Seven Deadly Link Sins

Mar 30, 2010 at 11:28am ET by Debra Mastaler



If you find yourself in link hell it might be because…

1.  You accepted information from the herd.

The SEO/SEM industry is becoming cluttered with people trying to make a name for themselves by regurgitating information. Don’t take anything as fact. Test, test and test some more before drawing conclusions or changing how you build links. If a tactic sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Keep an eye on the official search engine webmaster blogs and video channels. Of the four major engines, Bing and Google do the best job blogging information SEO’s can use in their marketing efforts. My favorite “factual tidbit”  is from ex-Googler Vanessa Fox because she shares something concrete:

…”How sites link to you has an impact on your traffic from those links, because it describes your site to potential visitors. In addition, anchor text influences the queries your site ranks for in the search results.”…

It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

2.  You neglected to use the easy stuff.

I am constantly amazed at what people will do for a free tee-shirt. Extend a simple offer to your customer base and see how many link back to your site.

3.  You neglected to do the hard stuff.

Getting authority links is hard but worth pursuing if you want to weather algorithmic fluctuations and maintain strong rankings. Back link sites ranking ahead of you and being mentioned in the press/Twitter. Break down the results into three main categories:  media links, editorial and submission links. Doing this will help you organize and prioritze your campaign. Work on the easiest first (submission links) and then branch out to the other two. You probably won’t be able to get the same media links but you can make note of who reported the story and their sources. Reach out to these journalists and let them know you’re available for an interview in the future.

4. You’ve become a link snob.

I have clients who do not want comment or forum links in their link profiles. It’s a shame really because the true power behind those tactics isn’t the link juice they pull but the brand they push. Don’t turn your nose up at these linking tactics, they work!

5.  You don’t know how to use a flip video.

Like it or not, YouTube and the other social media sites are not leaving the search results anytime soon. If you want to dominate more than one spot, start building out your video, audio and image arsenal both on your site and the major social media sites like YouTube.

6.  You cried link wolf one too many times.

Don’t issue press releases every time you change the office furniture or blow your nose, this may net a link or two from scraper sites but will do nothing to build your reputation with the journalists in your niche. Instead, save the press releases for major announcements and create a tip sheet highlighting your products. You’ll find tip sheets are well received and will go a long way to making you top of mind with the media in your industry.

And last but not least, if you find yourself in link hell it could be because…

7.  You were too cheap to pay for a good copywriter.

Good copywriters are worth their weight in gold, without them we’d have no content to promote or linkbait to push. You can fill out profiles, buy directory submissions and drop comment links all day and still never obtain the algorithmic and business authority you achieve from a well written piece of promoted content. Skip the $10 an article services and find a copywriter who understands your market and marketing goals. You’ll see the benefits  in rankings and bottom line.


Debra Mastaler of Alliance-Link is based in Oak Hill Virginia and offers link building training, consultations and custom link building services. She is also the author of the link building blog the Link Spiel.



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