How safe is link building for your website?

As an essential part of every all-encompassing SEO strategy, link building is a tactic that implies other websites linking to your own site. When it comes to website ranking strategies, this might be one of the most challenging actions to complete. It is, however, a quite rewarding one – if done right. It is a well-known fact that there are plenty of pitfalls to link-building one might fall into, as Google is rather strict when it comes to backlinking practices that are frowned upon. Is link building safe for your website? Digital Dot lays out the most important rules as well as dos and don’ts of effective link building.

High-value links vs. low-quality ones

Vector image of linking network above a city skyline.
It’s important to understand the difference between high-quality and low-quality links.

Whether they are referred to as just links, or commonly – backlinks/external link/inbound links, these expressions all denote one site linking to another one. And they can be tremendously important when it comes to search engine optimization strategies.

  • Linking tells Google that your website ought to be ranked higher in this search engine for relevant keywords.

But not all links are equally beneficial. There is a distinct difference between the impact of high-quality links on your website and the unwanted effect of the other, less desirable kinds of links – which can even hurt your rankings substantially. This is one of the reasons you may hesitate to have an SEO New York agency work on link building for your website. Knowing some of the actions done for this purpose may cause more damage than good is the reason for website owners to shy away from link building.

Quality links add value to both the receiving page and the entire site, which then improves the ranking of all the pages on the given domain. Moreover, people actually clicking the link which helps gain direct traffic. But how is the actual value/quality of the link determined? This has partly to do with the topic of the specific page whereon the link is placed. The closer the topics of the two pages in question, the more value the link will have. Additionally, if the link is placed inside the article, as opposed to it being in the footer or a sidebar.

Why is there a bad reputation around link building?

The reason some might find link building risky has its roots in the misuse of this SEO tactic. Namely, once marketers and website owners began noticing that links improve rankings, they started buying links and getting them from unrelated websites. And Google wasn’t having it. The search engine decided to implement a penalty system for those companies which decided to use link building in a fraudulent manner. And getting this sort of penalty from Google would ruin every other SEO effort you’ve made. This, however, does not, by all means, imply that you should give up on link building altogether. It only suggests that a company should have an honest link-building strategy according to the Google rulebook.

Outreach activities as the essence of link building

Illustrastion of outreach in link building with dice connected by fake lines.
Outreach activities are a fundamental part of link building for your website.

The key to a successful link building tactic is an effective outreach system. In order to get other related websites to link to your business, you need to contact people and convince them to do so. You may choose to reach out to other websites via emails or phone calls; discuss your offer and your brand. But most importantly, provide high-quality content. This is something most websites are in need of and will gladly accept to use on their pages. Of course – those links that are earned and not built are the ideal kind. And these are extremely hard to get, which is why some sort of link-building activity may be essential to your site’s rankings. Bear in mind though, the quality of the backlinks is much more relevant than its number. This means that both outreach activity and building links require effort and patience.

Link building don’ts

Vector image of link building
There are certain things that you definitely can’t do when chasing after quality link building.

Since, as was already mentioned, link building managed to cause a series of shady activities which included getting backlinks from an endless number of spam websites, as well as buying links – Google determined a set of rules revolving around link building that will help you stay on track and avoid the risks of link building for your website.

  1. Avoid links from websites that are unrelated to your own website. Links are supposed to be useful for those going through a webpage or an article. If it is there without any real connection to the content and with no apparent purpose other than to simply stand there – be sure it shouldn’t be there in the first place. This means that link building should be all about relevant websites. Links that seem unnatural and coming from off-topic content will only hurt your rankings.
  2. Do not buy links. Whether it is in bulks or from an individual company, buying links is no something your want to include in your SEO strategy. Surely, the search engine will not be aware of only one link you’ve paid for, but marketers suggesting such an idea means that they do it commonly and can easily be detected. Paid links present a risk to both your website and the website getting paid.
  3. Don’t link only to the homepage of the website. Use a variety of pages from your site. This way, you avoid spammy links (when all of the backlinks you create are pointed towards the homepage). But it also creates a more natural way of linking, since people are going to be interested in some of your specific product or services, and not just in the company in general. You can also link to the news or blog section of your website. Moreover, this type of tactic will create better conversions, as the users will be pointed directly to the pages that will cause them to get to know your product and decide to buy or use it directly.
  4. Do not use links in the same content on various websites. Recycling is never considered the same as creating in the eyes of Google. Producing various versions of the same content only to get them published and build more backlinks is a shortcut you do not want to make. Yes, creating fresh pieces of content is time-consuming and requires plenty of effort. But this is simply one of the reasons quality link building and SEO, in general, are actions that can seem demanding, but if done right – can provide substantial results in the long run.

The final verdict

As long as you do your best to get high-quality links and keep them natural and coming from relevant sources, there’s no reason to avoid link building strategies. It is the same as with every effective tactic that provides long-term results; the essential thing is to invest a large amount of effort and time and make sure your backlinks are natural and according to the rules of Google. Contacting professional digital marketers can help improve your efforts at any time. In the end, every sloppy and spammy method out there will only waste your time and even hurt your ranking.

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