Top 10 Link building mistakes to avoid in 2020

  • February 5, 2020
  • SEO
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If you want to be on the front page of search results on Google and other major search engines, you’re on the right track with unique and high-quality content. But even in 2020, backlinks and link building are indispensable factors for a high positioning in the search results. However, when acquiring backlinks, you must tread with caution. Google is increasingly paying attention to the quality of the acquired backlinks.

Top 10 Link building mistakes to avoid

To make sure that your link building campaigns bring you favorable results, here we show you 10 mistakes you must avoid when working on your link building campaigns.

1:  Backlink from a bad neighborhood

Backlinks from bad neighborhood (bad quality link farms, web directories, article directories, spam blogs etc.) From the perspective of Google, there are good websites and bad ones. Websites that host spam content or linking behavior are hot candidates for punishment. It does not matter if you link to the spam page (outgoing link) or to your page (backlink). Once a website violates the search engine provider’s guidelines for good content and linking behavior, it may result in a penalty. Punishment can lead to banishment of linking pages or whole website from search engine results. Here’re some of the examples of bad neighbor that you should stay away from:

  • Domains with spam content or links.
  • Websites that purchased backlinks.
  • Websites hosting copyrighted content
  • Pages with thin content.
  • Page with faulty coding.

If you want to avoid mistakes in link building, keep your eyes open. If your gut feeling tells you that a particular page is not good for your link building, then you may be right. Pay attention to quality when building backlinks and you will not have any problems with search engines.

 2: Link building on non-relevant websites.

Another mistake that webmasters and SEO novices make in link building is to build links in large numbers of websites that are non-relevant to their own website. This creates an artificial link profile for your website in the eyes of search engines. Naturally, webmasters link to website that is relevant to the content of their website, usually when the other website adds something valuable. That is why it is only natural for websites to link to relevant pages.

A marketing-related website is more likely to link to other marketing topics than to hospitality or sports nutrition websites. If a website receives a particularly large number of backlinks from non-external sites, this quickly gives the impression that links have been bought or exchanged. To avoid a drop in your website’s ranking or a penalty, backlinks should best be built on sites dealing with a similar topic.

3: Absence of no-follow links in the link profile.

Although backlinks with a no-follow attribute are often ignored by the WebCrawler, non-follow backlinks are part of a natural link profile. How high the proportion of no-follow-links should be, is controversial – many website operators, however, put on a share of about 10-40%. Whether Google actually ignores no-follow-links is not sure. Many SEOs believe that high-quality no-follow links – such as Wikipedia – can have a positive use for a website (although no link juice is inherited, Google recognizes with high probability that the link comes from an authority).

 4: Use of same anchor text on all backlinks.

Backlinks from relevant websites are very important for good ranking. However, when building links, attention should not only be paid to the relevance of the topic, but also to the appropriate link text (anchor text). Google likes natural looking link profiles. Constant linking with the same link text looks very unnatural and is therefore counterproductive. If you don’t want to get punished for unnatural link profile you must create variations in your anchor text.

The link text should be varied as often as possible in the backlink structure. It will be difficult for Google to uncover a manually built link profile. You can vary the anchor texts almost arbitrarily. The linking of several words, half sentences and stop words (“here”, “inform now”, “more”, etc.) is also part of a healthy link text mix. However, it is also normal for brand names or domain names to be linked more frequently (about 50% of the links should refer to the brand name or the domain).

5: Quantity instead of quality.

With Google’s recent algorithm updates, one thing has become clear: class is more important than mass! 1-2 quality backlinks can make a bigger contribution to Google’s ranking than 20 inferior comments or article directory backlinks. Particularly valuable are backlinks from websites that have a theme and at the same time enjoy high trust ratings at Google. To get an overview of the trust rating of a page, it is worthwhile to examine the link profile of the targeted page. Many SEOs rely on tools such as Majestic in their analysis, some of which can be used for free. Websites with a high trust rating flow and a clearly defined theme are good candidates for a high-quality backlink.

  • Good link profile: strong topic focus and high trust flow
  • Link building: good link profile and trust values
  • Bad link profile: Broad topic spread and low trust flow
  • Link building: bad link profile and trust values

6: Link building and abrupt growth in backlinks.

Many website owners want their website to be on the first page of Google as quickly as possible. Many times, if the website doesn’t have many backlinks it’ll take a very long time to move up in Google’s search listings. However, to speed up this process, many website owners build thousands of backlinks abruptly. It’s a very common link building mistake to make. Abrupt and irregular link building can damage your website’s ranking in search engines. Many site owners link very aggressively in the first few weeks to bring the page up in the ranking quickly. Once they stop building links after such abrupt activity, it looks very unnatural to Google. It is better to create a steady link velocity and plan an even link building process for the future. An aggressive and selective link building is counterproductive and should be avoided whenever possible.

 7: Having backlinks of the same page type.

Backlinks of the same types of webpages are also a common link building mistake many SEO novices make. For example, if your website just has backlinks from forums or blog comments, sooner or later it starts to appear suspicious to the search engines, and they might devalue the links pointing to your website. Always try to create a diverse link profile. A diverse link profile consists of a mixture of backlinks of different page types. Also positive are backlinks of companies and organizations from the same industry, whereby reciprocal link exchange should be avoided. To create a diverse portfolio, use different link building methods like text content, image, infographic, memes, videos, presentations, etc.

8: Unnatural link distribution.

Many webmasters build links only lead to the home page of the website. That can make sense in certain cases; however, if the home page gets too many backlinks, then this usually no longer looks like a natural link profile. Especially if you run a blog on your website in addition to static pages, blog posts offer more information to the customer, so getting links to them looks more natural than the static pages. The same is true of news websites. Thus, it’s very important to use inner pages of your website for the link building campaigns.

9: Having backlinks from sites from a linguistically different region.

Anyone who runs a page for the German-speaking area usually also gets the most backlinks from the German-speaking area. Everything else would be illogical. On the other hand, if a link profile contains many backlinks from other language areas, it quickly smells of manipulation. Some links from abroad may be included. As long as foreign language backlinks make up only a small percentage, everything is fine.

10: Many backlinks from sidebar or footer appearing on your page.

Recently Google has made changes to its algorithm and can now see where are the links located on the page. Links that appear in the visible region of the page are awarded better by Google than links in the sidebar or footer. These are links that are present in the upper part of the content area of the page. Links from the sidebar are not optimal, but usually better than links from the footer. Especially links from the footer are considered biased. The footer has traditionally been used for partner links or purchased links in the past. However, good and natural backlinks usually arise during the writing and are located in the text area (see graphic). If possible, such backlinks should be preferred.

Conclusion on the topic “link building mistakes”

If you want to avoid mistakes in link building, you should have the most balanced and varied link profile possible. Anyone who works smartly can accelerate link building without Google suspecting manipulation.

A natural link profile also includes backlinks from websites with higher or lower page rank. Also, some no-follow links and variations in anchor texts belong to a natural backlink profile. If you use the tips from this guide in your link building campaigns, then nothing can go wrong. Have fun building quality links for your website!

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