Link Building Basics: Myths and Misconceptions

Link Popularity vs. PageRank vs. Yoda

According to Jeff Quipp, there are 4 myths and seven mistakes people commonly make when they get involved in link building.

Myth 1: PageRank

Toolbar PageRank (little green bar) is a red herring – it’s not real. Real PageRank is only seen by Google. For instance, in Google a page with a PageRank of 3 is ranking number one for ‘ranges’ with 82+ million results. If PageRank really mattered, this page should be PR 8, or PR 9.

Jeff’s advice: Don’t take toolbar PageRank as a given.

Myth 2: Reciprocal Linking is Dead

It’s not dead. It’s a natural pattern when used in moderation. However, if 75%+ of your links are reciprocal or networked…warning!

Jeff’s advice: Reciprical linking is okay, but should not be the crutch of your link strategy.

Myth 3: PR Sculpting

PR sculpting is not the best use of your time. According to Vanessa Fox “It seems like a lot of effort for little pay off” and “external links matter so much more than internal links.”

Jeff’s advice: Set up your linking structure right up front in the main navigational structure – that’s when it counts.

Myth 4: More links = better

It’s about quality – not quantity. Think in terms of trust and authority; the more trusted and authoritative the inbound links, the more the site is trusted. This equals better rankings.

Jeff’s advice: If you can get links from the sources that Google likes, that is, that Google has never had problems with, you’ll get ranking.

Mistake 1: Not using text links

Text in links is very important, and has more than ten times the value of image links. Make sure you use targeted keywords in the anchor text.

Mistake number 2: Link Farms

Stay away from FFA’s (Free For All) links and the likes. Blatant manipulation leads to bad search engine karma, and you will be punished.

Mistake 3: Links to home page only

Sites with content get links to many pages and search engines know this. Too many links to a main page and too few to internal pages should send up warning flags.

Mistake 4: 302 redirects

Out of date pages and sites – don’t delete or 302 them, 301 redirect them and keep all the link juice those pages/sites accumulated. 302′s don’t direct link juice for maximum advantage

Mistake 5: NoFollow links

Not all inks are created equal. Many are designed not to pass link juice so when you’re building links, check the code for ‘NoFollow’.

Mistake 6: No valuable content

Valuable content invites natural link opportunities; the more content you have, the more long tail opportunities and site power you have. More deep links equal more authority and all pages rank better.

Mistake 7: Not socializing content

Socializing content means creating awareness of it. It also creates opportunities to get seen in other media and if your submission goes hot, it can create 100′s or even 1000′s of links.

Tip: Buying links

Some types of bought links are discounted, some are not, and punishment is possible. Avoid buying links for SEO purposes where possible, and when you do buy links, make sure you are buying them from reputable sites.

Try This:

Find 50 social media sites with dofollow links
Submit your [well written and valuable] post
Use great anchor text to link to your site

Voila! 50 + links for each blog post!

This post is from Jeff’s presentation on Link Building at Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2008.

To stay up to date with news from Jeff, read the Search Engine People Blog.

If you’re interested in link building, take a look at PJ Fusco’s list of link analysis tools, and stay tuned for Michael Gray’s list of best places on the Web to find links.


5 Responses to “Link Building Basics: Myths and Misconceptions”

  1. [...] outlined Jeff’s presentation here, and will post a link to the podcast of a chat I had with Michael for Tech Talk Radio as soon as it [...]

  2. John G says:

    Thanks Jeff, Concise and precise. One of the best articles I’ve read on SEO.

  3. I appreciate the persistence you place into your blog. I wish I’d similar drive :)

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