Increasing traffic and having relevant hits on your website can sometimes be difficult. Depending on the niche you operate in, there is always the competition to worry about, making it hard to differentiate and actually come out on top. Link building techniques have always been a reliable tool to create backlinks and have reliable incoming traffic (if your content is relevant and up to date).
However, many of the myths surrounding link building have led to an increase of so called “tactics” that will assuredly raise red flags with Google’s SEO. What are some of the link building tactics that you should absolutely avoid or completely abandon in 2018 if you want to continue your website’s organic growth?
• Building niche links
Building a niche website with specialized content is a good way to attract small audiences that will keep coming back for more. However, doing so because of link building won’t bring you great results. Depending on the niche you choose to create content for, there have to be similar websites that will be ready to embed your content into their own pages.
For example, creating content about writing drama pieces set in the Ancient Greece won’t bring you much in terms of inbound traffic but you will be able to retain a certain amount of recurring readers. This simple example serves to illustrate how niche link building simply doesn’t work – try to generalize your content as much as possible if you want to generate traffic. Wikipedia is one of the most famous backlink sites on the internet because of its generality; you can find Wikipedia links in just about every corner of the internet due to its flexibility.
• Multimedia content links
Multimedia content is a good way to approach a broad topic that your audience might not be fully familiar with. You can create animated gifs, videos or even audio discussions or podcast pieces that can find their way into your content. However, relying on these pieces of content for your link building is a mistake simply because of the copyright issues. Rarely will you see a video created by someone else embedded on a third-party website or a blog.
The question of retaining rights, monetizing said content and the question of ownership are too much of an issue for multimedia content for it to be an effective link building tool. Using images and charts is a different matter simply due to its small file size and an ease of implementing Creative Commons licenses into this content. If you decide to rely on content other than written articles, avoid multimedia at all cost and opt for still images.
• Low quality spam content
Oversaturating your site with low quality content in high quantities will lead nowhere. The visitors that stumble onto your site through SERP and subsequent search results will likely figure out that you have been duplicating and spamming content in order to create artificial activity. SEO on the other hand won’t be kind to your site and will rank you as low as possible due to your irrelevant content.
This type of practice doesn’t work in link building, and anyone that tells you to keep churning out content no matter what should take a look at how SEO truly works. Try creating a posting schedule and maintain a steady quality of content, even if that content isn’t of highest quality. Posting new and interesting content in regular intervals will make sure that both SEO and audiences know how to handle your site. This type of content creation is the best way to handle link building. Maintain a steady pace and don’t rush expecting premature results – link building takes time and patience, even if you have affiliate sites and partners that backlink to your site frequently.
• Fake or incorrect data
Similarly to spam content, posting fake, irrelevant or simply incorrect data won’t bode well for your site. The entire point of link building is to provide actionable and relevant data that your visitors can link in their own sites, papers or even content. If the audience discovers that you have been posting incorrect or fake information in the content you create and publish as genuine, your reputation and the subsequent traffic will take a massive hit.
Try to follow up on all of your data and make sure that every bit of information is correct, even if you are paraphrasing other authors and using third-party research. Conducting your own research and analysis and coming up with wrong answers that your visitors can see through will also take you nowhere when link building is concerned. Don’t jump the gun and publish content on topics that no one else has written about before – there is probably a very good reason why that is the case.
• Paying for traffic
Paying other people to include your backlinks in their content defies the very nature of monetizing webpages on the internet. There is little point in paying other websites to simply include your links in their content for the sake of link building and increasing traffic. You will lose more money than you make, especially if you are a blogger or a content creator that solely monetizes their website through advertisement.
It makes sense to an extent if you are a business that needs promotion and has found a partner who is willing to promote you in exchange for other services but even then Google’s SEO might flag you as spam. Buying or selling links is forbidden in SEO standards, which means that it should be avoided at all costs if you want to maintain your ranking.
If you are employing some or all of these building tactics, make sure that you are aware of the consequences of being spotted and flagged by Google. You risk demonetizing your website from Google Ads entirely and even becoming invisible to search result pages due to your indecent practices.
Focus on creating and maintaining relevant content that is wide enough to be embedded into different niches other than your own. Building up a respectable site that focuses on collaboration and organic growth is a far better link building tactic for 2018 than any of the above-mentioned ones which should be left in the past where they belong.
Jessica Fender, creative brain and head of content at OnlineWritersRating.com. I am passionate about fresh SEO tactics and elaborate marketing approach. What do I love in my job? The opportunity to prove that SEO is not dead. .