Your High Standards Are Killing Your Link Building



Do you struggle to build enough high quality links?

You probably see the same shitty link farms everywhere

Maybe you think PR link building or HARO at $1000 per link is the only solution.

Or that you gotta build a crack in-house team.

Well, maybe you’re right (it depends™).

Or maybe YOU are the problem…

What if your quality standards are just too damn high, causing you to label perfectly good links as “crap”?

How high standards can kill your link building

Imagine these two scenarios…

  • Cautious Callum builds 20 links, and 100% are effective
  • Gungho Gretchen builds 100 links, but only 80% are effective

Cautious Callum builds barely any links, because their standards are so high.

Sure, every link they build influences the algorithm… But their high standards means they can’t find many opportunities.

Gungho Gretchen is more gungho. They have lower standards, but still high enough to land mostly effective links.

While only 80% of their links are effective, they still end up with x4 more effective links than Cautious Callum.

I’ve seen this battle play out hundreds of times in my years of SEO.

Cautious Callum’s make decisions based on how the algorithm should work.

Gungho Gretchen’s make decisions based on how the algorithm does work.

And Gungho Gretchen’s wipe the floor with poor old Cautious Callum’s, almost every time.

Thankfully, you can be more like Gretchen and less like Callum with a simple shift…

Use “algorithm thinking” to get better link building results

Problems start when YOUR definition of link quality differs wildly from how the Google algorithm judges quality.

“High quality” means a link will influence the algorithm, and help you rank higher.

You gotta retrain yourself to think about links like an algorithm.

Silly human thinking:

  • “I just don’t like this site”
  • “The design on this site is just awful, how could this be a good link?”
  • “The content is crap, surely Google would agree”
  • “They link to a casino site, Google definitely hates this site”

Thinking like an algorithm:

  • “The ratio of spammy outbound links is 0.5%”
  • “Content is logically structured and has a high indexing rate”
  • “The site has some great links, which overall outweighs some small downsides”

This shift makes quality vetting objective and lets you build MORE links.

To make things easy, just copy the quality framework we use at We Outreach.

It’s 100% objective and we’ve honed it based on what links we’ve seen impact the algorithm.

Click here to copy our free quality vetting tool (it’s a Google Sheet).

Alongside “algorithm thinking”, advanced link builders also use a few other principles…

3 principles to build more links and beat your competitors

1 – Don’t overestimate Google

Their algorithm isn’t as discerning about link quality as you are (as a human).

They have limited resources and are likely using 80/20 methods to assess link quality.

Of course, you need to build reasonably high quality links. You can’t just spam link farms.

But they don’t need to be 100% perfect links… Just do the basics right and avoid major red flags.

2 – Think in probabilities, not certainties

The wrong question to ask when building a link: “Will this improve my SEO? Yes/no”

The right question: “How likely is this to improve my SEO?”

If a link is likely to be beneficial, build it.

But also understand that sometimes you’ll be wrong (and that’s fine).

3 – 10-15% of your links will have 0 impact

But you’ll never know which links they are.

So don’t strive for perfection. It’s impossible, because we don’t know precisely how the Google algorithm works.

Just have reasonable quality standards, avoid red flags, and focus all your resources on execution.

Remember: 100 links that are 80% effective, beats 20 links that are 100% effective.