Some people think that blogging is not a big deal. Surfing the web and writing all day for money – sounds perfect. But they would be impressed by the number of things every blogger has to keep in mind.
One of such a thing – building backlinks. This process has so many steps and sides, so it’s quite easy to mess things up.
In this article, I’ll share some common backlink mistakes so you can fix them on your blog or be cheerful if you don’t have them.
The obvious ones
I think it’s no use in describing the obvious mistakes. I’ll list some of them just in case:
- backlinks from the sites with the bad reputation or even banned sites;
- backlinks from sites with irrelevant niche;
- backlinks from sites with tons of links.
Of course, such links won’t bring you any profit, it probably will cause a lot of damage instead. But I think it’s not that tough to keep in mind that you shouldn’t connect with banned domains or promote cocktail dresses on the blog about fishing.
I want to point out unobvious mistakes, many bloggers aren’t thinking of.
High-quality link with wrong anchor text
By saying “wrong”, I mean:
- “junk” anchor text like “here”, “there”, “read more”, “visit” “go to”, “click here” “check this” and so on. A lot of experts say that they’re not useful at all, some of them tend to the opposite thoughts. The truth is that you just can’t completely avoid such anchors. They look natural, can increase conversion rates and mix up your commercial anchors. So, you can use them sometimes, but if you’ve found a really high-quality donor, it’s better to use keyword or name of the brand as an anchor text.
- anchor spam – using the same anchor text too often. Sometimes it causes the ranking drop or even backlinking penalties. And again, just try to mix it with related keywords.
You can use some SEO tools like Serpstat to find out how your link profile looks like and see your most common anchors
Enter your domain into the Serpstat search line, go to the “Backlink analysis” module and then to “Anchors” to see such a cloud:
Using only dofollow or only nofollow links
Dofollow link will pass the SEO strength to the site that it links to. A nofollow link won’t do this. In other words, only person can use nofollow link, search robots ignore them and don’t count them as a backlink for a page ranking. So, in fact, nofollow links don’t meet our purpose.
But it doesn’t mean we don’t need them at all. A lot of dofollow links looks unnatural for the search engine. Google might consider it as a manipulation with backlinks, and you probably can guess the consequences.
So, my advice is the same: keep the balance.
Stealing competitors’ mistakes
One of the most common ways to find links is to take a peek at competitors.
Spying on their backlinks, you can find out what domains are linking to their posts, and thus you can target some of these sources too.
You can check your competitor’s backlinks here:
But you always should keep in mind that even the reputable blogs can be wrong sometimes. Taking links from competitors the sequencing should look like this: Seprstat > Ahrefs (or any SEO tool you like) > Exel > brain.
Export your the most reputable competitor’s backlinks to Exel and then sort it out.
As a reminder, here are some parameters of site quality:
- Serpstat Trust Rank – the domain/URL trust based on how trustworthy domains/URLs are linking to the domain/URL in question.
- Serpstat Page Rank – how influential a URL/domain might be based on how many sites link to it.
- Inbound / outbound ratio
- Indexing percentage
- Age of site
- Appropriate themes
- Appropriate geo (especially for commercial queries)
Too steep growth
Now, if you’ve found a lot of high-quality backlink sources, don’t use them all right away. Google won’t praise you for the sharp increase. It’s one of the easiest ways to get penalized by Google.
The normal graph of referring pages growth should look like this:
Links only to the home page
Our main purpose is to make the backlinks profile look as natural as possible. Thus, when you exert every effort to get lots of backlinks to the home page and, at the same time, you don’t have any references to other pages, it looks a bit suspicious.
Moreover, it is better to send people to the page they need, rather than force them to search it by themselves inserting a link to the main page.
Try not to focus on the one page, spread the links on all important ones.
This topic is quite conventional: there are a lot of opposing opinions on how to do backlinks. Most of them are going from one extreme to another: “never use junk anchors”, “avoid nofollow links” etc.
So, as you see, my thought is about the balance. Ask yourself if your backlinks look natural, spend more time choosing the sources, always use your brain and you’ll get all the profit from the process.