Link building is like skating on thin ice. If you do it well, you can be successful. If you don't tread lightly, however, you can wind up underwater. You can thank spammers and scam artists for the complications and thin line between good and bad with link building because Google has had to create a huge set of rules, guidelines, and things that you can and can't do with link building in order to make sure that the playing field is level for all internet marketers. If you're feeling confused, here are some things to keep in mind to stay on the good side of back linking:

-The purpose of backlinking was always to promote a website and bring in visitors from other sites. However, only high quality back links can actually provide that to people today. Another benefit of building links is to increase search rankings. In both cases, quality links are better than the quantity of links that you have.

-Utilize forums, blogs, and social networking sites to create links to your business. However, make sure that you are selective, tactful, and practical in your approach. Don't comment on a blog about auto repair with your back link for home fitness, for example.

-Link exchange can still be effective, but not in excessive amounts. Avoid doing a link exchange with every single website that you interact with. Choose only the highest rated sites to exchange links with.

-Make sure that you never pay for directory listings that are way too general or that claim to build you hundreds of back links in 'no time at all'. Google doesn't like these over-polluted directories created for the specific purpose of link building, so you shouldn't bother.

-Industry-specific resources are a great place to share links and create interest in your business with link building. You are showing that you are carefully placing your links where they matter and that you aren't overdoing it by posting anywhere that you can find a 'submit' button.

It's all about building quality links for your website in the end. People who have 5,000 mediocre or low-quality links are actually going to look worse to Google and other search engines than people who have even just 100 high-quality links that they have established through link building. Remember that less is more and your reputation is on the line, and consult search engines for their specific rules or guidelines about link building.

Author's Bio: 

Jerri Palumbo is the owner of, a company dedicated to working with small online businesses to help them focus on their big visions, while leaving the support up to a strong virtual team.