7 Common Link Building Mistakes Most SEO Beginners Make

Link building is now a complex strategy that years ago was fairly easy to do. Back then, you could build links anywhere and anyhow you desired and see a corresponding rise in your site’s search visibility. But today is another story. Link building is more diversified, more difficult to crack, and is jammed with myths and misunderstandings caused by the past.

Nearly all beginners to link building wind up repeating the same errors. Being a search marketing expert, I’m very happy to assist SEO beginners in correcting their errors, but everybody is better off if they don’t make the errors in the first place, particularly since link building is an extremely profitable strategy.

If you don’t know much about link building, and you want to begin applying it on your site, you should check the backlinks of your competitors and identify new opportunities for your site with the backlink checker tools. Also, beware of these seven frequent mistakes committed by beginners:

1. Focusing on quantity rather than quality

Everybody who begins building links for their sites are seduced at one point or another to think more links are better. Yet, the reality is that a single high quality link is more beneficial to you than possibly hundreds or thousands of links of poor quality. The thing is that high quality links are harder to get while low quality links are pretty easy to obtain. It’s a false sense of success if you seek the easy route and believe a lot of links can replace a few of quality ones. They really do not.


Remember, high quality links mean much more than only an SEO advantage — they also help your site brand and referral traffic, too. Moreover, too many low quality links can cause you to receive a manual or algorithmic penalty that’s really hard (and on occasion useless) to overcome.

2. Too much optimization of anchor text

In the past, the optimization of anchor text was extremely important for having a productive link building campaign. But that was in the past. Today, the overuse of an anchor text of inbound links can damage your website’s search rankings because they appear to be an unnatural or a manipulated pattern. Rather, follow this natural anchor text distribution formula published by Links management and ensure to make your anchor text appear to be natural and useful. I’ve discovered that choosing the title of the page as an anchor text you are linking to (presuming it is written in an engaging style with an interesting title) is inherently normal and gets a large number of click-throughs as well.

3. Getting Backlinks from Irrelevant sites

You should never write a bunch of articles with your backlinks and place them on sites that are completely irrelevant to your niche. Getting many irrelevant backlinks to your site could not only devalue your domain authority(DA), but also damage its search engine rankings. Without getting into further details, before getting incoming links from any site, always ask yourself if it’s relevant to the content of your site.

4. Lacking Diversification

You should have a broadly diversified link building strategy; in other words, go to more than one external source so you provide your website a healthy collection of on-site content. Make sure to rotate your schedule of publishing. It’s a challenge to manage a system of randomness, but it is essential to do just that if you want to enjoy the advantages of a link building campaign.

5. Not including brand mentions

Linked and non-linked brand mentions are an indication of your website’s total authority. Don’t forget them!

nike.com's anchor texts
Well-known brands and sites (e.g., nike.com) always tend to have highest number of branded anchor texts.

6. Regarding relationships as minor

When you begin getting a flow in your link building strategy, your relationships with publishers will be of great importance. Getting an opportunity with a particular publisher isn’t just an instance for you to build a link. Instead, you have an opportunity of advancing a permanent relationship where you can regularly post guest articles, obtain inbound traffic and get impressions to attract new audiences. Your priority should be developing this relationship. In other words, build a healthy relationship with your publisher.

7. Forgetting to scale

If you want to maintain your link building campaign’s energy, you have to scale higher and higher. You will need to produce better content, work with better quality sources, and (presuming you are scaling your quality too) increase the number of high quality links. This scaling is a difficult process to manage. But the consequence of not doing so is being blocked by a wall with nowhere to go.

The consequences of these errors can run the full range from being painless to extremely damaging, but they are more or less avoidable if you know what to do. Remember, you aren’t going to be a link building expert immediately. Despite how much effort you put into it, you will do many mistakes (so do professionals), so limit your losses and promise yourself that you’ll continue to adapt and fine tune your strategy. To see results over the long haul, you will have to have a desire to adapt.

Published by ege

I'm a Toronto-based SEO expert who has been providing cost effective, professional SEO services in the digital marketing industry for more than 10 years.