Why Your Website Link Building Strategy Is Getting You Nowhere And May Even Result In Google Permanently Blocking Views To Your Site.
According to Internet Live Stats there are now over 1.7 Billion (yes, with a ‘B’) websites on the internet, which creates a good and not-so-good scenario for you and me…
The good news is digital marketing continues to evolve at a rapid rate, meaning there is a huge marketplace with many buyers looking for what we can provide.
The not so good aspect is there are just as many sellers, meaning the real challenge is not just about doing good work – but actually being found in the first place.
If you are going to succeed with digital marketing you need to master two key elements…
The first is traffic and the second element is conversion. Both are crucial… But you need eyeballs and interest (traffic) in the first place and only then can your content or your instructions initiate a response (conversion).
Think of your local shopping centre where one store has lots of people walking in and out all the time, while another store two doors down only ever sees a small trickle of people coming through.
Store One still has to ‘convert’, but through some marketing, advertising, joint ventures and positive word of mouth, they at least do not have a traffic problem.
It’s no different online…
There is the option to pay for traffic to your website. But mastering pay per click on Google, Facebook, YouTube or any of the other platforms can be a very steep learning curve. Not to mention the ever-changing advertising and privacy rules and regulations.
You can bring in an agency or freelancer to manager your paid traffic… This can be very expensive, as in effect you are both paying to advertise and for someone to constantly manage your campaigns.
So while I am not at all against paying to bring eyeballs to your webpages, I prefer to focus on organic (free) search, and then have the option of amplifying views through paid traffic.
One very effective strategy in driving plenty of traffic to your website is link building.
This is where other websites link to your website, providing you with an ‘invisible endorsement’ of sorts, that results in search engines like Google favorably showing your website in its search results.
Having an effective link building 2020 strategy in place is the difference between being the busy store with plenty of people coming in all the time… Versus being the quiet, empty store on the verge of going out of business.
But just like most things online, there is a good side to link building, and there is a dark side.
In this article I’m going to share with you what I like to call the ‘7 Deadly Sins of Link Building 2020’.
Not all of these ‘sins’ are done deliberately… But search engine giants like Google tend to have a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ policy, where your website will be pushed way down the rankings. Or even worse, you will not be found at all, sending your website into that ‘empty store’ scenario.
So please, pay close attention to these 7 Deadly Link Building 2020 Sins and see the kind of steady traffic flow to your site, leaving you to focus on converting all your new website visitors into qualified leads.
Deadly Sin #1 – Using Old-Fashioned Link Building Methods
Things evolve online at a frightening pace and in the case of SEO, you are at the mercy of algorithms that change all the time…
In October 2019 Google announced the BERT update, where in their own words, Google described the update as the biggest change to Google search in the past 5 years.
Biggest update might I add – not the only update…
In fact, according to Moz.Com, Google makes hundreds of confirmed and unconfirmed changes to search every year, with (get this) over 3,000 updates in 2018 alone.
And while some of the changes are minor, chances are if you put your current link building 2020 SEO strategy in place before October 25th 2019, it is probably now ineffective, and may even be ‘sinful’.
Deadly Sin #2 – You Are Using Black Hat Methods
Manipulation is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “controlling someone or something to your own advantage – often unfairly or dishonestly”
An accurate description given to a cruel, nasty practice…
Black Hat methods of link building are no different, as they deliberately violate the terms of a search engine, using unethical and sometimes illegal tactics.
These tactics may create short-term results, but it is because of these black hat methods that Google is constantly changing its search algorithm.
And sadly, more times than not, SEO managers and agencies knowingly apply black hat methods to ensure they are paid for a job ‘well done’, before hastily leaving you the business owner to face the music, and pay for the consequence of having illegally worked the SEO system
Deadly Sin #3 – Over Reliance on Forums and Blog Comments
While websites with great content are rewarded by search engines (I cover this in Deadly Sin #7), there is also the harsh reality of fake comments and fake blog readers (a black hat technique).
There is now also the sad reality that given an online voice, many people tend to say cruel and destructive things choosing to troll and hate for reasons only they can explain.
As a result of this blog comments do not carry as much weight as they used to, and they should no longer be considered as the major player in your link building 2020 strategy.
Deadly Sin #4 – You Are Getting Only Nofollow Links
This one could be quite a technical explanation!
But for the sake of simplicity, let me say it like this: Dofollow links will help your search engine rankings while Nofollow links will not.
Referring back to Deadly Sin #3, the nofollow tag was originally created by Google as part of its fight against blog comment spam.
Google is all about a positive user-experience, and the spam comments were jeopardizing that.
What the nofollow tag basically does, is tell the search engines to ignore that particular link. When that happens the links do not pass PageRank which is Google’s way of measuring the importance of a website. Therefore any nofollow links to your site will not be impacting the search engine rankings.
How can you tell whether a link to your site is a nofollow link?
It’s quite simple if you’re using any SEO tool, but you can also view that by yourself via the page source. You would need to be at least a little bit familiar with HTML.
Deadly Sin #5 – Unnatural Guest Posts
Guest blogging and SEO can be formidable together if you (as the guest writer) are being featured on a credible website, with a link back to your website.
Where you can run into potential issues with the search engines, is when your article is stuffed full of keywords that are in the post more for your sake than for the readers.
As with a number of link building strategies I recommend, the use of ‘anchor text’ (the visible and clickable text in a link) can either be done in a white hat or black hat manner.
But at all costs, avoid the deadly sin of writing unnaturally because you lose trust with your audience, and credibility with the search engines as a genuine source of authority.
Deadly Sin #6 – Paying for Links on Private Blog Networks
New Your Times bestselling author Neil Patel, who the Wall Street Journal described as a ‘top influencer on the web,’ once described private blog networks as a ‘penalty waiting to happen.’
Why? You may ask…
Well, let’s go back to the white hat / black hat terminology used earlier.
A Private Blog Network (PBN) involves using a set of websites that you or somebody else controls, to implement and ‘doctor’ links back to your intended website.
A ‘grey hat’ method if we give PBN’s the benefit of the doubt…
While at the same time serious enough for Google and other search engines, to de-index websites that are seen to have links to PBN, because in the words of Neil Patel:
“Google hates PBN’s and intentionally tries to penalize people who use them.”
Deadly Sin #7 – Your Content Is Simply Not Good Enough
This is the sin of providing boring, same old, run-of-the-mill content …
But the beauty of this unacceptable situation, is that you can fix it.
Always look to provide content and information that is relevant and valuable.
It may not be easy… But it is most certainly achievable.
The best place to begin is by actually understanding the level of importance search engines place on a website providing relevant content. And having a clear understanding of your target audience too.
For example say you entered ‘how to train your dog’ into a search engine and you were sent to a blog for hamsters…
Or you Googled ‘boutique hotel in Venice’ and you were sent to caravan parks in Wales.
I’m not knocking Wales or caravan parks, but what I am trying to say is a search engine invisibly makes a promise to the user…
That whatever it is they are looking for, the search engine will deliver the most relevant and the most credible sources of information based on the search.
Yes, paid search will provide a jump to the top of a page or be featured in a prominent position… But even paid advertisers get into trouble if their site is promoting things in an unethical manner, or if over time the information on the website becomes less relevant to the searches being made.
7 Deadly Sins of Link Building 2020 – Final Thoughts
So there you have the 7 ‘sins’ that thankfully, can easily be rectified once you have identified them.
Stephen Covey, author of the classic best- selling book, ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ said that “Awareness creates its own momentum.”
My hope is that through this post you are now more aware of these link building 2020 ‘sins’… And that you avoid committing these sins that I see so many businesses and agencies make.
Your link building 2020 process needs to be strategic, a word that by its very nature refers to ‘long-term’.
As we see with diets, body transformation, generating wealth and success in business, there always seems to be a quicker, easier way, that while certainly appealing, rarely ever works.
But if you appreciate the merits of setting up your link building 2020 strategy the correct way, work hard to avoiding the 7 Deadly Sins I mentioned.
They are in no way the only sins that are committed, but seven that will place you in a better position than 90% of other businesses using link building as an SEO strategy.
And of course please contact me for a no-obligation chat, if you see the merits of link building 2020, but you would prefer to discuss your strategy and ideas with a qualified person first.