Here are some of the most common misconceptions about link building, and what to do instead.

These tips will help you understand how to use link building as an incredibly effective digital marketing technique.

Misconception #1 – Faster and more is better

Many people think that generating a large number of links in a short time will help your site shoot up in the ranks. Although this can work in the very short term, it can also send a flag to search engines that your links aren’t the best quality.

It is always better to have relevant links rather than a large number of links. Relevant links are those that contribute quality content that pertains to your site and your visitors.

Look for links to authority websites within your industry. This will increase your relevancy and also draw visitors who are interested in these same topics and sites.

Links that keep your visitors interested and engaged are far more important for ranking than the number of links.

Misconception #2 – You should always stay away from reciprocal linking

Negative reciprocal linking is when one site links to another and that site links back. If the two sites have nothing in common, or the connection is weak, this is where you can be penalized by Google.

But reciprocal linking is also a naturally occurring circumstance of the internet. People interested in the same things tend to link to similar information and it makes sense that these sites that share common content will overlap.

Again, it is important to be sure that what you are linking to is relevant for your site and contributing quality content. If you are randomly asking blogs and any old website to link to your site, the links will not be high quality and it could get you into trouble with the search engines.

Instead, if you find that another blog is linked to yours and it has relevant content that your visitors would find interesting, then linking to it is perfectly fine.

Misconception #3 – Stay away from outbound links

Outbound links, or external links, send visitors from your website to other sites on the internet, or direct visitors from external sites to yours. External links are usually given more value by search engines than internal links, which send visitors to other pages on your website. This is because if more outside websites link to your site, you are seen to be a more credible site.

It is important that your outbound links are directing your visitors to relevant, quality sites. If you randomly place links that send visitors to spam sites, they won’t stick around and it will reflect badly on your site.

Search engines want to find the most relevant results for their users’ searches. They will give priority to sites that are providing useful content to users looking for that information. In this way, relevant outbound links can help improve your rankings.

Misconception #4 – Links are permanent

Once you’ve spent a great deal of effort and time building quality links into your site, it can be tempting to believe that your work is done and that they will all be permanent. Like everything on the web, links are constantly changing and need constant upkeep.

Sites go down, links get broken, or site owners can make changes and remove them any time they want. You need to constantly be building new links so that if you do lose a few along the way, you have plenty to take their place.

Misconception #5 – Links on high profile sites are the only ones you should focus on

Linking to high profile sites within your industry or niche is an important part of link building, but it should only be one part of the puzzle. It is important to have a diverse range of sites for a successful link building campaign.

Be careful about going after high profile sites, not all links are created the same. You can be linked to a high profile site, but your link may be on an outdated page or on a site that goes nowhere. Make sure you do your research and dig a little deeper.

Consider using social networks to get your content noticed. The more people share your content, the larger your audience becomes. It takes a bit longer, but it is an effective way to build brand awareness and can help boost your rankings over the long term.

Also, consider links from sites outside your industry. As long as they are relevant to your content and your visitors it can help improve your rankings. Again, relevance is key. The more unique domain links you have, the higher your rankings will be.

Though it can be challenging, a link building campaign is an incredibly effective digital marketing strategy. With strategies that connect your site with relevant content across the web, you will see your site soar up in the ranks.