Situations Where You Should Avoid Link Building
When attempting to cultivate traffic through direct referrals or organic search exposure, link building is one of the most prioritized forms of SEO. Since the dawn of the internet, link building has been a consistent aspect of digital marketing due to its effect on search engine visibility and driving traffic between websites.
As such, it’s not a surprise that countless brands, businesses and blogs pursue link building strategies every single day. Yet it is not always an ideal endeavor: depending on the nature of the business, to/from where the links are built and other factors, there are some situations where steering clear makes sense.
Today, let’s look at some situations where you shouldn’t be focused on building links.
Lower Quality Website Opportunities
All too often, finding places where you can cultivate links is a challenge. After countless hours of work, you may find yourself with only a few potential successes. This frustration can ultimately create vulnerabilities in an approach, where brands feel like pinging links from any website is acceptable.
But it is vital that you maintain standards. Low quality blogs and websites – along with other shady places such as link directories – can completely erase any advantages earned in the link building process. Search engines such as Google will view the overall quality of these links as poor and associate such with your website.
Best case scenario: your efforts produce no results. Worst-case scenario, your website loses reputation and visibility in search results due to its newfound associations.
Link Exchange Arrangements
Due to the general difficulty of building a successful link portfolio, there are many who decide to seek out others who are equally desperate. These individuals sometimes find one another – and seemingly find opportunity in mutually building links with one another. This can seem harmless enough at first, as all links from authoritative sites are good and therefore valid, right?
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. While one or two links between websites probably won’t raise suspicions, search engines know how to spot link exchange arrangements and schemes. An unnaturally high number of links between two websites – especially if the two cover topics that are unrelated or only tangentially connected – will set off alarm bells.
The end result? Your website’s visibility can be penalized in search results (plus the amount of referral traffic you’ll get from the effort will be negligible at best).
Widespread, Spammy Outreach
Due to the low rate of success of actually securing links back to your website via outreach, many begin embracing a philosophy of quantity over quality. After all, if you know you need to pitch to 100 websites in order to earn 3 links, why not make the process more efficient?
However, doing so often undermines the appeal of your website and its content. You may use boilerplate messages to avoid excessive labor in the process. Perhaps you get the recipient’s name wrong from copying and pasting the previous pitch. All of these practices are shoddy and make success that much more difficult.
Skip the spammy outreach and instead focus on reaching out to a handful of high-quality brands that you’ve researched and understand.
Ultimately, you wouldn’t want to be pinging links to other websites if you had questions about their practices. In the end, some types of link building practices can make you look less than reliable or trustworthy (whether it be to other websites or to search engines). Consider these situations and avoid them as part of your link building exercises.