Be Wary of Link Building Opportunities

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Good and Bad LinksLet’s be honest. White hat link building is tough. We know we need inbound links but also know that Google’s link building rules are strict. It’s a sort of catch-22. That’s why it’s always tempting when a website owner reaches out with a link opportunity. “The site looks halfway decent, what the heck?” we might think. However, that’s not usually the best mindset. Here’s why:

Paid links won’t help SEO

When website owners reach out asking you to put a link on their site, there’s a good chance they want something in return and it’s usually money. There is certainly a place for paid linking in an online marketing strategy, however it shouldn’t be done for SEO gains. If you think a paid link is going to drive qualified traffic to your site, build your brand, and result in conversions then it absolutely should be done. However, paid links should be “nofollowed” for SEO purposes, making it clear to the search engines that you aren’t trying to manipulate your rank by paying for links.

What kind of blog needs content that badly?

Website owners don’t sent out link opportunities for no reason. If they don’t want money they likely are looking for content, meaning that they don’t have the resources available to be creating their own content so they want others to do it for them. Is this really the kind of blog you want to be associated with?

The company you’ll be in

If you think you’re special and you’re the only one to get a link offer, think again. You’re probably among hundreds of website owners that got that same email and same pitch. These website owners could be in many different industries and have websites of varying degrees of quality. You won’t have any control over what other websites appear near yours.

Link exchanges are spammy

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If they don’t want money and they don’t want content, they most definitely want a link on your site. It’s the old, “I’ll link to you if you link to me” trick. And if you think Google doesn’t know what you’re up to you’ll be in for a surprise. Link exchanges have been considered a spammy SEO practice for years.

Time vs. return

If it’s content that they want, think about how much time it will take you to conduct research, interviews, etc. and then write up and publish the post they are looking for. Unless it’s a very authoritative, well known industry site you’re probably better off sharing that great content on your own website/blog and earning inbound links naturally from it.

When it comes to link building, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Not every link opportunity that comes your way is going to be a good one which is why it’s smart to take the time to vet all opportunities and only go forward with the really good ones.

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