Any Internet marketing agency will tell you that link building in 2011 is very different from link building in 2014. Even Matt Cutts outlined the decay of high-quality guest blogging that kills authentic link building back in January 2014. Indeed, guest blogging is the primary method of building links. However, since the blogosphere gets spammy by the day, the links generated through such method now become ‘bad links.’ So, how can we create ‘good and safe links’ in the future?
1) Build high-quality links
Getting high-quality links takes more than complying with the quality guidelines Google sets (and updates from time to time). Instead, it also means that the sources (other sites) of the links should have high Quality Score and Page Rank, among other factors. Of course, it should be relevant to your core business as well. Finally, the sites must not be involved in any unscrupulous (black hat) activities or bad neighborhoods (i.e. porn and gambling sites).
2) Build editorial links
Editorial links simply mean that the links from one site to another is not forced and is based on the contents. The link must be purposeful and willingly given by the other site. A link is a vote of confidence hence it should be earned. Ultimately, the links must not be bought from link farms; Google loathes this practice. Your goal is to make other sites want to link to your website perhaps through building authority first. When they link back to you, it is as if saying that they endorse you. Google considers these links as a proof of authority and trustworthiness.
3) Build creativity-based links
Building editorial links is not an easy task. You need to let your creative energy flow freely in making contents that rock. Links should be a result of creativity, and that don’t include spamming links. The premise is that you must deserve each link that was given back to you by working hard to earn it. Regardless of what topic you are most familiar with, it should add value not just to other sites or users, but to the entire web as well. Promoting such value to the right audience is a necessary next step.
4) Build links through a diversified tactics portfolio
Don’t assume that because the tactic that you use now is working, it is all you ever need. Google is an ever-sophisticating system that a major update can impact your website’s current performance in the most profound manner. What you need is a portfolio of tactics, each of which can protect your site in case of a chance in algorithm. Not to mention, the algorithms are very good at dissecting patterns, that is, Google views the use of a single tactic as manipulative. So, implement as many link building tactics, experiment and retain the most useful ones.
5) Build do follow and no follow links
WordPress had rel=’nofollow’ in-built in its latest versions due to the excessive spam comments that flood the sites and blogs. These are coding conventions wherein they tell whether spiders can continue crawling the link or not. Of the two, do follow links are more advisable to use although the SEO community keeps on reminding individual optimizers that no follow links have some saving grace, too. The goal then should be mixing the two types of links more so because Google will think that you are doing something wrong when you only have do follow links in your linking profile.
6) Build links on deep internal pages
Linking to a website’s homepage is the most common practice. However, there is a tendency of oversaturation even if the links come from high authority sites. This doesn’t add much to the overall authority of your website. When it comes to diversity, it also means linking to deep pages that drives the overall site authority and making the link profile stronger as well. This points to employing strong content marketing strategies.
7) Build links from diversified sources
Yes, the number of backlinks matter, at least from your and Google’s point of view. However, if you only get the links from a particular site regardless of its high authority, the links will never add value to your site. This will not help your site as Google may also see this as link spamming. Thus, make sure that your backlinks come from various sites.
8) Build crawlable links
In gaming the system…
A few years back, perhaps, you can see sites such as buylinks.com, weselllinks.com, etc. Where are they now? Gone. Google automatically de-indexes these sites because these are seen as a way to game the system. Paid linking is an absolute no-no. Even if you think that it will do no harm to your website, it will become obvious eventually.
If you are caught doing this, Google can also choose to de-index your website since you are placing links that are putting no value whatsoever to the web. Never forget that it is very difficult to recover from a penalty such as a de-index.
Further, don’t bother obtaining links from article directories. These links are dangerous and can lend you a penalty. If you are doing this black hat tactic before, go back to the article directory and remove all the links.
What does this mean for you? Today, link building must flow naturally. Don’t make your link acquisition strategies too explicit that you forget the very premise that links must be earned and not demanded from other sites. Content marketing is a transformative process of doing link building and SEO in general. If all else fails, let ethics guide your every decision.
Source: Search Engine Watch | SEO Quake | QuickSprout | MOZ
Image credit: 360opps.com