5 SEO Mistakes That Even Experts Miss

seo mistakes

The SEO game has changed drastically over the last year. A lot of the tactics that worked twelve months ago don’t work anymore. And it’s not just newbie SEOs who are making mistakes employing old tactics, even experts who have been in the field for years are making mistakes.

Here are 5 mistakes that even experts are missing to catch:

Mistake #1: Building rich anchor text links

You probably already know by now that rich anchor text links are bad, but how rich is too rich? There’s actually a post on penguin anchor text case study that just came out that shows that you can get rankings without building links that are too rich.

The site Doctor650 built 13 links with the following anchor text:

  1. Here
  2. Doctor 650
  3. My site
  4. Dissecting The 650 Credit Score
  5. Here
  6. Doctor650.com
  7. Here
  8. http://www.doctor650.com/ (no-followed link from YouTube)
  9. Resource on 650 credit scores
  10. Doctor650.com
  11. Clicking here
  12. Doctor650.com
  13. 650 credit score

Within 54 days of the site launching, it started to rank in the top four for the keyword “650 credit score”. This just shows that you can still rank for any term, even with a brand new site, but you have to rotate your anchor text.

You don’t want your anchor text to be richer than 30%, and you want to try to vary your anchor text. Why? Because it is rare that someone would naturally link to you with rich anchor text 100% of the time.

I’ve ranked for terms like “online poker” or even “insurance quotes” by building non-rich anchor text links that are relevant. When I do build rich anchor texts, which is not too often, I throw in a lot of variations.

Mistake #2: Building too many links too fast

How many links do you need to build to rank for competitive terms? You actually don’t need too many. What you need is time. Slow and steady is what’s winning the race in the SEO game.

If you look at the Doctor650 site, not only did they not build too many rich anchor text links, but they also didn’t build too many links altogether. I’ve done this with competitive keywords and noticed that the easiest way to climb to the top is to not build too many links. Instead, go for authoritative links.

If you think building a lot of links is better for you, just look at this case study by Marcus Taylor. He built 10,000 links within 24 hours and shot up to a number one ranking on Google, but within three weeks he was pushed down because he built too many links.

Google’s algorithm is sophisticated because they know at what rate websites typically build links. If your link count is growing at an unnatural pace, you won’t rank too well.

Mistake #3: Building too many links to your homepage

Have you ever looked at the link profile of other sites in your space? What portion of their links are from .gov and .edu sites? What portion of their links is going to their homepage versus internal pages?

Instead of building links to your homepage, consider building links to the majority of your internal pages. Just look at Wikipedia site that ranks for almost every term out there and is the 6th most popular site in the world.

Majestic SEO is showing that Wikiepdia in total has over 600 million backward links, whereas the homepage has roughly six million links. That means 1% of their total links point to their homepage, while 99% goes to internal pages.

If you want high rankings, consider building more links to your internal pages versus your homepage.

Mistake #4: Writing a lot of mediocre content

Have you ever read the content on sites like eHow? They have over five million pages of content; they rank for a lot of terms on Google; and they have millions of backlinks.

Although they do well, it’s not worth copying their content strategy. Why? It’s because their content is mediocre and not detailed. For example, if you Google “how to install a bidet”, this page from eHow ranks in the top ten.

Do you see the problem?

That page does a terrible job explaining how to install a bidet. If eHow wrote articles that were over 2,400 words that were very detailed like Wikipedia’s, they would rank much higher and get more traffic.

Based on this article, you can see why Google prefers to rank web pages with at least 2,000 words of content on page one.

Mistake #5: Links build authority

By being classified as an authority site, you’ll rank higher. So, how do you become an authority site? You get more links, right? Although links do help build authority, it’s not the only way.

  • Social media – by building up your social media profiles and getting more tweets, likes, and shares, you will get your website to rank higher. Google and Bing have both publicly stated that they look at social signals.
  • Author rank – Google is able to verify authors, which means they can now track who is writing great content, versus mediocre content. So, even if your site doesn’t have a ton of links, you’ll probably start seeing it rank higher in the future if you have authors with a lot of authority blogging on your website.
  • Age – although time isn’t a factor you can easily control, sites that are older tend to rank higher… even if these older sites don’t have as many backlinks. So if you are considering starting a new business, try to buy an existing website in your space that is at least five years old… this will help you rank higher faster.

If you want to rank higher, try to make your website an authority site. Just don’t focus all of your energy on building links as it isn’t the only way to become an authority site.


SEO is a constantly changing game, and if you don’t keep up with it, you won’t do well. Don’t focus on the quick hit. Slow and steady really does win the SEO race.

What I’ve personally experienced throughout each Google update is that quality content will continue to rank high and receive traffic. For example, all of my blogs got a nice traffic bump by 15-41% on January 1 when Google made its update.

What other mistakes have you seen SEOs make?


  1. Is there anyway to keep tab on anchor text variation?
    The other problem which I see in Google ranking system is that they do depend on authority of the website. See how often crappy Yahoo answers outrank the better website. Even, eHow is a good example of it.
    Probably, this is the reason why people more stress on the quality or authority backlinks. Ranking will follow automatically

    • Hey Ricky – You can keep a track of your anchor text variations by downloading the anchor text data from Google Webmaster Tools and then analyzing it in Excel. You could also pay for tools like Open Site Explorer or Ahrefs.com which will help you analyze and filter this data quicker.

      • Dev,

        Glad you mention all these tools for Anchor text analysis, but I’m not sure how perfect the data in GWT is. I would rather prefer MajesticSEO, it has much better data. After recently shutting down keywords analysis, I can only hope that Ahrefs.com will provide better insight on backlinks.


      • Yea, you can also do it for free in Google Webmaster Tools to some extent.

    • That’s right Ricky. Google sometimes gives more importance to Page Rank and authority of the site but they still have lot of good “ranking algorithms” which can outclass spammy content. Google has really tightened the screws for the spammers in the past two years with Penguin and panda updates. Social signals does play an important role. If the content is shared by many people on social networks and mainly by authoritative people, it really gives a ranking boost to the content. One more mistakes experts often do is build links to home page alone and forget to build links to the inner and more relevant pages.

      • Building links to inner pages is really important. I try not to build links to my homepage anymore… linking to inner pages is working well for me.

    • I used Ahrefs.com.

    • Bhuvnesh Rohilla :

      This was excellent sir! Simply Excellent!

    • Well on your first point, building unnatural links to your site. First you are agree to point then you are not agree to it. You are telling the mistakes but this point are good for ranking in google, what you say. ?

  2. Rebekka Deforce :

    Great tips! Thank you!

    What also worked great for me is posting content regularly. I rather add something to my site every 2 days then a whole lot at once.

    Since I’ve been adding content regularly I get a lot more visitors from Google!

  3. Hi Neil,

    I always learn a lot from your blogposts. I found your explanation of anchor text links very useful. I have heard that co-citation is going to replace anchor text, is this true?



  4. Edward Glassman :


    AWESOME post! I’ve been preaching varying anchor text for a long time. Especially with the new Panda update, you really need to diversify. Keep up the good work!



  5. I am curious about author rank. Does it use the number of followers to treat as a good sign of authority?

  6. Domain Name: DOCTOR650.COM

    Created on…………..: 2012-08-14 15:27:21 GMT
    Expires on…………..: 2013-08-14 15:27:21 GMT
    Last modified on……..: 2012-08-14 15:27:22 GMT

    Above Stats objects your line …
    Within 54 days of the site launching, it started to rank in the top 4 for the keyword “650 credit score”
    Though new site can rank in less than that time.

  7. Great post. Now I just have to knuckle down and focus on writing some great content as a priority and make link building a secondary consideration.

  8. Kamil @ Rich Blogger :

    All true. Your blog is great source of SEO news and useful information. Thanks for that, it really makes my work easier.

  9. My biggest mistake then could be linking to the home page but I do that more by accident when I write guest posts, maybe I should vary up my author bios a bit.

    Great post as always Neil.

  10. Yassin Madwin :

    What else they do wrong? em they follow Matt Cats advices without experimenting anything.

    every website should have a different SEO approach

  11. Best information source on the web. I can’t afford your fees at present, so put up a donate button. I, and I am sure many others, will trickle in many pennies for the great articles that you provide.

    • Totally concur with your opinions, Russ. Bang on the money. And talking of which…

      …Neil, I think one reason people don’t enrol on more courses is that they know many of the fundamentals already – why would they know what course is good for them or where authorities in the niche were, anyway?

      It’s like, if you go to ASDA (Walmart), you don’t buy the ‘meal deal’ when you know you’ve got cheesecake and cola in the fridge; you just buy the Spaghetti Bolognese.

      I’d rather be able to slip a random $2 or $3 spare change I’ve got knocking about in PayPal to a site that has the best value Bolognese.

      If I feel punished for having to buy the meal deal when I think I don’t need most of it, I’ll hold onto my cash.

      Enough about the food, already – I’m wishing I had that Black Cherry Cheesecake, now.

      One other point about linking, internally or to domain authority sites.

      Rather than just link the keyword, link a complete thought or phrase.

      For example, say I wanted to link to my work site with this sentence:
      “If you’re searching for unbiased articles, features and opinion, start-up global TV network, FeckTV.com reports the news like it is, as it happens, 24/7 from around the globe.”

      In days of yore, the anchor text would purely have been the brand name, “FeckTV.com”.

      Too much of that nowadays and, as you point out, your site gets treacherously close to being judged as spam by the web-indexers.

      Nowadays, a more organic looking link should be: “start-up global TV network, FeckTV.com” or “FeckTV.com reports the news”.

      Either demonstrate what I mean by anchor text comprising a whole thought or phrase.

      And, rather than link to the home page, as was so oft the case a year hence, as you point out that link could now go to an about page, article page – whichever page is most relevant to the phrase that constitutes the anchor text.

      Thanks for another brilliant article, Neil – I wasn’t aware of the 2,000 word homepage deal with Google.

      Guess where I’m off to now…
      …anyone else need more copy for their home page, drop me a line in the form through my link, above – I’m not free, but am a) brilliant and b) totally value for money.

      p.s. sorry, Neil – couldn’t not get that in, the way the comment went, bud. xxx

      • Thanks for the feedback! Your analogy really helped me out and it is making me rethink things, which is good. I will let you know if I am able to change things up.

    • Thanks for the feedback… I will see what I can do about the fees.

  12. Excellent, clear post Neil.

    I’ve received several calls lately from companies with ranking problems because of nearly everything on your list! Nice job, as always.

  13. Zeeshan Shahid :

    This post is really good and i have also note it that anchor text diversification is working in Link Building to get your website in top 10.

  14. Absolutely true on your “rich anchor text links.” One of my sites took a big hit when the algo changes went into effect. Hind sight is always 20/20 right?

  15. great read Neil, just recently added the Google authorship to all of my sites, looking forward to seeing if it helps with the rankings.

  16. Hey NEIL. I have read many posts in this blog. But this is the first time I comment on this blog. I have a small question. When we are commenting on other blogs, a backlink is created for home page. Is it also harmful ( Mistake #3: Building too many links to your homepage) ?

  17. Extremely insightful content as always Neil!

  18. “I’ve ranked for terms like “online poker” or even “insurance quotes” all by building non-rich anchor text links that are relevant.”

    But do you still rank for them?

  19. Another great post.

    The factors which you have highlighted are quite simple but it is surprising to see that a lot of experts still make the mistakes.

  20. Jacqueline Drew :

    2000 words is a lot– do you think 2000 words once a month is better than 400 words a week? Does longer always get perceived as better? Also, is it a good idea to have resource links in your blog, or does it just drive traffic away?? Regardless, thanks for your wonderful insight!

  21. Neil has correctly pointed that instead of going for large number of links; one can go for smaller number of links which are authority sites.

    Raplus – When you get a backlink in comment; it is generally a no follow link and it generally do not make a difference as webmasters generally make their comments no follow.


  22. Neil, great post! I wish it was longer as I was eager to learn more, it’s a completely unknown zone to me. It will also be in compliance with your How Content Length Affects Ranking:))

  23. HI,

    Rich anchor text with good spread out of your top keywords…This is what google algo look at after allthe updates google made….But too many rich text anchor will result being marked as spam by google…so be careful.


  24. Excellent in depth post. Really appreciate your work.

  25. Júnior Gonçalves :

    I used to put many links on my blog. It´s not so good I guess.

  26. I would pick the following link profile. What would be yours?

    Rich (exact match) Anchor Text links = 25%
    Rich (rephrased variations) Anchor Text links = 25%
    Relevant (but not exact or rephrased variations) links = 15%
    Domain Name links or Page URL links = 15%
    Graphic links = 10%
    Irrelevant “click here” type links = 10%

  27. This is really a great post & I do agree with you that link variation will help a lot but the main problem is that in spite of having rank on google I am not able to convert conversion for my website so what I have to do for that? As I have read your website blog’s & that is fantastic but looking for help & guide me for the same.
    Second, Social media gives only visitors that is my personal experience but not helping for conversion. What you think about the social media ? & does it effect for the conversion?

    • This post should help: https://www.quicksprout.com/2013/01/14/11-obvious-ab-tests-you-should-try/

      Social media traffic can convert as well… it does for me.

  28. Hi Neil,

    As usual, a great post for amateurs & pros alike. Though, I have one thing to add – Internal linking. Sometimes even pros forget to place relevant internal links to site’s pages, while this is the aspect which is most under control of an SEO.

    Thanks for the writeup though,


  29. Hey Neal,

    Awesome post. I learned a lot from your new SEO strategies and going to implement those from now onwards. And will share the result with you.

  30. Ryan Passarelli :

    I can’t look into a crystal ball and predict the future, but I have a strong feeling social media is going to be really really important I’m working hard to build my social profiles and authorship ranking now….I haven’t seemed to absolutely need them to rank well so far, but they definitely help….however by the end of the year beginning next year i think it will be a crucial element. What do you think Neil?

    • It will. Social media is what is helping a lot of the sites out there do so well. Great way for search engines to figure out if a site is creating good content.

  31. Steve Wiideman :

    The funniest and most common mistake is after a site migration not removing the Disallow: / from robots.txt. 🙂

  32. Excellent post. I am agree with your all points. 🙂

  33. Danny Moerkerke :

    As always, great info Neil!
    The one on rich anchor text was really an eye opener for me, so obvious I never even thought of it.

  34. That Doctor650 site looks like a very weak site. Almost like the old adsense sites. And it’s ranking high and staying there? Really???

  35. Hey Neil thanks for this tips. So, Google authorship can help us to get higher rankings in search result?

  36. No.3 Mistake, Yeah i agree that i did this mistake too. . .. Now my main target will be build link for inner Pages. . . .
    As you know bloggers usually writes various type of article on various keywords, for them what you will suggest? How they should use there anchor Text?
    Thanks for this post Neil.

  37. Money Maker Website :

    Thanks a lot for a very informative article about constantly changing SEO. I will try to go slowly, as you said with building backlinks to my site.

  38. Great example Neil and very inspirational. I did not think a new site could rank that well that fast but I guess I have some more learning to do!

  39. Richard Thee Web Designer :

    This Doctor650.com site is very weak and I don’t think the keyword “Doctor 650” is too competitive… but I agree with most of your statements above.

    • It isn’t, but it still shows what you can do in a short period of time.

    • Although I’m extremely late in the discussion, I just wanted to chime in and say that the site is ranking for the “650 credit score” keyword, rather than “doctor 650”, which many are thinking the site is intending on ranking for.

  40. hey neil., the content strategy may be used for blogs and article websites.. bt wat about general websites (or) E-Commerce..? most of these websites have hardly 200 to 400 words content on the body section..,is it enough or else is it good to maintain above 500 words on home page?

    and have one more question.., is it good practice to have content below footer for only SE purpose but written uniquely and without stuffing keywords?

    • You can always add a blog to those sites. Or have product reviews left by purchasers.

      I try not to have content below the footer as it isn’t a good user experience.

  41. Shouvik Mazumder :

    Thanks neil for sharing, today i fully read your content, previous days was not interesting so much , but i enjoyed today u mean to say guest blogging is a new card in this seo game 2013? A person having a blog site with content getting included in a medium rate, although he is not writing the content, so in that case he is have a tag of reputed authorship.

    Shouvik Mazumder

  42. Tips Penjagaan Kereta Terbaik :

    Hey Neil, Thanks a lot for the great content of yours … Really inspired me.. Your are my idol 🙂 ..

    Just several question that always in my head.

    1 How many link should be in my profile forum ?? That already solved when hear a yours interview’s in youtube when i build my link in the forum profile. Only one site link at a time.

    2. Is it ok or bad for SEO if my signature in each of these forum just build link to different inner page of my site .. Or it is more google friendly if i just have an anchor text to my main domain. This is because i only have one website .. 🙂 ..

    • 1. I don’t recommend using forums to link build.
      2. It’s ok, but not a good link tactic. Just use the name of your site in the Signature instead of stuffing the link with keywords.

      • Hisham Supian @ Tip Penjimatan Kereta :

        Thanks Neil for the answers u really help me a lot with all your post. I am very inspired each time i read your post . To make a good post like yours on my own. Quality and experience is the thing.

  43. Hi Neil,

    You had said, “So if you are considering starting a new business, try to buy an existing website in your space that is at least 5 years old… this will help you rank higher faster.”

    Do you think really it works? I had tried once, but the page rank came down to N/A . Any feedback?

    • It works. I do it all the time.

      Not sure why that happened to the pagerank, but it should come back in time.

    • Neil,

      Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the words “in your space” are important. It should be a related website so Google sees continuity in the subject matter. It also needs to be an active website and not just a domain reservation.


  44. Really it’s true ,we make mistake many time, so this blog to help to get where we make mistakes.

  45. Alex Zagoumenov :

    Neil, yet another great post with to-the-point recommendations. I guess it takes an industry some time to get that things stop working. And I guess what prevents the industry from realizing are spam campaigns offering thousands of links at low cost, and things like that. Thanks for sharing and having your input as the industry’s leader!

  46. I think one of the SEOs mistake that I’ve seen most often is the omission or lack of image or video optimization (like Alt Text, Caption etc…).


  47. Google has to count something though. You are right currently it is quantity of text (with it being non-duplicate) and relevant links. This is however not difficult for SEOs to achieve. Once they do that and all vie for the top spots, what does Google count from there?

  48. Hello Neil, hope you are doing good as usual. I regualrly visit your blog to catch up with the latest going on in marketing. This was an interesting post and got to know some unique stuff. Keep it up!

  49. Julian @webafest :

    Hi Neil, I always learn something new when i visit your blog.

    How many backlinks should we pursue daily? How many would be too many? One seo mistake that is sometimes overlooked is not linking out to other authority blogs. I’ve seen a difference in traffic post penguin after doing this. Thanks for yet another great post.


    • It varies, there is no one exact answer. Just build slow and it should be a small percentage of your overall link count (assuming you already have some back links).

  50. Now the “recognizing author” part is new to me. And, would it be wrong to just use similar anchors choosing them among, let’s say, five?

  51. Mohit Rajwani :

    I have just a Simple Query i.e. You mentioned we should not make too many links together and I am Experimenting this,as I have purchased a fresh new domain and I am making links for it,as I want to see the effect of this on the next PR update.And for this I have to make links and I am making those links,should I stop or go for it ?

  52. Francesca Ferrari :

    Hi Neil,

    great post however I am not very sure about social media. It is true that likes and shares are considered by search engines but I guess they are considered more as a “things to have” rather than a ranking factor as they can be easily manipulated.


  53. Very useful posts for all of the newbies and Experts too.you are right creating too many links may prove harmful.

  54. Brilliant set of information. Its amazing how things have changed so much in the last few months, perhaps more is at the corner, who knows. Quality content is vital and social shares seems to be important.

  55. SEO changes so fast, its difficult to keep up, best is to be honest.

  56. John E Lincoln :

    Hi Neil,

    I have to say that I agree with you 100% here. You are right on that this is the new SEO.

  57. Thanks for the post, Neil.

    The credit score company you mentioned in your first example got fast results… within 54 days.

    But those 54 days can seem to take forever if you’re an entrepreneur in the middle of those 54 days and trying to earn some income! 🙂

    For that reason, I think it can be tempting for many business owners to try and game the system a bit and attempt to boost their rankings faster. But, as you point out later in your post, it’s all about quality of content.

    … and I would add that we also need just a bit of patience.

  58. Good stuff, but no, I don’t think real experts fall for these. I think you become a real expert when stop falling for it.

    Building lots of mediocre sometimes happens because you have to contribute the content to a larger plan.

    All of these problems amount to: you developed a productive method for SEO, but you let the scale of it get out of control.

    • A lot do. I have seen it myself. I know an expert that just spent 500k on sites that were doing these bad tactics, then the sites got penalized. He didn’t think much of their tactics at first, but it screwed him over.

  59. Grosir Corner :

    this article really help me to build my site,now i know how to started niche site.

    thank a lot niel.

  60. Many SEOs are happy with keywords that are simply effective at getting people to their site, and not overly popular to the point of being highly sought after. But that’s not enough. The third criteria you need to consider is, is the keyword talking about something UNIQUE that your company does better than your competitors? Or does everyone else offer the same value you’re promising?

    For example, if you have “low prices on watches,” as a keyword and you also offer a 60-day guarantee that no one else offers, consider using keywords like, “great watch guarantee” or “high quality watches” or “watch guarantee” too. Those search terms, while not as popular as “low prices,” will be more effective at getting the more discerning buyers to visit your site, and will ensure that those people visiting will be more likely to BUY something.

    In summary, are your keywords: accurate, effective, AND competitively unique, you’ll have much better luck attracting more of the right people, and getting them to follow-through with purchases.

  61. Market Research :

    I have some agree and disagree points with this article. For example, I do agree that making too many links is not good specially for new domain. On the other hand, I don’t agree that google place 2000 word article on first page. That’s not true, I even see article with 200 words but with informative stuff can be place on first page.

    • If you look at the research piece, it shows that the “average” content length is 2000 plus words. Yes there maybe other sites with less content that rank well, but the average looks to be high.

  62. Iain Ferguson :

    Some excellent points Neil. Really like point #3 about building links to internal pages as well as the home page. This is something we have only just started to do, just seems more natural, so we’re hoping it will help our SERP. Nice to know someone else is thinking on the same lines.
    Point #4 about quality content is so true. Although we know that eHow links still swamp a lot of the listings – they won’t for ever. They are almost all poor quality so the writing has to be on the wall for them – hopefully soon!

  63. Great piece of writing. I don’t know much about SEO. Learn lots of new things about SEO from your post. Hope your will help get better positions in search engine rankings.

  64. Parmveer Singh :

    Hi Neil,

    Nice Post. I enjoyed reading it. Could not get new point to add into the list.

    But you advocated for long posts but this post is not too long. 🙂

    • Yea, I won’t add fluff. But if you include the word count of the page (including comments), it is really long.

  65. Hi Neil
    Good piece and very up to date with SEO thinking.

    “Why? Because it is rare that someone would naturally link to you with rich anchor text 100% of the time.”

    Now that is so obvious, but the old strategy was to go with rich anchor text all the time!

    BTW – welcome to Genesis – just seen Brian Gardner’s piece on Facebook.

  66. outtanames999 :

    Hmm. Not so sure. Web pages rank for terms, not web sites.
    Getting a website to rank for a single term isn’t what most people are trying to do.
    While the site might rank for 650 credit score, its competitors are ranking for all kinds of credit related search terms. What is you’re searching for 700 credit score? This site won’t appear.

    Although there is a mixed bag of 13 links, the one link that is most likely driving the ranking is the Youtube link. Perhaps the presence of the YT link combined with a mixed bag of other links is the ranking signal Google is looking for. I’m guessing it is.

    • If they built links for 700 credit score, I am pretty sure that they would have ranked for that as well… They just chose 650 for the test.

  67. Saurav Sharma :

    Hi Neil,

    Once again saurav here this post really amazing for those who don’t want to accept new Tacts in seo.

    Most of them are senior member and all of them use same strategy only built too many links.

    This post dedicate to all seniors who don’t want use new seo.

    Saurav Sharma
    Social Media Strategist
    GlobalHunt India Pvt. Ltd.

  68. Very interesting post. SEO changes so fast, its difficult to keep up, best is to be honest.

  69. Hi Neil, thank you for covering a great topic! SEO techniques will probably keep on changing however some of the core concepts of SEO will stay the same.

  70. Taswir Haider :

    Great post,thanks for sharing it.

  71. Hi Neil, Great thanks for sharing valuable lesson with us. I also will implement what you said.

  72. Stock Market Mate :

    Thank you Neil for keeping us up to date on SEO. Those who want to stay on top must adapt to an ever changing cyber landscape or fall behind.

  73. Great post as usual – I had completely forgotten about using Ahrefs for checking links.

    As usual you make a lot of sense in what you say, although 2,000 word posts, thats a hard one, although when I read your posts they would easily be that and more. Easier to read 2,000 words of good content than 400 words of crap…

  74. web development NSW :

    Great post Neil! I totally agree with your point. Your blog is a fantastic source of useful informations and I always learn from it. Thank you for the great share! Keep posting!!!

  75. you always seem to be up-to-date with the goings on of the SEO world, that’s why your the go-to-man

    big takeaway – build links to internal pages. Most of the links I’ve created go direct to my homepage

  76. There are lot of SEO’s stuffing the keyword in the content blindly t rank better in Google search, they might come to the first page soon but quickly the keyword drop will be seen

  77. Hi Neil

    Thanks for a great post – just a quick question on not building links too quickly.

    I recently disavowed some links to improve my link profile. I’m aiming for higher quality links with a better spread (i.e. more variety)

    That said, some of my competitors are ranking on page 1, with 1500 links, most of which seem to be blog comments…

    So am I dead in this niche? Should I pack it all up or continue with tips like yours?


    • I don’t think it is a long term strategy to build links through comments. I would keep writing really good content and build good links as that is what will win in the long run.

  78. Tiyo Kamtiyono :

    Nice tips, as always Niel.

    What I do to get better in SEO is maximizing my on page SEO, thanks to Yoast for creating great tool for this. Next step is to create several post on around the topic with some keyword variations plus link to previous posts 🙂

  79. nice tips, but i have one problem with any attempt to show natural and basically artificially build links.

    This is what we all do, but i’m stell think that google know when the links is real natural and when it’s try to be…

    In this case, it’s only a matter of time…

  80. Joseph Putnam :

    Hey Neil, what is your take on optimizing backlinks coming to a site? For example, I’m working on a site that has a good number of links but 99% of them use only the companies name in the anchor text. Is it worthwhile to optimize those links and ask the webmasters to update the anchor text to something better, or would Google penalize something like this? I’m trying to figure out if it makes more sense to just build new links or if there’s benefit to optimizing some of these links we currently have. Would love to know your take on this (if there’s any previous research on this).

    • I’ve seen this work, but be careful. Don’t get too agressive or else it can hurt you in the long run.

      Slow and steady wins the race.

  81. Great post again.. Neil..

    I should start building links to my internal pages as well, as of now we are linking home page only everywhere. thanks for the tip..
    We also need to generate content on regular basis, as we are not doing that now.
    Thanks again for this post.

  82. Thanks Neil, understanding the importance of taking the long-tail approach to SEO will grow your business more than you would originally think. With SEO becoming so obtuse and ever-changing, it is hard to understand what is needed to maintain success. Great post!

  83. Good info here. Yes, you have to keep up with SEO on a regular basis to be able to compete. I find that a lot of companies really do have way too much mediocre content published. They put all the effort into attracting traffic, but don’t consider what will happen once it’s there.

  84. Nice information really ever experts miss these thing and everything we learn something from these kind of mistakes.

  85. Amazing Neil i have just implemented some of the techniques such as anchor variations and i can see some positive results, wow am happy with the content.

  86. Sheetal Sharma :

    Thank you for writing and sharing this post, great explanation, it will definitely help me in my role at Synechron which involves managing SEO and website traffic.

  87. Thanks heartly about the 5 seo mistakes… Sometiems, I am so upset with the SEO and Google arithmetic. But I have to use it greatly…. I will take your sweet tips when i am working next time….

  88. Neil Patel,

    I am based in India. I must say you Research a lot.

    There are lots of Rumors on the Internet Regarding SEO, But your conclusions are accurate, I Must Kudos.

    I also read about you, and glad to see that an Indian is setting the stage again.

    You are also Quite Young, Keep up the Good work.

    We all Benefit from it.

    Can You shower more light on Google authorship.

  89. Mistake #3: Building too many links to your homepage

    is it lead to NEGATIVE SEO ?

    is my ranking positions hurt by others using spam link building to my site ?

    • No… more so you need your whole site to rank well. So you have to build links to all of your pages and not just your homepage.

  90. Like your thoughts here Niel. I agree, building too many links in your website is definitely a big mistake. They have saying that, “slowly but surely”. Yes, there are a lot of SEO strategy than you can work successfully without in hurry.

  91. Excellent post Neil and thank a lot for sharing such valuable information. I like your blog, it is source of me to learn SEO. thanks for sharing.

  92. This website is the best, it really helps me out!!

  93. I liked this post a lot as it was super to the point opposed to some of your others where they get crazy in depth and there are too many take aways for one post (in my opinion). I like the point about getting other high authority authors to guest post on your site, great idea!

  94. travel universally :

    I like your blog a lot.
    Your information for SEO Experts is logical and technical

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful information with us people

  95. I didn’t noticed that building too much links on your homepage will lead you at risk.
    Thank you

  96. Hello,
    This is really a great post & I do agree with you that link variation will help a lot but the main problem is that in spite of having rank on google
    Thank you

  97. Sai Motels New Zealand :

    Hi Neil, I think u have done lot of research about in the field of search engine optimization.

  98. United Inn North Syracuse :

    Hi its great post for SEO executive
    One will get benefit of this post

    thanks for sharing

  99. Hormigon Impreso :

    In these days whit all this algoritm changes is very hard for to make seo, its take time, money, nerves of steel and many sleepless nights… aaaaaaaaaaa!!!! :)))

  100. Beton amprentat :

    I think in general, the use of automated programs!

  101. Rajinder Gumber :

    Great photos and also an inspirining way to shoot affordable images creatively with capturing some timeless moments.

  102. Hey Neil,

    You are dong a great job! I’ve been in this industry for more than 7 years now. I’ve go through many websites to keep myself updated but you posts help me to keep updated and more…

    You have the pulse of SEO! Keep it up!

  103. Tommy Coffee :

    Hey thanks. Love these tips. I keep seeing your add to get SEO help from you. I’m not into buying an old (or aged) domain. I want something fresh, but I know how hard these are to get good SEO on. (i.e. names like these… http://brandroot.com/). How good are you at taking nothin to somethin?

  104. nice post. This blog always kick ass.


  105. That’s really nice blog post.

    I have some confusion while creating a backlink. As per you say in the first point that building a rich anchor text link are bad. However we are doing forum posting, blog comments and many other. In that we are targeting the keyword as like android app development, android app developer into the name or signature.

    Is that good to do in that way? Or We should just use something like an a long tail word? Let me know….

    Looking for something new techniques…Wish You could help me out from these.

    • To be honest, it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish..

      • Its means that the work we are doing is not so much worthwhile.

        The conclusion would be like that we need to do content optimization over high authority site.

        Isn’t it right?

  106. Katharine @ Phone Repairs :

    It’s another informative article Neil. It reminds me how to improve building links to my website particularly the “dont’s” that need to avoid and apply the right strategy. Thanks for sharing this one! Keep up the good work!

  107. Antoni Valls :

    Thanks Neil, it was very useful reading. I’m also confused about the anchor rich text links. No matter what I’m told I’ll continue building my links with my keywords there (trying to diversify a bit, but my handmade links must have my keywords there always it’s possible). What I’ll do is to put more effort in getting more “spontaneous” links, which I’m pretty sure that most will comply with that new guideline of not being precise with my keywords.

    • Antoni, I think you should try that strategy you have outlined. It can definitely do a lot to help out your link equity.

  108. great info!
    I usually add something to my site every day I think it much better then put much info in 1 day , because of the latest google updateds 🙂

  109. Siddhant yadav :

    hello Neil,
    looks like i have found some details about what not to do while doing SEO for your website that might be bad for your website and i am going to keep these in mind.
    thanks for the post,

  110. SEO Uzmanı :

    AWESOME post! I’ve been preaching varying anchor text for a long time. Especially with the new Panda update, you really need to diversify. Keep up the good work!

  111. Greg @ OMG Machines :

    This guy is right on track. Slow and steady works and sticks more importantly. However I still see spammed sites killin the top 5 for high comp keywords.

  112. Great post Neil. Seeing a lot of sites with tons of same anchor dropping or having their links discounted.

  113. Katharine @ 1300 Number Pricing :

    The most significant challenge with Google should be to check the quality written content. It’s good to pay attention to creating great content as an alternative to link building. Google genuinely loves quality and fresh new contents.

  114. What I love in your blog posts Neil, that you try to include case studies of sites, which is really helpful in understanding the things in a better way.

  115. Lisa Forster :

    Great post thank you. I only read the first couple of dozen comments so maybe this has been suggested but we use Link Detective to check back link profiles. It’s used in conjunction with Open Site Explorer.

  116. kabeer khan :

    these are really useful tips..thanks for sharing your knowledge with us..

  117. Mohamed Shajid :

    Wow. this is very gorgeous article patel. you exactly right. if i build too many links it’ll be temporarily 1st rank on Google but not permanently. that’s the scenario.

  118. Pushpendra Shukla :

    Thank you Neil, I am very glad to read this article. I got some very important points regarding SEO. And the articles that you included helped me more. I think ‘Steady and Slow ‘ is the most important factor in rank building. Thank you again. Keep sharing your simple but powerful knowledge.

    • Pushpendra, Glad I could bring some of these points to light. I agree, steady and slow is the best approach. You don’t want to build out a bunch of junk links only to have them removed or get penalized.

  119. Fantastic post!

    What’s would be best if my site is say listing bus destinations. For example I would need to have a lot of links like ‘Buses to London’ / ‘Buses to Birmingham’ / ‘Buses to Portsmouth’ etc etc… you get the point. Each internally linked page would have full details of that route. Do you think it would be better to drop the ‘Buses to’ part and just have the links in a section with section header stating ‘Buses to’ for example.

    With Thanks

    • In this cases you should do what is most usable. If you have a heading that says “Bus routes” then you would just list the cities and link to them. If you didn’t, then you would want to include “bus routes” as part of the anchor text.

  120. very very useful… Thanks

  121. Great tips! I mainly focus on marketing Calgary and surrounding areas, I want to learn all the SEO tricks!

    • Ashley, I think if you read through my blog you will definitely find more tips and tricks. I also recommend checking out my content marketing, SEO, link building and Growth Hacking guides.

  122. Interesting case study by Court, I’ve noticed now it’s almost better not to build keyword anchor text and focus more on on-page SEO. You always run the risk of being penalized to having too much keyword rich anchors.

    • Kristi, you bring up a great point. It’s all about moderating how much keyword anchor text you incorporate into your copy. Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing more from you 🙂

  123. Thanks for the information. SEO has changed so much over the years. But as I say, work hard, and work smart, and usually you will be rewarded with results.

    • Elmer, great point. If you keep up to date with the trends and work hard at perfecting them your traffic will always be top notch. Thanks for reading!

  124. Thanks so much for this post. I just started my website last month not knowing anything about SEO. It’s now ranking on page 2 on Yahoo & Bing but is nowhere on the map with Google. So I really needed to started researching ranking techniques and so glad I came across this article, it really helps!

    • Chase, that is awesome! Sounds like you really picked up the strategies quickly. It’s all about implementing a sound strategy that will get you to the top of the rankings in the most efficient manner. Thanks for reading. Really appreciate your sharing a success story 🙂

  125. I must admit i have missed allot of these elements featured, thanks for the help i will make sure i don’t make the same (simple) mistakes. thanks

    • Ben, I think learning through others is the best way to avoid these mistakes. You are in good company as I have made many of these mistakes early on 🙂

  126. Marko Bošnjakovi? :

    Thanks for the tips. To be honest i have made almost every mistake that you listed here 😀
    Sure have a lot of more studying to do for proper SEO.

  127. I am developing a thought and looking over seo aptitudes – the scene has changed a ton. Much obliged concerning the incredible data I grabbed today in this article and also on your article with respect to seo and remarks. I likewise like the commentators giving of service bits of knowledge about profound joins and open site adventurer

  128. Muhammad (QuotesWala) :

    Hi Niel Patel, I apply this on my site kindly check it out, and feel free to talk me THANKS for giving nice post

  129. Great tips!, before reading this article I assumed these points as a necessary things. But thanks to the author, now my misconception has been removed after reading this post. Thanks! 🙂

  130. warby parker promo codes :

    Your means of explaining everything in this article is actually nice, every one be capable of
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  131. Very well written admiring article sharing some useful intelligence on SEO. But what I really didn’t understood is that concept of building link on internet page though it’s common that most of the SEO expert choose to build link on those page that they want to rank. There are some concentration on internal page that not even near to what you gave Wikipedia example.

    I have seen site doing well and they have more than 80% links pointing on homepage. Well, Neil if you have come up with this useful point to build link on internal page can you please let us know that how useful it could be? And other question is related to Anchor Text. What is happens built too much link on my name “Katy Lawrence”? Will it be considered as spam?

    • Yes, in most cases building links to internal pages is better. Just look at Wikipedia and About.com. They rank really well because of it… it should happen over time naturally.

      As for the anchor text you shouldn’t have too much of an issue as it is a unique keyword and your name.

  132. While I get the importance of SEO, the more I read this and other articles the more I think too many people are putting the cart before the horse. Step 1 should be a website that is designed to offer something new/better/more useful. Clearly getting traffic is key to people getting that, but that is all traffic should be; exposure until the product/site has proven itself to be valuable to people. So much of what I see in SEO is about building a site specifically so Google will rank/notice it and drive traffic to it. If what you are offering in the end is the same old same old (‘original content’ or not) then what have you achieved? It is like proactive life-support.

    At the end of the day Google’s algorithm is meant to uncover sites that people will find useful and for which the search terms leading in reflect their need for that useful thing. So in the end if your SEO is perfect but the site isn’t especially delivering I can’t imagine that wont’ eventually reflect in Google ranking. And conversely if you are not rewarded or even penalized by Google for what they perceive to be not useful/original but users who find you via search in fact find it to be useful/original you couldn’t help but end up ranking higher. This might all seem Poly Anna and naive, but heck in the end aren’t we developing sites to be useful not just to be found?

    • Mark, you bring up some great points. In the end search optimization is a business and Google makes tons of money manipulating search results themselves. I wish the best results always showed up first, but as you mentioned it’s all too Pollyanna’ish…

  133. Thomas Design :

    Hi Neil thanks for a great post, I’ve been studying this topic all morning so I wonder if you can please help clarify a few things below for me?

    What sort of anchor text do you for a site’s inner pages?

    Also post Penguin I’m still cleaning up our link profile with our anchor text still heavy at 29% on one of our inner pages, how would you go about fixing that?

    • I would use random anchor text or whatever is relevant for internal pages.

      You can fix it by adjusting old anchor text links or by getting new ones that aren’t rich.

  134. Thanks for sharing this great idea, I am using Auto Link plugin, is this plugin good enough for SEO? Thank you so much

  135. Hi Neil, congratulation for your post!

    I would like to ask what do you think about the SEO Smart Links plugin for wordpress sites?

  136. I am new in SEO. I think duplicate content is very harmful for all kind of website. Thanks for your nice post

    • Nazmul, glad we could help 🙂

      • THanks a lot Sir,
        I am your frequent vistor, and i prefer your content to other SEO sites.
        you are always perfect in writing SEO ideas.
        Long Content is Surely prefect, but i prefer 1000 words, and i still think it must be improved to engage users.

  137. Home decor cool for your home :

    Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it
    is really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels.
    I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will
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  138. Neil Patel thanks for this nice article .

  139. Jonathan Okocha :

    Hi.. Neil..

    Thanks for this information.. I built a niche site and it was sitting in number 9 and 7 position for 2 keywords and it droped out of serp.. instead internal pages started showing up on the 6th page of google. Homepage no where to be found.

    I have recently employed someone to build link and it just awkward to report that the link built was using exact anchor text always..

    Now.. what do I do..where do i go from here. I asked him to remove the links and point this with other anchor text to the internal pages..

    what do you suggest..

    Looks like is a penalty from google.. but not manual.

  140. NIce info i will use

  141. Hi Neil,

    I was looking for a detailed explanation for rich anchor text. I have just started started my blog and i am looking to go up with the following approach to my link building (or trusted link building campaign).

    20% Branded anchor text
    20% Generic anchor text
    20% Rich anchor text (You can say 30% rich anchor text)
    and 40% long tailed anchor text.

    is this the right way to go??

  142. Yes Neil even I have suffered by linking my fitness blog with to many rich anchor text and all the point you have mentioned is absolutely right and one must do variation while linking with anchor tags


  143. Wedding Magician :

    What’s rich anchor linking?

    Just when I thought I had my head around SEO!

    • Neil Patel :


      Check out this article, it will help.

  144. Very interesting blog. I will now make sure to avoid following mistakes. but what is the main reason behind a website loosing links day by day. Is there any conclusion about it? or its because of too many links per day?

  145. Piyush Agrawal :

    Hello Neil,

    I was made mistake and building rich anchor text links.

    I used same keyword with same web URL to build a link.

    So my question is if I change those anchor text then it would be good/safe ? Or what do I do with those rich anchor text link ? for getting good rank


    • Neil Patel :

      Piyush, this article may help: http://www.wordtracker.com/academy/keyword-research/getting-started/keyword-rich-inbound-links

  146. Hi Neil,

    Indeed your article gave me some best or awesome points to write a professional email to do guest blogging. Indeed i was very confused about it i tried many times. But here is something best for me. Thanks for this great tips.

  147. Very Very interesting blog. Worth it 🙂

  148. Very helpful article though. Mistakes that always i did and now i know where i was going wrong. Thank you for this precious post.

  149. Hafiz Rosli :

    Thank you for your tips! Even though I knew some of the listed
    mistakes, there’s some really interesting ones that I learned a lot
    from as well.


  150. Very useful post. I often make the number 3 mistake which building links for the homepage only. Thanks for the tips.

  151. Very very helpful post. Wonderful Neil!
    Each time when i read your article i always learn something new…….
    Thanks again.

  152. Thanks you very much. Previously I used to think that Link to home page is good because its easy to ontop :3

  153. Z Edge Guidance :

    Hi i am Anupam makan,
    The most important thing is i understood from this article is build links to the inner pages , i m just new in this field , compare to moz and searchengineland this site is much better and clear about seo facts , i remember some lines from somewhere ” If you have knowledge , let others light their candles with it ” , a salute to Neil Patel sir ..

  154. Hi Neil,

    Do you have any app for your website, so I can read your article easily on mobile.

  155. Rajveer Singh Rathore :


    Really very good article for seo people. I registered my email id with your website. When you update your blog then please send it to me.

  156. Good tips! Don’t forget the 200-word rule!

  157. Very great article, and I must say i am doing all these things wrong!

  158. Great article, what do you think about link exchange? I came across an article that said they can be very powerful.

  159. When I get the anchor text ratio just right I rank for almost anything but these days it is so easy to overoptimize

    • Yah it’s tempting to over optimizing, but those are just our perfectionistic tendencies to a little more random 😉

  160. I liked your point of buying an old domain, i have launched 3 new sites with new domains. Its getting harder to rank them on google. Buying an old domain is easiest to gain some quick authority and trust.

    • It saves a lot of time and you’re more likely to get a domain you like, instead of trying to make something up. There’s also times where you’ll get the opportunity to buy a domain + website that ranks for the keywords you want, that makes things A LOT easier 🙂

  161. Yagvendra singh kumpawat :

    Great information dude . Kindly elaborate on why same content posting on different PR sites still works ?

    • You don’t want to use the same content, otherwise you can get penalized for duplicate content. As far as different “pr” sites, the purpose is to develop a diverse link portfolio.

  162. Sir,
    The #1 Mistake solution you’ve provided on not using Rich Anchor Text. Its working or changed?

  163. Neil, I have question for you. If I am posting Jinaat book in my webs site and I want to rank this keyword in Google so the I use these anchor text in my post e.g Jinnat books in Urdu, Jinnat Book read online, Jinnat Books Full download , Or not Please I am tens about it

    • Yes but make it feel a bit more natural. “read jinnat books online”, “download full jinnat books”

  164. Hii Neil ,
    how can we add nofollow tag in a anchor text ?
    means i wanna add a no follow tag in a anchored text so that crawler do not go to that link, but i am not finding no follow in my dashbord so how to add that.

  165. Thanks for this knowledge. I used to think that building rich anchor text links is better.

  166. Harmandeep Singh :

    Hi Neil Sir,
    One question, Is Rich anchor text is banned for both internal links and external link building. or only for internal links?

    • You’ll want to avoid it with external linking

      • So we ignore the “rich anchor text” for only external links not for internal links right.
        But some experts said that we have to take care about rich anchor text in internal links too..
        I am confuse …

  167. Sir , Build more back-link for Home page effects the Keywords Ranking Performance??

  168. Franco Pellegrini :

    A question: are still backlinks in 2016 that rank your site?

  169. Great article! I was actually making those mistakes for a while 🙂

  170. Branded anchors are definitely more natural and organic. I don’t think you can overdo it with branded anchor text, but you can EASILY overdo it with keyword-rich anchor text. In your example, you built 13 links. In that scenario, if 1 of your links is keyword-rich anchor text, your ratio immediately becomes 7.6% which will probably trigger penguin. Just something of note.

    • You don’t have to use branded anchors for all links, you want to rotate them up even if you are using keywords. For example, you can mix in long tail variations as well.

  171. Thanks for your valuable post.. i get my mistakes by your blog.. thanks

  172. is over use of same anchor text for backlink effects ranking over that keyword. suppose i want youtube videos to rank on google. every time i built a backlink i use youtube videos as anchor text. will this have any effect on my website.

  173. spot your train :

    is over use of same anchor text for backlink effects ranking over that keyword. suppose i want youtube videos to rank on google. every time i built a backlink i use youtube videos as anchor text. will this have any effect on my website. help me out

  174. Determined Solutions SEO :

    Hey Neil, thanks for this article. But, dang! How much of this is still relevant in 2016? You said Google’s algorithm is changing all the time. I agree. But I just got into SEO in January.

    How much of this article still applies? I’m trying to learn as much as I can. It seems the quality content part still applies. I stumbled across this article while searching Google for SEO content.


    • Most of it is still relevant. If anything the changes in the algorithms make it harder to spam vs creating quality content

      • Determined Solutions SEO :

        Cool. Thanks for getting back to me Neil. Everyday I learn something new about search optimization. And I agree with the quality content. Quality content is evergreen. It lasts because it’s useful, and people always need useful information.

  175. Kavita Chatterjee :

    I love this blog, thanks to Neil Patel for all articles.

  176. Hi,

    I have one question, if somebody specially our competitor makes our back links on a porn site, then what will be the effect on our ranking???

  177. Hi Neil Patel,

    can I make too many internal backlinks on my homepage?I have 7 article and a main article, can I use those 7 articles in my main article for making too many Internal backlinks. what strategy should I follow according to you?

    • My advice is to only use internal links when they make sense in context. As long as you follow that rule, you’ll be fine.

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