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Link Building Mistakes of the Pros and Newbs

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8:35 pm on Sep 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Some of these are literally debatable. Some are indisputable. Please share your thoughts. :)

Repetitive emailing
The reason some agencies do this is because it brings results, as there is a small but measurable conversion rate. In my opinion I think this is a way to burn bridges, create bad will and set it up to have that kind of outreach increasingly ignored. Well, it already is ignored, which is why these kinds of campaigns are scaled up, like those of all email spammers. The actual conversion rate of knocking down the door type outreach is low.

Publishing your actual outreach template in an SEO article
Being transparent makes some people feel good about what they do because they can confidently say they have nothing to hide. However, publishing search strategy specifics in public has been known to cause a response from Google.

Outsourcing the entire strategy in the dark
One thing many publishers who have come to me for help is that they had outsourced their entire link strategy to a company that did not reveal exactly how they would obtain links. The best way to outsource is to do it as a partnership.

Forum & Comment Spamming
This is one of those kitchen table strategies small business newbs tend to get. To them it's "spreading the word" but to publishers it's spam.
1:34 pm on Oct 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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For an established site I find that paying attention to content is far more cost effective than chasing more and more links. That isn't to say that I ignore them entirely, in a new business relationship I always drop a hint that a link would be nice but always on a personal basis with somebody I have already been in contact with.
2:37 pm on Oct 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Links are for the users, not the search engines.


There's some truth in that in so far that. But the fact is that doing it poorly is what gets you penalized. And let's be honest, if making money is a business goal then one cannot publish web content and regard links as exclusively for users because that's simply not factual. The reality is that links are for search engines, too.

So maybe somewhere in the middle as piatkow suggests:

in a new business relationship I always drop a hint that a link would be nice but always on a personal basis with somebody I have already been in contact with.


Here's another link building mistake: Impatience.
Some times that one last high quality link you need does not materialize. So you spin your wheels seemingly without result. It happens to me sometimes. The links don't always fall in your lap, especially when you're taking the time to do it right, with optimized landing pages and all the other conversion influencing optimizations.
8:33 pm on Oct 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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There are two basic 'quality' links:
First and foremost, those that refer traffic, preferably qualified traffic. Almost invariably such sites also proffer SE link value. Most crap sites are traffic bare so the only way to find them is via backlink checkers, they rarely if ever show up in a site's log file. Crap sites may or may not provide SE link value, if yes, probably not over time.

Second, those that don't refer traffic, but are great citations, i.e. Nobel recipient researcher in niche.
---their site gets next to no traffic so expecting traffic referral is foolish. However, while only the SE knows, their recommendation/link probably has significant value, which (possibly) boosts SE referral traffic.
---noting their link and linking back can have several benefits:
------highlights/markets their 'testimonial' onsite.
------refers some traffic their way, which may start a conversation that may lead somewhere pleasant :)
------can be used (if the person/organisation significant enough) to generate media interest aka highlight/market their 'testimonial' offsite.
------can be used (if the person/organisation significant enough) to generate SM WoM interest aka highlight/market their 'testimonial' offsite.

What I find amusing/astounding is that most SEO conscious link chasers don't:
1. differentiate the quality of traffic referring links; links are only perceived to have SE/Google value and traffic is only perceived as from SE/Google. It's like the web is search/Google and Google/search is the web, an extraordinarily weird hyper-focused mindset that ignores most of what is and where people are.

2. don't understand and/or build on the value of citations (linked and un-). It's like stuffing money in a mattress instead of investing for interest.
7:43 am on Oct 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Another common mistake I see many webmaster doing is going ham with partner related links. I can provide a real example I had to deal with where a niche online magazine partnered with my client and decided to provide several thousand links from its network. While in principle this is not bad, I had to weave out links pointing from sub-domains and unrelated categories to make sure I can maintain a squeaky clean link portfolio with links that actually have the chance to funnel relevant visitors to the site and not just bouncers. While being more of a "meta" decision on my end, it did provide a better understanding of the partnership between the two sites and accountability of the traffic going from the linked domain to my clients.
3:30 am on Dec 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Paying a single sole to promote my website through link building. Shame on me and anyone who goes down that road.
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