backlinks. Do you think that can help? Is there any positive or negative effects for either party?

  • Lisa@ basic marketing

    What a great article! So glad I came across this on Serpd. I especially am interested in the section about using “click here” as anchor text. I was always under the impression that having a few of those or a couple here, here and here anchors was good. should I completely stay away from this practice?

    Lisa

  • bbriniotis

    @Lisa: Hi Lisa, Yes the anchor text “here” says nothing useful for the search engines. So from SEO perspective it should be avoided.

  • kristinslarsen

    Making sure the incoming links are properly optimized with your keywords is also important. If the referring site has a link to your site already then they probably wouldn’t mind changing it to your desired keyword text if you ask them.
    Can’t be said enough, quality over quantity for links.

    Thank you for the great post.

  • Louie

    With a high volume amount of people using SEO it is really cool plugins that can totally help your SEO campaign your focus should be on delivering quality content…

  • paleo recipes

    @malc – You refer to an absorbing point there. Not everyone has the power to guarantee these things are undertaken in the accepted way and helpful tips such as those you have provided will help support the problems to a much greater level than it is at this time.

  • seo outsourcing

    I agree, BlackHat SEO provides only a shallow and short advantage. Search Engines will crack you down and making your site penalized. Black Hat is not worth it.

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  • AstroGremlin

    Been experimenting with comments and it really has increased traffic. Whether or not the search robots are impressed, some very interesting humans have dropped by and commented.

  • Web Design Atlanta

    Vasilis, What % of no-follow links do you need to have to look natural to google. I have heard as high as 40% Is that correct or is it lower?

  • best web design

    Now a days to do seo is not an easy task.Search Engine(Google)is doing various changes in their algorithm so all SEOs also have to need up to date with all updated news.
    Thanks for sharing this article here,I hope it will be helpful too all webmasters.
    Thanks

  • SEO Berkshire

    SEO must be done as a gradual and well maintained and disciplined process. Basically, it is best to go for high quality backlinks over time and not major splurges all at once.

  • Thiết kế web

    Social Media is a great way to communicate with others and share news, interesting articles, tools and services. Communicating your message to the correct target audience by using the social media can help you increase your website’s traffic. If your website/blog provides quality content, more people will learn about it and the chances of getting more backlinks increase. –> exactly 100% , i alway put my site on G+ and alexa very good.

  • Electrical Supplies

    Spamming the blog commenting is a common mistake that gets made. Also, buying links / cutting corners is one sure way to be penalised by google. Don’t bother taking this risk.

    You must consider the anchor text you wish to promote and you must be thorough in which link source you go for.

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