Link building is all about risk management.
There are lots of ways to build links. But search engines do not like to be manipulated. They work constantly, with lots of really smart people, to find ways to filter out links secured purely for SEO purposes.
That makes many forms of link building risky, because:
- Search engines do not consistently apply the rules. You may see your competitors doing something and getting away with it. You try it a few weeks later and bam: Penalty.
- The rules change. What’s safe one week might not be safe the next. That’s life.
- Your competitors are going to report you. If they’re search-savvy, they’re watching for anything they think might be a bad practice, and they’ll report you at the drop of a hat.
Here’s my risk management chart for link building: