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Negative SEO: 4 Common Link Building Techniques

Negative SEO Link Building For those who have been in the SEO profession for awhile, it’s easy to remember the good old days of link building. You just had to submit your article, name, address or website to get numerous links within a day.

Unfortunately, the scenario has completely changed. For some people, the bad link building tactics are still lingering. In this post, we discuss four far too common link building techniques that can actually have a negative impact on SEO (or are simply just a waste of time.)

1. Keyword Specific Anchor Text

Back in the old days of SEO (okay, so maybe just year or less ago,) the primary goal of keyword specific anchor text was to let the search engine and users know what they could find on a page.

Experts of organic SEO believed that if the links were placed on the target keyword text, websites would rank better. Thus, they added keyword specific anchor text almost everywhere. However, everything changed when the Penguin update was introduced.

Since search engines have evolved, they can easily correlate words with websites. They don’t need webmasters telling them what can be found on a page. Similarly, they don’t need links to know that a mention is about a specific web page.

It is important to understand that links are still valuable. If you have an opportunity to use a keyword focused link, you should just take it. However, you won’t often get a straight up URL or branded link. Just remember that if it’s an authority or relevant website linking to you, there’s no need to be concerned about what the link says.

2. Directory Submissions

It is important to understand that not every directory is bad. The problem is with placing the site in directories that aren’t related or relevant to your industry or business. Until a few years ago, the primary purpose of directories was to help search engines find websites. The links used to help websites get ranked.

In the modern age, search engines don’t need directories anymore. Moreover, websites with too many directory links get penalized. A webmaster should only submit to a directory when it’s being used by the target audience or potential customers. Unless directory will hold some real business value for your company, you should learn to say No.

Although directories are no longer the optimal source for links, they do retain value in building citations for local SEO.

3. Generic Outreach Emails

We are living in a world of digital footprints. Social media, blogs, search engines and other such platforms make it easier to find information about a person. While conducting outreach, it is important to take your time to find out who you want to reach out to.

Before sending a generic outreach email, you need to gather information about the site’s owner, his or her interests, preferable medium to be reached and so on. Most importantly, you need to make sure the concerned person wants to be reached.

4. PageRank

PageRank is used by popular search engines like Google to measure the page’s value. Link builders need to find pages with high value to link back to the website. Most link building services charge by the overall PageRank of a link.

If the PageRank is higher, the cost of the link is also higher. In order to get better results, you need to focus on the overall website versus the PageRank. Although PageRank plays an important role, the overall quality of the website can’t be overlooked.


So are you still stuck in these ancient ways of generating links? Perhaps you've been penalized and need backlink portfolio assessment? Hop on over to for a free SEO audit. They will assess you're current situation and provide insights as to how to get your site ranking (and build links more meaningful.)


Creative Ways to Embrace Local SEO Link Building

Local SEO Link BuildingNow that it is feasible to develop a website at a fairly low cost, established companies as well as the start-ups have a tremendous amount of competition when it comes to selling their services and products on the Internet.

In a saturated market like this and Google placing the organic search results further down the search page in order to favor their paid listings, it has become increasingly difficult for the small/medium local businesses to have a notable presence without having the need to pay Google for that.

The algorithm that Google follows, which calculates the rankings of all the websites seems like an enigma, has been changing well over a few hundred times a year. Even with this kind of situation, the biggest factor that regulates the Google rankings is based on something that most of us SEO savvy individuals know and don't even care about - the links that we observe on all of the websites.

Consider Google as the polling station across the Internet, counting the votes from all the different links that it finds on the web. But unlike our classic democracy, where every vote from a person is treated to be equal, Google follows a different approach. It gives more weight age to the votes that are polled by the relevant and authoritative websites.

Creative Ways to Approach Link Building

Here are a few creative ways to build links for your SEO efforts. These work best for small/medium scale companies, while established companies need something larger than this.

Let's get started.

1) Gather Your Votes

More than often it happens that the owners of the website do not realize that and are perceived as two different pages by the search engines. As a result of this, the resulting votes from these two different sources dilute the position your page is entitled to.

This is similar to a political party splitting up into two different entities and the votes being split amongst them. This does no good to both the branches.

The solution for this problem is to notify Google that both the links are owned by a single entity and that you want to count all the votes from under This can be implemented easily by permanently redirecting the user from one of the pages to the other. (known as a 301)

2) Offer Writing Testimonials/Guest Articles

Every company has ties with some other company or business to supply products and services. Sit down and list out all the businesses that you use for your website and offer these businesses testimonials from your site. Generally, all the companies have a separate page dedicated entirely for this purpose as the testimonials act as proof for future customers.

So, the company grasps the opportunity with both hands and will be more than happy to provide a hyperlink that directs back to your site from their testimonial page. A win-win for both and this promotes healthy relationship amongst the businesses. This is cornerstone to in-house web presence management services for your company.

3) Detect Existing References Without Links

Locate the web pages that have a mention of your website or business but without a link. Google does not count this as a vote as this doesn't have a link that directs back to your website. This keeps your SEO efforts top of mind with your on-site optimization.

So, how to identify these cases? Try using Google for this purpose. Search Google for "[keyword] inurl:links". By doing this, Google displays all the results where the keyword has been mentioned but on common links pages that are easy wins. Once you get the list of the locations, contact the concerned web page owners and replace the keyword with a hyperlink that redirects to your website.

4) Create a Better Product or Service

Finally, the best way to earn Links. Create a version 2.0 of your product/service that stands high in quality and release it with grace. This helps create a buzz in the market and adds value to your business.

A valuable and credible product/service automatically earns you the required links. This also attracts media attention and follow the previous step and replace every place where your business is mentioned with a link.

Unfortunately, there are no easy and agile methods to ramp up your website's local SEO and rank to the top of the Google's first page. But by following the above-mentioned steps, you can build a sea of links online that can boost your business.


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