It is not a secret that having links pointing to your domain is one of the main factors taken into account to define the authority of your site, directly influencing your location in search engine results.
As an essential part of an SEO strategy, in addition to keywords, it is important to know good link building practices, but it is essential to know which tactics are not viewed favorably by search engines and may even be penalized.
This text will be dedicated to addressing the main mistakes that you should avoid in your link building of your Digital Marketing strategy.
To understand why Google penalizes some types of links, you need to understand how Google assesses their value. for the tool, a link should be a natural way to deliver value to a user, using another page as the source of that value.
This other page can be from your own domain or from a different domain. The important thing is that the link has relevance within the context of the page where it appears.
It is based on this that we are going to understand how each of the listed links can be viewed negatively by the search tool.
Let’s start with the easiest ways to get caught and punished by Google, and then we’ll cover some points where it’s important to be mindful and discerning.
1- Do not buy or sell links
Google is increasingly prepared to identify links that have not been used naturally, and the same goes for purchased links.
Think that each link, which points or is pointed by your domain, is a record of your value. You want to make sure all registrations are positive, so be careful when trading them.
Buying and selling links is one of Google’s biggest focus points and is definitely a territory you want to stay away from. In the end, there are much better ways to build authority.
Remember that if you want to put a link from a business partner on your page, you can try to put it naturally, or insert the NoFollow tag. This tag prevents the search engine from following the link, and therefore from associating the two domains.
2- Do not use private blog networks
This resource consists of creating a network of private blogs, in domains other than your website, to generate links to your main site, where you concentrate customer acquisition. So I can’t have a blog on another domain?
Of course you can! The important thing is to ensure that your blog has relevance on its own.
If your private blog is constantly being updated, receiving visits, new content and external links, it is likely to generate value, and you do not have to worry about it.
However, if you plan to purchase several deactivated domains to generate links, and leave them “left to the moths”, you will have a big problem on your hands. If Google understands that these domains only exist to host links for your main domain, you will be penalized.
3- Do not use hidden links
Using hidden links, like one in white text on a white background for example, has already been an easy way to get links to rank well. Today it is one of the easiest ways to be detected by Google.
Hidden links do not add any value to the user, and are intended only to manipulate search engines, so it is seen as negative and will lead to penalties for your domain.
4- Do not use directory links
Link directories have been the best way to accumulate a large number of links pointing to your site. Today, however, many of the directories that have been referenced, such as Dmoz or Dihitt, no longer exist.
Having a link in a directory does not generate clicks and does not pass credibility: is a step backwards in your strategy. Focus your attention on receiving only links that really generate value.
5- Do not use tools to create links
There are a number of tools that can help you monitor the links you receive, as well as prospect for quality link sources. However, tools that aim to automatically create links on other sites will drop your pagerank to the ground!
Tools like ScrapeBox, which have become famous for generating a lot of links on other sites, are nowadays easily detected and penalized by Google, which classifies them as Spam. It is definitely not what you want for your website.
6- Be careful with Guest posts
Guest posts are an excellent way to reach different audiences, spreading the name of your company on other blogs, generating value, gaining authority in the market.
Nevertheless, It is important that you associate yourself with guest posts that are intended to generate valuable content.
Exchanging guest posts just to have your link on other domains is a shot in the foot, and Google is increasingly prepared to detect links that do not come from sources of content and value.
To make Guest Posts without making mistakes with the link building strategy, download our complete and free guide on the subject!
7- Be careful with site-wide links
Site-wide links are the same external links, which are on several pages of the same site, usually in the same position on the page. This type of link is extremely common, and can be seen naturally by Google.
There are two factors to consider when evaluating site-wide links. The first is the fact that as the number of links from one domain to another grows, the relevance of each of them decreases.
The 20th link from a site to yours will carry much less or no weight relative to the first.
The second is that it is important to assess the relationship and the relevance of the connection between the sites. Site-wide links can be harmless and beneficial if they have a logical connection; or negative and passive punishment if they do not have it.
To make sure that the site-wide links that your site has do not negatively interfere with your pagerank, put the nofollow attribute on each one of them.
8- Be careful with links in the comments
Links in the comments section is one of the big points of attention for Google engineers when looking for spam. They are a very easy way to put your link on another domain, but also one of the easiest ways to get caught and punished.
Links in comments can be very valuable, and generate only positive effects on your ranking, once they follow the same link value logic that Google takes into account in any other link.
Is your comment relevant? Does it add value to the content of the page? Does the link that has been put in the comment make sense in that context? Is it going to add value to the person who clicks on it?
These questions are decisive to define if you should put a link for your domain in a comments section.
9- Be careful with specific anchor texts
Anchor text is the visible, clickable text that contains the link for another domain. As it became a factor evaluated by search tools, it is important to have anchor texts that meet your needs.
An anchor text must fit the context of the page that makes the link. The anchor text should be a natural continuation of the topic addressedand the connection between what is written and the linked page must be clear.
If people click on your link, and when they reach the destination they notice that there is nothing related to the above, they will quickly leave the page, showing Google that the link was not useful.
Another care that must be taken is not to ask for all the links you receive to have the same anchor text.
Even if they all come from business partners, having all the anchor texts say something like “Company X – Best in Service Y” can sound programmed to search engines.
Whenever you notice a link to your site being misused, requests a change that makes the anchor texts natural.