For too long many web publishers have viewed link building as a task that served a single purpose: to get the links needed to increase search rankings. Many of them refused to tie in link building with marketing and other business strategies. They paid the price for their folly when Google rolled out link penalties. Now, successful recovery depends on a painstaking approach to link removal.
Listed below are seven common link building problems that have resulted in link penalties and loss of rankings.
Article directories were hit by updates in April of 2012. If you’re still using submissions to article directories as a link building strategy, you could be putting your site at risk. Furthermore, you should be getting your site’s links removed from the lower reputation article directories right away. If you cannot get them removed, use the Google Disavow Tool to have the links ignored.
There’s no evidence to suggest that lower quality directories were penalised in Google updates, but it’s a safe bet they were. Stick to high quality directories like Business.com, DMOZ, and Yahoo Directory. Apart from those, you could stick to industry specific directories that are relevant to your business. The bottom line is that your website should not be listed on countless directories just for the sake of link building.
Low Rated Guest Posts
Guest posting is a novel idea, but even a good idea could have serious consequences. Submit guest posts to sites that are relevant to your own. The posts that you submit should tie in with your site’s theme. More than that, you should target sites where you’ll feel pride in having your post published.
Low Quality Infographics
Infographics provide another excellent way to build links. But when the focus becomes pumping out as many infographics as possible without focus on quality, problems arise. If you’re not convinced that your low quality infographics may lead to problems in the future, do a search to see what Matt Cutts said about the future of infographics. For now, focus on quality and providing information that is useful and accurate on every infographic.
Paid Guest Posts
Don’t pay for guest posts. Just don’t. They’re easy to distinguish from regular guest posts and could be a red flag to search engines that you’re paying for links. When you submit your non-paid posts, keep your links at the bottom of your post.
Too much of the same rich anchor text could be easily detected as manipulative. Examine your backlink profile and look for anchor texts that are repeated over and over again. Fix up those links and employ some diversity in your link building.
Poor Quality Content
Search engines use social signals to determine the quality of your site’s content. Are you getting social love for your published content? What about your visitors, do they spend time on the page reading your content?
Google authorship is one mechanism Google put in place to improve the quality of content on the web. Social signals and bounce rates give them an idea of how your content affects readers. Focus on providing quality or you will hurt your search engine rankings.
Treat all your link building as another form of marketing and branding your business. Analyse your backlink profile, identify and fix any problems. With the penalties lifted, focus on positive link building to increase your organic rankings and establish visibility for your business.