Popular Link Building Strategies That Aren’t Worth It
Long known as one of the staples of search engine optimization, link building remains to this day and important element of marketing and SEO. By earning new links, brands can generate more traffic and indicate to search engines that their content is meaningful and trustworthy. As such, link building has long been popular among brands seeking to do both, to the point that entire industries have emerged around the concept.
However, some link building strategies do not produce the kind of value that many believe they do – and some may even be downright illegal. Which ones should you avoid? Let’s take a look at some examples of link building that just aren’t worth it.
Building Links via .Edu Websites
For many years, it was easy to buy links via a variety of services. These services actually still exist, but the most blatant of them can quickly land your website in hot water with search engines. Nevertheless, there are still options out there for link building via high-quality websites – one type of which are .edu domains.
These domains usually carry a lot of clout with search engines, but years of abuse by webmasters (and even the universities themselves) have led to additional scrutiny being placed on links from these websites that appear to be unrelated. Even if you find an opportunity to purchase or earn links via .edu domains, it’s generally advised to steer clear unless the website and content are highly-relevant to your own website.
Earning Links for Samples/Reviews
As mentioned above, the most obvious and blatant forms of link buying have been penalized for years by Google and others. However, there are other forms of paid links that exist, including the earning of links via reviewers and other websites by sending them products to test.
Additionally, if somebody is pinging URLs back to your website from a review or testimonial that they have provided, it could even be illegal. According to the Federal Trade Commission, publishing reviews that have been effectively compensated for via trials, samples or other comparable products is against the law.
While it’s unlikely that you will face criminal repercussions in a situation like this (especially if the link/review is genuine, and not directly “purchased”), this nevertheless creates a cloud of doubt that just isn’t worth it.
Hosting a Charitable Event or Fundraiser
Many brands and businesses have been told that hosting a charitable event or endeavor can be just the way to earn links from other websites. After all, who doesn’t love an organization that does a charitable deed?
However, this tactic is increasingly becoming less effective due to the sheer use of it. It seems like every day that we hear about one business or another hosting a fundraiser for a worthy cause or donating proceeds to a particular charity. While there is still value in doing good within the community, doing so with the expectation that many other sites will start pinging URLs back to your own is too lofty at this point.
With so many ways to earn and build links these days, finding the right solutions and ensuring optimal efficiency in the process is essential. Some strategies commonly used – like the ones mentioned above – are either risky or losing their effectively very quickly. With this in mind, you can now dedicate your efforts to focusing on other, more profitable link building methods.