Guidelines for Backlinks

What you should do/avoid when creating backlinks? How to build a solid reputation and the difference between good, neutral and bad backlinks

Written by Charles
Updated over a week ago

1. What is the importance of using backlinks?

Backlinks are very important for your SEO strategy, as they directly impact your rankings in the search engines. With rankingCoach's personalized tasks, we will propose to you potential websites for backlinks in which your competitors can currently be found on. This will also help you to have a better understanding of common backlinks within your business sector.

Getting good quality backlinks can be one of the most challenging tasks in your SEO strategy. So, in order to get it right and make every backlink count, you should follow Google’s guidelines. Not following the guidelines of Google could potentially harm your website's SERP rankings.

First of all, avoid any unnatural links. A link is considered unnatural if it tries to manipulate page rank or a site’s ranking in Google. Also if it was not placed by the site’s owner or was not verified/confirmed by the owner.

Remember that if you don’t follow Google’s guidelines it can impact negatively on your rankings as some strategies can be looked at as a link scheme. A link scheme refers to any links that attempt to manipulate Pagerank or a site’s rankings in Google’s SERP.

2. Backlinks strategies

Check the list below to know how to make sure you don’t get unnatural links. We tell you all about the strategies you should avoid in order to build successful backlinks:

1. Buying or selling links

Not only in exchange for money but also in exchange for goods or services. With this, we also make a reference to offer a free sample of a product, for example, or a service, in order to have the link to your site on another website.

2. Excessive link exchanges

Or joining partner pages only with the goal of cross-linking. The principle is “I'll add your link if you add mine”. That can be highly dangerous for your website’s ranking. The word “excessive” suggests that Google knows there are going to be link exchanges in certain situations, but when the technique is clearly overused, it’s when comes the risk as you end up decreasing your reputation in Google’s index. If you accept any link exchange requests blindly, you can never know the quality and content of the site you’re adding. Linking to a site that already has no importance from Google will lower your importance in Google’s eyes. This means bad links linking to and/or from your site can damage the ranking of your site.

3. Large-scale articles or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links. For example, if you are guest blogging with the intent to build links, and those blog posts are done large-scale with very little quality, Google may take action against the links in those articles. Also, when it comes to keyword-rich anchor text links, it means that for every keyword you are linking to a page in your site. In this case, the advice from Google is that these links are nofollow.

The example Google provides is:

“There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress”.

4. Using automated programs or services to create links to your website.

The basic problem with this is, when you generate links automatically, you don’t know in which websites your website is going to be linked. If your website is also linked in another one that has no relevance or is not trustworthy - in other words, is not a quality backlink, this obviously will be penalized by Google.

5. Requiring a link as part of a Terms of Service, contract, or similar arrangement without allowing a third-party content owner the choice of qualifying the outbound link, should they wish. By qualifying the outbound link, Google will better understand what kind of link it is, what purpose it has or what relationship you have with the other page.

6. Using incentives, such as money or something else, to generate links.

The incentives can go further than money, think of vouchers, free products, discounts, etc. Using incentives does not make your website of higher quality or more credible, as Google needs to show websites that are actually trustworthy and useful for the search engine users. Therefore, genuine backlinks are more appreciated by Google, as this is a sign that your website actually contains useful content.

7. Paid adversarial with links.

If you pay for links, it is a way to cheat the search engines into thinking that your website has more authority or is more trustworthy than it really is. When you pay for links, they will typically end up on low-quality and/or irrelevant websites, so even if your links do appear in the search results initially at least, they are not likely to interest your potential visitors, since they won’t be relevant to their queries. Google wants to display relevant, quality results to its users, so remember that this technique might potentially result in Google deindexing your website altogether.

Now that you have a better understanding of what not to do in order to build a solid network of backlinks, don’t hesitate to read this article on good strategies to generate backlinks.

For any further questions, please contact our support team, we are happy to help you.

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