Don't Make These Common Link Building Mistakes

We may love it or hate it, but the truth is that we can't ignore it. Well, we are talking about SEO here. We cannot ignore that SEO plays a crucial role for any website in today's world.

However, many struggles with creating an effective SEO strategy despite this fact. And one section where this struggle becomes quite apparent is link building. 

From newbies to seasoned SEO experts, link building is something that has confused and continues to confuse everyone. So before we dive in to understand the common link building mistakes, let us first understand what link building is

What Is Link Building?

Link building creates links in other websites and pages that link back to your content. Why is link building important, or how does link building help. Well, link building helps get more traffic to your website in two primary ways:

1. Google will rank you higher on Search Engine Page Results: Quality bank links that you get from other sites will help Google rank your content higher for being more relevant. So, the higher your website ranks on Google search results, the more possibility of visitors coming to your website. 

2. Drive external traffic to your website: These links will drive some external traffic to your website, and you can convert some of them to being your dedicated followers and customers in the long run.

7 Common Link Building Mistakes People Do

Let us look at the common mistakes we all make regarding link building

1. Focussing on Quantity over Quality

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon of backlinking and just put many links on other pages redirecting visitors to your website or webpage. 

Well, that is not a wise route to take. Google will not rank you higher simply because of backlinks, but it will do so based on quality backlinks. The focus key phrase here is "Quality backlinks". 

If your backlink is toxic, it will defeat the entire purpose of backlinking and might negatively affect your Google Ranking. 

Why Can Your Backlink Be Considered Toxic?

Your backlink can be considered toxic for a host of reasons: 

  • You might get backlinks from a page full of unrelated links that point to even more irrelevant content. 
  • You might also have placed a paid-for backlink, which is not a good idea because search engines hate that. 

So, your objective should be

  • To get backlinks from credible and authoritative websites. 
  • The backlinks should redirect users to quality content. 

Pro Tip: Whenever you are linking any content, make sure to perform a content audit and take note of the following:

  • Understand the quality of that content. 
  • Break it down into consumable pieces. 
  • Avoid unnecessary fillers. 
  • The content should add substantial value. 

You can identify toxic backlinks using SEMrush:


2. Having Backlinks from Random and Unsafe Websites :

Having backlinks is not enough; you need to have them in the correct places. There will be several pages where you might easily get to post your links through some black hat techniques. But that is nothing other than a recipe for disaster. 

Having links from spammy or unsafe websites can severely affect your website's reputation, and your SERP rankings may head south. 

How To Identify Potentially Unsafe Websites?

  • These websites don’t have SSL certificates. 
  • They have a ton of other backlinks on their page that might seem irrelevant. 
  • The Website doesn't have any contact information or evidence of real-life presence. 

So, once you know which websites to avoid, the next step is to identify the correct websites to host your backlinks and reach out to them. 

  • Use tools like Ahrefs to discover appropriate sites. Ahrefs allows you to discover sites that link to your competitors. This can be useful as there is always a possibility that a site links to multiple competitors of yours, and it might add a link to your site as well.
  • Reach out to the Websites and offer to write guest blogs that you can link back to your website. 
  • Offer to fix their broken links in exchange for hosting backlinks on their website. 

You can discover broken links here:


3. Linking Only to Your Homepage:

A lot of us have been guilty of this. We tend to put backlinks that redirect to our homepage, thinking that that’s where we want our potential customers to come. However, it might not be the best idea because

  • Search engines may conclude that we are buying backlinks to our homepage. 
  • It doesn’t seem organic and natural.
  • It can hurt your SERP. 

So how to go about from here?

  • Link to different and relevant pages on your website. 
  • Use tools like Semrush to check the health of your backlinks. You can also discover and remove toxic backlinks. And send them to Google's disavow tool, keeping your backlink profile clean owing to automatic and periodic tracking. 

Here’s a screenshot of Google’s disavow tool:


4. Using Similar Backlinks:

When we talk about diversifying backlinks, it is not about linking it to the same page but similar content. 

Because this time, too, the Google algorithm might find this fishy again, pushing you down in SERP rating. 

  • Select the content pieces that you would like to rank and categorize them.
  • Don’t shy away from experimenting with different content types as long as they add value. 
  • Spread out how you can use the different content pieces and pages. 

Here’s an illustration of a popular content type known as pillar content:


Read: Legit Ways to Earn Backlinks to Your Site

5. Ignoring Trends

Sometimes, jumping on the bandwagon is good, especially when reacting to trends and being timely with your content. 

However, this is a crucial point that many of us often miss. Good content also has to be timely. Your audience should be able to relate to your content. After all, if you write about your winter sale during July, it will not be relevant, no matter how good your content is. 

So try to: 

  • Keep an eye out for trends. 
  • Prepare and maintain a content calendar. 
  • Plan content ahead for relevant sporting events, the holiday season, etc. 

You can plan and schedule when you want to publish blog posts using WordPress:


6. Trading Off Links 

It might seem like a good idea as it is mutually beneficial. But this might not pan out that well. 

  • If Google thinks you are swapping links with a website purely based on business, it might push down your ranking. 
  • Participating in link trading campaigns can affect your website’s reputation

Pro tip: It doesn't mean that you absolutely can't exchange links with another website. But ensure that the website is doing it on its own. You should link to other websites to get more links from them. It should be organic and natural. 

Here’s an illustration of trading off links:


7. Not Tracking Links

Once we post those backlinks, we often feel that our job is done. But that’s a grave mistake. We need to track our backlinks. 

  • To understand how they are performing. 
  • What kind of backlinks is performing better than others? 
  • What is their impact on SEP rating? 
  • The health of your backlinks. 

Check out this tool that can help you with backlink tracking: 

Nightwatch: This tool analyzes the true impact of your backlinks on your SERP rankings. Through smart notifications, Nightwatch sends you regular updates on newly discovered and lost backlinks through smart notifications. 

Here’s a screenshot of Nightwatch:


Frequently Asked Questions About Backlinking

1. Isn’t It Better to Have as Many Backlinks from as Many Websites as Possible

A. Not exactly. If you just focus on getting as many backlinks as possible without caring about the quality of the website, your strategy can backfire. Focus on getting your links from quality and authoritative websites.

2. Can’t I Buy Backlinks? Will That Not Be Easier?

It might be easier but not effective. Google algorithms hate buying links, which might hurt your ranking. 

3. Should I Just Focus on Websites with High Page Rank?

You should focus on websites with high page rank, but you shouldn't focus only on them. Just because a website has low PR doesn't mean it is not a quality website. So do your research and make an informed choice.

Key Takeaways

1. Focus on creating quality content

2. Don't obsess over the number of backlinks; instead, try to build your links for irrelevant or, worse insecure websites. 

3. Don't indulge in black hat practices like buying links or link swapping. Google algorithm hates that. 

4. Make sure your links are natural and organic. 

5. Diversify your links in terms of the content and page they are pointing to. 

Rank Your Website

Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.


Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.

Related Post

How to Rebrand Your Business Without Losing SEO?