Wednesday, 13 February 2013

10 Common Link Building Problems

1. Article Directories

Article directories were hit in the initial Penguin release on April 24, 2012. If you are currently adding article directory links, then stop the program right away.

In addition, if you have some links that resulted from article directories, then work on getting them removed. If you can't get them removed, then use the Google Disavow Tool to request that they be ignored by Google.

2. Low-Quality Directories

There isn't clear evidence that low-quality directories were explicitly punished in a Penguin release as yet, but it does not really matter. The right policy here is clear. Participate in the major directories: Yahoo Directory, DMOZ, Best of the Web, and

3. Low Relevance Guest Posts

Guest posting on sites that you are truly proud of is a great idea. But this can be overdone too. For example, if the post is not relevant to your site, or the site is not relevant to your post, don't do it.

4. Low Relevance/Accuracy Info graphics
This is a popular strategy many people use to promote their sites. Infographics are cool looking, and they can communicate certain types of information very effectively, which is why they are popular with users and publishers.

5. Paid Guest Posts

To me, paid guest posts are one of the more obvious ones, but a lot of people still do this. One big flag for this is a site that has a significant number of incoming links from posts that have rich anchor text embedded in the middle of the text.

6. Anchor Text

This one may upset some people. As I predicted in "SEO Revelations for 2013", I believe Google will take action (or more action) against sites that have too much rich anchor text in their backlink profile. You could argue that their EMD update was a step in that direction, but there is much more they can do here.

7. Doorway Pages


An oldie but goodie! These are thin content pages/sites that exist only to capture search traffic and then to get people to go to another site (in this case the site with the penalty).

8. International Sites

I always chuckle when I see a site with lots of links from Polish sites where the page is written entirely in Polish and right in the middle somewhere is this rich anchor text phrases in English. Ouch. You might as well go to building 43 at Google wearing a sign with your URL on one side and the words "I am a spammer" on the other.

9. Blog Carnivals

Stated with an optimistic eye, blog carnivals are communities where people share content, some editorial review is, or isn't, provided by the person running the carnival, and other publishers can then come find articles for publishing on their site.

10. Poor Quality Content of Any Kind

You can argue about how this might be measured by a search engine. Here is a place where social media signals may add some real value as a signal.

Does your site, or articles you write, get social love? Or, do they get little attention at all? You could also look at the time on page type signals. Do people spend 2 minutes or more on the page, or do they stop by and run off right away?

The authorship initiative by Google is the start of an overt effort on their part to figure out who is publishing quality content. And, as I mentioned in my SEO Revelations article, they are already measuring and acting on time on site signals.


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Dharmesh vaidya said...

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