How To Avoid Google Linking Penalties

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Quality links to your site are an essential means of building your Google PageRank. Thus, the importance of a solid link-building strategy. Central to this strategy should be the creation of quality content that will attract links from other quality sites. But it is equally important to incorporate into your strategy a proactive plan for avoiding linking penalties that can essentially cancel out all your hard link-building work.

1) Monitor your backlink profile.

While the whole point of a linking strategy is to build links to your site, all links are not created equal. Fortunately, you need not be at the mercy of non-quality sites linking to yours. Through Google Webmaster Tools you can keep an eye on new links to your website, making note of any suspicious-looking sites whose links could hurt your PageRank, then set about having these links removed.

2) Use Google’s Link Disavow Tool.

While you may have no control over who initiates a link to your website, you do have control over whether that link is allowed to continue. If and when you identify suspicious sites that could get you penalized (or already have), contact the site and ask that the link(s) be removed. If this request is ignored or denied, it’s time to take matters into your own hands via Google’s Link Disavow Tool, which gives you the power to unlink the site yourself.

3) Correctly utilize Dofollow and Nofollow attributes.

You know linking matters to your SEO, but doing it well depends on knowing the difference between DoFollow and NoFollow links, including where and why to use one over the other:

  • Dofollow – If a link is “DoFollow,” the site hosting that link is signaling to the search engines that they want the link to count toward that other page's PageRank. It's like an endorsement of that site and its content.
  • Nofollow – To prevent spammers from taking advantage of the system, but to also allow linking to quality sites outside of your own, the “NoFollow” link was born. By adding the NoFollow attribute to links posted on your website, you are telling the search engines that you do not want the link to count toward that other page's PageRank.

Learn more in Linking Strategy 101: DoFollow or NoFollow, and Why It Matters.

4) Minimize exact-match keywords in anchor text.

While it is still beneficial to include keywords in anchor text of links on your website, keep it interesting. It’s a red flag to Google when the search engine sees the same keyword phrase linking to the same page over and over again. So try to make your links as natural sounding as possible, linking words and phrases that naturally inspire such a link. This not only looks more natural to search engines, but it’s a far more enticing strategy to motivate readers to click through to another page.

5) Follow blog commenting best practices.

Commenting on other blogs (with links back to your site) can be a positive part of your link building strategy. Just be sure to use your real name, manually make the comment yourself, and comment in moderation.

For more information about link building strategy for your business, please contact CyberMark International. Call (623) 889-3380 or fill out our contact form and someone will be in touch with you soon.

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