Most brands are fully aware of the benefits Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can provide their business in terms of exposure and visibility. However, although many companies are trying to utilise the benefits of SEO, they sometimes fail to realise how it actually works. It is not uncommon for businesses to apply practices that cause damage to search rankings instead of boosting them.

One of the worst mistakes marketers can make is to prioritise quantity over quality, business marketing and strategy website Business2Community explains. Building several websites that do not deliver valuable content, with the sole purpose to link back to the brand´s original site, is damaging. This can in fact result in Google punishing the site.

Another common mistake is to leave comments on blogs or social sites that contain a website link, believing that this will lead to more traffic and increase page rankings. When this tactic is applied too often, it adds to the already heavy spam on blogs and forums, and can draw negative attention to your site.

Creating deals with other businesses to provide links for each other´s sites is also rarely beneficial. This tactic requires a huge number of links from highly respectable sources to provide effective results. Similarly businesses are not encouraged to include their links in mass directories, as they offer little to no value.

But businesses should not be scared by the prospect of link building, as long as it is done in moderation using links to quality content. Providing high-quality content and sharing it on social networking sites, for example, is usually a far more effective way to improve online visibility than any of the tactics listed above.