We have been taking a hard look at manual link-building this year. Google’s John Mueller suggested that there were better strategies out there.
A load of research and A/B testing showed us that a more natural form of link building seemed to perform well. By creating, syndicating, and promoting content that was compelling and well-researched, we could attract links without needing to manually build them. This was a safer, more natural approach, and it attracted a lot of links (when the content was worth reading).
Despite our success with natural links, we still saw value in manual link building – you just had to be able to differentiate between the good and bad. Using our extensive experience we have decided to create a short guide. The following information should inform your testing and research, as well as any link building you undertake in the future.
Read on to learn 5 signs of a bad link.
- Disreputable domains. The better your site authority, the better your Google rank – it’s simple. High-authority sites give your links far greater authority. If your links get caught slumming with some dirty domains, your organic search visibility will take a hit. Don’t worry, the odd low-authority link won’t hurt you, but a sustained volume definitely could. Keep your links on the most reputable, high-authority sites you can find.
- The old switcheroo. Online users don’t appreciate being tricked, especially by something as lame and basic as the old switcheroo. Irrelevant links don’t do you any good; links need to be directly associated with the content. If you’re a personal injury firm, and you post a link to your site in an article about automotive injuries on a gearhead car enthusiasms forum, it won’t do you any good. Keep your linking close to your industry.
- Quantity over quality. If Google sees too many links pointing in the same direction from a single source, it flags it as suspicious. However, the Google monster delights in seeing many links pointing in the same direction from many different sources. Remember, each link after the first from a single domain downgrades its value, so it’s always better to split them up as much as possible.
- Too much back-scratching. Sometimes friends with similar websites will try to boost each other’s’ domains by exchanging links back and forth; it’s a classic “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” situation. Well, it doesn’t work that way anymore. The Google monster detests back-scratching. If Google notices a suspicious number of links being passed back and forth between two sources, it penalizes the domain authority of those involved in this “reciprocal exchange scheme.” It’s yet another reason why source diversity should rank highly on your list of link-building priorities.
- Iso-links. Links can’t be posted in isolation. They need to have some kind of meaningful content attached. Even Twitter posts need to make the most of the 120-ish characters they’ll have left after inserting the link. Without some kind of semantic context, your links are useless.
Need to learn more about link building and bad SEO links? Visit https://www.360businesslocal.com/services/bad-links-removal/ to learn more, or call (416)-619-7935 to book your free consultation.