4 Reasons Why Your SEO Link Building Ain’t Working


This is written as a more advanced post, ideally for people that are familiar with link building. If you are unfamiliar, read more about what link building is and why it matters.

Note that the top factors of the Google algorithm (42% of total) look at links to establish your ‘SEO score’.


Your Link Building Ain’t Working Because…

One – You are building links too quickly for your website

Ever since the Google Panda update, websites that build links to quickly can be actually penalized instead of rewarded. Because of the propensity of spammers to benefit from flooding abandoned blogs and message boards with one-way links, Google had to change their policy to search for and reward websites that build links in a more “natural” way.

For the most part, “natural” means “slow.” Google assumes that a relatively new and unestablished business will have a certain initial period in which it will only be able to establish links with a certain amount of other websites. Although no one knows how Google comes across its arbitrary value, it is to the benefit of the new company to find a moderate link building pace and stay within it.

You can get somewhat of a gauge of how many links have been being built to your site by using this link building research tool. Sorry but most of it’s features are for paid users but helpful none the less.

Two – You are building links with sites that do not have a high reputation with the search engines

To Google, not all inbound and outbound links are the same. You do yourself a disservice if you link yourself with sites that do not have a high search engine ranking.

This concept is known as “link juice,” and many independent search engine optimization experts have hypothesized that the major search engines penalize websites with links to and from low ranking associates. This means that you may actually improve your ranking by disassociating yourself from low ranking websites. Sometimes if you have penalized by a search engine the only way to save face and repair your site’s credibility is to remove these low quality links.

Three – You are building links in irrelevant spaces

According to most search engine optimization experts, placing your link in generic link farms and directories is a strategy that will get your site penalized, even more so starting in 2012. Basically, any association with a website that does not coincide with your purpose online may hurt your search engine ranking.

You can find out how the major search engines index your website, and thus define it, by looking at the free analytic packages that are included with all official website indexing packages. To do this, you must make sure that your website has been “formally introduced” to the major search engines. A basic way to do this with Google is setup a Google Webmaster Tools account. All major search engines have an indexing procedure that you should take the time to fill out.

Four – Your links do not include the appropriate anchor text

The anchor text that you use is incredibly important when it comes to connecting your website with a purpose and indexing your website correctly within search engine algorithms. Also, using the same anchor text for every link that you build can be construed as spam, just another indicator to watch. So if you are building all your links with ‘ham sandwhich’ you’ll be more easily ousted by a search engine compared to building with a variety of related terms, like ‘peanut butter and jelly’ or ‘ham on rye’ (you can tell where my mind is!).

Would love your comments and feedback below.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Leslie

    I never considered that using the same anchor text could essentially lead to your link being classified as harmful.

    Because I’m fairly new to the concept of links, can you control on what sites your link is included? I know when a website is born, the page can be linked to certain words or phrases when a user utilizes a search engine. Is the path of a link similar? If so, how could you control its placement without falling out of those related searches?

    • Fred

      Hi Leslie,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I think you are asking about how a link could potentially be harmful to your site. If so, then a good summary of this idea is called ‘google bowling’ wherein a competitor of yours creates a bunch of spammy/low quality links in an effort to set off the link spam filters at Google, thus pushing your site into oblivion. Here’s a great read with much more detail about this idea.


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