5 link building pitfalls to avoid

I’m sure this last could be a whole lot longer, but since I find myself doling out a lot of advice to SEO as and budding SEOs these days and while a lot of times people are on the right track, they tend to overlook little details that can make a big difference.  Here’s a short list I find myself saying often –

  1. Don’t waste time getting links from bad pages.  Check to see if the page you’re linking to has some value.  Is it indexed?  Check by doing a Google search – info:siteyouwanttocheck.com and you’ll see if you get a result, and if it’s been cached.  Does the page have PageRank?  If it passes these tests, that’s a good start.  If there are too many outbound links on a page, you’re sharing juice and your links aren’t going to be worth much.  You also might want to do a quick search for the page title, or the website’s page title to see if it’s experienced any Google penalties (hint: if you can’t find the pages anywhere in the rankings for their exact titles, it’s probably worth staying away from)
  2. Don’t overdo the anchor text, especially on deep pages.  If you own a site that doesn’t get many links, Google will probably notice if you get 50 consecutive links to a seemingly obscure subpage with a very specific anchor text.  You’ll also want to get links to a variety of pages.  For better or worse, Google wants you to make your links look like they’re occurring naturally…even though they sure know you’re out there building links.  See no evil, hear no evil I guess…
  3. Don’t focus on numbers.  Quantity might not get you to the top.  You can spend a ton of time getting massive amounts of low-quality links, or that same amount of time getting a few great links.  The latter will often win.
  4. Don’t get reciprocal links from less authoritative domains.  If they don’t have any PageRank or links pointing in, why do you want to share a link?  If your glass is half full and someone else’s is a quarter full, what’s the point in sharing?
  5. Don’t be myopic.  Try different tactics.  Too many of one type of link stops the creative juices from inspiring you to find new ways to get links.  Plus, depending on your tactics, you might also be tipping Google off to your “evil” activities.  Don’t put Google in a corner!

Any other mistakes to avoid?  Please feel free to add a comment.

Adam Henige

Adam Henige is Managing Partner of Netvantage Marketing. Adam heads the SEO and link building efforts for Netvantage and has been a contributing blogger for industry publications like Search Engine Journal and Moz.

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