#3 SEO Mistake – trying to get as many backlinks from anywhere and everywhere as possible
Now if you have ever looked at SEO before, spoke to anyone about SEO or even spoken to someone who ‘appears’ to know about SEO – then you will undoubtedly of heard that getting backlinks to your website and webpages is a good thing.
WHAT ARE BACKLINKS?
It’s sort of like getting lots of websites to recommend your business, services or products. And nothing is better than a recommendation, right?
Well that’s sort of true. But imagine if you are a cosmetic surgeon, who would be the best person to recommend your services?… and who would not be a good person to recommend your services?
Perhaps a good recommendation could come from a recognised authority like a GP, a doctor, a medical consultant or even a public figure that has used your services and are happy with the results. And obviously these recommendations only arise in conversation with someone that is interested in cosmetic surgery.
But in contrast would a recommendation from a recognised criminal, an international fraudster, a terrorist or a mass murderer do you any good?
Being associated with such socially destructive individuals or organisations can do your reputation and business more harm than good.
ARE ALL BACKLINKS GOOD LINKS?
Just like the example of a cosmetic surgeon, you are naturally associated with whoever recommends your services, in marketing and political circles they call it “The Power of Association”.
Associating yourself with good public figures lifts you up, but associating yourself with bad public figures can bring you down.
Backlinks to your website work in exactly the same way.
Several years ago there was a practice in the SEO world of generating as many backlinks as possible to get a webpage ranked highly in the search engines… softwares were built to do this and the practice is still prevalent in some circles to this day. However quantity does not equal quality.
And as Google track everything online it did not take long for them to notice the unnatural footprints these software generated backlinks left behind. The links were so indiscriminate that they were left on porn sites, gambling sites, fraud sites, irrelevant comments on blog posts and so many other sites, that many conscientious business owners just would not want to be associated with any of it.
The net effect of this was that sites that had all these irrelevant and lurid links coming back to them were downgraded for trying to play the system.
Even to this day I still come across business websites and have worked with business owners where this practice has been done to them previously by a ‘so-called’ SEO professional or just from the business owner being sold on the idea of ‘getting as many links as possible’ was a good thing. Sadly, in both of these scenarios the problem lies in the ignorance of how real SEO works and in believing the hype ‘back-linking software developers’ tell their audience so that they can sell more of their software products.
None of this is the business owners fault. It is just a simple lack of knowledge. Always think of it in the terms of who would you like to be recommending your business and who would be good for you to be associated with.
Go with quality over quantity every day of the week.
How do you check if you have these spammy links going to your site?
- Checking the links coming into your site is not an easy task. There are special services such as AHREFS and MAJESTIC that will show the links coming into your site (but not all of them). Essentially only Google sees all the links coming into your site and sadly they do not share that information publicly.
- If you do end up using any of the available ‘backlink-checking tools’ there is still some skill needed in spotting what are good and bad links, and understanding the reasons why – many of which are really common sense.
- But if you do not feel skilled in this area you could get a free website analysis by a reputed SEO professional that can uncover the links you have coming into your site; and if the SEO professional is skilled at what they do they will be able to tell you if the links you have are good reputation links or bad reputation links… And if the SEO professional is worth their salt they will be able to advise you on what to do to dis-associate yourself with the riff-raff (the bad reputation ones) that are holding you back.