The Ins & Outs of Effective Link Building

Effective Link Building

Written by Jeremy Earle, JD

May 14, 2022

You should know which link-building strategies can help your website get to the top of search engine rankings and which ones will be a waste of time.

We’re all aware that good SEO needs a lot of links.

However, many are uncertain what exactly defines a good or terrible connection.

To make wise link development choices, this knowledge is crucial.

If you even unwittingly engage in dubious link building practises nowadays, you risk being penalised and losing traffic and revenue.

The importance of knowing what kind of connections have a favourable influence on your ranking and what Google considers acceptable has been well-documented in the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Hence, we’ll look at some of the positives and negatives of connections.

You’ll learn in this article which kinds of backlinks impair your website’s rating, which ones waste your time, and which ones help you get to the top of the search results.

With that, it’s crucial to think strategically about link development rather than merely churning out links.

Consequently, you will save money, time, and effort while getting better outcomes.

The Best Websites

It’s common for good connections to be obtained organically, and they aren’t usually scaleable.

As a result, the links you obtain via organic link building are more valuable since it is more difficult for your rivals to achieve the same results.

What we’re all seeking is a dominating position in our market, right?

Publication Credits

An excellent link is one in which an unsuspecting writer (or contributor/blogger) takes the effort to write an article about you and include a link to your website, even if you are unaware of it.

In contrast to what some SEO experts (including Google) believe, this is very uncommon.

It’s also a good idea to have a personal connection with a journalist, contributor, or blogger, and if that friendship leads to an opportunity like this, it’s even better.

Using the same example, while researching the importance of conventional PR in SEO for another magazine, I added quotations and a link from an acquaintance who operates a very successful PR agency because of the wealth of knowledge she brought to the table.

Posts by Other Bloggers

Guest blogging, when done well, is only slightly less valuable than the previous two instances, mostly because the website it’s published on has editorial supervision, but you still write it rather than a more objective third party.

Providing value to their readers is a must for these articles, which should not exist just to host links.

Guest blogging as a link-building strategy has been severely penalised by Google. Therefore, I recommend being very careful with outbound links pointing to your website and being exceedingly cautious about exceeding expectations of value.

Business-Level Freelancers

Everything you need to know about dealing with freelancers on Fiverr Business.

A safe bet is to focus on growing your brand and gaining exposure rather than earning connections with guest blogging.

Doing a fantastic job at it naturally leads to the creation of linkages.

Niche directories

Generally speaking, directories are extinct.

There is still value to be found in specialist directories, however.

However, you may only be able to identify a couple of relevant directories, and their SEO value will vary greatly, but it’s still worth investigating.

When creating a web directory, you should go outside the box and look at trade organisations, niche-specific networking groups, and professional associations.

  • Regularly post useful information to search engines; 
  • Regularly remove broken links from members who no longer have an active website. 
  • Have a verification procedure rather than simply admitting everyone prepared to pay the price.

Any directory that allows keywords in the anchor text of the entries would be a no-go for me.

Creating High-Quality Backlinks…

The days of perfectly matching anchor text to the keywords you want to rank for are long gone.

Because it’s unnatural-looking, Google’s algorithm can readily recognise it, and artificial intelligence will only improve its ability to do so.

You don’t have to worry about the anchor text when someone connects to you without your permission.

Because your activities (rather than those of a third party) will be scrutinised much more closely if you are ever manually evaluated when building links, you need to be considerably more cautious while guest blogging.

The use of exact match anchor text has its place, but most of the time, I prefer something more detailed, such as the connection to my essay on artificial intelligence in the Search Engine Journal.

The most relevant internal page should be linked to instead of the homepage (unless you mention the firm, you should use the company name instead of a keyword).

The Disgusting Links

Even though it’s simple to build a huge number of these connections, they’ll have little (if any) effect on your organic ranking.

It’s a waste of time, money, and labour to produce these kinds of connections since they won’t pay for themselves.

Making things worse, even if you utilise these link-building strategies, you’re likely to be penalised if you do.

Massive Scale Guest Posting

As an SEO who’s worked with article directories for a while, I’m sure you remember how easy it was to submit your post to thousands of these websites at once using an automated tool.

A “unique” article might be generated for each submission thanks to these algorithms’ capacity to “spin” or change the text for no other reason than to show adverts resulting in a swath of pointless and repetitive websites.

These days are long gone, and we’re grateful for it. However, even if done manually and on a smaller scale, this strategy is dangerous since it produces evident patterns that Google’s algorithm can quickly spot when you’re mainly trying to gain connections.

Websites That Aren’t Relevant

Links referring to a general contractor’s website from a divorce lawyer’s website are almost worthless.

Today, Google is quite effective at determining a website’s theme and assigning substantial weight to links related to that topic.

It doesn’t matter how simple it is to get a link; don’t spend your time on irrelevant links.

Links in the Header, Footer, and Sidebar

For example, links in headers, footers, and sidebars aren’t given much weight by Google. Except in a few specific circumstances, sitewide connections are generally a terrible idea:

  • Adding a link to a related sibling site that you control. Huffington Post might connect to their India version, for example, without issue. A sitewide relationship between a general contractor and a mortgage firm, on the other hand, would be dangerous.
  • In the case of content management, blogging, and e-commerce systems, you may identify the software that powers the website.
  • We are identifying the website’s creator.

Using the Nofollow tag on these links is unnecessary. Still, branded phrases, such as the business or magazine name, should be used instead of keyword-rich anchor text as an essential caution.

The Weak Points

Links that should never be followed farther down the rabbit hole may be found there.

To avoid a penalty, you should renounce any connections you’ve previously utilised that are known to be harmful.

As a result, Google will begin to scrutinise your link-building activities more closely.

All attempts to unethically influence ranking will be seen as attempts to manipulate your way into Google’s radar after you’ve gotten on their radar.


You may assume that since you’re purchasing bought links on a smaller scale and/or via personal connections, you can get away with it.

At first, this seems logical, but it’s important to remember that a website owner selling connections to you is also selling links to several other individuals. Those other people are very certainly purchasing links from other websites. It is easy to observe how rapidly the network grows from this point forward.

It’s hard to imagine how difficult it would be for a company with Google’s data and resources to uncover sponsored connections when so many individuals, buyers, and sellers, are engaged.

To find the rest of the buyers and sellers, they just need to capture one of them.

Spam in the Comments or Forum

Even while it’s simple to post hundreds of links to online forums and blogs, it’s also easy to ruin your reputation by doing so since you’re slapping your spammy links all over someone else’s website.

There is no SEO gain from commenting on a blog, and many forums have nofollowed outbound links as well, so you will expose yourself to link-based penalties.

In particular, since you’ll irritate other website owners, who will be eager to report you to Google’s Webmaster Tools.

There are a lot of general directories available.

We’ve previously spoken about the potential value of specialist directories. On the other hand, general directories should be avoided at all costs.

Unless you’re ready to pay the price, they are the antithesis of what Google stands for since they allow any website (save those that promote porn, gambling, or violence).

In this case, the purchased link is a textbook case. Your website doesn’t need a directory, and in most situations, it doesn’t have any valuable material.

A network of blogs that aren’t publicly accessible.

When you can easily install WordPress on a few dozen domains and link to whatever website you want at any moment, why bother with link-building?

Google can discover secret blog networks in the near term, which may lead to fines and more scrutiny, much as sponsored links.

Because you’ll still need to generate a lot of high-quality material and connect to the blogs in your network, private blog networks aren’t a good link development strategy.

You’d be better off spending that time, money, and energy on your own website’s content creation and inbound link building.

Because most respectable website owners always provide fresh material and acquire new connections, a link from their site to yours only grows in value with time.


SEO nowadays relies heavily on links, but if you don’t know which links violate Google’s criteria, you might wind up doing more damage than good.

You must know precisely which kind of links will help your website, which types won’t, and most importantly, which types will get your website punished since links aren’t going away anytime soon.

You May Also Like…