Five Linking Myths That Need To Go Away In 2013

Goodbye 2012, hello 2013. For my last column of the year, I’m selecting five link building myths that I hope go away completely in 2013, and giving my rationale as to why they should be gone.

The only reason I’m picking five is because it’s the day after Christmas, and if I had written about all 500 myths I wish would vanish, you would not be reading this. Five seems like a digestible number in a post-holiday haze, so grab an Eggnog and let’s get to them.

1.  Infographics Are Awesome For Link Building

Completely true and completely false, because they completely ignore the larger point. Any infographic that helps make a complex subject easier to understand, and which has been created by someone with some background in the subject and some artistic talent will have the chance to successfully attract links. Those links can, in fact, help your search rank as well as (and perhaps more importantly), click traffic.

Take a look at these examples. On the other hand, if all you do is take a block of text and use a pretty font, and add some clip art, then don’t expect much. You get back what you put into it. Like anything else, there are brilliant and there are terrible examples and executions. As a linking strategy, infographics are alive and well. For those that know how to do it properly.

2.  Infographics Are No Longer Effective For LinkBuilding

See above, and then look at this search result for link building infographics. It’s been effective for me now for over a year. And all I’m doing is curating.

Infographics – Are they a good link building tactic or not?  For me (Pinterest/LinkMoses/), they are working quite well


3.  Links Pages & Pages With Links.html Or Links.php Aren’t Trustworthy

This one has been around for so long it’s become almost impossible to change people’s minds, no matter how well constructed the argument.  So, rather than construct another argument , I present you with two link pages below.

Visit each one, then tell me if one of them is not helpful and if the other one is absolute gold for the right pursuing site.

Not all “links” pages are useless


Visit this page. Now visit this page.

There. Myth exploded. Links pages are not bad just because they are called links pages or because they have the letters l-i-n-k-s in their URLs. If that were the case, no company related to sustainability would pursue a link from the Harvard site above; and that, my friend, is just plain silly. The effective use of this search operator is all in the hands of the searcher.

4.  Inurl: Submit

The classic Google operator that allows you to potentially identify sites that accept submissions, because they also put the letters submit in the submission page URL.

The conventional wisdom (and I’ve heard this one at more than a few SEO conferences) is that any site that actively seeks submissions via a submission form is not likely to be very credible. Baloney. It’s all in the intent and credibility of the content owner curator. Again, I provide an example.

You can’t get much more credible than commarts. How did I find that page? Via this search: library best web picks inurl:submitsite

5.  Guest Blog Posts No Longer As Helpful As Before

Another knee-jerk reaction to a few webmaster videos and anecdotal results. But, put aside the empirical aspect of this. Forget what you think is measurable, and let’s go with common sense for a moment.

What separates an effective guest blog post from a useless one? Let’s start with the target blog. Is it a blog that has been around a while? What is the blog’s primary purpose? Is it comprised only of guest blog posts? What are the topics of the blog posts? Gambling, currency trading, Canadian pharmacies, electronic products, brothels? I’m kidding, but not really.

My dad used to tell me you are known by the company you keep, and this is true in the guest blog posting world as well. So, the way to use this tactic effectively is to think of it not as a mass shotgun approach, but a laser target approach. And that means a highly selective approach. I’ve heard some folks say that if a blog has the words “blog for us” or “be a guest blogger” that it means the site is worthless. This is another sub-myth of the guest blogging myth. Here’s an example.

As long as there have been SEOs or link builders making claims that come across as absolutes, I have argued vehemently that absolutes are a trap. You give me the topic and tactic, and I can find useful, or useless approaches. Call it link tactic profiling. Sadly, once a tactic gets labeled as worthless, it’s hard to fight that label.

This also represents a great opportunity for the forward-thinking link builder, because while others abandon a tactic they have incorrectly deemed as useless, you can deploy that tactic in a more nuanced and smarter way that will make it quite useful, indeed.

Have a good linking year!

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Link Week Column


About The Author: has been creating linking strategies for clients since 1994. Eric publishes the strategic linking advice newsletter LinkMoses Private, and provides linking services, training and consulting via

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  • David Vidgen

    Thanks Eric, another really informative common sense article. I completely agree with the links.html topic. A link from any trustworthy page is worth value, especially if it’s highly relevant, even better if outbound links are few are far between. Absolute nonsense whether its called links.html

    Thank you for some great articles this year. Here’s to 2013 – Happy New Year

  • Pat Grady

    I liked your humor, nice writing, good info. Well written is appreciated! I think that’s the real secret to backlinks, so you’re walking the walk, not just talking the talk, imo.

  • Arvin Buising

    I totally agree with the #1 and #2. I tried attracting links using them but my efforts weren’t very fruitful. I outsourced the artwork design but it’s not that simple to make ideas look simple.

  • Ram Babu SEO

    Yes Eric, there are many things involved in this area and we can’t be sure it’s going to helpful tomorrow or not is just argument ever i know now!

  • Search Ramble

    Loved 5th point..Thank’s for putting this before new year eric :D

    Btwn there are many misconception SEO’s have.. mainly because THIS may work for them but THAT doesn’t .. and when THAT doesn’t works for them they start telling other ppl (who are mostly following them) that THIS particular thing/tactic is dead bla bla .. Later on his/her followers starts preaching same stuff too without testing it out for themselves.. #SadButTrue

  • Dr. Peter J. Meyers

    Every link-building tactic is dead. Long live every link-building tactic :)

    Seriously, people want one answer that will magically work with no effort, and, when it doesn’t, they declare that tactic a waste of time. If you try a dozen tactics and fail at all of them, maybe it’s not the tactic. Maybe it’s you.

  • Shawn Cohen

    I’ve experienced the same–seems like even the best contracted designer can have trouble if the data they’re working w/ is unclear to them.

  • Simon Cowan

    I agree completely with Eric, great content above all else will really help build trust, reputation and then links – the organic back-in-the-day way!

  • John Britsios

    Dr. Pete do you think writing high quality content and publishing on high quality article directories with your authorship in place is still a link building good practice?

  • Nabeel Butt

    To summarize your post “don’t build links for the sake of a link instead build relations”.

  • Tom – FIMS

    Excellent post and points made :)

  • Fernando Rodriguez

    Link building is like alcohol, drink with moderation… ;)

  • Duck Dodgers

    Article marketing as a link building strategy is also a good and interesting topic.

  • Don Sturgill

    Excellent tips, Eric. It’s all in how you play the game, isn’t it? Thanks for pointing out your Pinterest site, too. It is a prime example of how Pinterest can be used as a tool for the savvy specialist.


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