What is a backlink, one might ask? A backlink is a hyperlink within content that redirects people to another web page when they click on it. Backlinks are an integral part of the online marketing strategy for every business. The more backlinks you post on various webpages, the better chances you have of people clicking on them and visiting your webpage. However, posting unlimited amounts of backlinks wherever and whenever you want is a counterproductive strategy.
There has been a lot of change in the world of link building over the last decade, and such changes were a direct result of Google's penguin release back in 2012. Penguin is an algorithm created by Google to target spammy and low-quality backlinks.
Before penguin even came into the picture, there were various backlinking strategies, and practices webmasters and marketers would use repetitively as shortcuts to quick rankings. But then Google shot them down. Such websites had thousands of penalties slapped on them, which resulted in a drastic drop in their search engine rankings. What's worse is that some of these websites are still trying to recover from the penalties till today.
If you have a website and want to avoid a similar fate, then there are some backlinking strategies that you should avoid at costs. Keep on reading to know what these strategies are.
· Avoid Using Irrelevant Purchased Links
Whether you use them or want to buy them in the future, using purchased backlinks can be an immense risk. The penguin algorithm can help Google in detecting them with little to no trouble. An example of a purchased backlink is a link of a site that ranks high but leads to content that is not relevant to the anchor text.
For example, if you use a popular anchor text such as 'toys for pets' and the hyperlink leads to a page with nothing to do with toys, you can face penalties from Google. So, avoid using such irrelevant purchased backlinks, irrespective of their popularity. A backlink checker is a great tool to identify such links and their worth to your website.
· Stay Away From Backlink Spamming
Back in the day, spamming websites with backlinks was a successful SEO technique if someone wanted to improve their website's ranking. Nowadays, after the introduction of the Penguin algorithm, that is not the case anymore. What most marketers considered as an SEO best practice is ground for a penalty.
To avoid such an issue from ever occurring, only post backlinks on blogs or articles relevant to your niche. If you do that, Google will know that your backlinks are not spammy but meaningful to your target audience. Besides, it's always quality over quantity, not the other way around!
· Avoid Using Over Optimized Anchor Texts
Anchor text optimization is a backlinking technique that works like a charm if done correctly. When talking about anchor texts, we can categorize their optimization in percentages. When you place an anchor text on a website, ensure that 70 percent of it is a brand anchor text. Only use naked URL texts, generic anchor texts, such as a website or click here, and partial or exact anchor texts if you don't have any other choice.
Various marketers say that using an exactly matched anchor text will result in the best rankings. However, an anchor text or phrase should be as natural as you can make it. If some website uses your anchor text as a reference, then the chances of them using a matching phrase or keyword are low.
· Avoid Using Hacked Backlinks
A conversation involving backlinks will not be complete if we don't discuss the taboo of the backlinking world – black hat link building. Thisrefers to using hacked backlinks to increase engagement.Hackers achieve this by manipulating a website's code and manually placing backlinks in pictures, videos, or other elements on a webpage.
The reality is that hacked backlinks are easy to acquire, and they generate high ranking pretty fast. But, they have no protection from Google webmasters. Not to mention, the process is both illegal and criminal. Do you really want to deliberately throw yourself in a pile of quicksand just for such a shortcut to high rankings?
To conclude, there are many effective backlinking techniques that are risk-free and will bring you the online traffic you desire. Never try to play the system as Google is aware of all backlink hacking techniques and malpractices surfacing around the internet. Proper backlinking strategies are not that daunting to learn or implement. They only require you to invest your time, patience, and practice.
SEO strategies should not be for temporary use. Instead, you should take into account their long-term benefits. So, Stay away from link building strategies that involve short cuts, tricks, hacks, or spammy gimmicks.