Why Your Link Building Fails

Why Your Link Building Fails

The concept of link building for SEO will never go out of style among content marketers, digital marketers, SEOs, business owners, and entrepreneurs.

It has a somewhat convoluted past and is also quite delicate.

However, there is much more clarity on how to go forward for people who are prepared to reflect on the past and learn from it, even their failures.

Link Building: Trial and (Lots of) Error

During a digital marketing conference, you should bring up safe, lighthearted subjects like social media or video SEO content if you want to strike up a conversation with some new people.

Just bring up link building to get folks talking and find out what they truly think.

The issue of link building is quite controversial.

In a world where SEO and content are the mainstays of any digital campaign, some regard it as the ultimate marketing tool.

Others view it as a dishonest endeavor with minimal long-term benefits or as spammy behavior.

However, despite how strongly people feel about link development, the reality is far more straightforward.

Getting natural inbound links from websites that are relevant to your subject and of good quality has been shown to have a major positive effect on search rankings and online exposure over time.

However, it’s difficult to fully comprehend the current situation without first reviewing the events of the previous 20+ years.

The sector has changed. There has been almost continual change. Additionally, errors have been made, as you will see in a moment. But let’s try to understand the background of link building before delving into link building blunders.

This is the main idea:

  • After Google was established in 1998, webmasters soon discovered that by obtaining backlinks to their websites, they could raise their sites’ search engine ranks. As a result, link swaps became more popular, where users would trade links with one another.
  • SEO directories began to appear on the internet by 2001. This made it possible for website owners to submit their pages to directories in exchange for links.
  • In 2003, astute webmasters and marketers realized that blogging may be a valuable tool for constructing backlinks. This gave rise to both terrible and positive activities, such as spamming and leaving large comments on blogs.
  • By 2005, it was commonplace to come across dubious blog rolls and poor-quality content submission websites. Google discovered very soon that the only reason these websites were up was to manipulate the system. They responded by updating the algorithm to penalize low-quality links. The introduction of the “nofollow” attribute was aimed at reciprocal and paid connections.
  • In 2008, the term “linkbait” gained popularity, and people started posting anything they could, regardless of its veracity, in an effort to get links and attention.
  • Large companies including JC Penney and Overstock.com faced penalties in 2011 for engaging in manipulative link building and other black hat search tactics. Google launched the Penguin update the following year. Severe penalties were implemented by this version for excessive optimization and poor link-building techniques. Getting high quality links, however, is more challenging.
  • The emergence of organic content marketing in 2013 made things much more difficult. It cleared the path for real link building that benefits readers—exactly what Google desires.
  • Instead of focusing on penalties, new algorithm improvements in 2016 started to devalue broken connections.

When comparing the state of SEO and link building now with the early 2000s, the differences are nearly unnoticeable.

Black hat strategies used to be dominant, but they are now unworkable.

The new black hat is the white hat.

The new spam is organic.

The new quantity is quality.

However, it has taken years for those of us in the search marketing sector to understand and accept this change. And the dreaded…F-word and first-hand experience have been the main ways to learn.

Hey, let’s speak about failure now!

9 Lessons From Failed Link Building Campaigns

Failure isn’t a comfortable topic.

Most of us would prefer to gloss over the shortcomings and focus the bulk of our attention on the good things.

But that’s not how you learn.

True growth occurs when you understand what went wrong and use this knowledge to improve, to enhance, to evolve.

Now that we’ve set the table, let’s dig into the main course.

Let’s explore some of the biggest lessons learned from failed link building campaigns of the past – and what they mean for us moving forward.

1. Don’t Create Content for a Specific Publisher

Why Your Link Building Fails
Why Your Link Building Fails

That dawn on us has all happened.

That moment when you’re gazing off into space and something suddenly hits you? You know of an editor at a large industry website who would be interested in your great piece of content.

Working with your content team, you spend the next few days crafting a piece that is precisely suited to the publisher.

After that, you forward the completed work to the publisher.

For a few hours, you wait. After that, a few days. When you finally get through to the editor, she informs you that she is not considering the piece.

It strikes you in the gut.

You know what, though, exacerbates the rejection even more? The information was written with that particular publisher in mind. It isn’t as simple as turning around and giving it to an editor at a different blog. The stuff has to be removed.

Here’s the easy lesson: Don’t write material with a publisher in mind. You have no influence over a publisher’s actions, and you run the risk of wasting all of your work and creative energy in the event of a prompt rejection.

Obtaining complete consent prior to writing the item is preferable, as is creating a post that can be easily published on several websites or blogs.

2. Building Links With Video is Hard

Without a doubt, video is the most effective content medium on the globe.

The video is shareable, visually appealing, and clear.

It’s challenging to establish connections with.

It’s true that videos often become viral. The video’s attribution presents a challenge.

The original author of a video often gets obscured or forgotten as it becomes popular and is shared on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Rarely do publishers provide the correct credit; instead, they just embed the first YouTube link they come across.

Although video still has its uses, such as increasing the visibility of your branding inside the content, it is not a dependable method for constructing links.

While it’s possible that this will change, don’t let that stop you from creating video content; instead, make sure you know the facts.

Also Read: Overcoming Outreach Email Rejections

3. Newsjacking Must Happen FAST

Why Your Link Building Fails
Why Your Link Building Fails

Over the past seven or eight years, newsjacking has gained a lot of popularity. Furthermore, it’s simple to fall victim to the myth that the fastest path to success is to jump on a trending topic in light of all the notable success stories.

The majority of brands struggle with moving quickly enough.

It could take up to a week for the news report to be processed, a writer to come up with a concept, approval to proceed, writing, copyediting, and publishing/sharing.

A week-old article could as well be six months old in the realm of social media and viral content.

Newsjacking content needs to go live within 24 to 48 hours in order to have a chance. You should do something else if you miss this window.

4. You’re Wasting Your Time With Incorrect Anchor Text

Each backlink is inserted as an anchor text hyperlink that can be clicked. Additionally, using appropriate anchor text is essential when harvesting links for search engine optimization.

Thousands of unsuccessful link-building operations have demonstrated that utilizing excessively optimized anchor text is a grave error.

One-word anchors and calls-to-action such as click here, buy now, or visit this website should be avoided. Rather, the goal is to use natural anchor text that contains your target keyword for the linked page.

Here are a few examples of several subjects with maybe useful anchor text:

These are obviously only a few illustrative cases. It is your responsibility to conduct thorough keyword research and analysis to determine which keywords will increase the likelihood that your anchors will add value to the linked URL.

5. Social Media Doesn’t Provide Link Juice

Why Your Link Building Fails
Why Your Link Building Fails

Undoubtedly, social media plays a crucial role in every contemporary digital marketing plan.

A strong commitment to social media marketing and engagement is a prerequisite for any effort to create a competitive brand in the twenty-first century.

However, it’s critical that we dispel a widespread misunderstanding. Social media can assist material in going viral, but it doesn’t give link juice in return.

Links marked as “nofollow” are used by all of the main social networking sites. This basically tells search engines that hyperlinks provided on the website shouldn’t affect the URL being linked to’s ranking.

Restrictions on nofollow are implemented as a preventative measure against unsolicited emails. They reduce the quantity of pointless links posted on social media and urge users and brands to only share content that will benefit their followers.

Does this imply that social media has no value in terms of link building and SEO?

Well, not in every case.

Even if social media sites like Facebook and Twitter don’t reciprocate connections, building nofollow backlinks is nevertheless beneficial in certain situations.

One reason is that a viral nofollow link’s visibility undoubtedly increases traffic, which directly and favorably affects search rankings.

Second, search engines like Google reserve the ability to reject nofollow tags. This is a somewhat contentious subject. Furthermore, many of the top SEO specialists in the industry will admit to you that they believe Google ignores the nofollow tag in cases when the link looks legitimate and trustworthy.

Although the latter argument is more accurately characterized as conjecture, it illustrates the main idea that social media is still significant and pertinent to link building and SEO.

6. Stay Away From Blog Networks, Paid and Reciprocal Links

There are several options available for you to purchase links if that’s what you want to do.

It will take very little digging or effort to locate them.

Certain sponsored links may be quite successful, but they will cost a lot of money. There’s also always a chance that they won’t stick with you.

Link building comes at a high cost. A backlink from a high authority domain will usually cost you $200, $500, or even $1,000, while you may occasionally locate a $20 link here and there.

Additionally discouraged are reciprocal links. These frequently take the shape of Private Blog Networks, or PBNs, where users gather and distribute links with the express intent of spreading SEO juice. Additionally, they can be observed as link wheels.

Although you should avoid reciprocal and bought links, there is nothing wrong with paying for link procurement services from respectable businesses that focus on this field.

Link procurement services locate natural connecting opportunities for your webpages by utilizing extensive networks of publications. They might even be able to get you on top websites in the business, like Forbes or Inc.com, depending on how good the service is.

Though slight, the distinction is significant. In one case, you pay to have a particular link placed in a particular location. In the other, you hire a service to search for chances that present themselves naturally. The former is not recommended. The latter is still useful.

7. Guest Blog Posts Only Matter If…

One of the most effective SEO and link-building techniques available is guest blogging. It must, however, be applied correctly.

As numerous unsuccessful link-building initiatives have demonstrated, guest posts are only beneficial in cases when the publishing site is regarded as important and the content is of a good caliber.

In fact, posting low-quality content on spammy websites will hinder your attempts to develop links.

The execution is everything.

It’s also crucial to take into account whether or not the guest posting opportunity results in dofollow or nofollow links. As was already mentioned, the latter offer little to no link juice.

8. Create Multiple Types of Visual Content

These days, it’s almost hard to publish a piece without include some kind of graphic content. You need something to visually engage readers and break up the material, even if it’s just a few images or graphics.

The issue is that you can never be sure of the type of graphic content that a publication will accept and work with.

Are they interested in video? Graphs and charts? GIFs? Interactive visuals?

Making different kinds of visual material and letting the publisher select the most effective ones is the best line of action. You can use anything they don’t use to promote the material yourself.

9. Link Building Can’t Exist in Isolation

Why Your Link Building Fails
Why Your Link Building Fails

We strongly support the development of links. It has been demonstrated to be among the best tactics for boosting SEO and increasing brand awareness. It isn’t meant to stand alone, though.

Businesses that try to concentrate only on building links at the expense of all other content channels nearly never succeed.

Building links is only one aspect of the larger scheme. It must be combined with paid advertising (especially when PPC data is utilized to affect link building and SEO), social media, technical SEO, content marketing, and strategic branding. That is how you get long-lasting, sustainable results.

Sticking to the Basics

Have you made any notes? Have the previously listed unsuccessful initiatives helped you figure out why your link-building efforts are failing?

Hard-core link building outreach combined with a broken link development campaign is usually the finest link building strategy.

It can be time-consuming to find broken links, and even more so to get them fixed.

Lessons learned in the wake of failure have the greatest influence of all. It imparts knowledge on a far deeper level than success.

Ultimately, success can be achieved by combining all of these small teachings into one cohesive whole. Three main elements make up the recipe:

  • A healthy pour of authenticity;
  • A few ounces of quality;
  • And a dash of consistency.

Combining these three components will make link building a fruitful undertaking that promotes growth and increases your internet presence.

Give these insights some thought, then apply them to your own creative link-building efforts. We are the SEO business that can aid you with your link building if you require outside assistance.


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