One of the hottest topics in the online marketing world is always link building. There are so many would-be gurus, know-it-alls and just plain old silly people out there, spouting off nonsense ideas and unproven link building theories that it’s hard to really to sift through what will work and what is just some self-serving nugget of stupidity.
Do I sound bitter about this? Sorry if I do. 😉
Anyway, here’s a list of 7 myths I’ve heard and seen over the last few years related to link building.
1. Never link to a site with a Lower Google PR then yours (WTF?). The idiots who say this are the same ones who voted for George W. Bush (Twice)! First off, even if this were a valid argument (and it’s not), the simple fact is, only Google knows the actual Page Rank of a site. The Page Rank we see in the Google Tool bar is several month old, even immediately after a PR update. So that PR 2 site you’re looking at right now, may actually already be a pr 5.
The Truth: Link out to content you like, regardless of the sites Page Rank.
2. Never link to a site that doesn’t link back to you – this will rob your site of pr! More nonsense! Linking to good content, that you think your visitors will like is just good business. Your job as a blogger is to give your readers valid information, if sometimes that information comes from another site, so be it!
The Truth: (once again) Link out to content you like, even if you’re not getting a backlink for it.
3. Set up a Link page or “Link Directory” on your site and do all of your outbound linking from that section. Ok, in the very early days of the Internet (circa 1995 maybe) link pages were worthwhile places to get links from. Back then there were a relatively small number of web sites and search engines hadn’t been invented yet so we usually found new sites by cruising through these directories. Hey, we’re in the new millennium now – no one looks at link pages any more – why do you think Google will?
The Truth: Be proud of the sites and pages you link to, don’t bury them on a “links page” somewhere with hundreds of other sites. If you don’t want people to know you are linking to another site – you probability shouldn’t be linking to it. Period.
4. Three Way Linking is good – it fools Google into thinking you’re both getting one-way backlinks. Are You Kidding Me? Make No Mistake – Google hires the smartest people on the planet, your little three way linking scheme ain’t going to fool them – even for a second!
The Truth – a good link is a good link! It doesn’t matter if it is a reciprocal link or a one way link. Dreaming up these little covert linking plans is just a waste of time.
5. Links from sites that use the “No-Follow” tag are worthless! The No-Follow tag is an optional entry on the html code that creates hyperlinks. It was invented a few years ago to give web site owners the ability to link out to other sites without giving away “link juice”. It’s really a stupid tag that just causes grief and confusion. What people lose site of is that even though you may not be getting any “link juice” people can still see and follow these links.
The Truth: A good link is a Good link (Are you seeing a trend here?). If a site links to me with the no-follow tag I may not be getting any search engine benefit but you know what – I can get actual visitors to my site from that link. You heard right – not all linking needs to be about getting page rank. Isn’t it better to have a live person visiting your site then to get some minute amount of page rank added to it from a hidden link that no one will ever click on? Remember the goal here is to get traffic!
6. Always link out to the sites that are in the top five in Google for your keyphrase. This is a great one! A few years back people started posting in forums that Google would “reward” your site if you always linked out to the sites that were currently at the top of Google for your keyphrase. So people started doing this – but guess what, it didn’t help them. It did however help out the people who were in the top five of Google. Btw, guess who was responsible for starting and keeping this rumor alive …people that were already in the top five of Google for their keyphrases. 🙂
The Truth: Link out to content you like – it doesn’t matter where it is in the search engines!
7. Participate in “Automated Link Building” schemes – you’ll get thousands of links in no time! Yeah – that will work. That’s exactly what Google loves to see, sites that pay money to get automated links.
The Truth: The reason links help you with search engine rankings is because a link is supposed to be a sign that someone likes your content. Google uses that as an endorsement of your site and rewards you for it. Automated linking schemes take the “endorsement” part out of the equation. Google doesn’t like them and will punish you as soon as they figure it out!
Ok that’s all of the link building myths I can think of right now. Hey, if you liked this post or found a benefit out of it ….Link To Me!!!