Debunking Link Building Myths With Semalt: 11 Reasons Why Your Website May Rank Low 

Link building is a process around which many myths have grown up. Do you think that with a dozen or several dozen links you will jump to TOP 5? Or maybe you are thinking about buying links in a bargain package. In this post, we deal with 11 link-building myths that have caused many sites to be completely out of the game.

1. Link building is only a PR tool

You will have heard that one of the positive effects of a well-run link-building campaign can be to present the brand in a good light and provide valuable content on the website to a wide group of users. Of course, it is extremely important to increase brand awareness and strengthen the positive image of the brand, especially through social media links. Increasing the credibility of the company or reaching a large group of recipients through various platforms is an obvious advantage of link building.

And while it may seem that this practice has little to offer in 2022, nothing could be further from the truth. It has a lot, which we will prove to you in this post over and over again. Link building is not just a PR tool that helps you appear on the web, it is first and foremost an effective way to boost a website's position on Google.

2. Link building is a waste of time

You may often come across the statement in the modern SEO industry that link building is a waste of time because its heyday is over since many algorithm updates, so it is better to devote resources to content creation, and in fact, only a few links will survive.

However, just as we love good content and on-site optimizations are indeed the basis for achieving high positions, we can't imagine SEO activities without links. Of course, if you think of link building in the context of the not quite clean and transparent practices of the early 2000s, or if you even tried to cultivate it in that form - you're right, it is a waste of time.

But link building is much more than leaving links in comments and on (more or less) thematic forums. Nor is it about buying packages or creating thousands of links using bots in a day.

On the contrary: it is now a very sophisticated art of positioning, and a good SEO specialist running a link-building campaign needs to demonstrate a really wide range of skills in many areas: from the ability to create a strategy, to the creation or acquisition of valuable content, as well as long-term planning and measurement of the effects.

3. The more links the better!

When it comes to link building, the most common myths in the SEO industry are those related to the quantity-quality relationship of the links created. It has been argued for a long time (and right up to a certain stage in the development of Google's algorithms) that the more links, the better. For years, however, we have seen a very strong tendency in the other direction, so now we recommend that you keep in mind the best possible rule, which is: quality, not quantity.

Also, remember that the number of link domains and the number of links themselves is not the same. What's more: the former may turn out to be much more important! Acquiring 20 links from 20 different domains will be more valuable for your website than 70 links from just 3 domains.

It is also important that the link profile is built gradually and the links included in it remain unique and varied. For Google, it is a very unnatural situation to suddenly jump in links by several hundred or several thousand every day, especially if this number is for a new domain with no previous history.

So remember that the number of links should increase gradually, along with the development of the site, the increasing volume of its subpages, and the published content worth sharing.

If you need support in choosing really valuable linking spots, use tools such as the Dedicated SEO Dashboard, thanks to which you can analyze your competitors' links and easily assess what works in your industry.

4. Buying links is good

Buying Backlinks for SEO: Yes, This is Still a Thing

Buying links seems simple and cheap. Have you found a tempting package offer on the web that will give you two thousand links or three thousand blog articles for a surprisingly low amount? What could go wrong? Well, unfortunately, a lot. Buying links as a good practice is a perfect example of the link-building myth. 

First, you need to be aware that any kind of link exchange system, including buying links, does not follow Google's guidelines, and you can find information about this in the official documents available on the Google developer site.

Besides - in line with the principle that we presented in debunking myth number three - quantity ≠ quality. Artificial, mass-produced links can harm your website more. So: Is buying links profitable? Not necessarily. You can instead use more ethical and effective methods, such as:

5. Parameters in link building are the most important

Are link-building parameters important? Of course! There is no point in linking to low DA or DR domains, but still, you need to pay attention to the other aspects of a good link, such as:

Valuable content 

Unique, high-quality content is the basis of modern link building. Reliable information should be transparently presented and adapted to the brand communication, and this, in an absolutely basic version - at least grammatically, orthographically, and stylistically correct-. And above all, do not copy, neither from others nor yourself.


For your link to be indexed by Google, you must add it to an indexing tool. But the more traffic a particular link generates, the more likely it is to be naturally indexed by Google because of the interest it generates. Furthermore, as the main objective of SEO is to get traffic, links are not only meant to increase the search engine's trust in your site and increase your visibility. They also have the merit of generating traffic to the site by themselves.


When we talk about Exact Match Anchor links, the correct anchor is half the battle! Remember that in order to fulfill its function, the EMA link must be correctly placed on the key phrase.


You need to know that Google is paying more and more attention to the thematic compatibility of the places where you leave your links, with their content and the content of your website. Absolutely avoid making motoring statements in the cooking thread, and don't link to a barber shop in a soccer fan forum.

6. Linking to SPAM sources is black hat SEO

It's clear that spam links are a big threat to your website - but Google only identifies links that come from low-quality domains in this way. If you are concerned that buying links or having little experience in acquiring links, the profile of your links may be negatively perceived by Google's algorithms. You can, for example, use the Dedicated Seo Dashboard tool, which will help you check your website's SPAM Score and get rid of unwanted links.

7. Onsite without link building works just as well

Remember that for SEO activities to be really effective and as effective as possible, they should be carried out in a comprehensive manner. What does this mean in practice? Good SEO combines off-site activities (i.e. link building) and on-site activities (i.e. website optimization).
Real synergy occurs when both types of activities support each other, improving the overall score and condition of the site, thereby bringing faster, more lasting, and more visible results. On-site itself is a lot of work, but the value that link building brings in building the website's position cannot be underestimated. It increases the visibility of the website, allows you to reach a larger number of recipients, and supports both PR and SERP positions.

8. Links from social media have no value

Wie fügt man Links zu Social-Media-Profilen zum Google-Unternehmensprofil  hinzu?

How linking in social media affects the position of the website and its image in the eyes of Google is so important that we have created a separate entry about it Is it worth having links from social media? In a nutshell, however, we must also debunk this one among the most harmful myths about link building here, because links from social media - although mostly links with nofollow attributes - have an impact on the position of your website, even if it is not a direct impact. They are a valuable element of positioning, positively having influence, among others, on:

9. There is a magical linking strategy that works for any page

Have you seen a case study of a specific site on your blog and are considering transferring it to your site individually? It might not work, even though the specialists in that case study managed to get 2,000% more traffic with a carefully selected strategy. But therein lies the key to success: each strategy must be tailored to the relevant industry, the specificity and size of the competition, your capabilities and resources, and a host of other factors. Even the channels and types of links may vary depending on the page you are ranking for. Where to start?

It is best, of course, to refer to experienced specialists like Semalt, but if you do not have such an opportunity at this stage, start by checking where to get the page links in the TOP10 results for the phrases you are interested in, and use this data to create your own tailored SEO strategy.

10. The website can be positioned using 20 links

Until recently, one of the most common myths in the link-building world was the number of links needed to rank a site correctly. In the beginning, links were counted by the thousands per day, and gradually quality took precedence over quantity - it was speculated that five, ten, or fifteen links would be enough to get a chosen website into the TOP 10 or even TOP 3 of Google's results; unfortunately, not necessarily.

Such a number is often not enough for even one subpage, not to mention the entire page. Therefore, even if you somehow get 10 links to university websites (very much appreciated by search engines) and create 5 sponsored articles in cooperation with trusted portals, it will still not be enough. Additionally, remember that what is important for Google is not a one-time action, but a constant, systematic increase in links.

11. The only valuable links are the dofollow ones, and all links should be anchors

While we can agree that dofollow links are actually more valuable than nofollow ones (after all, they convey the power of the page to the target site and communicate that the Google crawler should follow the link). It is as important as forwarding the so-called link juice to ensure a correct image in the eyes of the search engines, and thus a natural and balanced link profile.

So do not give up on links with the nofollow attribute - your website needs them very much. 

In addition, the links are also divided into the so-called clean (link in its usual form) and anchor (link placed on the text, e.g. a key phrase). For the cloud of links leading to your website to look good, most links should be in pure form, and the anchors (although they are of great value for phrases) must be fewer.

Remember: The link-building myths related to anchors stem from the fact that in the past it was anchors that had the greatest power to convey link juice to the landing page.

However, the Penguin algorithm has changed a lot, so today, to avoid Google penalties and visibility drops, the balance between the two types of links is more important than anchors. 

Link building myths - summary

Why is it so important to know how to build links? A poorly planned off-site process and the collection of low-quality links, instead of helping your website to stand out, can seriously damage it and in extreme cases lead to penalties from Google and completely eliminate the positioning done so far.
If you want to know more about link building, you can take a look at our other posts on the topic on our blog.

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