Backlinks are a good way to increase search rankings, add more access points to your site and establish some great connections. But there are some times during a SEO strategy when you might want to put the breaks on building backlinks.

Where are the links at?

I mentioned this briefly in a contribution to Melissa Fach’s blog, and I felt compelled to elaborate on this a bit more. If you don’t know where your backlinks are coming from, it’s time to pull back slightly and take an audit. If you have the staff, it is possible to continue to build links and have someone go track down current links. Why should you care?

  • Its good to know who is linking to you
  • You need to know what anchor text (if any) is being used
  • Should you decide to change the URL structure of your site, you’ve got a listing of what links need to be changed or redirected
  • The better you are organized, the more efficient you will become

Getting ready to change the URLs

It’s a good thing you made the list of backlinks before you decided to change the URLs right? If your site is getting ready to make this big change, it’s time to stop building links until the changes have been made. The last thing you’re gonna want to do is go back over links to fix any that became broken after the switch. Even if you decide to redirect all of the old links to their new destinations, considering they will all lose some page rank from the 301 why not start building again with the fresh URLs.

No Plan

Are you ‘building links’ by posting constantly in forums, adding pure nonsense to a blog post in hopes of getting a link without the re=’no follow’? If so, do you even have a plan? Not only is this ineffective, it’s a waste of time. Plan out where you want the links to come from and where you want the links to go. If link building were as easy as posting a comment the search engines wouldn’t consider links a valuable factor. Make a plan and stick to it until you attain links where you want them. And then, do it again.

Lack Luster Anchor Text

Let’s say you’ve got a spreadsheet of all the backlinks your site currently has. I now ask you, “How does the anchor text look?” Is it just the site name? Or is it a key phrase you are attempting to rank for? What about the content around it? If you aren’t too sure, I’d take some time off of building links to make the most out of the ones you currently have. Backlinks are great, but backlinks with cemented in relevant content with sound anchor text are better.

I realize that some who read this may say, “Hey we can just have member of our team devoted to do this while the rest of the team continues to build links.” And to those I say, bravo. Good for you for having a team large enough to do this. For those going solo, I hope I’ve provided some helpful information when you go about building links.

If your reading this and have anything else to add to it. I’d love to read about it!