Backlinks are an essential part of any SEO strategy, but be cautious some are good and some are toxic. Here are 5 types of bad backlinks you should avoid!
1. Comment Spam
This is an ancient SEO technique that simply does not work today and can actually have a negative impact on your SEO efforts. Adding a link to your site within the comment section on forums or blogs is an attempt to manipulate the search engines into thinking you have more backlinks. Often these links will be left by spammers on random websites that have no relation to the linked website..... Google is smart enough to see straight through this technique and will penalise you for it.
2. Private Blog Networks (PBN's)
Another outdated technique for gaining backlinks is by using Private Blog Networks, essentially these are a group of websites owned by the same entity that is primarily used for creating links...lots of links! These websites sometimes have more relevancy than 'comment spamming' but are against Google's guidelines and many websites using them have been wiped from the search results after an algorithm update.
3. Paid Links
Considered 'Black hat' in the SEO world (black hat SEO means doing anything against Googles guidelines to cheat the system) again, Google is smart enough to detect and penalize websites buying links. Note: not all paid links are bad for example a sponsorship deal or simply advertising is essentially paying for a link however, these links must be marked with a 'nofollow' attribute (a nofollow attribute is a signal to search engines shouldn't follow these links and shouldn't pass on any link authority or value to the linked website) make sure you follow the rules and use the correct link attribute.
4. Spam/Foreign Directories
When you think about it why would a link to your website on a foreign website that only contains other links to thousands of other random websites provide any value at all? There really isn't any benefit to being listed on spam directories, they usually accept submissions from anyone and the website isn't used for any other reason apart from growing user-generated profiles. Focus your efforts on reputable local directories that do provide value with things like, verified reviews and contact information. Yell.com or yelp.com are some of the most popular directories.
5. Irrelevant Links
In modern SEO relevancy is key! Backlinks on websites that are irrelevant or non-contextual to your industry can hurt your rankings. It would be a clear signal to search engines if you have multiple links from irrelevant websites that you have been creating or buying links to boost website performance. Today search results are prioritised for relevancy to the search query and your backlinks should be relevant to your industry. Check your link profile using Google Search Console.
Tips for building GOOD backlinks
Content is king so always go the extra mile when creating helpful content, it will be more likely to acquire natural links from relevant websites. The goal is to gain links from authoritative websites within your industry. Guest blogging is a great way to gain valuable links, provide high-quality content to another business/blog in your niche/industry to get legitimate links, Legitimate links are powerful links! Find out what else it takes to rank your website using SEO here
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Founder of Smart SEO Cornwall. I will be sharing some useful posts on SEO and how to grow your business in Cornwall. Connect with me here on LinkedIn.
Hi, I'm Dean - Founder of Smart SEO Cornwall. I will be sharing some useful posts on SEO and how to grow your business in Cornwall. Connect with me here on LinkedIn.
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