10 Commonly Made Mistakes in Link Building

July 4, 2023 | Link Building

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Links are an essential part of any SEO strategy. In fact, links affect your ranking more than any other factor. This is because they are the most definitive factor in saying whether your content is useful or not. Links tell the search algorithm how important and valuable your page is. Having plenty of quality backlinks from high authority websites signals to Google that people enjoy your content, and that it’s making a difference in their lives. Because of these backlinks, they place you higher in the rankings, so that other people can find you more efficiently, as well. The number of quality links is significant for your ranking, sales, traffic and so on.

But, even though link building is so common having a ton of useful guides online, people still make mistakes. They are working hard to get more backlinks, and they keep creating good content, but the results are just not there.

If this is happening, they are likely making some of these mistakes:

1. Creating poor quality anchor text

You may not think that anchor text is as important as the very website you link to but, the fact is, it is. If you’ve got authority sites linking to your pages, that’s great news! This can give you a lot of traffic and more sales. It can also keep you high in the search results.

But if your anchor text is terrible, no one is going to click on it. This can immediately drive your sales and traffic down, even if your backlinks are great. Your anchor can’t just be ‘Click Here.’ It has to be more extensive and more interesting. Who knows what’s hiding behind those two words? It could be a virus or something irrelevant. Good anchor text announces what the link will deliver and offers some praise that entices people to click.

common link building mistakes

“Click here” wastes time and effort of both you and your clients. So, great links in the right spots won’t work without having the proper anchor text. Make sure you remember that.

2. Turning to irrelevant sites for backlinks

Both beginners and seasoned website or business owners often have only one thing in mind – their goals and numbers. So, when they try to build backlinks, they aim for as many backlinks as possible without stopping to consider the quality of those backlinks. Is the niche right? Is the website legit? Sometimes, business owners get so focused on increasing the number of backlinks that they forget about the quality of those links.

However, this is not always the truth with link building. Everything has to be right for Google to consider it as a factor for higher ranking. The first mistake is when you link to a website that is entirely unrelated to the niche and completely irrelevant in terms of subject and context. The second mistake is linking to poor quality websites, which are not always legit in nature and often don’t provide good support.

common link building mistakes

Getting links from authority websites in your niche can be quite tricky, but this doesn’t mean that you should give up and turn to some quick methods.

Google is even punishing this now, by penalizing backlinks which are unrelated to the website.

3. Linking to pages that are not able to be crawled

A link could be completely legit having everything that it needs from a great anchor to a useful attribute, but it still might not be counted as a link. This happens when you place a link that leads to the other site, but the site doesn’t link for you. Google can’t index your link then because it’s placed on the dynamic page or somewhere blocked by robot.txt. This reason is why you should always check back on your links from time to time so that you are sure that they are still on the pages the users can see.

4. Buying and selling links

Buying links or selling links is a bad idea because it can seriously hurt your ranking. Most people are aware of this but still, do it often because of the extra money. Selling links, if you want to, should only be done through legal sites. It might not be so discreet, but it does the job to a certain degree. Don’t openly advertise that you sell links, it’s bad for your reputation.

5. Linking to shady sites or sites with a poor reputation

“One of the worst mistakes that you can make in link building is linking to a site with a shady or a bad reputation. When you do this, Google thinks that you are supporting or endorsing these websites. They will often penalize you as a result,” says Freida Hopkins, strategic SEO analyst at Australia2write.

Check your links and make sure that you haven’t linked to websites with a bad reputation. Decline any offers for backlinks, even if they offer you money for those backlinks. It’s not only Google that you could have trouble with but also other users and your entire niche, who would consider you a bad or unreliable source of information because of these links.

6. Creating poor quality and shallow content

This is a mistake that won’t result in a penalty but will hurt your chances of getting links. Don’t create content just for the sake of SEO or to have the content there. You need to build a reputation for providing content that’s meaningful, interesting and packed with information. Hire someone with experience to handle your content. Case studies, detailed articles and so on deserve the links that they get. You should make sure that your content is valuable and useful to other people. Don’t stuff your content with keywords, because that can be annoying and make your content unreadable for your audience. Provide content that will matter to your audience.

7. Using site-wide links

Google disapproves of links that are located in the sidebars, footers and so on. It was a good strategy a few years ago, but now things have changed. Google believes it gives no value to the audience, and they don’t support it anymore.

8. Using only one type of link

Link exchanging can be legal since there are no rules against it. But using just a no-follow attribute or just a do follow attribute is bad – you should balance them out and check on your links frequently.

9. Not checking your links often

“Link building also means link maintenance. Some people will delete posts, entire websites and so on. You also might get a no-follow attribute, which can all be bad for your reputation or your ranking,” says Linda Gowns, content marketing specialist at Brit student.

common link building mistakes

Check your links frequently to see if they are working in your favor.

10. Linking too many times at once

You should build links slowly and with time. This is what is considered organic and healthy for your ranking and reputation. You can even get a velocity penalty if you build links too quickly. Even though it might be tempting to move through your link building strategy at once, you should keep it slow and steady.


Link building is vital for getting better rankings and more traffic. Make sure that you avoid all of these mistakes in link building that could harm both your reputation and your ranking. Link building is one of the most effective ways for you to increase your ranking, so you should be careful in how you do it. What are some of the most prominent link building mistakes in your opinion? Do share them with us down in the comments below.

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