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Having already brought you the popular Link Building Basics article, I now want to highlight a list of common link building practices to avoid. Below is a list of methods used in the online marketing world that often result in bad publicity or penalties. Make sure you avoid these to keep a clean reputation and a good link building strategy in tact.

Do not:

1. Use automated directory submission services – These services simply spam your website around useless, irrelevant directories that can lead to your website being blacklisted by the leading search engines. Is that what you want when you pay a company to build links for you? You’d actually be paying to damage your website.

2. Use link farms or link exchanges – Google have long been picking up & punishing link farms in the past, and continue to do so. By joining a link farm, you’re only putting yourself at risk of being penalised by Google and other search engines.

3. Pay for links – The only way search engines will appreciate your paid links is if they are “nofollowed”, in which case they’re not passing any benefit to you. As part of your link building strategy this is a fruitless exercise. If your paid links are followed however, search engines will penalise you for this when they find them. The Link sellers also weaken their ability to pass page rank meaning that the link is worth less than you’ll pay for it.

4. Submit to endless article directories – You are simply posting duplicate content. This strategy doesn’t read well with search engines and reduces the value of most of the content you’re using.

5. Join forums just to add a link – This strategy is only going to have your account (and therefore your link) removed shortly after. If you’re joining forums and wanting to put your link on, become a useful contributor and stick your link in your signature. This way, you’re not an annoyance and can even get relevant visitors from other members on the forum.

6. Leave spammy blog comments – Whilst relevant and insightful comments can be of use, regardless of whether they are “nofollowed” or not, leaving spammy, two-worded comments such as “great site” are only going to get your comment removed. Having your name (hypertext) as the phrase you are targeting doesn’t go down well either.

7. Use the same anchor text in all backlinks – It’s not natural for you to receive links with the same anchor text over and over, and search engines like you to “build links naturally”. Vary your anchor texts to avoid upsetting the ones you’re trying to impress.

8. Getting links on unrelated sites – Receiving links on websites with unrelated content to yours only confuses search engines.

9. Excessively build reciprocal links – Going back to natural link building, this is not natural link building. While this is one of the easiest ways to build links to new sites, don’t be excessive when doing so, and make sure you build plenty more one way links in the process.

10. Aim to get a link on a page with several outbound links – The likelihood of these pages passing any link juice to you is slim.

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