9 Link Building Mistakes to Avoid

Long-term Link Building Mistakes

If you want your website to rank well in the years to come, avoid these common link building mistakes.

1. Neglecting deep links

Deep links are links that point to your site but not your home page. In other words, these links point to your internal webpages or those external links that are called Tier 2 and Tier 3 links that pointing back to any part of your website such as pages, videos, posts, photos.

What are the advantages of deep linking? First, you’ll have more search volume because more of your pages will rank.

Second, you’ll increase the link authority and popularity of your whole site. The domain authority is measured by a lot of factors. A huge factor from those is the number of powerful backlinks points to it. Imagine building a powerful linking profile for every single post separately, you will end up with high authority pages linked internally to the root domain, and this fact itself will hugely boost your trust flow and the domain ranking.

Third, search bots will spider your site more efficiently.

Fourth, whenever you create a new page, it will be indexed more quickly.

2. Focusing on reciprocal links ignoring that the quality comes first.

Search engines are giving more weight to one-way links because they look more natural. Instead of concentrating on link exchange and wasting your efforts, focus on building quality content, powerful internal linking structure, and qualitative external backlinks, use your time and energy to acquire one-way links from authentic resources that are relevant to your niche.

After the ultimate algorithm updates, Google has declared that reciprocal links are against the community terms and guidelines, so even though you might see some link sparks and traffic increase, you need to be careful because you simply can never trick Google.

3. Getting links from generic sites instead of relevant sites 

Generic sites include article directories, site directories, and word cloud sites. There are a select few directories that have gained the search engines’ trust like and However, most article directories and site directories are not worth your time and effort. Those article directories have had their days, nowadays it does not worth the pain to submit to them simply because Google started to DISLIKE them because a lot of spammers used them negatively and the fact of getting links from them is something can be handled easily. Google wants those Do-follow links to acquire naturally by doing nothing more than posting quality content that attracts or obligates people to use it as a reference or in other words link back to it.  Some SEO experts evaluated the even ezine articles does not worth the pain to use it anymore because simply Google started to DISLIKE it at the moment the articles spammers have spammed it to hell.

Let alone the fact with the last update of Google, Google representatives declared that they are converting the way they see the no-follow links. Previously, links with no-follow were always ignored when it comes to ranking factors.

 Now, Google will decide for itself whether to count this link as a no-follow ‘do-follow’ link or not based on undeclared factors. 

4. Word cloud sites are especially risky.

Search engines can easily devalue those links because word cloud sites are manipulative, spammy, and easy to detect.

 You might rank well with word cloud sites in the short-term, but search engines’ algorithms are getting better.

 Don’t count on word cloud sites as a long-term link building strategy.

5. Get links from relevant sites is a huge link building mistake

What’s a relevant site? It’s a site that relates to your site niche. If you have a site about a hit TV show, you should be getting links from entertainment sites instead of sports sites. Getting links from relevant sites helps the search engines figure out what your site is all about.

This leads to a higher ranking on keywords related to your niche while getting irrelevant links to increase the Spam Score and could lead eventually to Google penalty, if you notice that you have no penalty, it might because it has simply ignored them.

In the worst case, when you navigate Google search console you will see that manual actions are required.

So, you need to disavow those bad links, and it is not said that you eventually restore your ranking, so be careful.

6. Going after links from non-authority sites instead of authority sites

Too many webmasters are going after links from sites with low traffic, low page rank, and low quality. Remember one link from a popular, high-quality site is better than 1000 links from mediocre sites.

7. Using irrelevant anchor text is another link building mistake

I see this all the time. Using relevant anchor text is one of the most important SEO strategies yet many people forget to do it.

In the course of link building, you’ll have a chance to give the anchor text. You might pay for a link, do a link exchange, or write the resource box to an article submitted to a directory. In these instances, always use relevant keywords for your anchor text.

For example, I own If I do a link exchange and my link partner asks me for the anchor text, I would not use “heroes info.” Why not? Because the search term “heroes info” has low search volume.

Instead, I would give this anchor text, “NBC heroes news.” Why? Because “NBC heroes” and “heroes news” have higher search volume than “heroes info.”

Here’s another example. I write an article for What should I put in my resource box?

I could try this (anchor text in italics) …

“Visit my heroes’ news site at”

… or I can be resourceful and write this instead.

“Visit my NBC Heroes news site (”

8. Building site-wide links instead of content-based links

Site-wide links like blogrolls on the sidebar or footer are losing their link authority. Search engines are putting more weight on content-based links because they look more natural.

9. Refusing to link bait regularly

A lot of people may disagree with me on this. I believe link baiting gives you the best ROI (return of investment) for your link building efforts. One successful link bait can give you hundreds of links, many of them being high quality.

Here are a couple of link baiting tips to help you get started:

* Be creative. Do something different.

* Fill in a gap. Find an undeveloped area in your niche and write about it.

* Do some in-depth research. Publish something longer than your normal 400-700-word blog post.

* Make a list. The longer, the better – everyone loves getting 101 tips.

* Write something people can debate about. For example, if you have a basketball site, rank the top ten players and then ask your readers to agree or disagree.

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