Digital Insights

5 Reasons Why Google is Frowning on Your Link Building Efforts


Published: April 24, 2014

Backlinking, or creating links that point back toward your website from a third-party site, is one of the oldest and most effective means of improving your search engine rankings. A link is seen as a vote of confidence in the quality and relevancy of your content.

Linking Tactics to Avoid

In a recent update to its Webmaster Tools, Google has targeted “Link Schemes and Unnatural Links” and sent shock waves throughout the SEO community. This doesn’t mean that link building is a dead issue, it just means that Google has tweaked its algorithm to penalize what is considers to be bad links. Bad linking practice includes

  • Links intended to manipulate a site’s ranking in the search engine results. The past history of your site is perhaps the best indicator to Google of your intent. If you’ve ever bought one of those “5,000 Links to Your Website in 24 Hours” packages, you really can’t blame Google for being skeptical of your good intentions going forward.
  • Buying or selling of links, including the offer of a free product in exchange for a link. Without Google, the only logical reason to buy a link would be to gain click traffic from that link. Unless you can honestly say that buying a given click will benefit your click traffic, it’s probably best to pass on the opportunity.
  • Excessive link exchanges for the sake of cross-linking. The safest approach is to confine your reciprocal linking to only those sites that are directly related to your business.
  • Large-scale article marketing or guest blog posting with keyword-rich anchor text links. Avoid all general or mass submission channels; focus on vertical media that relate to your article’s topic. Make sure that your anchor text profiles are varied, and include such terms as “click here” to keep everything as natural appearing as possible.
  • The use of automated systems to create links. This doesn’t mean that parts of the link submission process can’t be automated, such as prospecting and contact follow-up. What Google seems to be saying is that you should resist the temptation to use automation to grind out mass quantities of irrelevant link requests.

4 Link Building Tactics You Should be Using

  • Quality content attracts quality links. This means in-depth coverage of a topic, not a shallow summary of information that can be found elsewhere; 2,000-word articles are typical. Google is now weighing article length as part of its authority and ranking process.
  • Guest blogging on relevant authority sites can help improve your Author Rank as well as generate quality inbound links. You’re building brand awareness as well as driving targeted traffic.
  • Infographics are a great way to present a quantity of information that would otherwise make the reader’s head spin. Other sites may add your infographic to illustrate their text.
  • List your business profile with as many high-quality local and industry-specific directories as you can find. Membership in a relevant trade association may uncover some great industry-specific possibilities. Just make sure that your profile information is absolutely identical across all directories.
  1. Chika @ JTU says:

    “You really can’t blame Google users for being skeptical of Google’s good intentions going forward.” Google lost us, a long time ago…