Can link building hurt my SEO?
You might have heard from others not to focus so much on link building, since it can hurt you if not done correctly. Link building itself is not inherently bad, but putting too much of a focus on it can be. This is because with back links, quality is far more important than quantity. Having one quality link from an authoritative site is a lot better than having one-hundred poor links from junk sites.
Eight or so years ago, Google didn’t pay a lot of attention to the quality of a link. Because of this, many link farming sites and link directories would form. You’d see deals such as “$10 for 10,000 links!” practically everywhere. Most people found out that buying links in bulk like that would not help their site. Even if they did receive traffic, the traffic wouldn’t be targeted. Today, not only will having too many poor quality links be worthless, it will also hurt your site and maybe even your company. Getting a high number of poor back links is almost – if not AS – bad as spamming. It end result could be that your site will get banned from Google.
Like it or not, there is no shortcut. If you want to do link building, you have to do it the natural way. You have to get people to be genuinely interested in your site or company, and to willingly share it with their friends.
Here are some ways you can build links the right way:
- Aim for getting links back to your site from relevant sources. If you are running a business in Toronto, but your SEO team is trying to build links to your site from India, they are probably going to be viewed as bad links from Google.
- Guest blogging is another way to get high quality links. Other bloggers may invite you to post a video or article and to provide a link back to your own site or blog. Do a search to find blogs in your industry that are looking for guest bloggers and apply. At the same time, you can invite others to create a guest post on your own site.
- Create relevant articles and post them to directories such as Suite101, Buzzle, EzineArticles, and others. These sites have become very strict with the quality of content they accept, so people are unable to submit junk articles like they used to. If your content is original, well-written and informative, it’s more likely to be accepted, and people are more likely to share it on Facebook or Twitter. Make sure you read the rules first so you’ll know what is allowed and what is not allowed in the headline and article body.
- Participate in social bookmarking. Be an active member on sites such as Reddit and StumbleUpon. Don’t just advertise your site – offer people information that they will find relevant and helpful right then and there. This could potentially lead to Tweets and posts about your content.
No matter which method you use to build links, make sure you do it in a way that makes you appear to be an authority on the subject matter and not merely a spammer. Creating high-quality content. Whether you are producing articles, videos, ebooks, blog posts, or anything else, is a must for natural link building. It must be something that people will find useful and helpful.