10 Unnatural Link Building Tactics and 10 Quality Alternatives

If you keep yourself well informed you must be aware of all the recent happenings in the link building world. First and foremost, blogs are getting shut down and with this a lot of companies have been omitted because links were paid.

Added onto all of this, Google has also been sending warnings to website owners and bloggers about unnatural links and over optimization. This all is an evident example of why link building has gotten so difficult in recent times. As a website owner or blogger, you will have to face a genuine dispute when you start working with a fresh patron. Logically, to begin with, you should do a good research and find out about the tactics being used by the competitor to stay ahead of your client. This will help you in discovering a great thing i.e., mostly successful competitors would be found using link building tactics listed in Google’s list.

Link Building Tactics

SEO Strategy From shutterstock.com

So, competing with such competitors that are building links with low quality, spam or paid can be difficult. Today, in this article we will enlist ten types of different link building strategies that are of low quality, spammy and unnatural. Along with all this, we will be enlisting some great alternatives for such link building tactics as well.

1. Keyword – Link Label Only:

An important objective of link building is to make sure that website’s ranking is improved for a meticulous and particular word. A common way to make this happen is to build multiple links with the besieged keyword. This will obviously bring in notice of Google that a profile is having way too many links built for a particular keyword.

Logically speaking, if you ask multiple webmasters to link to your website, there is no way that they all would select your targeted keyword. No such coincidences can happen. This can only happen if all webmasters are SEO’s. Originally and technically you should see a jumble of keywords.

– Quality Alternative:

You should avoid picking a single keyword that is link labeled as far as your link building tactics are concerned. Put yourself in a common man’s shoe and this of the natural ways through which people normally link to websites and with this you can find the perfect anchor text. Well-known anchor text is bound to come across as really natural and that is what will be used by most of the people when linking links. Also, never ignore the websites that use URL or domains in order to link to others. They might not use link title but they can prove to be really beneficial.

2. Purchasing Links:

Have you ever wondered that why buying is never an option. A simple logic given is that if you are paying something it is not natural as natural things are easily obtainable. Google is not placing links because they were paid. Google would want to place links only if a webmaster suggests the website that is being linked.

– Quality Alternative:

So are you looking for a quality alternative to evade buying links? It is not that difficult. When you are finding websites, try to find websites that are interested in linking with your website. Do a good research on the websites associated with your kind of websites and you can easily link with them. Apart from all this, if you want to have quality links and also do not want to pay, make sure that your website is offering quality content. Quality content will make things a lot easier for you.

3. Blogroll and Footer Links:

You know that you need to re-analyze your link building strategies if you are still using blogroll and footer links. Well, blogrolls links are good but only for specific areas. If you are trying link building with a relevant website or blog that can help you in increasing the traffic on your website then blogroll is a good option. Otherwise they are not a good option because they are the end links in the code. If you are aware of the typical coding order you would know it for sure that it goes from header to footer. So in order to have more value you need to have your link higher.

– Quality Alternative:

The quality alternative for blogroll and footer links in in-content links. In-content link actually informs Google that your website is being liked by someone and would love to contribute a good piece of article. There are many ways through which you can encourage people in order to link to your website via ‘in-content’ strategy for instance, have videos, tutorials or interact with different bloggers on social websites and promote yourself there.

4. Get Directory links effortlessly:

If you are getting a link way too easily, keep in mind that other can get it easily as well. You might have seen directory links often on other websites. The reason is those links are easy to get. These links become easily accessible when there is no human restraint at all. If you get an offer for such links, you should do a good research before linking with it. Such links might be linked to adult websites and other bad neighborhoods and can make a bad impression of your website.

– Quality Alternative:

Human edited directories are much better so instead of going for an easy one, you should look for directories which are harder to get into. If your approval is taking a week or so it means that the directory prefers to maintain a quality level due to which a thorough checking is done. This will also keep you away from bad alternatives. A few directories will also demand some amount but as of now, Google radar does not consider them as paid links.

5. Commenting on Blogs for links:

If you are a blog owner, you would definitely have an idea of how popular and in-demand blog commenting in order for successful link building. There are automated blog commenting software available and if you are using them for a quick link building, needless to say you are clearly spamming. The biggest negative aspect of this strategy is that it can actually damage your reputation. Wouldn’t you hate useless comments on your blog? Yes, you would so same goes for everyone else.

– Quality Alternative:

Commenting on blogs is a good online marketing strategy minus the spamming. In fact commenting on blogs is a great way to reach out to maximum number of people. It is indeed a nice feeling to see a genuine comment on your blog where a reader has put in effort to read the content posted by your and express his/her opinion. Even if you own a blog, you can definitely visit other blogs and comment and your valuable comments can definitely put a fine notion of yours in front of other blog owner. This can help you in link building a lot.

6. General Resource Pages and Link Exchanges:

While looking for various websites to exchange links with, you will come across various link exchange pages as well. They are easy to identify since they are nicknamed typically. Getting these websites to exchange links with your website won’t be difficult at all however, the negative aspect is that most of the link exchanges are not influenced by preferences. So, there is no point of link building if the other link is of no relevance.

– Quality Alternative:

It is a lot better to partner with pertinent websites instead of wasting your time on building relationships with non-relevant websites. Link building within industry will be helping you a lot and you both can benefit out of it.

7. Revolving material to submit to article directories:

As mentioned earlier, Google has been very active against spam link building and it has been targeting various websites that are not offering quality content but still have a lot of advertisements for past one year. Such websites eventually lose out on their keyword ranking which means the website is not of significance as well. Transforming same portion of content into many pieces with the help of software does not make any sense and is of no use as well.

– Quality Alternative:

There is no point in killing your time over whirl content and then promoting it on low quality websites. Isn’t it better to come up with some unique and eminent content and share it on quality websites in order to be able to reach out to good readers? There is nothing better than posting a quality content on your own blog as it will bring in a lot of quality links your way. Once you are successful in creating your blog’s reputation with good articles, then you can share quality content on other blogs as well. Such guest posts can help you a lot in good link building.

8. Creating social Profiles for links:

Various services such KnowEm makes creating profiles on social networking a lot easier. Also, they all will allow a link back. This might turn out to be a good idea only if you are trying to disguise an online reputation dishonor.

– Quality Alternative:

Instead of creating 100of useless profiles, you should try and take out time to create quality profiles on top social networking websites. Once you are done with creating profiles, try constructing your social power by staying active on these profiles and also by interacting with your viewers. Social profiles might have nothing to offer as far as SEO is concerned but they have a lot to offer to your audience. Social networking websites can help you a lot in positive link building.

9. Constantly and only going after dofollow links:

Even after introduction of a lot news ways for link building, it is actually surprising to see a lot of SEO’s who still give a lot of important to dofollow links. Dofollow links is like having all clickable text that is hyperlinked, which is again alarming for Google and it will sense that there is somewhat unusual going on.

– Quality Alternative:

The best way to go about this is to go natural with the links. Dofollow or nofollow should not matter to you. Always keep in mind the main purpose of link building i.e., improving your ranking in search engines. So, it is better to look for links that can offer you direct clicks.

10. Immense Social Bookmarking submission:

Social bookmarking is not an awful thing and investing your time in it can prove to be beneficial since it is an inexpensive way of finding a service that can help you in submitting your links to a large number of networks. However, these bookmarks can be like unmodertaed directories mentioned above. With less moderation your website will be linked to bad neighborhood.

– Quality Alternative:

Avoid submitting your link to random social bookmarking websites. It would be better if you put in time and effort to do a good research and find out the best social bookmarking websites which are relevant to your industry as well. Once you have found such websites, you should create a nice profile there and submit various links as well as your own. If not this, you can interact with users on the website and see if they can assist you in link submitting.

P.S. Make sure you are providing quality content because that is the most important thing.


Above mentioned are the ten different and unnatural tactics of link building. We have also provided a quality alternative for those tactics and hopefully these alternatives will give you better results when it comes to link building.

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  1. Shadab says:

    Yeah! backlinks is important, but we have to keep in mind that the quality backlinks are only the way to increase the SERPs positions. Buying links from the popular blogs are not the good way in terms of SEO.

  2. ilija says:

    This is great article.
    Little conclusion:

    If you want to get in first pages on some keyword do the Black hat tricks,but in few days you will be banned.
    OR you can do white hat-here wrote as alternatives- it takes more time but you stay on this position long time and it is worth effort.

  3. Gunjesh says:

    Great Article Ali!There is no doubt that link building is important for SEO. However, we should not get involved in black hat activities for getting links. You have pointed out really useful techniques which are good for SEO and effective.Thanks again!

  4. really backlink is very importat for blogging thanks for sharing this post 🙂

  5. Excellent article .The alternatives are just great. Many new points like no follow and do follow should not concern us too much and everything should be based on quality, relevance and should be natural. Great read:)Thanks a ton!

  6. Andrew says:

    Hi Ali, great post! I think there is some valuable information in this…most importantly information that will help the average webmaster improve their websites. However, I must say, in my job (we run a Marketplace for Backlinks | teliad), I have worked on numerous campaigns for some of the worlds’s biggest brands out there and they just wouldn’t exist (online) anymore if they exclude paid links from their approach. So from my experience, point “2. Purchasing Links” is not fully correct. Buying is an option indeed, and there are techniques that make this approach successful. We have been around since 2005 with a tremendous growth rate especially after the recent Google updates. Just wanted to share that…

  7. Dave Allen says:

    Great post, get some idea how to build links accordingly. Thank you for sharing very informative articles.

  8. Matt says:

    Excellent post, Ali! Pointing out each of these and providing proactive solutions to avoid getting penalized for link building is great! Definitely worth sharing. Thanks for the tips.

  9. Ummad Ramay says:

    I don’t have so much knowledge about link building so far. But after reading this post I got a lot of Information.

  10. Saif says:


    I guess you have written an excellent article but you have missed this point that we should vary our anchor text as much as we can. After penguin update if your link profile is looking spammy then Google can give you penguin penalty as well.