8 Backlinking Mistakes That Every Blogger Should Avoid

By: | September 29, 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , |

Avoid making these SEO Mistakes when you blogI worried you would be penalized.

Interest in my Link Exchange was growing.

I mentioned in passing that Google could get mad if participants don’t add quality links to their posts.

Should I emphasize that there are penalties or will I sound like a nagging mom?

Then, my guest blogger Abdul Kabir Khan offered to write a post for Mostly Blogging‘s readers about backlinking mistakes!

The timing could not be more perfect.  Abdul, take it away!

8 Backlinking Mistakes That Every Blogger Should Avoid

One of the good pieces of advice that an SEO guru or expert will give you is to build backlinks. Backlinks are important as they have very great value and make your website rank in search engines.

What are backlinks?

If you are new to SEO and blogging, you might ask, “What are backlinks?” Basically, backlinks are the links back to your website, and they give your website a vote in search engines. That tells the search engines how popular your website or blog actually is.

You might also ask, “How can I build backlinks?” Well, there are many ways one can build backlinks, but one of the best ways is guest posting and commenting on other blogs.

Guest Posting gives you a natural backlink and search engines like Google don’t consider it as spam. There are plenty of other ways to build backlinks like posting on forums, doing social bookmarking, and submitting your websites to web directories and articles to article directories respectively.

What are the penalties?

Now you would ask, “Are these methods legal?” and “Does Google treat it as spam?”

Well, if you ask me, Google treats everything in its own way, and as Matt Cutts [the former head of the web spam team at Google] has said, you should not try to make your backlinks natural, rather they should be natural.

But I’ll tell you what–you should diversify your link-building strategy and include nofollow and dofollow backlinks.

It’s really difficult nowadays, to make your backlinking natural (from natural, I mean naturally developed), though many big blogs get natural backlinks, but, if you can’t,  you have to get backlinks from a variety of sites not just high pr [page rank], or it will destroy your link-building campaign.

Now enough talking, let’s come to the real topic now, and it’s What are the backlinking mistakes that you should avoid?

Below is the list of link-building mistakes one should avoid. You should read it carefully. Also, check whether you are one of those guys who are doing these mistakes.

What are the mistakes?

1. Linking to bad reputation websites:

You should never link to those websites that have a bad reputation. Google treats it as spam. By the bad reputation websites I mean porn websites, illegal websites, and links-generated automatic blogging.

Google really won’t like this act of yours, and that would count in having negative SEO. Sometimes, many companies use this trick to bring negative SEO to other companies.

2. Backlinking from High PR domains:

You should not only link to domains which have a high PR. As I said earlier, you should diversify your links and include links from low to high pr websites. Also, you have to include nofollow links along with the dofollow ones. So if you only build high PR links, that won’t sound right to the search engines.

There’s a no straight follow thing from Google about it, but you should better include links from PR 1, 2, 3 websites as well. PR 0 and 1 are too low but you should consider links from PR 1 as well.

(It’s Me, Janice, I am going to interrupt Abdul’s article.  The bottom line is the higher the page rank, the more valuable the link in increasing your blog’s SEO ranking. Abdul did give a disclaimer that a variety of relevant links, not just those with a high page rank, is preferable. If you’d like more information on page ranking, check out this easy-to-understand two-minute video.)

3. Backlinks from other niche websites:

You should also not include backlinks from other niche websites. A good quality link is one from the same niche with high PR.

4. Links having no keywords as anchor text:

As you might know, anchor text plays a key role for your ranking in search engines. If you have anchor text as your keywords, it helps to rank well in search engines. Also, remember–don’t use “click here” as anchor text.

5. Getting a lot of links in a short span:

Remember that Rome was not built in a day, so don’t try to make links in a short span of time as it would tell search engines that your site is a link farm, and it might even make search engines stop from indexing your blog, i.e. ban it.

6. Site wide link:

You should avoid site-wide footer or sidebar links and never build backlinks such as “Web Developing Company” on other websites (if they are clients or other blogs). If you do, you will be hit by a Penguin update. (Me: Google implemented a Penguin update in 2012, a new way of catching spammers.)

7. Buying or selling links:

That’s a really bad practice. Google had made it clear that it’ll consider it as spam. Your links should be natural, and they should not be paid or links from other buying and selling links websites.

8. Adding all links as dofollow:

As I said earlier, you should diversify your links when you are building them. They need to be high quality and should include dofollow links along with nofollow links so make sure you build other nofollow links along with dofollow.

Speak Your Mind:

Tell us about what you think about backlinks mistakes that we should avoid. If you have anything to add to this list, kindly please do it. I’ll be more than happy to read your thoughts.


This is a guest post by Abdul Kabir Khan. He writes on his blog AndroidsRoot about rooting android phones and the latest android apps that people need. He is a technology geek and likes blogging a lot.

Me again: Abdul did a thorough job preparing this for us. Please share his article, so others learn about SEO penalties.  Many bloggers have heard of Google penalties, but know nothing about them.  Thanks to Abdul’s article, now they can.

After you share, go show my guest author some blog love, and visit Abdul’s site.

Note: If you subscribe to Mostly Blogging, and you would like to join the Mostly Blogging Link Exchange, put your blog link and your blogging niche in the comments section.

If you would also like to guest author for Mostly Blogging, click the link for the criteria and submission instructions.

Related Posts:
7 Warning Signs That Google Can’t Find You

Video Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qw1HsIzGO8

  1. Melinda

    Janice, thanks for having Abdul guest.
    But I’m hopelessly lost on this topic. If this is backlink 101, then I need. Backlink.001.
    I don’t even know still what a backlink is, even though I read the whole article. I guess I’m just totally lacking some base knowledge here.
    Janice, do you tutor after hours? Lol
    Your BBFF

    • abbie

      I’m with Melinda! “Anchor text” is another that I don’t think I know.

      • Janice Wald

        Hi Abbie,
        Thanks for writing this morning, so that Melinda and others would know they were not alone in their confusion.
        I actually considered including a glossary, but then dismissed the thought!
        When you tag your posts, you use keywords. When you mention those tags (keywords) in your post, that becomes your “anchor text.” The more you use the keywords, your tags, in your article, the more anchor words you have and the easier it is for Google to find you. I hope that helps! Thanks again for writing.

      • Aleta Kay

        I’m with Abbie and Melinda. I don’t get it. I have a Google + site on which I try to promote other authors, blogs related to writing, and books/authors I’ve read and liked. I often include a link to the author’s web page/author page/book sale page. Is this backlinking? Can it get me in trouble?
        I’m still not sure what a natural backlink is, how to create one, and how to use “dofollow” or “don’t follow.”

        • Janice Wald

          Hi Aleta,
          Thank you for reading what my guest author wrote and commenting.
          1. No, you do not have to worry! It is wonderful you are promoting authors and bloggers by giving them exposure. The reason you will not get into trouble is that these are RELEVANT backlinks that will supplement your content and aid your reader.
          In the past, people would try unethical behavior like linking to sites with high page ranks repeatedly in one article. They would do that often to try to increase their SEO. Google got wise and started invoking that Penguin penalty. You are not doing that. Don’t change anything!
          2. A backlink is a link back to another author’s post. My understanding is backlinks are back to any author’s post. I link back to my own articles all the time. For SEO purposes, llinking to another post on another site is a backlink .
          3. Regarding Dofollow and Don’t follow: These are technical terms. I’m with Tim on this. While I do want to increase my SEO, so I can increase my organic traffic, I can’t worry about everything. As far as my understanding of these terms goes:
          Google has bots that “crawl” your content. This is good if you want readers to find you. However, there seems to be a way to stop Google’s bots from crawling your content. That is by using “don’t follow” links. Perhaps that way people won’t be penalized if they are concerned about it.
          Honestly, Abdul is the SEO expert. Ii am drawing conclusions based on my understanding and what I’ve read.
          I hope I’ve helped. The bottom line is if you are trying to help your reader by supplementing your content with relevant links, you will be fine.
          Thanks for writing, your visit, and your inquiries.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Melinda,
      I love that you come, and I love when you come. It’s like Comedy Central. Your delivery when you write is so funny, imagine how funny you are when you speak. Please tell your daughter I said so.
      That said…
      Regarding backlinks:
      Remember when you once asked me how to insert a hyperlink, and I sent you this article with the instructions?
      You insert hyperlinks all the time now. Recently you inserted a hyperlink to Ralph’s guest post on my site. (Thank you for the link and the exposure.) That link was a backlink. You linked back to my site.
      Linking back, so it’s called a backlink. When someone links back to another person’s site, that makes the site linked to look credible in Google’s eyes. That’s why it helps your SEO.
      And yes, I will “tutor” you anytime. You bring your humor, and I’ll bring the knowledge I have, and together we are quite a team!
      Your BBFF,

    • Melinda

      Janice, thanks for the tutor offer. Yes, we would be awesome together!!
      And also yes- a glossary would be great! Thanks for volunteering to do that for the class!
      Ooooh, I’m already doing backlinks, I just didn’t know I knew! 😉 Thanks again for the help there too, BTW! (by the way)
      BBFF, Melinda

    • Nikki McDonagh

      I’m with Melinda. I am still very confused about backlinks and how to use them. I thought the article was very good, but to someone like me, who hasn’t a clue about SEO and stuff, I found myself wondering what the heck this was all about. What are hyperlinks? Obviously, I am not a regular blogger, but know as an author, I should be. Any advice?

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  3. John Doe

    A lot of informative information and well written. I always say you should be offering degrees in blogging but this may have been at a masters level class. I am going to see his website about android phones even though I have an iPhone. He seems like a te by.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Marilyn,
      Thank you for your interest in my Link Exchange. It sounds like you wanted to see it? Here is the link:
      I added you to both Blogging and Food.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. While I agree with the consensus that parts were too technical, I do believe we can take away many valuable concepts from Abdul’s article.

  4. Debby Gies

    Great post. Even though the system is well explained here, I’m not sure everyone is familiar with what exactly backlinks or anchor text is. I still find it confusing. 🙂 Many people blog for the joy of blogging but aren’t well-versed in the techno aspect of it.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Debby,
      I agree that Abul was extremely thorough in his explanations.
      As far as backlinks, it is linking back to another post. You’ve linked to me, Hugh, Dan, Sherrey, etc. Those links are called backlinks. Because you are linking back to someone else’s blog, that blog that was linked to now looks important in Google’s eyes. That’s why links into your site are so important. It increases your SEO ranking, so Google can find you. It’s like someone else wanted your link on their blog, your link must be pretty good, and your SEO increases.
      Regarding anchor text, when you tag your posts, you have keywords. When those keywords are used in your article, they are called “anchor text.” The more often the tag, the keyword, appears in your article, the easier it will be for Google to find you. Just don’t overdue it. Google is smart and could get mad! Thanks for writing.

  5. Tim Gatewood

    Trying to parse (understand) the jargon in this article is not easy. While I was aware of a few of these, some of them contradict what I have read in other places and I simply do not understand a few of these points. I went and read the article about nofollow links and still do not understand why that would be a good idea.

    Avoiding backlinks in other niches sounds counter-intuitive and silly, if not impossible, especially for those of us who are just getting into blogging or who are looking to expand our participation in the blogosphere — I post backlinks to my site every time I post a comment (either directly as part of my comment or indirectly via the information about me that is posted with the comment) and I comment on all sorts of blogs that appeal to me, regardless of the niche they may be in.

    Meanwhile, I found this bit online about google’s person saying focusing on links does more harm than good: http://searchengineland.com/google-try-avoid-link-building-can-harm-good-214861

    This whole approach seems to be gaming or cheating the system. Post the sort of things you want to read and share; find others who like to read them. Grow your readership naturally. Participate in other people’s blogs by commenting on them and guest-posting when you can and reblogging when they post something worthwhile. Focusing on the mechanics of SEO for blogging seems like far too much work and, if all these mines are littering the field, I prefer to avoid it altogether.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Tim,
      Thank you for this thoughtful, detailed comment.
      I seriously appreciate you doing additional research for us and getting us the searchengineland.com link. Checking my stats, 7 people clicked it today, so clearly there was interest.
      I wanted you to know that I added it to the Link Exchange page, so people can be more fully aware of Google’s warnings.
      If you’d like to see how I worded it, here is the link to my Link Exchange page. I put the searchengineland link and my disclaimer at the bottom under “Related Posts.” http://wp.me/P6x6vQ-1jN
      As far as what you said about cheating the system, I can’t speak for other people, but I will speak for me.
      As a teacher, I am taught we should not be the only voice. That’s why we have guest speakers, show films, read from texts and other sources, all in addition to listening to the teacher. Abdul’s voice was an additional voice in this article. By offering additional perspectives or experts in areas (like SEO) where I am not an expert, I believe my reader gets empowered.
      If, as an end result, people include my link and my SEO goes up, great! But, I agree with you, it is not the primary goal. Our primary goal is helping our reader. You linked to me once in order to help your reader (thank you again, by the way). If the primary goal is helping the reader, as it should be, I don’t feel anyone is getting cheated, but helped.

      • Tim Gatewood

        Janice, please forgive me if I gave the impression that I’m opposed to backlinks or links in general. I reblog your articles, comment on various blogs, and am very willing to share content and links from many other blogs and sites. I agree with you that it’s about helping the reader and, for those who understood Abdul’s jargon, I am sure they got something useful from it.

        My point is that I don’t necessarily agree with him on some of his points, at least not so much that I’m willing to make SEO the biggest concern on my blogs. I want people to find me, but I am more concerned that they find something they want to read when they do. Your site is one of my favorites for the way you focus in on blogging as something worth doing and doing well. Thank you for being so helpful so often. I will reblog more of your posts soon.

        • Janice Wald

          Hi Tim,
          Thank you for writing back. How funny–when I accepted Abdul’s “pitch”, I thought how great to educate readers about backlink mistakes. What I originally intended as an education has become a controversial issue!
          I know I got defensive, but I am not sorry. I so respect you that I did not want you to think less of me.
          Thank you for the compliments, all the support you’ve given me, and the offer of support in the future.

  6. Jeanette

    Could not find a link to go to your guest poster’s site. Wanted to see the gentleman’s site, since I think he and I would probably get along well in my earlier days, back when I still had a working mind!

  7. Melinda

    I went to Alexa. Now I understand why a lower number is better. I’m 2 billion plus. 🙁
    Oh well, that’s better than being 3 billion!!
    Now, if I can just understand this backlink , and anchor post thing, that Abbie mentioned…..

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Melinda,
      I guess we needed a glossary! (It occurred to me to include one!)
      I am pasting what I just put in my reply to Debby who also wondered about the terms:
      As far as backlinks, it is linking back to another post. You’ve linked to me, recently. Those links are called backlinks. Because you are linking back to someone else’s blog, that blog that was linked to now looks important in Google’s eyes. That’s why links into your site are so important. It increases your SEO ranking, so Google can find you. It’s like someone else wanted your link on their blog, your link must be pretty good, and your SEO increases.
      Regarding anchor text, when you tag your posts, you have keywords. When those keywords are used in your article, they are called “anchor text.” The more often the tag, the keyword, appears in your article, the easier it will be for Google to find you. Just don’t overdue it. Google is smart and could get mad!
      Sorry Melinda, if I already had one of those explanations in another comment, but it bore repeating!
      BBFF J

  8. Heena Rathore P.

    Brilliant article, Janice and Abdul. Thanks a lot for such an informative post.
    Have a great day!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Heena,
      Thank you for the kind words. I am glad you enjoyed it. I hope you have a great day too!

  9. Susan Meko

    Diversification is a key factor of natural link profile. Relevancy is another big thing, optimizers should consider before building links and surely the linking domain’s authority is the most crucial.
    Good points and enjoyed reading the article.

    Susan Meko

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Susan,
      Thank you for visiting my site today. (Still today in California!). From the looks of your headline (which I can see thanks to CommentLuv, you know a great deal about SEO. It means a lot that you felt Abdul made good points. Considering how much knowledge you must already have about this topic, I am glad you enjoyed reading it. Thanks for visiting my site.

    • Janice Wald

      I visited your blog but couldn’t comment. I am impressed with your SEO knowledge. Thanks again for your kind words about my guest author’s SEO post and your visit to my site this week.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for visiting my site on Saturday and complimenting my guest author’s article. Did you read the comments on the post? Clearly, many people found it confusing as well!

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  12. Leisel

    This is probably the third time I’ve read through this post now. When you asked what is accounting for the success of this post in the Community Pool, it’s a bit hard to say. It’s a complex topic, sure, but even if a reader doesn’t understand the first time (I missed a few points myself but that’s my fault as a speed reader) it becomes clearer if it’s read through again. I actually got several good ideas from this post that I may try to capitalize on later.

    • Janice Wald

      Thanks Leisel; I don’t know that it should take three readings to be comprehensible, but thanks for letting me know about the merits.

  13. Kabir Khan

    Sorry for coming to this post late. That was my guest post. I tried to comment before but there were some problems.
    I would appreciate comments on it and answer what I can though I’m a newbie as well. 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Kabir,
      As you may have seen, there are many comments on the post. There is great interest in SEO. Any help you can offer to clarify reader concerns I’m sure would be appreciated. They had questions about no follow links vs. do follow links for example. Thanks for checking in with us.

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  15. April

    Thank you for sharing the strategies of backlinking. It helps a lot of readers on how to avoid mistakes in blogging.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi April,
      Thank you for visiting me today. I did try to go to your blog to visit you as well, but… I didn’t see a place to comment, so I am letting you know here that I did try.
      I am glad you enjoyed my guest author’s SEO post. There seems to be extensive interest in SEO at my site. I am planning another post about how to help SEO rankings this Sunday.

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  19. oimaa coupon

    I would appreciate comments on it and answer what I can though I’m a newbie as well. ?

    • Janice Wald

      Hi again Oimaa,
      If you are a “newbie,” you’ve come to the right blog. I help new bloggers here. I encourage you to sign up to receive my newsletters. I write about SEO and other tips to help bloggers often.

  20. oimaa club

    I am planning another post about how to help SEO rankings this web oimaa.club

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Oimaa,
      May I ask a question: That old SEO article received high page views yesterday. You were the only commenter on the post yesterday. May I ask where you found the article? Thanks and thanks for your comments. It sounds like we write about the same topics and are like-minded bloggers.

  21. Awogor Matthew

    This is a very interesting article Abdul and Janice. Backlink building mistakes explained

  22. Tauseef shah

    A website without backlinks is like without friends, more quality links pointing toward your site means you are getting more votes and Google will rank you in top 10.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Tauseef,
      Thanks for writing. I agree with you. I also think your simile, comparing backlinks to friends is beautiful!

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