Link Building Strategies that No Longer Work

Link building is one of the most valuable factors of SEO to date. It goes without saying that if you want to rank better in search engine result pages, you have to have more backlinks.


However, as with anything that makes up an SEO strategy, the way we should build links are constantly changing. What works in the past may now have the potential to backfire, causing more damage than good. Hence, as a link builder, you should be updating your strategies and finding more effective ways to have high-quality, relevant inbound links.


If you’re looking to improve your ranking in the long term, implementing a holistic SEO strategy that avoids old, dysfunctional link building strategies should be in order. In today’s post, we are covering some of the tactics that no longer work.


But, before we dive in, let us give you a refresher on why we need backlinks.


Why is Link Building Necessary?

Backlinks are one of the top three ranking signals on Google. In fact, in a 2016 study, it’s found out that the top-ranking content on any given SERP always had more links than the lower-ranking content.


However, merely having thousands of backlinks or spamming your links in the comments section will not do the trick because Google has found the quality and the number of referring domains mattered as well. These changes came after the Google Panda update. So, what does it mean for your link building strategies?


It means three main things:


  • Having backlinks from a diverse range of sites is critical for ranking high.
  • Having backlinks for a single website will neither drive higher rankings nor will make you an authority to your niche.
  • Having backlinks from sites with higher domain authority will help you rank higher on Google.


Link Building Strategies that No Longer Work in 2019

Forum Profile Spam – Before Google’s web spam filtering has become so advanced, you can order as much as 80,000 forum profiles for $20, have 10% of them get indexed, and land your site on the first page of SERPs within a week or so. But today, these types of links are given almost no value, particularly if the site is irrelevant or the forum has no content and no links of its own.


Comment Spam – At some point, there was a popular software called Scrapebox that allows you to harvest URLs and post generic comments with a link back to your site. Although the links weren’t worth much, they were indexed well and yield rather convincing results. Today, however, Google has stripped off the effectiveness of this strategy, making such links to hardly go anywhere.


WordPress Theme Sponsorships – Widely used in 2010, this tactic helped a few people improve their site rankings for quite some time. It works by allowing you to create a WordPress theme and embed a link to your site, so anyone who uses the theme will have to link back to you. It was quite manipulative, therefore, has forced Google to significantly reduce its effectiveness.


Authority Homepage Link Networks – This tactic is also a part of a grey hat strategy that used to be so effective in allowing users to post their link on the homepage of a PR site, which is basically an expired domain that requires little relevance to what is linked to them. However, this strategy was also rendered ineffective, post-Panda.


Having all these said, it’s safe to say that the effectiveness of link building is no longer a numbers game. As time went on, link value has become as important as the number of quality links and the anchor texts used to link to your site.


Link Building Mistakes to Avoid

Besides the old, ineffective strategies, we also list some of the link building mistakes you should avoid in 2019:


  • Focusing on Quantity over Quality – You don’t have to create multiple articles or write long-form content to become an authority. What you have to do instead is to focus on quality and avoid writing content that’s less relevant, useful, or interesting.
  • Failing to Personalise Your Outreach – A standard, templated email of telling the site owner about how great their last article was and how much you enjoyed it no longer make the cut. So, make your outreach a standout by actually personalising its content.
  • Using the Same Links as Your Competitor – Chasing your competitor’s link profile will do so little in helping you outrank them. While there are some industry-related links, it’s unlikely that it’s necessary to use them completely. So, pick only what will seem to work in your niche and from there, build your own link profile.


Link building is no doubt difficult. It’s hard enough to figure out how to have an effective link, let alone update your strategy every time the algorithm updates and changes what works to give you desirable results.


You’ll find yourself experimenting every now and then and trust us when we say, you’re doing just the right thing to stay ahead of the game. But, of course, you can always skip this step by working with an SEO agency in Singapore, like Oom.


Ready to get started? Explore the SEO services we offer in Singapore today!