How to Avoid Common Back Link Pitfalls

Posted by: Chris Marentis

How to Avoid Common Back Link Pitfalls


Back links, otherwise known as inbound links, are typically an essential part of most local internet marketing SEO strategies. However, there are some types of back links that Google disapproves of, and if you use them, your strategy could backfire. If you refuse to follow some of Google’s guidelines, you could be penalized, or your company could be completely removed from Google’s search results.


It can be helpful to work with an organization that can provide expertise in this area, but if you add your own bank links, here are a few points from Driving Sales to keep in mind:

Don’t Buy or Sell Links

In general, Google doesn’t like it when companies appear desperate to make it to the top of search results pages.

In Google’s eyes, buying and selling links with the hope of increasing your PageRank is one of the most desperate tactics out there. If someone tries to send you a free product in exchange for getting their links on your website, don’t take the bait. You could be putting your website or blog at great risk.

Also, you might run across companies that offer to provide thousands of back links with little work from you. Stay away from these services, too, as Google doesn’t like them either.

Keep Link Exchanges to a Minimum

Businesses often help each other out by exchanging links, which benefits both companies’ SEO. However, sometimes Google notices websites that abuse these exchanges. If you’re exchanging links with another company or organization, make sure that it’s relevant to your business and helpful to your customers. Otherwise, it might appear unrelated and excessive, and Google might penalize your company for it.

Don’t Go Overboard with Guest Blog Posts

Typically, it’s good SEO practice to get published as a guest blogger on other websites. If you have this opportunity every once in a while, you should take it. Not only does it boost your company’s SEO, you also build your reputation as a credible source of information in your particular industry. Remember, the author of your company’s blogs should make sure all of their content is linked to their Google+ profile through Google Authorship. Not sure what this means? Check out our Google handbook for step-by-step instructions.

But be sure that you’re not dumping blog content onto other websites just to improve your PageRank. It’s typically easy for Google to spot these because there are so many bank links in each post, and your company could appear desperate and, once again, Google doesn’t like that.

Don’t Use Ads to Increase PageRank

When you pay to advertise online, it’s generally not supposed to increase your PageRank. Make sure that any ad you place online includes a rel=nofollow tag so that Google doesn’t think you’re trying to use paid ads or advertorials to improve your SEO.

Although this long list of “don’ts” may seem overwhelming, avoiding Google penalties is easy as long as your company keeps its customers in mind. If you provide your customers with helpful, informative web content, they’ll be drawn to your website and your business’s products and services.


Chris Marentis

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL’s Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

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