Link building is a controversial topic. Because there are so many opinions and free-advice with no background spread all over the internet.
Let's take a look at the link building rumors for a bit. I discovered a whole bunch of wrong advice in both internal linking strategy. It has a serious impact and can bring down the entire website.
Here are the 8 worst myths that I think you must consider before believing them!
Link building strategy must be focused on finding links (backlinks) naturally.
This means, you need to follow white hat SEO methods. And consider the website quality guidelines in Google's Quality Guidelines. (Guide to evaluate the quality of your website by Google)
Note: Make sure you properly evaluate the accuracy of the information when it comes to:
- Link building (link building)
- Digital marketing strategy
The difference between fact and rumor is very important, it will affect your sales!
What is Link Building?
Link Building, is the process by which other websites link back to your website. All marketers and business owners should be interested in Link Building to drive traffic and increase authority for their website.
Why Link Building? Google's algorithms are complex and ever-evolving, but backlinks are still an important factor in how any search engine determines what keywords websites rank for.
Link building is one of the most used tactics in search engine optimization (SEO) because backlinks are a signal to Google that your website is a quality resource worthy of citation. As a result, websites with a lot of backlinks tend to earn higher rankings.
Backlinks are a signal that your website is a quality resource
However, if you care about the sustainability of your website and business, you should only engage in organic link building. That is, focusing on earning links rather than buying them or gaining them through manipulative tactics (sometimes called black hat SEO, a method that can get a website banned from search results).
8 Link Building Mistakes That Are Holding You Back
1. All links on the website have the same power
First and foremost is allocating the flow of link juice on a web page.
All links from a given page carry the same power regardless of where they are placed in the article.
Pay attention to the difference between links placed at the bottom of the page (footer) and in the main body (body).
When we compare these two types of links, we can see that link placement is really important.
This issue coincides with Google's Patent Application. This degree is titled “Ranking documents based on user behavior and/or feature data”. It has contributed to pointing out many factors that affect the strength of the link.
The factor that affects link strength
- Font size of anchor text associated with links
- Location of the link. (For example, at positions in the HTML list, running text, above or below the fold as viewed on an 800×600 browser screen)
- Location of the link (if this link is in the list)
- The font color or attribute of the link (eg: italic, gray, background color, …)
- Format of the link (example: image link)
- The context of the words before and after the link
Among them, the most controversial ranking factor is link position.
Does a link placed higher in the content carry more influence/power?
According to Bill Slawski, Rand Fishkin and many other SEO experts, these links can give significant power to the pages they link to.
You have to remember that there are a lot of very important signals that affect a website's ranking.
If a link is located on a related page and in an anchor text of the same topic, it will certainly have a higher value than being placed in the HTML code.
In case you have 2 links and all other factors are the same, then…
Link position higher in the article will bring more power.
In conclusion, I would like to assure you once again that:
Links on the same page may have different ranking values.
2. Image links are bad for SEO
Another link building mistake I'll cover next is image optimization.
In my opinion, all aspects of SEO bring harm when abused.
And image SEO is a prime example!
Let me explain to you.
Images are where a lot of people spam bluff keywords in Alt tags to trick Google's system and get higher rankings.
Although keyword spamming in image alts is no longer applicable, sometimes people still think image links are bad.
Keyword spam in image alt is no longer applied
Another problem related to this mistake in link building is the ability of crawlers to read the image.
Several years ago, Google bot could not read the alt attribute from an image to parse even though it was easier to understand than reading HTML text.
So Google's Guidelines (Guidelines from Google) said that
“Use text instead of images to display important content like Name, Content or Links. If you must use images for display, use the alt attribute to add a few descriptive words in the text.” – Google’s Guidelines
From there, Adam Powell, founder of Abacus explained how search engines view images as follows:
The <img /> image is actually considered content (unless it's too small) and therefore must have alt text. They also have higher priority on loading and rendering than CSS background images. That leads to accessibility and performance considerations.
So, the difference will appear when:
- The images appeared on the website too many times
- When the page only has images without carrying too much content (except for photography websites) and the alt text contains many rich and diverse keywords.
In addition, with the evolution of AI (Artificial Intelligence), human interaction with technology and the integration of computer science in life. It almost became natural for Google to enter this game.
That's how Google can read an image and make sense of its elements through object detection in the image.
If we think of images as alt text and text as anchor text (link text) as they carry links, then images are indeed not that different from text.
Essentially, both will be translated into the same language in coding.
And John Mueller once said that
If possible, you should not leave the alt text and anchor text blank. Because both are important and have SEO value in helping Google better understand the context of the article.
While Google is putting a lot of effort into better understanding images, we can say with certainty that image links are not bad at all for SEO if they are used in context along with the right alt text.
3. All links should be nofollow links
I've heard or read about: All links should be tagged with nofollow, and I actually found this quite funny at the time.
But then, when I realized there are people who actually believe this and it's not funny anymore, for the following reason:
First, in fact most links are dofollow. And worldwide, the site's nofollow link makes up a very small percentage.
We've found that sites with a natural backlink profile have more nofollow links than dofollow links.
Not only that, it seems that sites with spammy links have more dofollow links.
Sometimes there are even websites that are 100% dofollow links, and that's what caught my attention!
And… I gradually discovered that a lot of them were trying to cover up something.
Such as the example right below
The cluster below only has blue lines, which means that the page has only dofollow links. It looks a bit too… “perfect” doesn't it?
But not! It's just a disguise.
This example is taken from an analysis we created based on a spam link.
Google says that nofollow links have no power!
In general, we do not follow them (link nofollow). This means that Google does not pass PageRank or anchor text on these links.
Basically, using nofollow causes us to remove the target links from the overall graph of the site.
However, these target pages may still appear in the index if other sites link to them without using nofollow or if the URLs are submitted to Google via a Sitemap.
Also, it's important to note that other search engines have different ways of handling nofollow.
If it is said that all outbound links should be nofollowed, then imagine what happens next?! …
Nofollow links carry no value, no authority, no influence.
So what happens to domains? How will they be evaluated?
Right! Then all will have the same quality of links, will become equal.
However, that doesn't really seem to make sense. Because Domain Authority (DA) will not exist and it is an important metric in the process of increasing rankings.
After all, 100% tags are all so nofollow is really irrelevant and does not harm the website.
4. Links are case sensitive
It's a bit of an exaggeration to say that UPPERCASE affects SEO because Google clearly states that capitalization doesn't affect search results:
Error when deploying link
The search results of “New York Times” are exactly the same as the search results of the keyword “new york times”.
Should you use uppercase or lowercase letters in the title?
To test, we looked at both text and video content. Because videos are becoming more and more popular.
Of all the examples, I found the only difference between these two types of content was the number of Google results.
If you look at the next two images, you can see that the search term “Empire State Building” has 240 million results while the keyword “empire state building” has fewer results – 207 million.
Example of link building
As you can see, I don't capitalize all the characters. Because it will be seen by search engine spiders as spam.
When we search for the same query in video content, the results make no difference.
However, I was in for a big surprise when I tried searching on YouTube.
Search on Youtube
Because some keywords don't show any difference in capital letters, others do – but thankfully only a few.
After all, I find it true that there are a few changes so small that there is almost no difference (within the same web page) regarding the influence of capital letters in SEO.
As mentioned by Google, this does not affect the ranking of the page. So this concept is still a mystery.
5. Links from Wikipedia's Top Ranking
During my research on backlinks, I noticed that there is a perception that links from Wikipedia and similar high authority websites can ensure your website appears in the top rankings.
Actually, it has been a misconception for a long time with Wikipedia links.
Gary Illyes, a representative of Google, responded to this on Twitter. Gary says that Google ranks Wikipedia like other sites on the web.
Wikipedia link in the eyes of Google
Other opinions aside, this information comes directly from Google and is probably “more correct”
So we can clearly see that:
Expecting rank growth from links from sites like Wikipedia and other high-impact sites is not possible.
Because Wiki links are hard to find!
So what's the advice here?
Pay more attention to get more internal links and achieve more success.
Remember, never believe everything you hear. Rumors are everywhere so check everything first and consider your case!
6. External Links have more influence than Internal Links
Next, after the analysis just above about Wikipedia and the like, the next concept is simply an addition to the power of linking both external and internal. Learn more “What is Internal Link? Optimizing Internal Link to increase the conversion rate for the website.
Internal links, among other onpage elements on the web, can be more important than external links pointing to your website.
Internal Link and External Link | Source: netregistry.com.au
Internal links can help your neglected pages rank better; by linking to high ranking sites.
The method is very simple!
Choose pages that have potential but aren't ranking very well. Then put their links on the top rated pages (with lots of traffic); from your site to pull these pages on the SERP.
By linking them in this way, the power from a page will be transferred to the deep pages of your website.
And of course, you already know how important it is for users to stay longer on your website.
Honestly, dwell time/dwell time; has always been a subject of long debate along with other ranking factors.
Meanwhile, Google has always focused on user experience.
So, internal linking can help a website tremendously. Typical in ranking growth; and value is sometimes more useful than external links.
And according to the above, it is wrong to think that external links are more important. Because Google uses a lot of ranking signals; and links are just one of them.
7. Links are the most important Google ranking factor
Going further with the explanation of links, I had to clear up another misconception.
Inbound links are the most important ranking factor in Google search??
This is not true! ABSOLUTELY NOT!
In a Google Q&A, Google Search Senior Strategist Andrey Lipattsev said:
Content, links and RankBrain are the top three ranking factors. There are also more than 200 other ranking factors
(Do not forget!).
All both of them are related to
- User experience
- Dwell time
- Usability on mobile devices
- Quality content
- On-page SEO
- Organic search results…
Besides, Google's ranking signal is very flexible; and is built around providing accurate and contextual results.
This leads to, 2 users can get 2 different results; based on their previous searches (context)
So frankly, inbound links are not the most important ranking factor. But has the same impact as content and RankBrain.
8. Links from niches more than the website don't help with rankings
Another misconception about link building is believing in:
Links from unrelated sites:
These links are useless and do not affect rankings. They are basically low quality links.
Actually, I myself understand that you will have some doubts about this. Because I also said that you need relevant, authoritative links to rank well; … is essential.
I think people are getting confused between relevant links and authority links.
- Relevant links are links within the same niche. Means the same subject area.
- Authority links are links that come from high authority websites.
In fact, the SEO advantage leans towards the second factor – Authority Link.
That is, if your website has a link from a famous website; even though that link is not so relevant; but it will still be useful for your website.
But not only DA (Domain Authority – index to evaluate the quality of domain names); is important to define a high impact website.
Besides, there are many quality backlink evaluation criteria such as Trust Flow (flow of trust); number of links, placement of links, anchor text; quantity of quality traffic received from that domain and much more.
Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the keywords that link to your website. However, make sure they are not anchor text containing too many keywords!
In fact, links in your niche can be very helpful.
Usually, these links are quite difficult to get because the competition in the industry is very high. Therefore, people often tend to “structure”, build these links themselves.
You should not believe everything that is written on the Internet. And don't just blindly believe a piece of information!
All misconceptions and misinformation will harm the website.
People often think that Google favors specific websites. And they care about securing the links on those sites to boost their rankings. But, my advice to you is not to be one of them.
It's really just another misconception about link building. Don't follow all the link strategies that sound like they work.
By simply, a link is collected; (an earned link – links obtained by creating truly valuable resources that cause other reputable websites to mention you); will always be worth more than anything.