Having high-quality links from websites and using internal links effectively are key parts of an essential search engine optimization strategy. When credible websites link to yours, it helps search engines see that your content is valuable, so they’ll rank it more highly and consumers will be able to find it more easily.
In the old days, link-building often meant that companies would simply put links on every site they could so they’d have lots of inbound links. Now, however, search engines are wise to this type of trick and you could end up facing a penalty from Google or even being banned from showing up in their search results.
You don’t want to do long-term damage to your optimization efforts by making link-building mistakes, even if you get a short-term boost from having lots of inbound links pointing to your page.
Link Building Don’ts
To make sure you get high quality links that help you for the long-haul, here are a few key mistakes to avoid:
- Don’t spam your site: You should avoid posting comments where your only purpose is to place your link and you should not guest blog or post on forums if your only purpose is to link to your site.
- Don’t buy, exchange, or automate links: You don’t want to buy large amounts of links, or exchange links. You also don’t want to use automated programs to link your site from everywhere. Search engines can detect when your site is listed on sites with no real content or on spam sites whose only purpose is to advertise- and you’ll face penalties when your site suddenly shows up everywhere. If a site is selling links to you, they’re probably selling them to others- and large amounts of questionable links on a site increases the chances of a Google penalty.
- Don’t put links on sites with unrelated content: You want search engines to know what your content entails, and inbound links from sites with no connection to your products or services aren’t going to help bolster your credibility in your area of expertise.
- Don’t over-optimize anchor text: Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. When you link to your site, avoid using spammy-sounding keywords in the anchor text you use. Google and other search engines penalize for keyword stuffing and spam keywords.
- Don’t make all links go to your home page. This can make your link-building look like spam. Instead, try to link to the specific pages that are relevant to the content. For example, if someone is writing news about your firm, they’ll usually naturally link to the relevant news page.
- Don’t recycle your content: Trying to get your posts published on other websites is a good thing, but you don’t want to re-publish content in multiple places. Duplicate content, or content with only a few words rewritten, can trigger Google penalties too.
The bottom line is, your link-building should be natural, links should be placed (on posts and social media) because they benefit users, and you should provide high quality content. When you have natural links that make sense on high quality sites, search engines can detect this and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with higher rankings and more conversions.
Director, Web and SEO Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555