Like everything else, link building doesn’t come with rewards without risk. Higher the risk, higher the reward. However, there are certain exceptions, like there are in every case. The degree of risk which exists when you go outside Google Webmaster Guidelines has changed significantly nowadays.
Google has improved their algorithm significantly and also is supplementing it with proper spam control, which is coming from human level raters. This is why it is difficult to trick google into giving you better rank, using any spammy backlinking method. Frankly, if you call this a positive thing, I wouldn’t argue with you.
Depending on the risk associated and the rewards which you might be reaping, we can create 4 segments in our link building activity.
• High Risk Low Reward: When you go for automated link building tools or get tangled in link exchange scams, for example, buildmyrank.com or SENuke, you are entering the domain of high risk yet low reward link building. In fact, most of the victims of Google Penguin penalty has been active in at least one or both of these activities. This isn’t the only way you can invite the Penguin for a dinner but this is the process to ensure that he wouldn’t deny your invitation. If you hate Penguin as much as we do, avoid this approach in 2014.
• High Risk High Reward: Paid link building is Google’s target since 2008 and yes, they have a shoot at site order on this. There is a reason why Google is so adamant about these links, somehow their algorithm still can’t catch these links properly and thus, with paid links, you can rank very well indeed. Now, if you can operate without Google realising, you are welcome to continue along this path as the reward is very high. But consider what if they catch you? Are you ready to suffer the consequences? The decision is yours. Don’t forget what happened to Penny or Forbes when Google caught them.
• Low Risk Low Reward: For those webmasters who love to play it by the book, especially since Penguin scarred the wit out of them. They believe Matt on the face value and create contents without any particular purpose or target audience. While creating content can never harm you, but when it’s without purpose, really it’s a wasted effort.
• Low Risk High Reward: I know you are waiting for this step, aren’t we all? This is the method which will stand out in 2014. When you are getting a link which requires human intervention and also some amount of quality checking, that link is important for Google. It offers value which even the paid links can’t. Link earning is what we shall call it.
Before you start building links after returning from holiday, why not review your own work in 2013? Check your link profile, it is not tough with these tools, and see whether you are a potential Penguin victim or not.
• Remove links: Link Detox is a good tool to have for this purpose.
• Create things which are link worthy, if you don’t have it already. Be proactive in merging the content team with the social team so the contents are written just like the demands are and they are properly used on SNS to make sure nothing goes wasted.
• Try to get links from where it would be reviewed before approval.
• Moz.com tool and analysis is great for backlink analysis, invest in it.
If you follow these points, you shall have a rocking 2014 ahead. Keep visiting us for more as we often will discuss advanced strategies of calculative link building here.