How Not To Build Backlinks in 2020: The Ultimate Guide

Written by / In group / Updated on
July 1, 2020

Backlinks are essential for any online business or website to make it profitable. After all, backlinks are considered as one of the crucial factors of Off Page SEO. But the days are gone now.

You can’t pitch a ton of guest posts to build backlinks and to get featured on top of Google for your desired keywords. Google is now focusing more on giving best possible results to its users and started avoiding spam practices used by spammers or webmasters.

Let us discuss about everything from scratch about how not to create backlinks and the best practices of creating quality backlinks to improve your search results.

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are like votes. The more quality backlinks you have the better you can rank for your keywords in the search engine rankings.

There are three types of backlinks.

One: Interlinks (the links you are linking to your own blog posts)

Two: Outbound links (the external links from your site)

Three: Incoming links (the sites that are linked to your pages or websites)

What makes a big difference in quality of the backlinks?

When an authority site links to you or one of your posts, it is far better than thousands of links from new sites. It is because Google gives top priority to authority sites or that have high domain authority (or Page rank). So it’s better to focus on getting links from top blogs or sites than getting from new sites.

What if bad links are pointing towards your sites?

The best way to remove spam links from your site is to use Google Disavow link tool. That way you will be able to delete all the spam from your sites to get better search engine results. And always avoid building backlinks from irrelevant sites.

Why are backlinks important?

If you everyone starts linking you, obviously Google treats your website as an authority in your space. It means people starts linking you only if you have something epic on your sites. So obviously Google rewards quality stuff and gives top results in the SERP rankings. It’s always better to build links in a safe way rather than focusing on building links in a short time (that often causes worst site rankings).

How NOT to build backlinks in 2020?

how not to build backlinks in 2020

Stop using guest posts to build links

Guest blogging is of course a fantastic way to create links and to get more traffic. But people are using guest posting as a way of spam tagging to get more profits and to get top search results.

Google is trying to reduce the spam that’s related to guest posts. Guest blogging was used mainly to link backlinks to gain search engine rankings by many spammers. Hence Google started penalizing the spam links by degrading the sites that excessively accepting guest posts.

After the decay of guest blogging, everyone started using their own posts to publish and least bothered about publishing guest posts. So if you are still thinking to use guest blogging as a way to build links, stop it now or you will hate yourself later.

Even if you are building backlinks through guest posting, make sure you are doing it for the sake of building a readership not backlinks. Stop depending upon guest posts and focus more on user interaction and network building. It will definitely help you to build a profitable business in the long run.

Article directory submission – the era has gone

Be it paid or free article directories, stop building backlinks through the article directories. It won’t give you any results in the search rankings as Google has stopped taking these links into consideration.

Few years ago, everyone used to write and post articles for eHow etc. sites to generate backlinks. But once they are nofollowed the links, people started using online communities like Yahoo! Bing, etc. to get better SERP results.

And there are article directories like EzineArticles, Articles Base, iSnare where you still can create backlinks to your sites, but most of them are nofollowed (in the body). You only get dofollow from the author bios of your contents from these article directories.

So why should you stop building links through article directories?

Here’s what Matt Cutts has to say about it. Please watch it before reading any further.

Stop using paid links to rank higher

If you are using paid links to rank higher on Google, stop it immediately. Google is treating them as a bad practice of link building and it can penalize your search results right away.

What happens when you buy paid links from other sites?

Google latest algorithms will detect where your incoming links are coming from. And if you are getting them from irrelevant sites or spammy link building sites (Google has a big database on the sites that sell paid links), their crawlers will degrade your search results. So stop buying links from others sites to build links or get more traffic.

Building links through blog comments

Most people especially the new bloggers focus on getting more traffic and building backlinks through the blog comments. Actually it’s not a great practice of building backlinks through blog comments. What happens when you leave useless comments just to get links from various niche blogs?

Firstly, no one will notice your blog comments because of their poor value.

Secondly, most of the WordPress blogs are by default nofollowed hence no link value to be added to your comment links.

Third, your comments might get caught by Akisment spam filters. Whenever you post a new comment, it will always get eaten up by Akismet and all of your efforts will go in vain.

So don’t leave blog comments on other blogs just for the sake of building backlinks. You won’t get any results from this practice, you only waste your time and energy.

What else can you do then?

Leave thoughtful comments on relevant blogs that add real value. That way you will be able to get more attention from others. And if the blog owners find your blog comments interesting, they will sooner or later consider sharing link to your blogs. So it’s always better to focus on leaving great comments than focusing on mediocre and nonsense comments.

Link building through social media submissions

Social bookmarking sites like Stumble Upon, Delicious, Digg etc. won’t give much backlink value to your blog posts. Yes, it’s good to add your latest blog posts to all the social bookmarking sites but don’t think it’s sufficient to get backlinks.

Most new bloggers submit their posts to these sites and they think that’s sufficient for their link building strategies. They won’t do anything extra to build links to their sites apart from this.

So don’t limit yourself from building backlinks just through these social bookmarking submissions. It won’t add much value in the long run if you want to get more search engine traffic to your blog posts.

You also have to work on getting natural backlinks to each and every post to improve your domain authority as well as page authority.

Building links through online communities

Yahoo! Answers, Squidoo pages etc. used to have so much of importance few years back (like 5 years ago). That time most bloggers used to build links, drive more SEO traffic and get more affiliate sales using these online communities.

Even there are so many affiliate marketers who made a lot of money through squidoo lenses by creating posts and building backlinks to their sites. But the same strategy is not working now or any more. Google has taken down all of these pages rankings to ensure they are giving top notch user experience.

So if you are still using these online communities to generate backlinks, stop using them or they can simply waste your time. Even now, there are so many online blogging communities out there that are manipulating few users to give dofollow backlinks. Don’t trust and fall into their traps, they often get bad results in the search engine rankings.

Don’t think list building as a way of putting some money to easily rank high on search engines. It happened sometime back, but it’s not working now. You only have to do link building strategy in natural way that Google loves.

Building links using referrals

Back in the days when blogging was just a word, people used to refer one and another to get more traffic, increase sales and build backlinks. Google used to love these kind of practices back then. Because there were relatively very less blogs compared to now.

According to a survey, there are almost 1 million blogs are created each and every month. So the search engines like Google has to deploy some strict filtering techniques to give precise and better data to its millions of users. So Google started algorithms relating to give best user experience and less spam for its users. And it also started taking an irrelevant referral backlink building strategy as a spammy way and degraded many sites rankings just because of it.

So if you are asking for others to refer your sites, be careful in choosing them. Don’t do it for irrelevant sites and get banned by Google in the search results for your desired keywords.

Trying to build links through blog directories

Blog directories like AllTop, Blog Catalog, Blog pulse, Technorati etc won’t give you valuable inbound links to your blog posts. Most of them are now became nofollow backlinks.

It means even when you signup and add all of your blogs to these blog directories, there won’t be much use of building quality backlinks. You may get traffic and attention from them if you have more user engagement and quality stuff on your blogs. But if your blog is relatively new, it’s quite hard to even get attention from most of the blog directories.

So stop focusing on finding a huge list of blog directories and spending your quality time on signing up to them and adding your blogs or websites. It can only kill your precious time, instead you can focus on submitting your blogs to very few blog directories where you can spend your time actively.

Natural backlinks are worthy

build natural backlinks

So what is the best way of building quality backlinks?

If someone finds your content really interesting and link to you by default (that means without asking you), it is considered as a natural way of building backlinks. Because you are not asking anyone to link to your sites, they are doing so because of the value and information you put on your blog posts.

So produce great content regularly and frequently link out to other bloggers. This is a win win approach. Whenever you find something interesting related to your blog topic, link to them. And make sure to connect with them personally either through social media sites or directly. Sooner or later, if they see any value in your posts, they will also start linking back to your sites.

Share your posts on social media sites whenever you publish. This is an effective way of not only getting more traffic but to boost your online visibility. You can also submit your latest blog posts to social book marketing sites like Digg, Stumble Upon, Delicious etc. But make sure you are engaging with others on the same social bookmarking sites to get more attention.

Link Building Resources for 2020:


Don’t consider link building to get better search results, instead focus on building a loyal network around your community through great blog posts. And try to get more social shares, comments on your blog posts, it will eventually help you get better search results. Never focus on link wheels or link scams that are promising you to get better search results, they often can degrade your SERP rankings. So say no to unnatural link building and figure out the ways to build quality and natural backlinks.

What are your thoughts on building backlinks? Are you still using unnatural ways of link building in 2020? Please share your views.

Anil Agarwal

How Not To Build Backlinks in 2020: The Ultimate GuideAnil Agarwal who owns, is a full-time blogger and SEO expert who has been helping people build profitable blogs for over a decade. Bloggers Passion has been featured on premium online sites like, Huffingtonpost, SEMrush, Problogger, Crazy Egg, The Next Web and so on.

25 Comments on "How Not To Build Backlinks in 2020: The Ultimate Guide"

  1. Amazing writeup! far more easy to understand better then any explained youtube video. Hatsoff for such an effort for letting everyone know about the backend process of SEO. I am new at creating backlinks and obviously it help me a lots. Thank you for sharing Anil.

  2. Hi Anil, your way of defining everything in amazing….Thanks for sharing the backlinks strategy….

  3. Sugandha says:

    My husband and I started our blog in 2017. Since then I have read fair few articles on improving SEO for our blog and I often came across the topic of backlinks. But as a beginner in the blogging world I was not able to fully wrap my head around how backlinks work and where to check the backlinks to my website etc.. This article is one of the best and straightforward read on backlinks. and I also like the one on how to remove bad backlinks. Too bad that there is no free tools to remove the backlinks. or Is there one?

    Thanks you, it was very helpful.

  4. Javed says:

    Yes people are building links just to gain some link juice but they don’t understand difference between dofollow and nofollow, what are the latest guidelines from google, Matt Cutts..There is Research needed before any implementation but crowd is not going to follow that.

  5. Pondicherry Media says:

    Hi Anil, Thanks for sharing the backlinks. Natural backlinks are always best.. anyway thank you anil.

  6. Kartik says:

    Hello Anil, Thank you for share Wonderful post,

    I have a question and i think you can answer this.

    I’m a blogger, I write about Stock Market in Hindi Language. If i create backlinks from English Blogs & Website. than those backlinks that i created from English Websites helpful for Me?
    because i write articles in Hindi language.

  7. Hi, very thought provoking post. You make a lot of very good points but raise a lot of questions at the same time. One question that I would ask is how can google or any other search engine know if a link is organic or not. I mean if two people email each other and swap relevant back links which add value to both posts and to the reader of both, then are these considered bad or good? One other thing do you have any advice on the best way to build backlinks? thanks again.

  8. How will google know if a backlink is natural or unnatural??
    Does that mean I shouldn’t go out and build backlinks myself and just wait for backlinks to happen?
    Does it matter if I am building backlinks from sites not related to my niche but it is a authority site?

  9. Aqib says:

    Hi Anil,
    We can also try other methods like creating infographics and sharing them on top infogrphics related website to get backlinks. Find resource or list pages of authority website related to your niche having broken links on that particular resource page , contact the site owner and let him know about the broken links and also suggest him to add your link instead of broken link 😉 .

  10. Thanks for the good long read there Anil. It does read like a, everything you’re thinking about doing for backlink building… don’t do it, post.

    It does seem harder and harder to build up good backlinks these days. But they still matter, ol Matt Cutts put up a short video, yesterday I believe, talking about a search result that doesn’t take into effect backlinks.

    But the trend these days does appear to be more social interaction between your website and the social networking sites.

    Thanks again for the good read!

  11. Sayyed Parvez says:

    Hi Anil,
    You have rightly said that, ‘Natural backlinks are worthy’. The points mentioned about building backlinks are very interesting. Thanks for the great post.

  12. Syed Ali says:

    Hey Anil,
    This is my first visit to your Blog and i get very interested to see your Posts. Nice Information and Blog as well!
    keep it up bro

  13. Amiti says:

    Hi Anil,

    As usual, great content. I always come away from your posts with more knowledge. I was aware with all the changes going on with how to/how to not get backlinks, but this article put things into perspective for me. Guest blogging is still a great thing to do, just not for backlinks.

  14. Uday Ghulaxe says:

    Yes I aggree all your points anil,buildind backlinks through blog commenting is not usefull for ranking as they are nofollow and if you are putting comments on a low rank blog then it will surely bad affect. Just write awsome content and wait for natural back links.

  15. Nikhil says:

    Hi Anil,

    Nice post. All tips are mention in post is about how to build backlinks in a a great way. All these ways amazing. Guest posting is great but you are right we have to use it for building relationship purpose. Relationship matters most.

    Thank you for your guest post buddy.

  16. Pramod says:

    Thanks Anil for providing updated happenings in link building otherwise there is still old content out there which is leading newbies in wrong direction, for example some folks said to build link through article directories which is no more now and so guest blogging upto some extent.

    One more point you said about commenting, although comments are no such use of in linking but definitely they are must if you want to increase your reach and build some connection.

    • Anil Agarwal says:

      That’s true. Blog commenting is really effective when it comes about building relationship with fellow bloggers and their readers.Apart from this, you can drive targeted traffic to your blog by commenting on popular blogs in your niche.

      • Vikas Yadav says:

        Yes, it is true that Guest Blogging and blog commenting is never dead(if done not to make backlinks and make good relationship with fellow blogger). Even, I have see the effect of blog commenting and getting god traffic by just doing commenting on the other blogs.

  17. Dhruv says:

    One should need to do proper keyword research for ranking on Google. If you’re a new blogger, make sure you write on those topics which have low competition and just 500 monthly searches.. This way you can easily rank with little efforts. After that, keep on increasing things 😉

    Link building will surely benefit you if you are regularly building few backlinks weekly..

    With time, one can expect amazing results 🙂

    • Anil Agarwal says:

      Dhruv while building links, one need to make sure they are getting links from quality websites only that are based out in their niche.

  18. vikas yadav says:

    Hello@Anil:- You are saying that avoid to do guest posting. What It means, guest blogging is dead or it is still alive? If a blogger wants to do guest blogging for making good relationship with other pro-blogger, then what is the right path for that?

    • Anil Agarwal says:

      Vikas as I mentioned in my earlier posts, guest blogging is surely dead for those people who are doing it for the sake of back linking only.

      There is no harm if you are doing it for branding and networking kind of things.

  19. rahul says:

    great article..very important for SEO

  20. sameer says:

    Nice update indeed,but you are saying stop all kind of back links which almost every common blogger do.And you saying wait for natural back links :p I know Google changes lot of search algo,but all above mentioned back links still working if you do it with quality and step by step without spamming.

    • Anil Agarwal says:

      There are lots of things which need to be taken care of. You should be contributing contents on those websites only that have some real users. Like on most of article submission websites there are no real users. People are just going on these websites to submit their vontebts . You will hardly see any user opening these websites for gaining knowledge about any topic.

      Do not publish your contents on panda and penguin hit websites.

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