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Link Building: The Good, Bad, & Truth

Link Building: The Good, Bad, & Truth

Since the first rise of Google, people have been touting the importance of link building campaigns. It garners more traffic, increases your domain authority, and helps you rank higher in searches.

However, various algorithm updates over the years have made it increasingly challenging to create a Google-friendly backlink campaign. If you’re going to try this strategy for yourself, you might want to look at the good, the bad, and the ugly truth of link building.

The Good

If you want to start a link building campaign, make sure you use the proper techniques. The best types are editorial referrals. Unfortunately, getting these organic backlinks takes a lot of time. If you want to spur on the process, you can take a couple of actions without angering Google.

Guest Blogging

According to Click Intelligence, outreach is the backbone of a link building strategy. Before you start churning out content, keep in mind that:

  • The publishing site needs to be relevant and have high domain authority
  • You need to provide an article with quality content
  • The topic of the guest post needs to be pertinent to your website
  • Link placement should be as natural as possible

Google might still rain on your parade, regardless of how good your content is. According to the search engine:

“…creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines.”

With the search engine actively handing out penalties, focus on providing valuable content to a site’s readers. Whether in an author profile or in the article itself, any links you get in return should be a bonus.

Images and Infographics

Do you create images or infographics for your website or social media? If you do, other websites have likely started finding and using them. Luckily, you can use the engine’s reverse search capability to see where your work is used without permission.

Reach out to these websites and request a linked credit to your page. Not only is this fair, but it also results in more natural-looking links pointing to you.

The Bad

Black hat link building and SEO strategies used to be the norm, and almost everyone was using them – even the legendary optimization expert, Neil Patel. Today, however, employing those same techniques will have you penalized faster than you can say “Google.”

Blog Comment Spam

If you have a blog, you’ve likely noticed spam comments at some point. They usually say little of value, urge you to check out another site, or drop a URL, and nothing more. While it used to work before the arrival of Google Penguin, it’s now practically useless as a link building strategy.

Non-Relevant Websites

If you’re a divorce lawyer, there’s absolutely no reason for a contractor’s website to point towards yours. Google’s algorithm has gotten a lot better at sniffing out these irrelevant referrals. If you’re lucky, the engine will devalue the backlink. If you’re not, you’ll receive a penalty notice instead.

Paid Links

Google isn’t fond of paid links. The technique essentially manipulates your domain authority by getting ranking websites to vouch for you. That goes directly against the search engine’s goal, which is to provide relevant content to searchers. It’s also a violation of its guidelines.

And Many, Many More

Here are a few other “junk link” strategies you should avoid:

  • Using PBNs (Private Blog Networks)
  • Overusing DoFollow links
  • Using shady or irrelevant anchor text
  • Links in forum signatures
  • Using link exchanges
  • Backlink generators
  • Footer and sidebar links

The Truth

Creating backlinks as a marketing and SEO strategy is a great way to boost traffic, but only when it is done so the right way. While it might give you temporary success, black hat methods might get your website dropped from Google’s ranks permanently.

The short truth is this:

If you want to get PageRank through organic, Google-approved backlinks, start writing – and make it useful.

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