If you are new to the world of SEO, it can be easy to get caught up in common link-building myths.
Link building is vital to increasing the visibility of your site, but doing it the wrong way can cost you more than just views and time—it could kill your site in the eyes of Google.
Hopefully, I can make everything clear for you and ensure that you don’t base your efforts on myths.
WHAT IS LINK BUILDING AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Link building is the process of creating a link between your website and another site.
It can be done in many ways, including submitting to directories (a list that matches sites from different domains), commenting on blogs or even writing articles for popular websites.
The purpose is usually to raise the other site’s internet search engine ranking by giving it more authority than you have at this moment. Link building also affects how high your own web page ranks on Google when someone searches for what you’re providing.
Without link building, your website will lack the necessary infrastructure to compete with other websites that might serve the same or lower-quality content. Even though quality does trump quantity in SEO, the fact of the matter remains that optimization is key. A well-optimized quantity will prevail over a poorly optimized quality.
COMMON LINK-BUILDING MYTHS
Surprisingly, there is a lot of misdirection going around about link building. It’s unclear why it is happening and who is pushing these ideas.
My best guess is people don’t have a deep understanding of link building themselves, and they share ideas they think will work without putting them to the test.
Here are some of the most common link-building myths I have heard over the years.
MYTH: BACKLINKS NO LONGER WORK
The uninformed might tell you that creating backlinks is a waste of time because they don’t work anymore after Google’s algorithm update last year.
This myth stems from the fear that your hard-earned links will be rendered useless overnight, which isn’t the case at all if you know how to do things right.
Most people don’t realize that link building is not just about getting other sites to reference yours. You need to earn those references by giving others value first and foremost before asking anything in return.
It can take months or even years to build up a good reputation on the web as an authority site, but with proper advice and research into what works best for any given industry, this process can go much quicker.
MYTH: FRESH CONTENT WITH EVERY UPDATE
Another common myth is that you must always create fresh content with every update, or else people will think you’re spamming them.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but the reality is that it’s all about quality over quantity when it comes to getting backlinks.
A few articles here and there can provide enough value for someone, as long as you aren’t creating so many that it comes across as spammy. The key word is quality.
MYTH: HIGH-AUTHORITY LINKS ARE MOST IMPORTANT
Here is one that you might’ve thought to be true. The myth is that the most important backlinks are the ones from high-authority sites.
This is false, as a site’s relevancy, and relevance to your content, can be just as crucial when it comes down to rankings for certain keywords on Google.
It all depends on how well-written each article is and what its intended audience might find interesting or useful about your content.
Remember, quality over quantity. Link building by hand will not work anymore because no one wants spammy articles claiming they’re fresh, even though they were posted a month ago (or more).
MYTH: BUY LINKS TO RANK BETTER
You might hear from someone that you have to buy links from other sites to get a higher ranking.
This is untrue, as Google penalizes any site that pays for backlinks, which means it’s not worth the risk unless you want your search engine rankings tanked.
Link building by hand will only work if you’re willing to do all the heavy lifting yourself (which might take years) and you don’t mind spending money on someone else’s time with no guarantees.
MYTH: DON’T ASK FOR LINKS
Another “fact” people might tell you is you should never ask for links.
This is false, as long as those asking are genuine about the request and not spammy or manipulative in any way.
Simply put, asking for links is a great way to get links. Nonetheless, you have to do it right.
Nagging at people and begging for them to help you out is not the greatest way to go about this.
EXPERIMENTATION IS NECESSARY
The greatest thing about link building is that it leaves enough room for experimentation. You can try new things and see the results for yourself.
Not everybody has to follow the same practices—sometimes you can find your own way.
Experimentation is necessary for link building. Without it, you are missing out on the possibilities that might prove to be your best strategy.
If you don’t hesitate to try new things, you will be surprised by the kind of outcomes you can achieve on your own.
It is important to keep up with the latest trends in SEO for your content, website and business.
Many myths surround link building, but these points will give you a better idea of what to do when it comes to links or handling backlinks if needed. Quality content over quantity creates long-term success.
Remember, don’t ask for too many links at once, and never write short articles without editing them first. Think about where other people might want those external links on their site (not just on a homepage) and be patient waiting for rankings to increase again.
Jason Hall is Founder and CEO of FiveChannels, specializing in creating brand awareness, traffic and lead gen, marketing funnels, social media and more.