In this video interview link building expert Jim Boykin explains how to avoid the downside of link building.
Buying links can get you penalized -- even if you think you might be safe, says Boykin. The Stanford Daily once sold links, says Dr. Wilson, but no longer does, since it faced the wrath of the SEO community.
An excessive amount of reciprocal linking can hurt you as well, says Boykin, since Google can easily compare incoming link domains with outgoing domains, and discount the value of links that seem to be merely traded. Google is looking for clear citations that indicate a real interest and count as a "vote" for the site.
Viral "linkbait" -- if you can get it -- is usally a good thing, but the content of the bait needs to be relevant to your site.
Social media links and comments have some value, but since anyone can set up an account, Google may not count these links as high as some others.
Link-worthy content is the best approach, providing content that attracts links.
Jim Boykin is the CEO of We Build Pages, that specializes in link building and building content to get those links. This interview was recorded at Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Francisco in August 2010.