These Link Building Tactics Are Bad News
Anybody who has pursued SEO for any meaningful amount of time understands that there are dozens of different tactics and strategies required to improve performance. However, at the core of SEO are a few key elements: content creation, site optimization and link building. These three elements in particular help form a solid foundation for long-term performance in search results.
While most information regarding actual content creation and site optimization is fairly straightforward and universal, there are many tactics and pieces of advice for link building that can do more harm than good. Despite this, some are embraced as viable options for building links sustainably.
To disperse with these potentially harmful tactics, let’s shine some light on which ones you should avoid.
EDU Link Schemes
Long ago, it was discovered that search engines value backlinks from educational and government domains more so than others. In a world where online education in particular began to grow, earning links from lesser-known .edu domains became a primary goal – with some schemes even built around trading cash for .edu links.
While it can be easy to find options that’ll get backlinks for your website from these domains, pinging URLs back to you in this manner will almost always result in a penalty being assigned. It is not a very clever nor effective tactic, so steer clear of any coordinated .edu link building.
While it can be a great feeling to have somebody link to your products in the form of a review, attempting to earn these through purposeful exchanges is a big no-no. Let’s first consider the fact that search engines often can tell if there is a coordinated campaign occurring: if your brand suddenly begins generating massive numbers of links when it wasn’t previously for one or more products, then algorithmic eyebrows get raised.
Additionally, there are concerns over the legality of this tactic as well. According to Federal Trade Commission guidelines, publishing reviews in exchange for products or samples is against the law.
If you are trying to impress search engines with the sheer number of links to your website across the internet and think posting links to your content in blog comments is a good idea, then you’re sorely mistaken. For more than a decade, search engines have essentially ignored links in blog comments, meaning you earn no link juice from their usage. However, if you are contributing constructively via your comments and wish to drive traffic through those blog comment links, then there may still be some benefit.
Duplicated Press Release Links
Press releases are a vital component for brands announcing news and events. However, their value in building links is questionable. While you may be able to earn some credit from press releases published via a single outlet, the nature of press releases being duplicated across a variety of (often) low-quality platforms tells search engine that those links are not of a high quality. As such, pinging URLs via press releases serves little to no purpose in most situations.
While some link building tactics might provide little to no benefit but are otherwise harmless, others can outright damage your brand, its reputation and its ability to rank well in search results. Consider these four tactics and avoid them in pursuit of better, higher-quality link building efforts going forward.