There is an inherent secrecy to algorithms that makes it difficult to understand what SEO tactics work better than others.
In fact, this leads to some spam and myths that detract from a site’s ranking in some cases. Through our experience with Toronto SEO services, many clients have pursued the wrong goals when it comes to link building, ultimately preventing their websites from ranking higher.
While some people have lost faith in link building as an SEO tactic, it’s actually still one of the most viable ways to get your site noticed and shared. However, it’s not the only factor in how you rank. Here are some of the myths to look for as you start to build links for better SEO:
Myth 1. Backlinks are “Top” in Google Ranking Factors
Long ago when Google still answered questions about its ranking factors directly, a Google Search strategist stated that links, RankBrain, and content were the top three ranking factors. However, this has since been clarified to say that Google has many algorithms that define what is most important to a particular search.
It’s not always about backlinks, but it does show that it is a rather important factor that should not be ignored. That said, you still have to think about social signals, query intent, user experience, and quality of content in addition to backlinks.
Myth 2. Penguin Penalties
Those who work in SEO know that Penguin was an algorithm update that changed SEO and flipped most marketers on their heads in 2012. It isn’t a penalty, but the algorithm did de-rank those sites that were spamming backlinks and buying bad links or paid links. You can use Google’s Site Admin tool to see if you have any warnings, but in general, if you are practicing good link building without paid links, you shouldn’t worry about being de-ranked in Google. This only happens to sites that actively engage in black hat SEO.
Myth 3. High DA Means Better Link Quality
This is not always the case and Google is getting better at recognizing when historically high DA sites have poor link quality. Besides that DA, or domain authority, is a guessing game when it comes to SEO. You may write in-depth content and have government sources, but your site could still be irrelevant or spun content with high-quality DA links, which would bring down your ranking.
The best practice is to use high-quality links with high DA but also combine with in-depth, interactive content that is highly relative to your keywords.
Myth 4. You Can’t Ask Someone for a Link
Link exchanges are pretty spammy and not the best way to increase your rank according to Google’s guidelines. However, if you cite sources directly, provide an expert opinion with a link, and add links in that are relevant, you can set up an exchange that is mutually beneficial and doesn’t break any guidelines.
Myth 5. Manual Penalties for Risky Link Velocity
In this case, people fear that having too many links to one piece of content can be considered spammy and earn a manual penalty from Google. This is nearly impossible for search engines to sift through because it would mean having to use an AI to investigate sites one-by-one for “honesty” links. Your site may just be incredibly viral and gaining a lot of shares.
Myth 6. Guest Posting Negatively Impacts Your Ranking
Link building through guest posting should be done in a way that is not spammy and provides genuine content. If you are buying space on websites and posting links that are irrelevant to the blog or website’s overall content, you will eventually get penalized if Google discovers what you are doing. However, guest posting is not inherently bad for your ranking and if it is highly relevant to your content, then it is just good practice to share your content with your audience on other networks.