Link building has been around in one form or another for many years. However, like all digital marketing and SEO techniques, it’s evolved significantly since the early years of the internet. Not only have new technologies become available to revolutionize how we build links, but so has search engine algorithms, changing the very way we approach link building. However, as the industry grows, link building myths and misconceptions are becoming all too common. Worse still, many of these myths can actually harm your SEO efforts.
Many of these myths can lead to poor link building practices, resulting in penalties and a decrease in search engine rankings.
In this article, we will debunk the top 12 link building myths that may be hurting your campaigns. We will provide insights into the truth behind each myth and offer actionable tips to help you build a sustainable and effective link building strategy.
Table of Contents
Myth 1: Link Building Is Only About Link Quantity, Not Quality
One of the most common link building myths is that quantity trumps quality when it comes to link building. This misconception has led many businesses to focus on building as many links as possible, rather than prioritizing the quality of those links.
In reality, having fewer high-quality links is much better for SEO than having many low-quality links. Low-quality links can actually harm your SEO efforts, as search engines like Google view them as spammy and manipulative.
So, what makes a quality link? Here are some factors to consider:
- Anchor text
By focusing on building high-quality links that meet these criteria, you can help improve your website’s search engine rankings and avoid the negative consequences of low-quality link building.
Myth 2: Guest Posting Is Dead
There has been a lot of debate about the effectiveness of guest posting in recent years, with some claiming it is no longer worth the effort. In fact, some claim that guest post can do more harm than good. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Guest posting can still be a highly effective way to build links and improve your SEO, but it needs to be done correctly. When done the right way, guest posting allows you to:
- Build relationships with other websites and bloggers in your niche.
- Gain exposure to new audiences.
- Build your brand and reputation as an expert in your field.
- Boost your website’s authority and search engine rankings.
However, there are certain practices that can make guest posting ineffective, such as:
- Posting low-quality content that is not relevant to the website’s audience.
- Guest posting on websites that are not relevant to your niche or industry.
- Over-optimizing your anchor text or using exact match anchor text.
- Guest posting on websites that are part of a link network or link farm.
To ensure that your guest posting efforts are successful, target websites that are relevant to your niche and have a strong online presence. Additionally, create high-quality, engaging content that provides value to the website’s audience and build relationships with website owners and other bloggers in your industry.
By providing value to another site’s audience, you can build trust with potential customers, generate more traffic to your site, and even improve your page’s rank in SERPs.
Myth 3: Link Building Is Only About Getting Links
The idea that link building is only about getting links is a dangerous myth. Link building is about building relationships, creating valuable and informative content, and establishing your website as an authority in your industry.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when building links:
- Focus on building relationships with other websites in your industry. Strong relationships can lead to partnerships and, eventually, invitations to create guest posts.
- Create high-quality content that people want to link to. This can include blog posts, infographics, videos, and more.
- Reach out to other websites in your industry and offer to collaborate on content. This can lead to valuable backlink opportunities.
By focusing on these things, you can build high-quality links that will benefit your SEO efforts in the long term.
Myth 4: Social Media Links Are Worthless
Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, and its influence on SEO cannot be underestimated. Despite this, some marketers believe that social media links do not have any value and are a waste of time. This is a complete myth that needs to be dispelled.
Social media links play an important role in link building, especially for new websites. These links might not have a direct impact on search engine rankings, but they provide an excellent opportunity for businesses and website owners to drive traffic and gain exposure.
Here are some of the benefits of social media links:
- Increased website traffic: Social media links are a great way to drive traffic to your website. By sharing your content on social media platforms, you can attract new visitors and potentially convert them into customers.
- Improved brand awareness: These links can help increase your brand’s visibility and awareness. By consistently sharing high-quality content on social media, you can better position your brand online while attracting a loyal following.
- Increased engagement: Social media links can help increase engagement with your audience.
It’s important to note that social media links are not a replacement for high-quality backlinks from other websites. However, they do provide a valuable addition to your link profile. Social media links should not be overlooked as part of your link building strategy.
Myth 5: Link Building Is Easy and Can Be Automated
Link building is often viewed as a time-consuming and challenging task. With this perception in mind, some marketers may be tempted to seek out shortcuts to make the process easier. One such shortcut is to use automated tools for link building. However, this myth can seriously hurt your campaign, and it’s critical to understand why.
First, automated link building is a quick way to build a lot of low-quality links that could harm your website’s ranking. Google’s algorithms are advanced enough to recognize when links are built artificially or unnaturally, and they penalize websites accordingly. Therefore, the notion that link building can be fully automated is far-fetched.
Second, successful link building is all about personalization. Every website has its unique needs and audience, which must be taken into account when building links. Automated link building tools, on the other hand, cannot account for such variations and may end up building irrelevant or low-quality links.
Finally, automated link building is a violation of Google’s guidelines, and any website caught using such tactics may face penalties or even be banned. Thus, it’s always better to invest time and effort in developing personalized link building strategies that are ethical and effective in the long run.
Myth 6: A High Domain Authority (DA) or Similar Scores Are Critical
One of the most common misconceptions about link building is that the quality of a link can be determined solely by its Domain Authority (DA) or a similar score, such as Ahrefs‘ Domain Rating (DR) or Majestic’s Trust Flow (TF). In fact, here at Buzznberry, we even use these scores to help us find quality link partners for our clients. However, while these scores are useful for getting a general idea of a website’s authority, they should not be the only factor you consider when assessing the quality of a potential link.
The first thing you should know is that these scores are proprietary to the specific provider, and each provider has its own algorithms to calculate the scores. This means that you might get a different score depending on which tool you use. Consequently, you may be dismissing great link opportunities simply because you don’t like their rating.
Instead, consider other factors such as relevance, context, and audience. For example, a link from a website that is highly relevant to your niche or industry, even if it has a lower DA, can be more valuable than a link from a website with a higher DA but that isn’t relevant. Similarly, a link from a website that has the same target audience as your website can be more valuable than a link from a website with a different audience, even if it has a higher DA.
Myth 7: Link Building is the Only Thing You Need for SEO Success
Some people believe that link building is the be-all and end-all of SEO. They assume that by simply building more and more links, they can automatically rank higher in search engines. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
While link building is undoubtedly an important part of any SEO strategy, it’s just one of many factors that can influence your website’s rankings.
There are other important factors such as:
- Website content.
- Design and user experience.
- Loading speed.
- Website architecture.
In fact, a strong link profile alone can’t save a website with poor content, weak architecture, or other technical problems. Search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and they take many factors into account when determining rankings.
Therefore, while link building is crucial, it’s essential to focus on other areas of your website as well. Building a solid foundation with high-quality content, a user-friendly website, and a strong technical foundation is equally important to achieve long-term SEO success.
Myth 8: Asking for Links is a Spammy Technique
One of the most common misconceptions about link building is that simply asking for links is considered a spammy technique. While there is a small grain of truth in there, the problem isn’t asking. Instead, it’s about understanding the difference between ethical and unethical link requests.
Unethical link requests are those that are:
- Provide no value to the receiving website.
This type of link request can come across as spammy and many sites will completely ignore your requests.
On the other hand, ethical link requests are those that provide value to both the requester and the receiver. For example, broken link building is a legitimate tactic that involves finding broken links on other websites and offering to replace them with working links to your own relevant content. Guest posting is another ethical link building strategy that involves creating high-quality content for other websites in exchange for a backlink to your own site.
When it comes to making ethical link requests, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, make sure your request is relevant and adds value to the receiving website. Consider the website’s niche, audience, and content to ensure your request is a good fit. Second, be respectful in your request and provide a clear and concise explanation of why your content is valuable and relevant. Finally, be willing to reciprocate by offering the site an opportunity to write a similar guest post for your site.
Myth 9: Link Building Can Work Without a Great Content Strategy
Link building and content strategy are two sides of the same coin. Without a great content strategy, link building efforts will not have a solid foundation to build upon. Without a content strategy, you may may be able to get some results over the short-term, but they certainly won’t be sustainable.
Here are some reasons why link building needs a great content strategy:
- Content is the foundation of link building: Creating high-quality content is a crucial aspect of link building. Without it, there would be no reason for other websites to link back to your website.
- Content attracts links naturally: Engaging and informative content increases the chances of other websites linking back to your website without the need for you to make any requests. This means that the link building process becomes more natural and organic.
- Great content makes link building more effective: When your website has great content, link building becomes more effective. Other websites are more likely to link back to your website, and these links will be of higher quality.
Myth 10: Link Velocity Will Automatically Result in Penalties
Link velocity refers to the speed at which new backlinks are acquired. There is a common myth that a sudden spike in link velocity can cause Google to penalize a website. While it is true that link velocity is one of many factors that Google considers when evaluating a website’s backlink profile, the idea that link velocity alone can result in penalties is a myth.
In fact, it’s important to note that link velocity is just one factor among many that search engines consider when evaluating a website’s backlink profile. Other factors include the quality and relevance of the linking sites, the anchor text used in the links, and the growth of content relevant to the growth of links.
For example, if you are continually posting interesting, helpful, and share-worthy content, it’s only natural that your link velocity will increase over time. However, if you post sporadically at best, and your profile shows a sudden spike, it will be flagged as unnatural.
It’s important to note that manual reviews can occur, where a human reviewer evaluates the backlink profile and makes a determination as to whether it appears natural or not. Additionally, sometimes content just goes viral, leading to a sudden influx of links, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Myth 11: No-Follow Backlinks Don’t Benefit Your Link Building Strategy
One of the biggest misconceptions about backlinks is that no-follow links are worthless. While it is true that no-follow links do not pass link equity directly to your website, they can still have a significant impact on your link building strategy.
First of all, it’s important to understand that no-follow links are not necessarily bad. In fact, they can help to diversify your link profile and make it appear more natural. If all of your backlinks were do-follow, it could look like you are trying to manipulate search engine rankings by artificially inflating your link profile.
In addition to providing diversification, no-follow links can still drive traffic to your website. If a high-traffic website includes a no-follow link to your site, that link can still generate valuable referral traffic. And, even if the link doesn’t pass direct link equity, it can still indirectly benefit your website by increasing brand awareness and visibility.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the distinction between do-follow and no-follow links may not always be clear-cut. While a link may be labeled as no-follow, there is no guarantee that search engines will ignore it completely. Google has stated that they use no-follow links as a hint rather than a directive, and that they may still use the link for other purposes, such as discovering new pages.
In summary, while no-follow links may not provide direct link equity, they can still benefit your link building strategy in a number of ways. By diversifying your link profile, driving referral traffic, building relationships, and potentially influencing search engine rankings, no-follow links are an important part of any comprehensive link building campaign.
Myth 12: Link Building Is a One-Time Activity
Link building is not a one-time activity, but a continuous process. Many people think that once they have built a few quality links, they can sit back and relax. However, this is far from the truth. Google and other search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, and your competitors are also working on building links to improve their rankings.
More importantly, you may be losing links as other sites update or remove content, and you may even be gaining toxic links without being aware of them. You can use tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs to stay on top of your link profile at all times.
Understanding the truth about link building can be the difference between a successful campaign and a wasted effort. It’s essential to debunk these myths and focus on the strategies that work. Remember, quality is better than quantity, and link building is not just about getting links. It’s a continuous process that requires careful planning and execution. While some myths might seem tempting, they can hurt your SEO efforts in the long run.
So, let’s recap:
- Link building is not only about quantity, but quality.
- Guest posting is still an effective strategy when done correctly.
- Link building is about more than just getting links.
- Social media links can have a positive impact on your SEO.
- Automated link building is dangerous and ineffective.
- A high DA or similar score is not the only factor to consider when building links.
- Link building is just one aspect of SEO success.
- Ethical link requests can add value for both parties.
- Great content is crucial for a successful link building campaign.
- Link velocity is only one factor in the eyes of search engines.
- No-follow backlinks still have a place in your link building strategy.
- Link building is not a one-time activity.
Now that you know the truth about link building, it’s time to put these strategies into practice. If you’re ready to take your link building campaign to the next level, start by implementing these strategies.
If you have any questions or need assistance with your link building efforts, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Let’s build some quality links together!