5 Link Building Methods That You Shouldn’t Be Doing

Worst Link Building Methods

It’s always good to go over the past and to make sure that the things that you are doing now are putting you on the right track. If you’ve got a blog then getting links is something that you should be doing. It seems like Google’s web spam team went to sleep for the majority of 2010 and 2011.

Link Building Methods

Link Building Methods

With the ‘spam police’ asleep at the wheel, many bloggers and webmasters got lazier and lazier. So-called experienced SEO’s started coming out of the woodwork advising some of the worst spam techniques possible. Anybody with half a brain could see that eventually there would be trouble coming.

With little to no spam policing and rankings being ‘bought’ with low-quality tactics it seemed like the party would never end. Then the penguin update came along and changed everything for everybody.  I won’t explain again too much about what Penguin is, as it was covered in more detail on IncreaseRss in this post (5-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-penguin-updates).

Suffice to say that Penguin has been a game changer for everybody.  For those using web spamming tactics, they’ve probably had the dreaded ‘Google Love Letter’ in their Webmaster Tools account. It’s important to note that Penguin is an algorithmic update and those who received messages in Webmaster Tools were hit by manual penalties. The truth is that many people were hit by both.

So if you want to recover from Penguin it’s likely that you may have also had manual action and you may have double the work to recover.  For those playing by the rules, you’re probably dancing for joy! Finally, massive parts of the competition were taken out of the equation and that means better rankings and more traffic for those that survived. Of course just because you survived Penguin, it doesn’t mean that you’re whiter than white.

So in case you haven’t been hit by the Penguin and think your link building methods are all ok, I’ve got a handy checklist of things you definitely should not be doing.

1) Forum Posts  Yes, it’s easy to get links on forums.

A followed link in your signature and you can make a few posts and have a few links back to your site. That’s just not the way to do it. If you want to post in forums (and get a few links too), then you need to be posting quality content that helps the forum users. Show your expertise in a non-sales fashion and help the community. As with all link building, the difference between white hat and black hat is often intent and execution.

 2) Blog Comments  This is a complete no-no if you’re doing this as a link building tactic.

Lots of short sharp blog comments on a huge variety of unrelated blogs are a clear Penguin signal. If you are adding value by creating valuable information for a blog’s audience on related sites where you share similar expertise, then this is completely different.

Any links within the comments probably won’t help your SEO in the short term, but the relationships you build based on that may be extremely valuable. In its truest form SEO is about relationships.

3) Directory Submissions  Nothing in SEO makes me cringe more than the word ‘submissions’! If you’re ‘submitting’ anything then you’re doing it wrong.

There are literally many thousands of directory sites and most are very low quality. A huge amount of these were de-indexed after Penguin. If you think using a submit service where you get to thousands of directories for a few bucks is a good idea then you may wish to rethink that.

If you use such as service you’ll be getting crappy links on a vast amount of low quality, and even worse, de-indexed sites. This is a very bad idea. I believe that there is still a place for quality directories. The problem is, finding the good ones. Luckily I’ve got a simple tip for you to find a curated list of high-quality directories. SEOMoz maintains a regularly updated directory list for its members.

They run a 30-day free trial, and if you sign up you’ll get access to it in the trial period. Matt Cutts, Google’s head of the web spam team, created a great video about this subject if you want to find out more.

4) Blog Networks and Article Sites  This is another one of those cringe worthy submission things.

These are all a very bad idea. If you think submitting your low-quality rubbish to article sites or huge networks of spam blogs is going to help then you’ve got a problem. There’s nothing wrong with sharing of information to boost relationships, engagement, and ultimately your link profile, but you have to do it right.

Try to find blogs that are related to yours and offer to share your content and ideas with their audience. If you positively engage with their community you’ll have even more success. As I discussed above, comment on their blog posts with original ideas.

You’ll soon get the webmasters attention, and opportunities to work together towards common goals.

 5) Outsourcing SEO without due diligence  We’ve all had the emails, right? Someone sends you an offer for $100 a month to do all sorts of amazing (and spammy!) things that are going to take you to the stratosphere.

Stay well clear of too good to be true offers. If you engage anyone to help you with getting more traffic to your blog, then you need to seek them out, not the other way around. As I hope I’ve got across, SEO is about building relationships. With relationships, we can do all the things that help us rank our sites by cooperation and putting the user experience at the forefront of everything. Relationships take time, hard work, and a genuine belief in making the internet a better place. As someone once said, “you can’t outsource giving a shit.” So


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