10 Common Myths Surrounding Link Building and SEO

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10 Common Myths Surrounding Link Building and SEO

You've probably seen different guides on how to rank high on search engine result pages (SERPs). Alternatively, you're curious to know what every other person is doing concerning link building and SEO.

In an SEO survey, 41 percent of the executives find link building to be the most challenging SEO practice.1 - 10 Common Myths Surrounding Link Building and SEO

Since no one can claim to know all the factors that Google uses to rank websites, they can't explain the algorithms either. Hence, unfounded assumptions continue to make rounds in the SEO world.

Let’s explore ten myths that can hurt your SEO activities and make link building a chore.

1. High Domain Authority Compliments Good Backlinks

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Image credit: Michael Callahan

Surely you must have heard this phrase.

Some people believe that a good backlink comes with high Domain Authority. But when you observe an increase in your ranking, is that good backlink the only factor?

Not at all!

You can use Domain Authority and Trust Flow to compare websites, but it doesn't affect your ranking on search engines. Albeit, it doesn't signal a good rank or tells you if a website is good for backlink building.

You'll have to consider other SEO factors while building links, such as:

  • Site relevancy
  • Trust flow and citation flow
  • Natural anchor text
  • Spam score
  • Page Authority (PA)
  • Linking Domain high traffic value

2. You Must Spread the Links You've Built Over a Few Weeks or Months

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Image Credit: GOV.UK Schools Fake Website Campaign

You might have been told to spread links over a few weeks or months, and your fear for Google’s penalty might have gotten the best of you. However, Google’s Penguin algorithm goes for sites that have unnatural links.

Don't be pushed into the mold of ten-links-a-day that businesses advertise. There's no specific quota. You'll only have to worry if your site looks spammy because Google would flag it for manual reviews.

Some websites have gained about a hundred natural backlinks overnight. Especially for viral contents that several publications picked up.

The point is that you don't need to worry about building many links in a short time if:

  • The links you pick are natural
  • Instead of getting many links, you focus on the quality of the links
  • Your overall backlinks are natural

3. Guest Posting for Link Building Is Dead

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Image Credit: Joe The Goat Farmer

This myth assumes that if your SEO strategy involves guest posting, you must be dodgy. But that's not true. Albeit, you must be picky when choosing a website to post on.

For a rich guest blog, you want to make sure that

  • You’re posting on relevant websites
  • The website has a strongly-established loyal audience
  • You aren't paying for the links you get
  • The content is long-form and meaningful (don't post contents with spun words)
  • The website isn't part of a Private Blog Network, PBN (these sites or blogs are formed to build links to a sales page without providing value)

Don't expect great results when your guest post doesn’t meet the above requirements.

4. Nofollow Links Implies Zero Link Juice

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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Some leading websites automatically mark external links with the rel=“nofollow” attribute to tell Google not to follow them. You might have heard that these links have no link juice. Albeit, certain factors show that no-follow links produce some results in SEO.

  • They're useful for your backlink profile
  • Even no-follow links drive traffic
  • They still have a certain level of link juice because Google knows that they exist
  • A no-follow link helps in building website authority
  • They're part of organic natural link profiles

In addition to the rel=“nofollow” Google recently introduced additional no-follow link attributes.

  • The rel=“ugc” identifies links that are within user-generated content, and
  • rel=“sponsored” identify links that you create for sponsorship or advertising

5. Links from Wikipedia and .edu Sites Boast Abnormal Ranking Power

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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

It's believed that if you can get even a single link from any Wikipedia or .edu page, your ranking would sky-rocket. That's not true.

Though these sites rank high, they get the same treatment that other websites are subject to. You can't afford to rely on links from these sites as your only SEO strategy.

In response to this misconception, a Google representative, Gary Illyes stated that Google ranks Wikipedia just like other websites.

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This goes a long way to say no website receives special treatment when it comes to Google ranking.

So the advice is to consider a combination of SEO metrics when building links. Your focus should be to identify other authoritative sites and diversify.

6. More Backlinks is Better for Link Building

You must have heard comments like, "build more links, it’s always good for SEO." But from all you've heard so far, you know that isn't true.

The reason is simple. You're an average of the friends you keep.

This also affects link building because if the majority of links you have are from websites with a DA of 10, you'll also fall within that range too. But don't be discouraged if your rating has dropped as well. You can still remove them by submitting a disavowal request.

When you disavow a backlink, Google sees that you don't want to be associated with the website in question. So from time to time, you should run an audit on your backlinks to stop low quality ranks from messing up your ranking journey.

7. External Links Matter More Than Internal Ones

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Image credit: Craig R. Kirkby

Your internal links would actually do you more good than external ones if you use them right.

Internal links create a connection between your weak and high ranking pages. What you do here is take the links of your pages that have good content but aren't ranking, and place them on your highly visited pages. But be strategic with the word or phrase you place the link on.

So when visitors land on the popular page, they're lured to the less popular pages through the links. Then you'll see your lazy pages begin to rank higher. This allows link power to flow while increasing your dwell time.

However, Google considers other ranking signals when it comes to external links.

8. More Keywords Would Rank You High on SERPs

It's true that using keywords can improve your SEO rank. But that doesn't mean that you should stuff your content with a lot of them. Keyword stuffing is easy to detect and can actually have a negative effect on your website's performance on search engines. SEO does a world of good to your business but only when done right.

No matter how well you think keyword density can boost your ranking, creating quality content is more effective.

9. Images and Videos Don't Affect SEO

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Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

To improve user experience, you might want to use images and videos that are lightweight on your website. You want to make sure that the images are relevant to the content and not just a decoration. In other words, your images or videos are part of the content.

So to say that they have no effect on your SEO isn't true. Once you're able to integrate your images or videos in a meaningful way, you'll boost your ranking.

For meaningful integration:

  • Only use videos or images if they’re relevant
  • Compress videos and resize images for better site speed
  • Don’t use too many colors
  • Search engines can't link an image directly to keywords, so use Alt-tags.

10. Avoid Communities: Forums, Blogs Comments, and Directories

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Image credit: William White

Black hat SEO takes advantage of blog comments, forums links, and directories to build backlinks. So this has given the strategy a bad reputation

When done correctly, however, your contents get more search rank which tends to increase traffic to your site.

But as you already know, not everything in the SEO world is that simple. You can't just drop links randomly and expect a speedy result. You don't want the link you build to put your reputation on the line.

To benefit from links you get from directories, forums and blog comments, pick a relevant website. For example, it makes sense when a beauty shop's website links to a cosmetic site.

Leave meaningful comments that show that you actually read the content. Not just the usual “wow!’ or “nice one!”

To Wrap Up

It’s easy to underestimate or overvalue SEO strategies.

That’s why you should filter out the truth from the lies. It’s only then that you’d know where to focus your attention.

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Tulip Turner -

Tulip is a Content and Inbound Marketing expert at Snewscms. Over the years, she has helped dozens of businesses in defining their content strategy. She believes that creativity doesn’t inspire customers anymore. A true story when recited well, is enough to build a connect.

Twitter - @snewscmss

Facebook - @snewscms

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