Link Building, once the crux of achieving SEO success, is now a quickly dying practice that requires extreme care and skill to avoid being penalized by Google’s Panda update. Here are 5 Link Building myths that have been disproven and should be eliminated from your marketing playbook.
You can’t buy your way to the top of the search engines—at least not anymore! Google’s Penguin update was developed specifically to penalize those who are taking part in unworthy or unnatural link building efforts. In other words, buying links, trading links or otherwise attempting to gain links in any manner that is not a natural occurrence.
For further proof that spending your money on links just isn’t worth it, consider this quote by Google’s head of web spam, Matt Cutts, following the Penguin update, “If there is a link selling site and they get caught for selling links, and they just happen to be linking to you, the value of that link that the site was provided, it just goes away.”
One high quality link is worth 100 maybe even 1,000 poor links. Link blasting, which was once a way of life in the SEO world, is a huge “no no” today. In fact, Google has taken a number of steps to recognize and retaliate against those who build hundreds of poor quality links using things like directories, link blasting software and similar unnatural methods of link building.
It does in fact take great content to build great links, but you don’t get links just because you wrote great content. Google factors social sharing of content in its search algorithm, meaning if your content is going unnoticed, it doesn’t matter how amazing you think it is.
Low quality content won’t facilitate organic engagement from real people, which results in it also being ignored by search engines. Rather than creating dozens of poor quality pieces of content, focus instead on a smaller number of rich and thoughtful pieces that will capture the interest of your audience.
Guest blogging was once a means of creating quality links and can still be if you are blogging in the right place and with the right tone. However, based on a recent post by Matt Cutts, it seems guest blogging has seen its rise and its demise. As Cutts states, “if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.”
While rich anchor text is a valuable asset in the world of link building, Google has caught on to the unnatural manipulation of anchor text used by SEOs to game the system. In a recent, Post Penguin article by Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg & KISSmetrics, he explains that rich anchor text is no longer “good” for SEO and in fact can be very bad if you have many links using the same anchor text pointing to a single page.
It’s critical to diversify your backlink profile by linking both branded and non-branded terms to pages of high relevance. Also, mix up the keywords you’re using in your backlinks. Otherwise, red flags will be raised and Google will suspect you of black hat techniques.