I wasn't 100% sure where to post this, but link building seems pretty relevant. Here are a couple mistakes I've made throughout the years that should definitely be avoided, but could at first seem like beneficial to your seo / link building strategies... Thought I'd help prevent others from doing the same. 2 Things Not To Do - Rookie Seo Mistakes 1: Accidentally Helping The Competition Often it's recommended to build outbound links to relevant pages / sites to your topic - I believe the thought behind this is this tends to help the se's know what your page is about even more, and associate it with that topic, and of course if you're considering the viewer, then it adds value to them as well. While this is not a bad thing to do, you should not link to your top competitors. At first it seems like linking to the authority of the keyword / topic is the most beneficial for the viewer as well as the SE's, but beyond the obvious reasons let me explain why you should avoid outbound links to at least the top 10-20 competitors (especially do follow, if you're going to link to them use nofollow tags). I was at one point attempting to rank for a moderately competitive KW, and threw in links to the top few authorities at the time for this KW on my article. After doing some link building, and backwards engineering my competition's links and taking the ones I could myself, I proceeded to build some tiers around those links, work on optimizing on-page, and building up social indicators. Gave it some time, and I hadn't quite gotten the rank I wanted so I went back to do analysis on my competition's links again...Guess what they all had in common? The top backlink for all 3 of the top competition for this KW was the same: My article. Lesson learned - don't link to your top competitors. 2. Accidentally Becoming The Competition A pretty common link building strategy is making some strong tier 1's out of web 2.0's with high authority domains (think wordpress, blogger, etc), as most of you know. Now when you're going after a keyword or phrase, and building links to it, it's of course good to vary your anchor text as relatively recent (not that recent) Google updates have penalized sites with over optimized anchor text linking back to their pages. We still want our tier 1's to be associated w/ the keyword, so we use variances of them as anchor text, put them in the h1 tags, in the sentences, etc, but mix them up a bit so it's not a bunch of duplicate content. Occasionally you might make an exact match subdomain (ie; yourkeyword d\o/t wordpress d\o/t c \0/ m) and make the heading of the page the exact KW or phrase you're going after. Once all your tier 1's are built up, and have their own "unique" content relating to your KW/topic, you proceed to build your tier 2, tier 3, however far you're willing to go. This sends a lot of juice to these tier 1s, which then send it to your $ site and ideally this boosts your $ site to the top of the serps. Their high authority domains is where the issue comes in. Because these Tier 1 web 2.0's have high authority domains, they're quite easy to rank especially with lots of links built (if you do it right). If you happen to choose yourkeyword d\o/t highauthorityweb20 d\o/t c \0/ m, and use the exact KW / phrase in the h1 and throughout the content, etc, you might soon find that your $ site isn't ranking the best, but the web 2.0 is actually passing it! I made the mistake of getting 3-4 of my web 2.0's ranked on the first page, and my $ site was right at the top of the 2nd page for this particular kw. Would have been page 1 if not for the web 2.0's. Just created 4 unnecessary but very strong competitors for myself - and they were myself. It's not that big of a deal because you can of course monetize web 2.0's as well, but depending on your goal w/ the $ site, the web 2.0's might not be able to achieve that goal due to limitations in customization, etc. Lesson learned - don't compete w/ yourself by using your exact KW/Phrase for your web 2.0 sub-domains and titles - instead you should vary them but keep them relevant to the topic. These things might seem like common sense to a lot of you, but hopefully this helps a few ppl out.