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Techniques to Avoid When Obtaining External Links to Your Web Site

When you’re building your search ranking by adding external links to your Web site, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Here is a handy list of what not to do when trying to obtain links.

  • Do not spam. This means no sending of mass e-mails like, “Dear Webmaster, can you please link to me? Here is the anchor text I want to use. XOXO. Me.” If you are soliciting links from a Web site, make sure to customize each and every e-mail you send.

  • Avoid incestuous linking. If you build a vast network that only links back in on itself, or only back to itself, it’s considered incestuous linking. This is a huge no-no for Google, and there are actual penalties involved that could result: your site could be removed from the index or subjected to heavy ranking penalties instead of just having your links disregarded as part of the PageRank.

  • Do not buy links for ranking. You can buy links in terms of traffic and for advertising, but buying a link for ranking is a definite no-no for Google, which disregards the weight of paid links and possibly any and all links on that page.

  • Do not use run of site links. Run of site links happen when a site has links to your site on every single one of its pages. These kinds of links are heavily discounted and are usually immediately flagged as paid links at best and spam at worst.

  • Do not use link farms. Link farms are spam, and you incur penalties for using them. You could get your site yanked from the index; if this happens, you need to clean it up and grovel to the search engines to get back in.

  • Do not solicit links from irrelevant sites. It does not matter if the site is very, very popular: It won’t help you if your content is in no way related to their content: like, say, your dog grooming business soliciting a link from a gossip site like Gawker.

  • Do not set up several different sites all with the purpose of linking to yourself. This is spam. Spamming is bad.

In general, think about how you would want people to try to obtain links from you. Treat others as you want to be treated. Also, always avoid sneaky, underhanded, or devious techniques. You will be caught and will have to do it the right way anyway. It saves you the time and effort of cleaning up your page and the hassle of begging Google to consider resubmitting your site into the index.

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