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Are There Any Downsides to Link Building?

Link building is a valuable strategy for SEO, but are there any downsides to be aware of?

If you want to be successful in search engine optimization (SEO), you need some kind of link building strategy. Google (like other search engines) ranks results based on both relevance and authority—and it measures authority by evaluating the strength and number of links in your backlink profile.

Link building is the process of intentionally placing and earning more links pointing to your website to increase your authority. There are other perks as well, including:

  • Referral traffic. Remember, people encountering your links can click them to get to your site directly, increasing your referral traffic in addition to your organic traffic.
  • Brand visibility. Every link you build increases your brand visibility as well, potentially to new audiences.
  • Offsite content opportunities. These days, guest posting is the most common form of offsite link building, and guest posting frequently enough can earn you a better reputation—and more high-profile exposure opportunities in the future.

But are there any downsides?

In short, no—as long as you’re using a high-quality link building strategy. Google’s algorithm isn’t easy to fool, but there are plenty of webmasters willing to use black-hat tactics to place links—rather than earning them or placing them naturally. If you’re caught swapping links excessively with another brand, paying for links directly, or participating in complex link schemes, you may earn your site a ranking penalty.

Thankfully, these penalties only arise for brands who engage in unethical link building practices. And even then, most of those penalties can be removed, either by removing the offending link or by disavowing the link.

If you’re using ethical link building strategies, like earning links naturally with the high-quality content on your site or including natural links in your offsite guest posts, you have nothing to worry about in the first place.

If you’re interested in learning more about the “proper” way to build links for SEO, or if you’re in need of a full SEO audit to gauge your current progress, contact Quez Media today!

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