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7 Common Pitfalls of Link Building – Post Penguin


link building pitfallsGoogle has made great strides in leveling the playing field and ensuring the quality of link building. Its Panda and Penguin updates have shaken up the way links are built and have seen many websites lose its precious SERP. Ranking on the top of Google searches in the past was simply done by creating hundreds of links. It was just a matter of who had the most resources for paid links or who had the most links at the end of the day. But those days are over and if you’re starting your link building campaign, here are a few link building strategies that you should stay away from.

1. Money Keyword Only Links

Using target keywords for anchor texts has always been the standard for any link building campaign in the past. However, with Google’s Penguin update, building a more diverse inbound link profile is key. Hundreds of links using the same anchor text pointing to your website can appear unnatural to Google’s eyes. This does not stop you from using money keywords for your anchor texts. You just have to make a conscious effort to use a variety of terms for your anchor text.

  • Use your website’s URL or inner pages ( or
  • Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) or related keywords
  • Generic Links (click, here, visit this website)

2. Article Submissions

If you’ve been building links for your website then there’s a good chance that you’ve reached out to article submission sites. However, most of these websites have been penalized after Google’s updates. These have been popular in the past because of the amount of link juice they give but these have been downgraded by Google.

3. Paid Links

You could term this as a double whammy. Not only are you shelling out dollars to have a link placed on their website but it also drags your SERP down. Quality and natural is where you should place your money on. The rule of the game is the harder you work to get the link, the better its chance of providing your website with much needed link juice.

4. Generic Link Exchanges or Blogrolls

Everybody wants to be top dog and getting links from the first source they come in contact with is a common mistake that plagues many webmasters. Some overzealous link builders try to make link exchanges with other websites that are not related to their niche. If you plan on going this route then try partnering with niche-related websites. These does not only provide you with good quality links but also helps you establish personal relationships with your peers.

5. Creating Social Profiles for Links

Setting up a social profile and creating a link to your website is quite easy. There are quite a number of services that could do this for you and all you have to do is to give them your personal details and website. If you’re gunning for sheer numbers then this is the way to go. But the links provided by social networks is still suspect and could actually have a negative effect on your website’s rankings.

6. Focusing on Dofollow Links

A majority of webmasters requesting link building services will only accept Dofollow links. But this could also send a red flag to the guys at Google that you’re focusing too much on your link building efforts. Diversifying your inbound link profile does not only mean using a variety of anchor text but combining dofollow and nofollow links.

7. Social Bookmarking Submissions

Social bookmarking is not an entirely bad idea. There is quite a number of software that could easily post your link with little or no supervision. Again, with Google’s drive towards quality having links from these places is like parking your car in a bad neighborhood and waiting for something bad to happen.


Vincent Scottsdale is a financial advisor and currently works as a consultant for small businesses. When he’s not writing for various technology sites, he could be found writing about simple SEO Basics and how people could take advantage of the internet’s numerous business opportunities.

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    • Ravi Jain

      Link Building is the best and all ways the useful for seo even after the penguin as well. but now only quality links are survive.

    • Citona

      Great post. A good idea post-penguin is general diversity in your link building strategy.

    • Christopher Joseph

      Nowadays, social media plays a very vital role in link building. It helps a lot! thanks for the informative content!

    • jenycurranenyCurran

      Nice tips for building our links in a right way,But I was little bit confused with social bookmarking,I thought that it is good way for getting traffic.

    • Alicia

      Very good link building tips, Vincent. I think it is a good idea to use a variety of anchor texts to make them look more natural.

    • Brian Greenberg

      Great post Vincent.  This is a great list of what has changed.  I get asked all the time what should we do not though… so I wrote a similar post addressing what people can do now post penguin.
      Funny that I randomly chose 7 things as well 🙂   

    • Rohit

      So, the post could be summarized as Rules of the game remains same but just “Don’t overdo anything”.

    • neha

      Hi Vincent, Really its Excellent post. I am totally agree with you. These tips is much more helpful for Newbie bloggers. From now on we should be aware of building low Quality links our blog. These tips is good especially useful post penguin. Well thanks for sharing this information. 
      rom now on we should be aware of building low quality links to our blogs.


    • Gaurang Joshi

      I really liked your concept of mixing the do follow links with some of the no follow links. Gonna implement it with some other useful tips. Great article.

    • Mike Reeson

      I never thought about combining the no follow links with the do follow. Thank you for the tips!

    • debarshi@Free OCR tools

      Great article, much helpful for newbie bloggers. From now on we should be aware of building low quality links to our blogs.

    • Anton Koekemoer

      Hi Vincent,
      Yes – I do agree with you on Social Media Bookmarking – As this not only speeds the rate of indexing by search engines, it allows you to build a community within these social bookmarking sites – This is great for driving traffic from an external yet (most of the websites) publicly accessible source. And with plugins like shareaholic.

    • Khaja moin

      After Pengiun I see that many business people worrying about there link removal from low quality blogs. And blog roll I don`t think anyone now would go for blog roll links.


      • Avi Jit (@skyhitblog)

        Ya khaja, you’re right. Many business sites are becoming serious now. Again about blogroll link exchange, we can do that with same niche sites.

      • Alicia

        You are right. Some websites and businesses may try to remove their links from low quality blogs. But I guess this is a very tedious and slow process…. really pain in the you-know-where.

        Anyway, it’s still worth doing I guess. For the long run, a clean link profile will give you the credibility you need to come up top in the search engines! Good luck. 🙂

    • Jasmine

      Good link building tips.
      People, listen up. Let’s follow these great tips, especially useful post Penguin now!

    • Kulwinder Singh

      Grate post to save time and money on link building, because paid links are mostly of low quality with more quantity which is counted as spam by Google, so if every one still paying to build backinks then please stop this. You have to work a little hard to build Quality Backlinks If you can build a backlink From PR3 or Even From PR@ blog then it is far better then Getting thousands of backlinks from free hosted blogs with 0PR, Building these type of links will Mark your blog as Spam in Google Penguin EYES.

    • Anil @Niche Site Expert

      Apart from these, we need to do lots of diversity in our anchor text. Apart from keyword based links, we should generate some backlinks with general terms even like click here, read more, details etc to make our backlinking profile more natural because when people are linking naturally to you, they can use any anchor text of their choice or interest.

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