Two Link Building Mistakes Can Destroy Your SEO Campaign You Never Thought About

NahidHasan

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We all know about bad backlinks. We all know how bad backlinks can harm our SEO campaign and can destroy organic rank. But bad backlinks are not all about. There are few other things can relatively harm you even you have a good link profile.

Working just for Home Page:

Directing all your links to home page is a bad practice. Most of us build link just for home page. If you see your linking data on webmaster tool you will be surprised to see that 90% of your links are pointed to home page. If the link profile is small then nothing to worry. But if you find you have 3000 links and 2900 is targeted just to your home page then it looks unnatural and who knows, you can be caught by their spam filter either by algorithmic way or by manual action.

Lack of Keyword Diversity:

Choosing just one or two keywords for your landing page backlinks is another bad practice. Targeting a single keyword and building all the links for this keyword indicates your site is over optimized. It could be another threat for your campaign.

What do you think about these two points? I’ll love to hear your opinion.
 

SEOPub

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Both of these things are false.

First, there are plenty of websites where nearly 100% of their links are pointed at a homepage ranking just fine, especially in the case of local business websites. There is nothing "unnatural" about that. Why in the hell would someone link to an internal page on the site of a local dentist? Everyone links to the home page.

I rank webpages all the time by building the vast majority of links to the homepage and making sure the site is using silos properly and has a good internal link structure.

The second point is a myth that keeps getting spread. When Penguin was released, MicroSite Masers (I think it was them) published a report showing that sites which got hit had high percentages of the same anchor text being used. Everyone bought into that without digging in any further. Spammers traditionally used the same or just a few varieties of anchor text, but they were building massive amounts of crappy links. It was low quality links causing the problem, not the anchor text percentage.

Think about a real life example. What if I built the world's best online mortgage calculator, and it went viral within the financial industry? Most likely nearly everyone that links to it is going to use the anchor text "mortgage calculator" and some might use "online mortgage calculator". Those two anchor are likely going to make up about 90-95% of the anchors used. So the page hosting my mortgage calculator should be penalized for this? That makes zero sense.
 

PTTed

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Here is how I look at those two situations:

In Regards To Anchor Text Keyword Percentages And Homepage Link Percentages:

Let's consider how Google probably works when it comes to looking at links:

Even after Google has removed the nofollow links from the link graph they almost certainly take additional steps to determine whether a dofollow link should count or not.

Google probably separates the links that should count (appear natural and trustworthy) from links that shouldn't count (probably unnatural and not trustworthy).

The Penguin algorithm likely deals with the links that fall into that second category, links that are dofollow, but probably unnatural and definitely not trustworthy.

If your website doesn't have any links that Google identifies as (unnatural and untrustworthy) then Penguin doesn't apply to you at all period. So in other words, you might have 100% of your links pointing to your homepage and 100% of them using the exact same anchor text. And you don't get penalized because Google has categorized all your links as acceptable and trustworthy.

So, if a website owner is not out there creating any bad links to their site, then their site is probably going to have very few of those bad links pointing at it. Some might get built automatically from crappy sites like statistic sites and places like that. But if any of those links are dofollow links, they will be very small in number anyway. And if any of those links are nofollow links, those nofollow links don't count anyway so it doesn't matter.

So webmasters/website owners are generally pretty safe acquiring links for their sites as long as they only acquire links that Google is going to trust. That is the magic key to the equation. If Google trusts the links, you need not worry about penalties (in my opinion).


Exceptions or Possible Problems With This Mindset:


What about a situation where a fully legit and useful website has 1,000 pages on it in total and let's say that website has 3,000 inbound links (from different domains) and 100% of those links point to the homepage using the exact same anchor text?

And let's assume that all 3,000 of those links are considered natural and trustworthy by Google using today's standards. Would that site get penalized?

Probably not for a while, maybe never. At least not algorithmically by the existing Google ranking and quality control algorithms.

In my opinion it is very likely that Google uses other (not widely known about in public) algorithm(s) other than Penguin that look at things like anchor text keyword percentages to or percentages of links to homepages or percentages of links to any page on the domain for that matter. I bet they use those algorithms to identify weird patterns and flag websites for manual inspection though. And they probably have some filters that exempt most sites from the algorithm anyway. For example, they probably don't analyze a site with less than 100 inbound links for such things. They would use those types of algorithms to identify patterns that spammers/black hats are using. Then they would improve their existing algorithms to identify those patterns better or maybe produce an entirely new algorithm to neutralize the effectiveness of that rank manipulation tactic.

I think this is why Google warns developers not to use Wordpress plugins and website widgets and things of that nature for link building purposes. They have algorithms in place to identify when someone does that and then they manually decide whether to take action against the person or not. But I think in many of the cases, the existing Google algorithms let those tactics work because the links are from trusted sources. (Maybe they have these things built into Panda by now. I don't know.)


Conclusion:

If you are going to build links for your site, don't build any links at all that you think Google would find obviously unnatural and obviously untrustworthy. And certainly don't build any that form a pattern that would be easy for Google to identify with an algorithm. If you only acquire links that Google THINKS are natural and trustworthy, then there isn't much for you to worry about at all.
 

elcidofaguy

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That's two awsome replies above to the OP - its difficult to add to that other than for me its all about minimizing footprints when acquiring links from what I assess to be trusted sites and on pages which has a level of link juice on it..

Footprints covers everything which could be picked up as part of pattern analysis i.e. same websites on the same IP server providing links, same set of plugins, themes on givens sites which provide links etc...

I also have some suspicions of over using commercial competitive anchors and hence have some leanings towards co-citation with using branding as the link... and adoption of silos which really gets to the meat and bones as to telling G which pages are most relevant for specific keywords.. With anchors my preference is to choose the most likely keyword which people would associate with a given site...
 

SenseiSteve

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Regarding links to internal pages, would it not be advantageous to use anchor text that relates to what's actually on that page? For example, if your site is about web hosting and one of your internal pages is about managed services, would it not be better to backlink to that page with keywords that are relevant to managed services rather than the home page? And so on with other internal pages, for example - dedicated servers, shared hosting, backup solutions and others?
 
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