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7 Things to Watch Out for When Link Building

Kristi Hines
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Whenever you're link building and looking for the most relevant, high quality web pages to get your link on, it's easy to sometimes forget to look at certain details that could lead to a huge waste of time, effort, and money (not that people buy links, of course). Here are some things to be on the lookout for when you're building links to your website.

1. Shady Three-Way Offers

"If you add my link to your website, I will link to your website from this awesome PR 4 website's homepage."

I'm sure that many linkers and website owners have seen this kind of e-mail in their inbox. It sounds like a great deal, because who doesn't want to be on the home page of a domain with a PageRank of 4, right?

Surprisingly, you might not. If the theory of a link exchange doesn't already frighten you away from this e-mail and you're willing to link to their site, before you do, make sure to inspect this "great deal" first. Just because it has a good PageRank doesn't mean it's ideal -- you may still end up on a link farm page with some not-so-great linking neighbors on a site that isn't relevant to yours at all.

2. Bad Neighbors

Think about looking for link placement as looking for an area of land to build your home. You find a beautiful piece of land in what looks like a good neighborhood. But what if a drug dealer lives a few homes down, or they allow just anyone to buy land, which means someone could build a strip club next to your home one day in the future?

The same kind of analysis can be used on the neighborhood you're placing your link. Are there bad links on the same page or site? Does the page add any link without discretion? If so, it may not be the right page to put your link on.

Pages without discretion can include some free directories (or even paid ones), blogs that auto approve comments, and the above mentioned link farms/link exchange pages.

3. No Refund Directory Submissions

Whenever you submit your link to a directory, be sure to read all of the rules before paying for an entry. Why? Some directories include a bit of fine print saying that if you break any of the listed rules, you won't get your link or a refund for the "review" fee. So if you aren't confident your link will be accepted, don't spend the money.

If you go for it, check the directory out first -- look for similar links in there, look at how they're formatted (deep links, company names versus keyword links, etc.), and see what categories they're in. Make sure your link fits in the way others do to ensure you don't lose out on an expensive submission fee.

4. Redirect Links

While you're looking at the links on a page where you want yours to be placed, hover over them to ensure that they're directly linking to the website referenced. Some sites turn many, or even all, outgoing links into redirect links from their site which do little good in terms of SEO value.

Redirects can be used in many common places where you're seeking links, including blog comments, directories, resource pages, and even content.

5. Frames

If you're trying to get your link on a page with high PageRank, and you see that the links are in a frame, you will want to (in Firefox) right click on the area with the links and view the frame in its own window to check the PR of that page itself -- sometimes a PR 4 page can have a lower PR page inside its frame.

6. Nofollow

If you're looking to build dofollow links specifically, you won't want to build them on pages where the code includes the "rel=nofollow" tag. Firefox offers a lot of plug-ins and toolbars that include a highlighter to easily identify nofollowed links, including:

And if you're a Chrome fan, Nofollow Checker will do the job in that browser as well. If you can't use plug-ins, simply view the page source and look at a link's HREF to see if they are nofollowing links.

7. JavaScript Code Display

I've noticed this one more when blog commenting. Some commenting systems might bypass the above nofollow link checker due to the fact that the links are being displayed through some kind of JavaScript. You might need to view the source to verify if the links are dofollow or nofollow and verify that the actual link HREF is in the HTML source -- sometimes they aren't.

What Do You Check For?

In addition to the above, what things do you look out for or check in advance before trying to get a link on a particular page or website?

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