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Do’s and Don’ts of Link Building: Right Way to Build Backlinks in 2024

Link building is challenging compared to other aspects of SEO due to limited control over its success. 

It involves linking your website to other sites, which helps you boost your search engine rankings and visibility. However, you have less control over other websites compared to your own, which makes link building a challenging aspect of SEO.

Therefore, following the right path is crucial for success on a road you can’t control. It is like tossing a coin; you can’t predict the outcome, but you can choose the right strategy to improve your chances of getting the desired result. 

So, to help you choose the right path for link building, this blog has covered the dos and don’ts of the process. 

Let’s begin.

Search engines prioritize websites that use organic and natural link building strategies to establish authority. Hence, here are the key aspects that you should follow to get impactful results: 

1. Create Valuable Content  

Content is considered a master of your SEO strategy, and each aspect revolves around it. It is like a foundation that determines the fortune of your SEO success. 

The more valuable content you craft, the more success you will have — it is as simple as that. Therefore, craft content that delivers genuine value to your users. Creating value means offering information clearly and straightforwardly. It should feel like the user has found the perfect solution that easily addresses their challenge.

Crafting such content will draw users to your material and encourage other websites to reference it by linking to it. The more links in your content to other websites, the higher your content will rank in SERP. Let’s understand by an example.

If you search “SEO Strategies” on Google 

Search “SEO Strategies” on Google

The top result is content created by Brian Dean on his website, Backlinko. Although published in 2019, it still ranks at the top because of the quality and valuable information Brian offers in the content.

Backlinko blog origin date analysis

The strategies are so effective that many SEO executives have adopted them and achieved success. This is why the content is a go-to resource for numerous other websites. As a result, this content has as many as 47k backlinks. 

Backlinko blog backlink profile analysis

So, what are the key considerations for crafting valuable content? 

  • Create content that provides answers to people instantly. 
  • Follow Google content guidelines (E.E.A.T).
  • Start the blogs with How, Why, and What. 
  • Write content in a conversational tone.
  • Make sure your content is original.
  • Add external source link. 
  • Avoid passive voice.
  • Check grammar.

Remembering these tips while creating content will help you deliver valuable material and increase your chances of achieving higher rankings. 

2. Build Relationship  

“Link building” suggests the process is all about building relationships. Building relationships with reputed bloggers, content creators, and website owners is crucial in the link building process. 

By forming connections with these influencers, you can gain access to their audiences and increase the visibility of your content. When they link to your content, it signals to search engines that your website is a trusted information source, potentially boosting your rankings. 

Additionally, strong relationships can lead to future collaborations and opportunities for mutual growth. For example, suppose you have a food restaurant and want to attract locals to your restaurant. In that case, you can connect with local influencers people follow by inviting them to your restaurant and asking them to share their experiences online.

Additionally, you can boost your presence by contacting food bloggers and asking them to include your website link for reference. To do this, identify blogs that align with your niche or content and request that they add your link in their descriptions. You can also ask them to create a new video tailored to your audience and the topic you want to cover.

But how will you connect with these influencers? 

  • Build relationships by exchanging valuable information via email and social media. 
  • Propose a project that aligns with your goals and the influencer’s interests.
  • Engage with the blogger and influencer through comments, likes, and shares.
  • Recognize their work and leave positive comments on their content.
  • Share valuable experiences or information in the comments. 
  • Attend industry events and meet influencers in person.

Additionally, if you discover content on a blogger’s site or channel that aligns with your services and performs well, request them to add your link. You can approach them through the mail or by connecting with them in person.

Outreach email for backlink

Natural backlinks are a sign of quality and useful content. When authoritative websites link to your content without prompting, it indicates that your content is valuable, which can boost your search engine rankings.

For instance, Statista is a reputable website that serves as a hub for statistics, data, and numbers across various industries and subjects. Businesses, content creators, and others rely on Statista for accurate data. 

As an authoritative site that conducts its research and provides statistics on various topics, Statista earns natural backlinks. When others reference its data to support their points in reports, content, and documents, they insert Statista links. 

Statista website backlink profile analysis

To acquire backlinks naturally, you need to consider the following tips: 

  • Craft original, useful, and valuable content on your website. 
  • Contribute guest posts to reputable blogs and websites.
  • Collaborate with local influencers and engage with their content to encourage them to link to yours. 
  • Share your content on social media platforms using relevant hashtags. 
  • Create social media content that redirects the audience to your website or content page. 
  • Include your website link on the business listing website. 
  • List your website in reputed business directories ( Like GMB, Bing Places, Yelp, and Yellow Pages.)
  • Participate in forums and communities related to your niche. Provide helpful answers and insights that lead to natural backlinks as others reference your expertise.
  •  Identify and correct broken links on your site, and notify other websites if you find broken links pointing to your content. Fixing these links can help you regain lost link equity and improve the user experience.

White-hat link building techniques mean ethical and legitimate methods to use to acquire backlinks to your website. It includes following search engine guidelines to get natural links and deliver value to the audience through quality content writing. 

Skyscraper Techniques: 

This technique includes finding popular content in your niche and creating an improved version. Then, reach out to sites linking to the original content and suggest they link to your updated, superior content. 

Following this method, the website will benefit you with the following: 

  • More traffic
  • Increased backlinks
  • Relationship building 
  • Improved quality of content
  • Long-term and objective-oriented results 

Monitoring Brand Mention: 

Keep track of websites or communities that mention your brand online. Check out the websites, documents, reports, and blogs that have mentioned your brand name in their content. If someone is linking without your brand name, connect with them and request them to include your website link within your brand name. 

Also, find out the broken links on which you have contributed guest posts or find competitors’ broken link pages to fix them. Approach the website owner and pitch them for new content or suggest a replacement for broken links with relevant, quality content. 

Follow SERP Guidelines: 

Google has updated its guidelines recently. The core March 2024 updates have significantly changed link building and SEO strategies. Hence, you must be familiar with Google’s latest link building updates to practice white hat techniques effectively. 

A few of the important updated guidelines for link building from Google are: 

Google has added two new types of link attributes:

  • “Sponsored” Attribute: This is used for links that are part of advertisements or paid promotions. By using this attribute, you let Google know that the link is a paid promotion.
  • “UGC” Attribute: User-generated content, such as comments, reviews, or forum posts. Use this attribute for links within this type of content to signal to Google that they are from user-generated sources.

Further, Google’s ultimate goal is to provide the audience with the best user experience, not just content with “perfect SEO.” Hence, we focus on creating high-quality content that users love. 

5. Diversify Your Anchor Text 

Diversifying anchor text means using various words or phrases in your hyperlinks rather than repeating the same terms. This approach helps you improve your site’s SEO by making your link profile appear more natural and avoiding over-optimization.  

For instance, in the earlier example of Brian Dean’s content on SEO strategy, the phrase “SEO strategy” appears 12 times.

snapshot of keyword optimization in backlinko blog

However, the phrase is used strategically all 12 times. For example: 

  • Legit SEO Strategy 
  • Effective SEO Strategies
  • What is an SEO Strategy?
  • SEO Strategy for Magento
  • 10-step SEO Strategy for 2024
  • Steps to Create SEO Strategy in 2024

You can verify this by visiting the page. Overusing the same keywords, such as “SEO strategies,” can lead to keyword overstuffing in the content. Therefore, varying your anchor text strategically can open up link-building opportunities and contribute to a stronger backlink profile.

We know that Google has tightened its policies on spammy link-building practices and removed much content found engaging in them. Hence, you should avoid a few unethical processes while practicing link building. 

1. Avoid Black-Hat Techniques

Many black-hat techniques are considered a red flag in SEO link building strategies. Google’s search engine guidelines strictly prohibit these practices. Here is the complete list of prohibited practices: 

Buying Links: 

Buying links means paying other websites to put your links on their sites and pages. This is usually done to cheat search engines by making it look like you have more links to your site than you actually have.

Here’s why buying links is prohibited:

  • Most search engines, including Google, consider buying links a form of attempting to game the system. Such practices violate their webmaster guidelines. 
  • Purchasing links can lead to unfair manipulation of search engine rankings, undermining search results’ integrity.
  • Buying links can lead to a loss of trust from search engines and users alike, as it suggests the site is using unethical methods to boost its rankings.

What Disciplinary Actions Does Search Engines Take On Buying Links? 

  • Search engines may penalize websites by lowering their search ranking or completely removing (deindexing) them from search engines. 
  • The website may get tagged with an untrustworthy flag, affecting its reputation and future performance. 

Watch this YouTube video where well-known SEO expert Neal Schaffer explains why buying links is harmful and should be avoided in link building.


One of the most offendable practices to do in link building is cloaking. Cloaking is a search engine optimization (SEO) practice where the content presented to search engines differs from what users see. This can involve displaying one version of a webpage to search engine bots to improve rankings, while showing another version to human visitors. 

This practice is often used to drive traffic to crypto, adult, and gambling websites. Such practices are against search engine guidelines because they mislead users and search engines. If such practices are detected, it can result in penalties or removal from search engine results.

Link Scheme: 

A link scheme is a manipulative practice where websites attempt to increase their search engine rankings by exchanging links to acquire backlinks. Legitimate link exchange involves collaborating with other reputable websites in your niche to benefit from mutual backlinks. 

It starts by identifying potential partners with relevant and high-quality content. Once a good match is found, both parties agree to exchange links by placing them strategically on their websites. 

Such practice is considered against search engine guidelines and may result in a lowering of rankings and deindexing. 

2. Don’t Focus on Quantity Over Quality:

In recent times, SEO professionals have prioritized quantity over quality. Many quickly produce large amounts of content using AI tools and frequently post it on other websites to obtain backlinks. Sometimes, in greed for backlinks, SEO posts spammy content on low-quality websites.

However, Google no longer tolerates this approach. Due to these practices, Google’s recent update deindexed or penalized 40% of websites. Google observed that sites used spammy and unethical methods to gain backlinks, so they enforced strict guidelines to limit such behavior.

Hence, crafting content without originality, values, and information will not impress search engines like Google. Craft content that provides value and helps the users to solve their challenges. This will enhance your rankings and save you from Google penalties and indexing. 

3. Don’t Overstuff Keywords or Anchor Text:

Anchor text is the most important part of your link building strategy. When posting content for building links, using poor or overly repetitive anchor text can make the content seem promotional and cluttered.

Remember, search engines like Google do not prioritize promotional content. The algorithms always look for informative and useful content. Hence, stop using poor anchor text like “click here,” “click now,” or “we can help you.” 

Further, you should also avoid using repetitive or single anchor text. Remember, relying solely on a single keyword can harm your link-building efforts.

To prevent overstuffing the anchor text, surround it with complementary text. This strategy allows you to target various keywords and connect with a broader audience.

Watch this YouTube video from expert Dan Shure to learn how to avoid overstuffing anchor text.

Anchor Text Tip: Keep your anchor text density up to 2% in your content. This means if you’re writing a 1,000-word piece, include anchor text only 2 times throughout the entire content.

4. Don’t Engage in Comment Spam: 

Adding hyperlinks to the community and forums like Quora, Stack, and Steemit in the comments is not recommended. Because it can be seen as spammy and could lead to penalties or the removal of your account.

Search engines like Google find those links manipulative and may penalize your website. Inserting a link in the comment section without providing any information or suggestions is considered promotional and spam. 

Hence, practice the natural way to insert the link in the comment. Inserting a link in the comment is not offensive; the thing that offense algorithms are its way of inserting. `

Let’s justify it with an example. 

Suppose on a reputed forum like Quora, someone asked, “What are the Steps to Optimize Content?” 

The wrong way to insert a link in the commentThe Way to insert a link in the comment
“We can help you; please visit [URL here]”Consider strategies like keyword research, engaging visuals, and concise formatting to optimize content effectively. Check out this [guide on optimizing content] (URL here) for more detailed steps.

Always prioritize answering the question asked, and then naturally incorporate your link. This approach is less likely to be seen as spammy or promotional and can drive targeted traffic to your website.

Ready to Implement Dos in Your Link Building Strategies? 

As you already know the dos and don’ts of link building, it’s time to implement it in your practices. This blog provides detailed insights into white-hat link building practices, legal link-building strategies, and tactics to avoid in link building. Remember, if you want long-term success in the SEO profession, always stick to legal SEO practices. Looking to climb a fruitful tree faster often makes you fall harder. Hence, follow search engine guidelines, implement white hat practices, and grow your website organically.

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