10 Most Common Link Building Mistakes to Avoid

Links have always been an essential part of any SEO strategy.

In fact, Backlinko analyzed Google Search Rankings and found that backlinks affect the results more than any other factor.

Backlinks point to the relevance and usefulness of your content page.

To Google, a lot of high quality backlinks from authority sites means that you are producing good content that people find helpful and useful in their lives. That’s why they are placing you higher — so that their consumers could find the answers they need.

The number of quality links affects:

  • Your search rankings
  • Website search traffic
  • Overall sales

But even though link building is so common and amazingly useful to website owners nowadays, people still make some rookie mistakes. They keep working towards getting more links but they don’t see any results. The reason why?

They make these terrible link building mistakes.

Bad anchor text

It’s great to get your links on high authority sites. It can drive traffic and increase sales while keeping you high in the search results for your niche and keyword choices.

However, what’s bad in this case is if your anchor text is bad. No one is going to clink on that link if the text says something like ‘click here.’ And why should they?

There is absolutely nothing there telling them what your link is about. It could be a scam or a virus or something completely irrelevant to the subject at hand.

People, most of all, hate to waste time and if you don’t give them even the slightest indication as to what the link is about, you will end up with no clicks and there will be no point to that great link in a great position.

This is why you need to make sure that the text accompanying the link is interesting and relevant, enough to entice the reader to click.

This is an extremely popular mistake among the website owners and people dealing with off-site SEO. When people hunt for backlinks they often just have the goal and the number in front of them.

They need a thousand backlinks, for instance so they just put their links everywhere without considering how relevant it is in their own niche.

This is an awful mistake

If you have a digital marketing site, linking to a traveling with pets blog isn’t going to do you much good.

It’s true that getting links from sites that are relevant to your subject is hard and there probably aren’t as many available as you need but you should know that getting few links from high authority relevant sites is much better than getting thousands from irrelevant places.

While a link might look completely regular and legitimate – with keywords in the anchor text, no ‘no-follow’ attribute — it can still not be a link. This often happens with link exchanges where you put a link to the other site but the other site doesn’t do the same for you.

Google can’t index your link, usually placed on the dynamic pages or simply on pages because robot.txt bans it.

You should always check on your links from time to time just to make sure that your links are placed on pages which are accessible to viewers. There is a handy tool for this too — Search Engine Spider Simulator which can help you to check your links in no time.

If you want your links to really work well for you and not against you, you should focus on making them your priority. Keep track of your links and check them occasionally to make sure everything is working according to your plan.

Everyone knows that selling links is a terrible idea. It hurts your rankings more than it does any good. All webmasters know this but some still never miss a chance to earn a bit of extra money.

If you are selling links, you should consider doing it on legal sites that deal in these things like Backlinks.com. Have in mind that paid link networks have a tendency to keep the fact that the links are paid while other services are not so discreet.

The worst thing you can do is have an advertisement of paid links which explicitly says that the links are paid and that what you are doing really is selling links.

Instead, you could have an ad that says something like ‘advertise here’ instead which still means that you are selling links but not so explicitly as stating the prices.

Linking to sites with bad reputation

Linking to sites which have a bad or terrible reputation is one of the worst mistakes you can make with backlinking.

To Google, linking to these sites means that you are supporting them or endorsing them and gives you penalties as a result.

This is why you need to check your links and the sites the links end up on thoroughly before you decide that it’s okay.

Even if they offer you money for your links, its best that you decline since it could ruin your ranking and your own reputation on Google and among other niche sites.

No money can make this go away and fix your deteriorated reputation. Keep yourself safe and stay far away from these sites. Think of your SEO first and check the sites your links are on often so you don’t miss anything.

Not creating content worth linking

Another awful mistake, creating content not worth linking is something that often haunts website owners. They either create content just for the sake of SEO or they are too inexperienced to know what kind of articles deserve quality backlinks.

For instance, long articles are often better for backlinking than short articles. Too many keywords may mean better SEO but it also makes your content feel cramped and forced.

Don’t allow this to happen to you and always do your best to provide quality content. In fact, if you are a newbie, don’t even think about backlinks for a while. Ignore the tips on backlinks and create content that will truly matter for your audience.

Getting links from site wide and building footer links of other websites was a successful backlink strategy a few years ago. Now, however, it’s different.

But Google started taking it seriously and you should stay away from building links that come from sidebars, footer, site-wide links.

Link exchanging is one of the legal and legitimate ways of building backlinks that is not completely okay but there are no rules against it.

But, as legal as it is, there are also many bad webmasters who will cheat you – you pay for a backlink and it suddenly disappears or you get a no follow attribute. Check all of your links from time to time to find out if any of them are a no-follow.

Links need maintenance as well. Some people delete posts, some delete websites, some give you the no follow attribute or something else entirely happens and you lose a link or have a link to a bad site.

Check your links on a schedule because it’s the only way to make sure that all of them are correct and working properly.

Ideally, you would build your links slowly as your reputation grows. That’s how it’s supposed to work. This is why the Google gives a velocity penalty for all of those who build their links too quickly. Don’t go overboard with your link building.


Building links is one of the most effective ways to get a higher ranking and drive more traffic. However, you can easily make mistakes that could cost you that same traffic.

These are some of those mistakes and you should do your best to avoid them in order to have a clean and effective link-building strategy.

About the Author – Freddie Tubbs is a communication manager at UK Writings. He also works as a content strategist at Essayroo, and contributes posts to the Vault and Boomessaysblogs.