Shady Link Building Methods You Should Avoid

Written by Julia. Posted in Articles

Building links is one of the important components of search engine optimization. Many marketers consider link building as a way to improve their websites ranking and drive traffic. There are many link building tactics out there. Some of them are aimed at building natural looking links that would produce long-term results. Other practices teach how to build many links in the shortest time and with fewer efforts. But such links can hurt a website in prospect.

When it comes to link building, not every link is counted as a vote for the website. Although the search engine is not a human, it uses the algorithm to discern good and bad backlinks. The search engine evaluates the websites links are coming from, anchor text, quantity of links appearing within a period of time and some other factors. If there is any doubt, the search engine can consider the links as spammy and lower the website in ranking.

So, whether you are just starting your link building campaign, or looking for new link building methods you've never used before, here is a good list of things Not To Do while optimizing your website:

Abusing Wikipedia

As you probably know Wikipedia has an enormous value for the users. This site provides accurate data based on facts and not on assumptions. Many Internet users search Wikipedia for quality articles and stories. That's why Wikipedia ranks high in search engines. Some webmasters think about editing an article on Wikipedia related to their market niche hoping to obtain a backlink. Not a bad idea. However, to get accepted, your article must be well written, quality, open-minded and it must not contain any promotional or sales material. With all that said, if you are not very skilled in writing, consider changing your mind towards Wikipedia.

Abusing Video Sites

The websites sharing video files may be a good teaser for webmasters looking for backlinks. People come to such websites, watch the video they are interested in and share their thoughts in comments. But be careful. People hate when somebody chucks in their conversation with an off-topic comment. If you suggest a website that has nothing in common with the discussed video, you may hurt yourself. Potential website visitors may hate it in advance if they find it on most video sharing sites.

Spamming Forums and Blogs

Forums and blogs are being created to unify people interested in the same topic where they can chat, share their thoughts and opinions. Unfortunately, forum and blog spam is not uncommon now. If you run a forum or blog, you are likely to get so-called posts and comments that give nothing to the readers but are full of pure links. To protect against spam, bloggers often use anti-spam plug-ins such as Akismet which detects suspicious comments and moves them to the Spam folder on the blog. Using this method to build links you create a bad reputation to your website and company. In addition, because of several spam posts or comments you may end by being banned on the specific forum or blog and you may not be allowed to submit good comments or posts.

Adding Pending or Low Quality Sites to Web Directories

Submitting the website to the appropriate category in popular web directories is one of the common link building tactics. However, one of reasons the website is rejected from the directory is a poor, low quality website content. Do not submit carelessly done websites in the hope to get a link. Take time to develop a quality website thinking primarily about the end user and not about a search engine. After all, it's not a search engine but human visitors who will browse the site, read the content, and click the links. Here you will find directory submission best practices

Spamming Other Webmasters

Contacting other websites owners for link exchange is not a bad idea. In fact, there is a good chance to get solid links this way if the link exchange is equivalent, the websites have a common theme and if you approach a website owner personally in a well written message. Sending an automatic email to random webmasters with irrelevant link exchange requests does no good for you or your website.

Creating Link Pages

Some time ago generic link pages were very popular. Those pages gave absolutely nothing to the users because they contained only pure links (often irrelevant) to other websites with no other content. The search engines consider link pages as an attempt to artificially build incoming links and increase the PageRank. So, if you were thinking about such a way of exchanging links, better forget it and consider placing links on web pages with content relevant to your niche.

The best results can be achieved with the links placed within the page content. Side-wide links and links placed in the page footer are not so valuable because they are mostly paid links. The search engines used to devalue a link if something would suggest that you have bought the link (the words like "advertisements", "sponsors", "supporters", etc. near your link). If you still decide to buy links, at least make sure you are not buying tons of links with the same anchor text. With all that said, I would recommend blog commenting, guest blogging and creation and submission of unique articles as good methods to get inbound links within the web page content.

Well, I described just a few shady link building methods that can hurt your website if they are not used properly. I just wanted you to know these tactics exist and might be used by your competitors. However, if you think they are ethically wrong, do not engage into such practices and focus on good link building methods that produce not quick but valuable long-term results.

Please, share your thoughts in comments.

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