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Link Building: Google Penalties and Common Mistakes

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1 Truths and myths about link penalties
2 Common mistakes in the Link Building strategy
3 Types of links that Google penalizes
4 How to avoid spam links

When we have a web page, the strategies that we must carry out are very important since through them we will improve our SEO positioning in search engines and therefore have better results, both organic and in terms of popularity and professionalism of our website..


That is why we must take into account that all the processes and strategies that we carry out are appropriate, since if we receive any penalty from Google for breaching its rules, we will suffer the consequences of this and our content will no longer have visibility on the results of the SERP.


In general, a penalty from Google comes to us when we have used black hat SEO techniques or because we have not made sure that what we were doing was legal. That is why it is very important that we are always sure of everything we do on our website..


When we create a Link Building strategy, we must take into account what operations we carry out so that none of our actions are classified as Spam for our website, and that in this way we do not lose positions and authority for Google and this does not purify our results in instead of improving them. That is why we are going to talk about Link Building Penalties and the common mistakes that we can make without being aware of them. Among the most common Google penalties are inbound and outbound links.


1 Truths and myths about link penalties

The truth is that there are many theories and opinions that have arisen about the penalization of incoming and outgoing links from our website, because it is interesting and necessary that there is truth and lies in all this, in order to carry out the strategy correct and not be penalized.


It is very important that you frequently analyze your backlinks profile so that in this way you can keep track of them and always be updated and with things well done. For this you must take into account the following:


Toxic links penalize regardless of age
We must bear in mind that it is important that we analyze all the links that we have on our website at the present time, since if we have had a link for many years but it is classified as toxic, we will also be penalized.


Any link that is not natural and is considered manipulated will be penalized
This means that if Google considers these factors, it does not matter if the link is of quality. Google considers "natural" links to be those that are generated organically and are not manipulated for the purpose of improving search engine rankings. For the search engine, "artificial" or "manipulated" links are those that are obtained through practices that seek to deceive search engines, such as link buying or exchange. However, there must be more evidence than a single link for this penalty.


A single toxic link will not cause a Google penalty
In general, for Google to penalize your site and consider the links as bad, it must find more than one on your website, so it is interesting that you are in constant analysis to avoid this in the case of detecting any of them. If, however, you should not be scared if you have a toxic link, more evidence is needed for Google to penalize you.


You have to be careful with the exact match anchor text
This means that links that use an exact text match with the words that a website is trying to position will be detected by Google as Spam and therefore penalized. If you use a lot of exact match anchor text, it can be interpreted as manipulative practice.


Recovering from a Google penalty is a slow process
We must bear in mind that if we suffer a penalty from Google, we will have to fix this error but the recovery will not be immediate since the search engine will take some time to "trust" us again.


It is false that the more links the better
We have already seen this in other chapters of the Link building course that is totally wrong. Quality and naturalness is much more important than quantity. This is why you should focus on the first two factors when it comes to your Link Building strategy.


Links with images are not bad
In fact, quite the opposite. It is often interesting to put links to an image, if it has to do with the keywords we want to position. We should not abuse them, but they can be used on necessary occasions and in a natural way.





2 Common mistakes in the Link Building strategy

Perhaps you have the feeling that your Link Building strategy is not working as expected and you see that the results obtained on your website are not being entirely as expected. In that case it is always interesting that you review certain mistakes that you may be making and that are influencing your positioning and results.


Neglect the links and focus on social networks
This is a fairly common mistake among content creators. Many times we focus our attention on social networks since they are a great way to attract visits, but we must bear in mind that nop can be the basis for building links. Backlinks generated on these platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter add little authority to the web.


Make use of social networks to respond to your audience, inform, promote your website and attract valuable traffic. As for the links, use them to strengthen the authority of your site and its positioning.


Avoid unnatural anchor text
The anchor text is the presentation of your links, so they must be natural and not forced. It is important that they are integrated within the text and that they are placed when they are necessary and useful. Therefore, do not include links that do not add value to the content but that provide extra and valuable information.


To learn more about anchor text, review the chapter of the Link Building course in which we talk about them..




Put your link on low-quality websites
We already know this is something obvious, but it is always important to remember it. If the search engine relates your website to something of low quality, your authority will decrease and so will the visits. Inbound links from low-quality websites can signal to search engines that your website is also low-quality, which can have a negative effect on your rankings in search results.


It is therefore better not to risk placing a link to our site anywhere that Google might suspect. In addition, we must analyze if links have been placed on this type of website, in order to proceed with their elimination as soon as possible.



link imbalance
This can happen to us when our website has too many inbound links from a single source or type of source, while lacking inbound links from other relevant sources. This can be detrimental to our website because search engines like Google consider that inbound links are an important sign of a website's relevance and authority.


If a site has link imbalance, it can be interpreted by search engines as trying to manipulate the SERP results, which can result in a penalty. Therefore, it is important that we work on our website maintaining a balanced flow of links, ensuring that incoming links come from a variety of high-quality and relevant sources.


Not keeping track of our links
Failing to regularly monitor the links on a website can be detrimental to the health of the site. Broken or low-quality links can negatively affect the user experience and reputation of the website in search engines, so it is important that we are aware of this data.


Similarly, low-quality links, such as those from spam or disreputable sites, can negatively affect a website's reputation in search engines. Therefore, it is important to regularly monitor links of your website and correct any broken or low-quality links as soon as possible.


To verify this, it is important that you see the Link Building course chapter on the disavowal of links.



Do not try to direct all links to the home
Trying to direct all links to the home page of a website, also known as the main or "home" page, will not be beneficial for your Link Building strategy and therefore your SEO strategy.


Search engines value the diversity of incoming and outgoing links from a website, to determine what this site is relevant to and the topics it deals with. If all the links point to the home page, this may appear as if the site does not have valuable content in other sections of the site. In addition, in this way we will be losing the opportunity to send traffic to specific pages of our website, which may be interesting for the user who is accessing at that moment from another post. It is therefore important that we direct our links to valuable content within the site, which will be more likely to be shared and which will increase the visibility of the site in search engines.


Also, it is important to build high-quality inbound links to specific internal pages of the website, which can increase its authority and relevance.


3 Types of links that Google penalizes

It is important that we take into account a series of criteria and types of websites where it is not convenient to have links, so that in this way we are avoiding Google penalties. That is why we must be careful in this regard, so as not to have to suffer unwanted penalties and make our page lose quality and have a worse view in the eyes of Google.


Paid and Sponsored Links
We must bear in mind that many times sponsored or paid links are not natural, so if Google detects this it can be a problem for us. If you add these links without the nofollow attribute or without it being clear why it is inserted. If you are selling or buying links, you must therefore be very careful not to be penalized.


What you should do in these cases is label these links with (rel="sponsored") to make it clear that it is sponsored and not have problems for it.


Buy or sell links
Another of the practices that can be penalized by Google in terms of links is buying or selling links, since this is not well seen in the eyes of its algorithm since, as we have been saying, the links must always be natural.


In this case it is also important that you do not promote products or services without using nofollow or sponsored attributes ( rel="sponsored").


link farms
Creating networks of links or several blogs to link to each other is another of the toxic practices that Google does not like at all and will penalize. That is why it is best not to carry out this type of practice and in the case of being so, disavow this type of links.


web directories
To get penalized, your website must have dozens of toxic backlinks distributed through web directories and listings. Many times this happens without us being aware of it, so it is important that we frequently review the links that have been included on our website, in order to disallow them from Search Console.


Another toxic link placement practice that Google penalizes is when it considers that these are spam. Generally, the links that are considered Spam are those that redirect to sites that have nothing to do with the original content and that have no value. It will also be considered as Spam misleading links or the excessive use of keywords to link them.


Here you can see Google's official Spam policies, so you can see in detail what the search engine interprets as Spam.


 Google spam policies



Links throughout the site
We must bear in mind that the links that we have in the sidebars will appear on all the pages of the site, so it is important that they have the nofollow or noindex attribute, as we have already seen in the Link Building chapter on this topic.






How to avoid penalties for our links
We have just seen what types of links will be penalized by Google and what we must take into account when placing links on our website or allowing or asking other pages to link to ours. In order not to have problems, therefore, it is important that we also analyze our website constantly, to avoid this type of penalty. For this we must take into account the following.
  • Carry out a detailed audit of your profile backlinks on a regular basis
  • Check that your website does not have suspicious incoming links
  • Use the rel=”nofollow” attribute in case you doubt the naturalness of a link.
  • Remove and disavow all links that are Spam


4 How to avoid spam links

It is important that we take into account that certain links placed on the web can be spam. There are many spammers that frequently take advantage of gateways such as open comment forms or question and answer sites, to attack these areas unsuspectingly.


That is why it is important to be aware of this type of practice in order to put an end to it and not allow our website to lose value due to these external behaviors. To do this, you must follow a series of actions and tips that will prevent this type of attack.


Check which accounts have been generated by Spam
In order to detect that how many are not real, keep track of registrations and other user interactions with your platform. Now try to identify typical spam patterns, like the ones below:
  • Time it takes to complete a form
  • Number of requests sent from the same range of IP addresses
  • User-agents used during registration
  • Usernames or other values ​​that are submitted in a form during registration


In this way you will be able to detect the users who really are of quality on your site and those who do not have good intentions. In general, spammers often leave a link to your site to be clicked on. Consider adding a nofollow or ugc rel attribute to all untrusted content links. In the following link you can see the meaning and value of each of them.



Check the approval of accounts
It is important that you keep the following in mind:
  • Manual approval for suspicious user interactions: If you manually approve certain user interactions, it will reduce these spam attacks considerably. This prevents spammers from creating malicious content that can be automatically posted to the web.
  • Block profiles that you have detected as spam generators: Once you have found profiles that are spam generators on your website, and that come from the same IP, it is important that you block this IP so that they cannot access your site again. .
  • Use an identity verifier: In the registration form, consider using reCAPTACHAS for example, to only allow requests from humans and not automated ones.


Monitor your site to detect inappropriate uses
  • Monitor your property for signs of spam, such as redirects or large numbers of ad sections. Monitor logs on your site for traffic spikes.
  • Monitor your property for phishing-infected pages and malware.
  • Create trust checks.


In the following official Google link you can see more information on how to avoid user-generated spam on your website.


In this way you will be able to carry out an analysis of your backlinks to be able to correct possible penalties and prevent Google from detecting links that are not appropriate in your content in the future. It is important to take this into account so that our site is as well optimized as possible and our posts position themselves in the best possible way and do not receive penalties that make them drop in the search engine positions.

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