The quality of your backlink profile is arguably one of the most important indicators for Google on how to rank your site. SEO practitioners are spending months if not years on developing relationships with link donors, on creating effective content strategies, on profiling relevant resources, and so forth. But not all of the links that are ever so hard to get are actually valuable – some of them (or a lot!) Google will simply disregard. Which ones are those? Are you focusing your effort on the right type of backlinks?
Let’s dive deeper and see what types of backlinks are not worth your while.
1. Backlinks from .edu domains
You’ve seen people getting links by commenting on .edu sites or from articles posted on student portals. It might work if the link comes from a very reputable blog that lives on a well-known university resource. But that would apply to any site and not necessarily to the TLD (top-level domain) which .edu links were considered to be.
2. Paid links
Link building is a long and tedious process – so tedious it’s tempting to acquire them in exchange of monetary compensation instead of getting organically. By the way, link acquisition might be done in form of paying money or in exchange for services, products or any kind of “monetary” compensation you can think of. There are sites that sell links for a living as well.
3. Links from press releases
I remember the time when I would write a press release for every product update pushing them through the wires in hopes that it will help me with link building and public relations. Back in the day, journalists did pay attention to wired news and would occasionally pick up on the news I was releasing. But the truth is, those links did not really help me in building up my backlink profile in the past and they are certainly useless nowadays.
4. Links from directories
Now pay attention here – listing your business in relevant and reputable directories is an old but still good way to attract quality traffic to your site and gain valuable links. Good quality, tightly moderated directories can help you with building your backlink profile (especially, if you have a “young” site). BUT – be very selective in choosing the relevant directories and don’t do mass submissions.
5. Links from irrelevant articles and publications
Building links through a well-thought-out content strategy is arguably the best way of creating a solid and nicely performing backlink profile. But there is always a “but” and it’s to avoid developing content simply for the sake of getting a link. Gone are the days when spinning the content, re-publishing the same article in different publications, stuffing it with keywords and placing keyword-rich anchor text in the content could result in a quality link and better rankings. In fact, Google uses these indicators to disregard such links.
6. Links gathered using special scripts and/or outsourced link-builder
If you are doing SEO for a living, you probably came across softwares and scripts that are aimed at beefing up your backlink profile super quickly. Don’t mix them up with legit link-building tools that help you do proper research, create effective content strategies, and so forth. Here we are talking about special scripts that auto-generate backlinks using algorithms.