With the Panda, Penguin updates from Google, webmasters now have more visibility than ever into the do’s and don’ts of link building. We have clear guidelines in black and white about what to do in efforts focused on sourcing links to our websites.
Although Google has been mentioning these guidelines, every now and then, they have gone ahead and declared these guidelines on record and in paper.
In this scenario, here are the six traditional link building tactics that you should not be doing.
Press Releases should not be intended for SEO
Press Releases were never a valuable source for links, but many folks do it for the possible secondary benefits it could reap. Like a blog article that would result based on your press release. Press Releases, no doubt has a lot of significance in getting eye balls but when you punch in your carefully drafted anchor text and links in them, you’re basically trying to manipulate the information. As a matter of fact, for most of the popular press release services, all links are by default nofollowed. But sometimes, when someone copies the article as-is, they could pass a dofollow link to your website. In my opinion, these links though dofollow, does not pass any value because the article is a copy-paste and Google does not give much value to them unless they’re on authority blogs or news sources. But authority sources already have ways to prevent duplicate content, so they don’t do the copy-paste thing.
So, essentially, stay away from “optimizing” your press releases. Probably try and make them more appealing but forget about the SEO benefits.
Avoid Guest Blogging Solely for the purpose of Link Building
When Google once mentioned that instead of buying links from sources, a contextual link resulting from guest blogging could fetch you more value, SEOs were all over it. Heck, there were even services launched that would leverage guest blogging as a source of link building. Well, news is that if you’re following a pattern and guest blogging everywhere without actually providing value to those sources, then obviously you’re putting yourself into a lot of trouble. Your expertise is one thing but then being an expert at everything is different and of no value.
So essentially, Guest blogging is a great method to source links. But if you go about it solely for the purpose of links, grabbing it from anywhere possible, then you probably might want to think about your strategy and thin it out a little bit.
Sponsorship programs better be real
Many folks do sponsorship and advertisement enabled support networks in the hope of sourcing links from vendors. This can get tricky if you’re not in command and don’t know who’s linking to what. One way to be safe here is to ensure that not everyone is linking to you with the same anchor text and links. Keep it real and original. Typically for sponsorship programs, there are “rules” that you got to go by that states you have to link to a particular page with a particular anchor text. I would say that’s going overboard with it. Instead, focus on filtering out the quality ones from the list of sponsors and make sure those links are placed effectively and organically into contextual articles or within related categories. Sitewide links or Image banners without any value should definitely be avoided.
Essentially, any artificial methods you employ to source links should be approached with caution. Try not to follow a pattern and create a footprint for yourself making it easy for Google to catch you. But if you don’t know what you’re up to and are going blindly at “harvesting” links, I would suggest that you stick to natural link building with content/inbound marketing.
Reference: Google Guidelines on Link Schemes