Link building myths and misconceptions

Aug 6, 2021 by
Link building myths and misconceptions

Link building remains a cornerstone of digital marketing and that’s not going to change anytime soon. However, as vital as it might be and as many of us assume we know the practice inside and out, there are still many potentially damaging myths that continue to be propagated; myths that could lead businesses into pursuing bad strategies or ignoring good ones.

So, let’s dispel a few of these link building myths and misconceptions, shall we?

Backlinks are everything

This might have been true way back when. But today, Google’s ranking factors are incredibly dynamic. The thing is, many of the pages that rank highly do indeed have plenty of backlinks, however, the fact is probably that they have a lot of backlinks because they rank well, not vice-versa. We’re not saying backlinks are not important, of course, but it’s one situation where people are inclined to put the cart before the horse and it doesn’t sit well with us.

The more links the better

Link building isn’t just about building as many links as possible; it’s about building the right links with the right people and developing relationships with other websites. This is what’s going to lead to mutually beneficial marketing opportunities that showcase your authority and value and lead to greater visibility.

Guest posting is dead

This is simply a myth that’s been blown out of proportion. Guest posting can be an incredibly valuable way of getting fresh thought leadership onto your site. Guest posting simply to build links is simply not the way forward and kind of misses the point of link building entirely. Just don’t spam your contextual links with keyword-heavy anchor text and you’ll be fine.

Domain authority defines link quality

Domain authority isn’t used to define link quality, it’s a third-party metric that’s used as a barometer to measure sites against one another. Nothing more. Domain authority is not something to avoid but it’s also not something to waste time chasing.

Penalties for too many links

There’s a very common misconception that building too many links to a single page or piece of content will result in some kind of manual penalty. The thing is, Google isn’t actually that smart. It would be almost impossible for it to work this way. Besides, if a piece of content is really that great then it should be linked to as much as possible anyway. That being said, if you find your page being linked to from some pretty spammy places, you might want to keep an eye on it.

Never ask for links

On the contrary – ask away. There is absolutely nothing wrong with exchanging links as long as you’re doing so with relevant partners and the content is comparatively authoritative.

The penguin penalty

It doesn’t exist. Penguin is a Google algorithm, not a penalty. This is a case of Chinese whispers that got blown all out of proportion. Yes, the Penguin algorithm update probably caught a few malicious links but, generally speaking, all the Penguin update did was ensure everyone was using good link building strategies. So keep on keeping on and don’t worry about the bird!