7 Common mistakes to avoid for building a natural link profile

If you have been following SEO for some time, by now you would have a fair idea that quality links are everything. Okay okay, if not everything then certainly one of the most important things. All too often however, link building methods have raised quite many questions  by being associated with questionable SEO practices such as link buying or link spamming.

The key to success with any link building campaign is to create as natural a link profile as possible. In order to do this, there are things you should avoid and things that you should be doing… so let’s get started.

1. Using the same anchor text for all the links

A very common mistake that many people quite often make. I still see a lot of people using the same anchor text while building incoming links to their website. They simply ignore the fact that search engines are looking for natural links and it doesn’t look natural if all the links have the same anchor text. Always try to mix up the anchor texts in your links. You certainly can’t control the anchor text for all of your incoming links. But the ones you do, make sure to utilize it properly.

Using 3-4 different anchor text is a good practice to follow while building inbound links. Always target your most important keywords in those links.

2. Building too many links from the same domain

Links are counted as votes to a site being linked to. The same way in an election you can’t vote more than once, too many links coming from a single domain are not given much value. In many cases having even 100 links from the same domain can be counted as a single link by the search engines. But this highly depends upon the authority of the site and the link value of the site linking to you.

For example, 100 incoming links from CNN or NY Times or any other authority site in your niche will make a huge difference to your link profile. But you can’t expect the same to happen if the site giving  you hundreds of links is not an authority in its niche. It will still be counted as a single link by the search engines.

So don’t be too happy if you get a thousand links from a forum or a single site. Get your ass out there and start working on getting links from different domains.

3. Building only do-follow links

First of all there is nothing like a do-follow tag in HTML. There is a no-follow tag in HTML which instructs the search bot not to crawl that link. Adding no-follow tags prevents passing any link juice to the linked page. Do-follow is just a term coined for the absence of no-follow tag in a link. Which means that the link can pass juice. So don’t get confused with the terms. 

If you are really taking link building seriously you should also emphasize on making it look natural. Search engines look for natural link profiles. A natural link profile contains all kinds of links. Do-follow and no-follow links both. A link profile with only do-follow links looks dubious and is certainly going to raise a lot of eyebrows. So from next time whenever you have a chance of getting a link even if it is a no-follow, just grab it!

You don’t have to worry about the number here. Even not to worry if you are getting all the  do-follow links. If you are building the links naturally eventually you’ll have a good balance of do-follow and no-follow. What you have to remember is that a link is a link whether a do-follow or a no-follow.

4. Not mixing it up

A natural link profile would contain links from all kinds of sources. Like from websites, blogs, social media sites, etc. Do not concentrate only on getting links from one type of source. Mix it up!

Make profiles on popular social media sites. Start a social media campaign, work on getting links from other people’s profiles. Ask people to share your links on their profile. Write guest posts for other blogs. Contact established bloggers in your niche ask them for links. Submit articles and press releases. Read this post to learn tons of efficient ways of getting links from different sources.

Remember while asking people for links, they owe you nothing! So they won’t link back to you unless you really have something on your site that would be helpful for them or for their readers. So make sure you deserve to get links first before asking anyone to link to you. 

5. Using PageRank for link assessment

A very common misconception that many site owners have is that, a high PR link is the most ideal link to have. People are more inclined towards a page’s PR than the quality of a link from that page. Remember that PR is just an indication of the quality of a web page. It certainly doesn’t define it’s link value.

For an example, a page with PR value of 2 and only 10 outgoing links would be a far better choice to get a link from, than a link from a page with a PR 4 and 100 outgoing links.

The linking value of a page generally depends on four factors – 

1. The number of incoming links to that page.

2. The quality of the incoming links to that page.

3. The number of outgoing links from that page.

4. And MOST importantly the quality of the pages it links to.

After Google’s recent Panda and Penguin updates, a page will either lose or lessen its linking value by linking to a low quality or a spam page. So if you are spending your time and energy on building links from other web pages make sure you assess their linking value based on the above four factors.

6. Targeting different niche

A lot of people think that no-matter what, a link is still a link. Well of course yes, it is. But spending a lot of time on getting a link from an online beauty a shop won’t do any good to your rankings if your website sells cars.

You need to concentrate on your own niche. Make sure you put all the efforts and time on links that will ultimately give you rankings and if not, targeted traffic!

So spend your time and effort on quality and authority sites within your niche.

7. Not linking deep 

A very common mistake that a lot of people do; is building links only for their homepage or any other important page. Your link profile can not look natural if you have hundreds of links for your homepage and 0 links for other inner pages. A healthy backlink profile can not be one-dimensional. You have got to link deep.

Every site has a bunch of important sub-pages. Your job is to identify the sub-pages that could be important for your target audience and the pages you wish to promote. After the identification of those pages, make a list of these pages according to their importance. After you have a list of pages that are most valuable for your site, now you can decide how time you have to give building links for each page.

Dedicate more time for the most important page in that list, a bit less for the next page and so on…

In a few months of time, you won’t only have lots of links for all your important pages but they will also start ranking separately for different search terms in the SERPs. Which will mean more organic search traffic and more chances of sales. Also it will increase your link authority as a whole.

CONCLUSION: As long as your link building campaign is natural you don’t have to worry about these things. But it’s good to keep them in your mind incase you are overstepping the line. 

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Akash Kumar is an aspiring blogger and writer based in India. He holds a great interest in SEO and blogging. He now blogs at iSEOforGoogle – a blog providing tips and techniques on SEO, Link building, Social media and other Internet marketing techniques. Follow him on Twitter @iSEOforGoogle to stay updated with his new posts and articles.