The Do’s and Don’ts of Link Building

Due to Google’s regular algorithm updates, you have to be careful when building links as unnatural links can get your website penalized – which is much more complicated to do than link building. Knowing that, you might feel pressured in finding ideal links for a website. This makes it hard to decide where to start.

Due to Google’s regular algorithm updates

When it comes to link building, there are several things that you have to consider. These will help ensure that only natural links are created improving online presence and avoiding penalization.

Building links can be easier when the following things are taken into consideration:

First, you have to consider which websites your links should come from to make sure that your links will be natural.

  • Check the relevancy and quality of the website

Links must come from websites that are relevant to your content. Do not forget to check the quality of the website. A quality site is well-maintained and contains quality content as well. It will not take you a long time to evaluate the quality of a site.

  • Check its link patterns

Links placed within the body of the content are beneficial. Links found in the content may have more value compared to other links found on the site but see to it that it’s placed in a relevant article. Since it’s placed within the body of the article, these links usually get more clicks. Still, do not just focus on having a lot of in content links because it will appear as if it’s sponsored or promoted, and will have lesser value. You can place links going to other sources so that doesn’t look biased.

  • See to it that it doesn’t have promotional intent

There are times that the brand mentioned in the article is recommended by the site owner. It is best to change it in a way that it doesn’t sound promotional. When posting your articles, avoid filling up the author boxes or labels – especially if it’s just a guest post. Let the site owner own the content as if the site owner has written it so that it will appear more natural.

  • Check how engaging the site is.

Do not forget to check if the content of the website has comments from visitors or other site owners. There are also those which have social media likes and shares. Comments, likes, and shares are good indicators that there really are people who are reading their site’s content and would possibly click on the links you will add.

Check how engaging the site is

Once you know which websites your links should come from, check the previous link building methods that have been done on the website. By doing that, you will be able to determine how much work should be made. Your link building approach will vary from one website to another depending on its current status.

  • Evaluate the site’s anchor texts distribution

Check the distribution of the anchor texts on the site. It is recommended to use other variations of anchor texts. Majority of links being created contains the exact brand name in its anchor text (e.g., Digital Search Group). Instead of having a majority of these links, use another variety like a combination of the brand and keyword in a phrase (e.g., talk to a digital marketing professional at Digital Search Group) or a regular phrase (e.g., reputable digital marketing agencies).

  • Check the velocity of the links

Link velocity refers to the rate in which other sites are linking back to a website. It is how these links grow over time. When you check for the link velocity, it doesn’t mean that it should always be high enough as there are times that it can be low. But, be cautious once there are sudden, irregular spikes of link velocity. It has to be proportional to the amount of content that a website has.

  • Identify content assets

Make sure that the site has content assets where it can be linked to. Content assets could be articles, images, videos, press releases, etc. It increases the chance of reaching potential clients since they can find the site in every medium. Do not just focus linking to the home page or the so-called money pages because as long as the site has the right structure, other pages will also improve its rankings.

When choosing which links you should have, there are different types of links that you can apply. You just have to make sure that you will be building links at a regular velocity.

  • Links from local directories/local citations

It may not give a significant effect on your rankings but this will also be helpful. It allows sites to appear on map results which show up right above the search results. It also allows you to easily pull potential customers towards your business especially if you have a physical office or a store.

  • Links from blogs and other sites

Links from blogs and other sites

You can do an outreach campaign to bloggers and site owners. You could ask them to have featured content on their site or have links within the content. These links are more valuable in search engines.

  • Links on resource pages

These links are also valued by search engines as it appears that webmasters vouch for these resources. Plenty of websites contain resource pages and it’s one of the pages that are really useful to site visitors.

  • Links on press releases

This can be used once in a while especially when there if the company has just reached a new milestone. These are not designed for SEO purposes but it can be helpful in generating links.

Do not just use one type of link. It is best to use multiple types to maintain balance in your link building methods. Avoid building links in the same number each time since this will make your site look like it’s following a certain pattern.

Having patterns in link building can actually get a site penalized. Two of the common patterns are the unnatural distribution of anchor text and unnatural link velocity. There are other methods to having anchor texts and different types of content assets wherein the site can be linked to; make sure to use them. Speaking of in-content links, common patterns are the links from pages with the same length in terms of content and links that appear to be promotional or sponsored. There should always be a variety to this so that your links have more value.

When it comes to formulas or trends, there is no fixed formula or trend that everyone has to follow – which is a common misconception by digital marketing agencies. What they think is changing is just the combination of methods that are used.

When building links, it is always best to consider the goals you want to achieve for the site. It always depends upon the current state of the site that you are working on. Evaluate the site based on the suggestions discussed above as those will help you decide on what you should and should not do.

Joe Ryan is the Founder & CEO of UK online marketing agency, Digital Search Group, which specialises in smart internet marketing. He is a specialist in online marketing strategy and brand building. When he’s not considering the next best online marketing strategy with his team, he enjoys travel and spending time with his family.