Link building is a challenging feat in 2014 because, among other things, Google is relentless in its pursuit of un-editorial links. The truth is, link building is alive now and still as powerful as it ever was and so getting and keeping a large variety of quality links should be your pursuit. Before April 2012, anyone could get away with creating low quality 300-word articles and then attaching hundreds of unnatural links to it and linking to spammy sites.
SEO was fairly easy back then. In fact, it was so easy that large scale link building was actually dictating Google’s SERPS by manipulating how Google worked and taking advantage of the many loopholes in their algorithms. But just when bloggers had turned up the spinning software, Google struck with Penguin Algorithm and a lot of low quality websites went under.
If you are not a spammer, the only way to rank on Google is through hard work, patience, reputation, relevance, trust, and lots of other factors. Google tends to focus a lot on trust but if you focus on these signals then you should be on your way to establishing quite a powerful network.
If your link building campaign is devoid of quality material, or if it fails to be of use to any audience, then it’s not the type of backlink profile you should be working on. By definition, you’d be creating spam and Google would not hesitate to make an example of you. Of course this doesn’t stop those clever spammers, but the chances of you being a master spammer are minimal and even if you were, that wouldn’t keep you invisible to Google forever.
Keep it clean and maintain consistency. That will get you through most challenges. Here are some additional tips to keep you on track:
- Acquire links from real websites in order for you to build real authority
- Remember that links from authority websites are the most effective
- Don’t focus too much attention on website themes linking to you
- In order to get your content noticed across the board, join more social networks
- Try not to go with seasonal trends. The more people abuse links, the more they turn toxic
- About automated link building, if what it turns out is an unnatural link which you place yourself, then it won’t be counted by Google
Advice from search engines
Google Plus counts may be a big deal but they are not the number one factor in ranking. The most productive thing you can do for your site is build high quality links and create relevancy for the page. Yahoo and Bing offer a number of link building guidelines which you can follow in an effort to rank in Google but even so, you will need to refer to Google Webmaster guidelines if you’re keen on attaining success.
You can build links easier if you have content worth linking to
You’ll find it a lot easier to get sites to link to you if you spend time working on good material. When writing the content, aim at originality. The articles don’t really need to set the internet on fire, but they should have their own unique appeal. If you do this you will find you get links from content you created years back, so the first step is to actually create content worth sharing.
Don’t beg for links!
Google views this as a clear indication that you want to manipulate rankings. It’s true that the key to getting high rankings and traffic is to get authority sites to link to you but you have to be subtle in your attempts.
Links are the power of the internet and that’s actually why Google dominates the web. Get your site linked from various sources and even if you’re just aiming for good Pagerank for certain keywords, don’t let it be too obvious.
Don’t link to sites that exist for the sole reason of linking to other sites
It can be challenging trying to explain to people what a quality link is, but as of the moment, Google wants you to operate on the knowledge that a decent link is and can only be a natural link. The links don’t necessarily have to be relevant to your specific industry in order for them to boost your authority, and the site you link from doesn’t have to be a major authority in its niche. Basically, it doesn’t matter what the site is about; if it’s a good quality website, and you manage to get a link in, then it’s fine with Google.
Editorial links are good links. Ideally you want links form pages that exist in Google’s index on quality websites.
You can go off-topic occasionally
As a rule, most trusted marketing blogs or guides will encourage you to create content that is relevant, work on building a resource on a chosen subject, and then work on the details. I encourage it and Google does to, because it works; but sometimes in order to get more links and boost traffic, you might actually need to go off-topic. You can build new content around a newsworthy topic, or anything that is fresh and relevant to any audience.
It’s a trick many bloggers have had great success with and you can as well, if you can find a way to jack the news and get more visitors on your site.
So what is a good link?
Generally, any link that gets you traffic could be viewed as a good links, but you might need more information about what a good or bad link would be. You should know that the quality of any link depends largely on the page and site it’s on. As a general rule of thumb, links from these sources pass as ‘good’ links:
- Internal links: these are not the most powerful but it’s a fine place to start. Organize your site before you go chasing links.
- Mainstream news sites: these and other authority sites provide a good source of quality links. In essence, links from Brands, are quality links.
- Related or non-related industry sites: this is basically the aim of SEO although you have to consider the website, its niche and so on.
- Social media: they’re not the strongest in terms of ranking signals but they have a place in the broader campaign
What you need to avoid are self-made links, even if they successfully manipulate Google. If you can be honest about why you want a link, then that would help. Don’t say it will help instead talk about how you’re offering a more updated source of information. If you spot a problem on a site, be sure to point it out but be friendly about it. It’s not really rocket science and it works, so go out and get quality links.