The myth is, after all, the never ending story!!
Similar holds true for gossips too!!
There is no end to the gossips, doing the round, much beyond the school grounds. The mind-boggling questions whether Google changed something or was it merely an algorithm update leads to infinite brainstorming sessions happening around the globe.
As long as the search engines veil their algorithms in secrecy, the global industry will persevere to be rife with gossip, myths, and spams.
And guess what it results in….
This encourages the businesses to follow wrong strategies or seriously ending up damaging their backlink profile or perhaps more severe ones like a spiteful Google penalty, shifting which is quite a sturdy task.
The fact is that everything, included under SEO and backlink building guides is not correct. This has led to much losing faith in the value of SEO posses.
Progressing through this article, you will come across quite a few popular myths casting an off-putting light on the link building mechanism, discouraging people to pursue manual backlink building practices.
Here we have tried to bust eight popular link building myths and misconceptions widely touted even today causing much more harm than any good.
Myth #1: A Great Backlink is always complemented with High Domain Authority
You have already heard this one! Rather there are many like you….
It’s been told that high-quality backlinks come with a Domain Authority of 30+… Does it seem so simple to you?
How is this link quality defined? Is there a defined mechanism or set of rules that determine it?
Third party metrics like Trust Flow and Domain Authority (DA) are nothing more than guesses or barometers for a quick comparison of your website with others. It neither signals a good rank nor does it inform you about how good a website is for backlink building.
Hence focusing on DA as a sole metric for justifying charge clients and junk link campaigns is a mistake done by many.
Why not take a sneak peek at what can be counted as some of the key determinants of a good link:
· Anchor text is contextual
· Content uploaded on the linking domain is pertinent to your business
· High traffic value of linking domain
· Linked-to page provides value to users
· An editorial process well in place for the content published on the website
Chasing Domain Authority as a single proprietary metric leaves you blind towards the multiple avenues open right in front of you.
Myth #2: Nofollow Links implies Zero Link Juice
A link attributed with “” signals Google not to follow it.
With few popular websites deploying an automatic no follow all of their external links mechanism has made it a worthless metric in the SEO arena.
However, the truth is distant from what is perceived. The no follow links are still not out i.e. they still possess SEO value because:
· Even if they no follow links; they still drive traffic that happens to be a key ranking factor
· Suspicious looking backlink profile can make Google overrun it with do follow links
· Nofollow links still get your featured down there
· Their existence is still known to Google i.e. there is still some link juice prevailing in the market
Feeling disheartened since you identified a few links tagged as no follow links? Worry not, you have still made the mark.
Myth #3: Do Not Delay spreading the Links once they are Built
Avoiding the wrath of Google penalties is everyone’s wish. However, being extra cautious and rapidly spreading the built links over a few weeks or months might not be essential.
A dig into the web and you will have this myth busted that you need not spread out the links.
The fact is that as far as the Google’s Penguin algorithm is concerned it is a watchdog for sites with unnatural backlink profiles. It gets flagged for a manual review in case it looks spammy.
However this in no way gives way to you thinking that the links must fit a quota. There is quite a possibility of websites naturally gaining 100 backlinks overnight especially if any particular content goes viral and resultantly gets picked up by quite a few publications.
Don’t boggle yourself with building too many links in a short span of time rather keep your calm as long as:
· The backlink profile appears natural
· You pick up links naturally
· Focus is on quality rather than quantity
Google will definitely not penalize just because of the volume of links pointing towards your website.
Myth #4: Links from Wikipedia and .edu sites boast Abnormal Ranking Power
Heard about Holy Grail? We will tell you!!
Many mistake Wikipedia as the Holy Grail for link building. If rumors are to be believed then managing to build even a single link from any Wikipedia domain page will take you straight to the top ranks of Google’s SERPs.
Both Wikipedia, as well as .edu websites, are authoritative websites that carry a strong ranking power but it cannot, out of the blue, help you rank well just after one built link.
It is always advisable to build links that are diversified combining significant SEO metrics for identifying other authoritative sites and focusing on collecting links from an assortment of diverse websites.
Myth #5: Avoid Forum Links, Blog Comment, and Directory
Having gained the disreputable character of black hat tactic for backlinks building, Directory websites, forums, and blog comments are avoided by many.
But is it really the case? Have they lost their SEO value?
The answer is NO!!
Links built from aforementioned websites, still possess SEO value; provided it is done correctly as:
· They are capable of driving more traffic
· They attract more eyeballs for your content thereby enhancing the chances of link building
However, there are certain aspects to be considered for fetching benefits out of these links:
· For Google, backlinks determine the connection between any two websites. So while building backlinks using forums, blog comments or directory websites, be extra vigilant in picking a relevant website for you
· Leaving a blog comment just for the heck of it is a lost fad. Begin with finding relevant blogs from your industry and accordingly leaving thoughtful comments rather than just following the “nice post” trend.
Myth #6: Guest Posting is done by SEO Spammers only
Did you also hear that guest posting is dead? Or maybe that it is no more of any significance in your SEO strategy?
The answer is straight and ripe. Guest Blogging/Posting continues to be a vastly valuable tactic for building strong and powerful backlinks. You must be choosy about picking up the sites that accept guest posts and belongs to a relevant industry too.
Few aspects for an ideal guest posting strategy:
· Place it on a relevant website
· Loyal, strong and established audience for the chosen website
· Write long-form and meaningful content that shares/add value
· Do not pay for the link
· Avoid being part of a Private Blog Network (PBN)
For a guest blogging strategy to become effective, incorporate all of the above if you wish to see incredible results. Take some time out, identify the most relevant websites and, who knows, you might just rock it with an augmented search engine visibility.
Myth #7: More the backlinks, merrier it would be
As the saying goes, “Any link is a good link.”
Ever pondered how true the saying is or it is merely the case that it exists so accept it.
No, that should not be the case. It is definitely food for thought!
Ideally, the correct phrase should be, “Any high-quality link should be considered as a good link.”
Merely having lots of backlinks does no good rather it is crucial that the backlinks should be of high quality else your backlink profile will experience a downfall. For instance, in case 90% of your backlinks are from websites with a DA of maybe 12 or 15 will result in your profile to falling in the same range. Recovering from this trap is tough but definitely necessary.
So can we remove these low-quality entries or just let Google penalize us?
The low-quality entries can be removed by submitting a disavow i.e. when you disavow a link, you tell Google not to relate your website with the one linking to it.
Hence it is integral to conduct regular audits for your backlink profile and bring to light the low-quality links that might be affecting your ranking attempts.
Myth #8: Backlinks are the Sole Proprietary Metrics of SEO
Yes, we understand. There is nothing new in case you too are putting all that you have in the link building exercise considering it to be all and end all of SEO.
It is an outcome of the various studies conducted that shows the indispensability of backlinks for ranking your website well in SERPs.
Do you really feel that the Google algorithms are that simple dependent merely on backlinks? If yes, then, unfortunately, you are wrong!
Google has numerous ranking factors that form part of its ranking algorithms and backlinks happen to be just a fraction of them. The four integral elements, of which, backlinks are just a part are:
· Content marketing — developing content for the website, targeting long tail keywords, long-form blog posts and more
· Technical SEO — enhancing user experience, improve website speed, decreasing crawl errors and more
· On-page SEO — keyword targeting, optimized content with high quality, image SEO and more
· Off-page SEO — building backlinks and more
Neglecting even one of the above can make your climb up the ladder to #1 a tough one!!
So what do you think you learned from the long one written above?
The digital world is a place full of facts as well as fallacies so do not get swept away in what you hear and see. Learn to identify the truth and follow the best link building practices available.
Now that my effort towards dispelling the myths has been successful, it is time we really need to stop believing in them. As an SEO expert, I would suggest all invite and welcome opportunities lying unattended in this negative light!!
Sandeep Mehta is a freelance SEO expert from 5 years. He has worked on multiple niche projects like E-commerce, Travel and many more.
8 Common Link Building Myths That Are Holding Back Your Website was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.