Today, link building is about getting as many natural, high-quality, relevant links back to your site as possible. It’s not about getting any links back to your site by any means necessary, even if they are completely irrelevant to your target audience and from questionable sites and methods.
Technically, link building has always been about that, but many of us got carried away with the power of getting a higher ranking – even when we knew deep down we were breaking the rules. It wasn’t technically “black hat” so what’s the big deal, right?
Well, some of us found out when Google changed their algorithm. Some people who had worked super hard at submitting articles to various article marketing sites, opening up dozens of social media accounts, and asking everyone we know to link to us paid a price for it. We lost ranking. If you aren’t one of those people, you are really lucky. It means you did link building right from the start, which is to say you probably didn’t worry too much about it, and it happened naturally.
Here are some important points to bear in mind when you are link building.
Avoid link farms – Sometimes called link exchanges, or paid link placement, these are a really bad idea because when Google figures it out, you’ll be dropped like a hot potato. You may even be banned from Google Search which, let’s face it, would be the kiss of death for any business. Any type of artificially created links is bad for your business. Even if people are getting away with it, it’s not worth it. Don’t do it.
Seek quality links – Getting the right kind of links to your website will bring more visitors to your site, establish you as a leader in your niche, and boost your search engine rankings. What’s more, the more great links you have and the more people see your site as an authority site, the more links you’ll get. These quality links will keep working even when search engines change their algorithms and are self-perpetuating.
It won’t happen overnight – Getting quality links to your website is not an overnight job. It will take time for you to be successful, as it takes time to build up the relationships necessary to get a link to your website and then time for the search engine to index your site again. Google will notice any type of unnatural link building going on. Don’t try to get thousands of links in a month; it will seem suspicious and it will downgrade your website or blog.
Guest blog posting – This is still one of the number one ways to get quality links to your site. Contact blog owners and website owners who sell products, services and information to your target audience but who are not direct competitors. Provide a targeted, useful and relevant guest post that serves both the audience and the owner of the website. Create a “How to” blog post or a tutorial of some kind; offer the readers and the site owner something that they can really sink their teeth in.
Directory submissions – This is still a good way to get links to your site, but look for a high-quality directory that doesn’t allow everyone to be listed and that is checked and edited by a human. Choose a directory that fits in with your target audience and your business. If you’re a writer, you want to be listed on the very best and highly-regarded directories you can reasonably afford and be accepted to. You might feel that this is link purchasing but in this case, as long as all admissions are not accepted, the directory is checked by a human, and it is high quality and highly regarded in your industry, then it is where you want to be.
Provide testimonials – That’s right; give other product developers testimonials that will appear on their sales pages that also offer a link back to your site. If there is a product or service that you use, and they are asking for testimonials in writing or via YouTube.com video, then do it. This is an excellent way to garner useful links back to your site.
Link building in 2013 hasn’t really changed much over the years in terms of needing high quality natural inbound links to prove to the search engines that your website is sought out, high quality and an authority to numerous users. Ensure that when you do any of the above, it’s above board and honest. And while you do want inbound links, it’s not the only focus. Your focus is on providing the best website/products/services that you possibly can for your target audience.