Seven Long-term Link Building Mistakes

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If you want your website to rank well in the years to come, avoid these common link building mistakes.

Neglecting deep links

Deep links are links that point to your site but not your home page. In other words, these links point to your internal webpages.

What are the advantages of deep linking? First, you’ll have more search volume because more of your pages will rank. Second, you’ll increase the link authority and popularity of your whole site. Third, search bots will spider your site more efficiently. Fourth, whenever you create a new page, it will be indexed more quickly.

Focusing too much on reciprocal links

Search engines are giving more weight to one-way links because they look more natural. Instead of concentrating on link exchanges, use your time and energy to acquire one-way links.

Getting links from generic sites instead of relevant sites

Generic sites include article directories, site directories, and word cloud sites. There are a select few directories that have gained the search engines’ trust like and However, most article directories and site directories are not worth your time and effort.

Word cloud sites are especially risky. Search engines can easily devalue those links because word cloud sites are manipulative, spammy, and easy to detect. You might rank well with word cloud sites in the short-term, but search engines’ algorithms are getting better. Don’t count on word cloud sites as a long-term link building strategy.

Get links from relevant sites. What’s a relevant site? It’s a site that relates to your site. If you have a site about a hit TV show, you should be getting links from entertainment sites instead of sports sites. Getting links from relevant sites helps the search engines figure out what your site is all about. This leads to higher ranking on keywords related to your niche.

Going after links from non-authority sites instead of authority sites

Too many webmasters are going after links from sites with low traffic, low page rank, and low quality. Remember one link from a popular, high-quality site is better than 100 links from mediocre sites.

Using irrelevant anchor text

I see this all the time. Using relevant anchor text is one of the most important SEO strategies yet many people forget to do it.

In the course of link building, you’ll have a chance to give the anchor text. You might pay for a link, do a link exchange, or write the resource box to an article submitted to a directory. In these instances, always use relevant keywords for your anchor text.

For example, I own If I do a link exchange and my link partner asks me for the anchor text, I would not use “heroes info.” Why not? Because the search term “heroes info” has low search volume.

Instead, I would give this anchor text, “NBC heroes news.” Why? Because “NBC heroes” and “heroes news” have higher search volume than “heroes info.”

Here’s another example. I write an article for What should I put in my resource box?

I could try this (anchor text in italics) …

“Visit my heroes news site at”

… or I can be resourceful and write this instead.

“Visit my NBC Heroes news site (”

Building site wide links instead of content-based links

Site wide links like blogrolls on the sidebar or footer are losing their link authority. Search engines are putting more weight on content-based links, because they look more natural.

Refusing to linkbait regularly

A lot of people may disagree with me on this. I believe linkbaiting gives you the best ROI (return of investment) for your link building efforts. One successful linkbait can give you hundreds of links, many of them being high quality.

Here’s a couple linkbaiting tips to help you get started:

* Be creative. Do something different.

* Fill in a gap. Find an undeveloped area in your niche and write about it.

* Do some in-depth research. Publish something longer than your normal 250-400 word blog post.

* Make a list. The longer, the better – everyone loves getting 101 tips.

* Write something people can debate about. For example, if you have a basketball site, rank the top ten players and then ask your readers to agree or disagree.