Link-building is the process by which you link out to other websites, have other websites link back to yours, or link your posts to your other web content.
You need to build links or get your website connected so Google and other search engines can index your site properly. Without link-building, your site is going to miss out on a lot of link juice and traffic.
There are so many best and bad practices out there, and we think that it will help out our readers to know the top five dos and top five don’ts in link-building.
Let us get started with our list of 10 essential link-building dos and don’ts.
DO: Guest Post and Leave a Backlink to Your Site
Guest posting is still one of the best practices to build links. In guest posting, you can reach out to bloggers in the same niche, and then ask if you can submit a guest post.
Do not expect to be paid. This post will now belong to the blogger. In exchange, you can put one or a few links on that blog post—links that will take a reader to your website. If you have no time to write your guest post, you can get the services of a freelance writer to do it for you.
Even if this link does not bring loads of traffic to your site, Google is going to put a value on this link. The more websites are linking back to you, the better Google is going to rank you.
DO: Help People on Forums and Direct Them to Your Website
What you can do to build links to your website is to go to forums where people need help. Look for forums where you can contribute by answering people’s questions.
If you do this consistently, people will start seeing you as a trustworthy person. In these forums, you have to create a profile and then add your website link. If a reader goes to your profile, he may click this link and go to your website.
You can also leave links to your blog pages in your answer, but make sure these are links to related content.
DO: Name Your Sources and Put Their Links on Your Blog
If you got information from a website, name that site and link to that source. This linking tactic does not bring traffic to your website, but it does improve your credibility.
If you link to your sources, Google is going to look at your website as a contributor. Google’s goal is to make its search engine a source of reliable information. If you link to authority websites and name them as your source, you are helping Google achieve this goal.
It also does wonders for your viewership, as they know that you are not just feeding them information that you pulled out of thin air.
DO: Mention People on Your Post and Tag Them
In your blog posts, it makes sense that you add names of popular people. No, we are not talking about Bill Gates or Elon Musk. By popular people, we are referring to authority figures in your domain or niche.
As you mention these people, post your blog and tag them on social media. Certainly, they will check out your website, and even share your content with their followers.
If you do this, you are getting link juice out of the authority figures’ followers. One good practice is to interview these people, and then post the interview in your blog.
DO: Look for Broken Links
A broken link is a link that does not work anymore. You have to look for broken links from the blog pages of other creators. If you find one, you can message the blogger and tell him that the link is broken. And while doing that, you can pitch your link and say that he can replace that broken link with yours.
This is an essential link-building tactic, but it may be difficult to pull off. For one, you need a link checker software to find broken links, and you also need relevant content from your blog that you can pitch. Some bloggers will respond kindly, and some will not respond at all.
DON’T: Buy Links
Never buy links. Links for sale are always low-quality, and they are not worth the money. Google will also find out that you are buying links, and your website will be penalized.
How does Google know? Google cannot prove that you bought the link. But the behavior by which new links are pointing to your website can be suspicious. Also, if these websites are not related to yours, Google will naturally think that your backlinks are unnatural.
As a result, your blog will not get priority ranking, considering that Google thinks you are gaming the system.
DON’T: Spam on Blogs and Forums
Helping people is one thing, but just dropping your links without adding any real value is spam. If you spam people, the site administrators are going to delete your answer. The worst thing that can happen is that you can get banned.
A highly popular forum site today is Quora. On this site, you ask questions or answer them. Here, you are allowed to leave links, provided that your answer is meaningful. If you spam people, your answers can get reported, and the Quora administrators will collapse your answer.
DON’T: Limit Your Backlink to Your Homepage
One common mistake that bloggers do is that when they leave links, they only link back to their home pages. The homepage does not really contain a lot of stuff. What you want to do is to leave links to different pages in your website.
To do this, you have to use anchor texts where you can insert the link to a specific blog post. You can do this on forum websites and if you do guest posting.
DON’T: Recycle Content
Recycled content is duplicate content. A lot of bloggers make this mistake by posting their blog answers in forums. This is a terrible idea because search engines may tag this as duplicate content. As you know, Google does not like duplicate content if your purpose is to drive traffic to your site.
DON’T: Create or Use PBNs
The last on our list is to avoid PBNs. A PBN is a Private Blog Network. These blog sites are dead, which means they have no active traffic; they are owned by a person or an organization for the purpose of selling links.
If you leave a link on a PBN, you may think that Google is going to crawl that and see that you have a lot of backlinks. What you do not know is that these links have no value because these blogs have no active traffic.
The essential link-building is to practice is white-hat only. Do not use robots and do not spam people. Google is not stupid—it updates its search engine algorithm again and again to fight unethical practices of people who do not want to do the hard work.
Building links means you have to build relationships. You need to work hard to become a trusted individual in your industry, and you can only do this if you create valuable content that both your readers and other website masters will love.
Be patient, and build your links over time. They will eventually pay off. If you rush your link-building activities and do black-hat, you will pay the consequences and it will take a while for Google to trust you again.