Link building remains an extremely competitive sport in the global search engine marketing arena, and it is inevitably one of the most critical aspects that govern a site’s visibility on the search engines. The love of links, or LoL, (we like to call it so) is something that the Google search algorithm looks for while deciding a website’s power and authenticity for ranking on the SERPs. The times have changed, methods redesigned completely and new strategies created for the revisited link building campaign, which we will discuss in detail below.
Backlinks Backlink Backlinks – Where we go wrong?
Links aren’t bad when done the natural way, but in excess they can become extremely dangerous and fatal for your online identity. We must forget the traditional ways of building links in bulk blindfolded without thinking about what that could do in the long run. Develop trust in the eyes of Google and good things will follow.
Google has specified the quality of links they look for in an extremely lucid manner, and those who like to call themselves ‘SEO Experts’ must pay adherence to those guidelines blindfolded. Ironic right? Get yourself acquainted with the Google Webmaster Guidelines if you haven’t so far.
Most webmasters would agree that the answer to the above question is tied to anchor texts.
Anchor text diversification is a vague term, and a large fraction of SEOs believe that it means link building with random anchor texts. Unfortunately they are both right and wrong. Right in the sense that diversification means different anchor texts and wrong about the random approach. Let’s dwell deeper into the right mix of anchor texts.
What our SEOs found during the aftermath of Penguin way back in 2011 and 2012.
“…every site we checked that got negatively hit by the Google Penguin Update had one or more “direct business money keyword” as its anchor text for over 50% of its inbound links.”
This should raise horns and give the idea of the role of anchor texts.
Anchor Text Type
Brand name anchors
Critical as they establish online identity (website) as a brand. More important and prevalent as compared to other anchor text variations you might see in the current scenario.
Example – Search Eccentric
Exact match business keyword anchors
Important but unsafe. Need strategy and care
Best way to attract Google Penguin penalty is to have unnatural exact match anchor text links.
Example – SEO India Company, SEO Services India, SEO India Company, etc.
Partial match keyword variation anchors
Useful and credible in the eyes of Google
Sometimes partial match keyword variations make more sense than exact match keywords. They add more trust and credibility.
Example – Relevant and positive SEO results, High Quality/Result oriented SEO solutions, etc.
Safest and most natural (organic) way of links
Generic anchor text Links
Complete your backlink profile and suggest an organic penalty-resilient link strategy
When Google looks for your backlink authenticity, it actually looks for signs of natural links in the most organic way possible. Generic links come in handy for this purpose.
Example- Click here, Learn more, Read this, Check out this blog/company/author, etc.
Check out other other bad spammy SEO strategies.
Link love can be dangerous, if you don’t part ways with your obsession with unnatural exact match keyword anchor texts. It is a precarious practice, and must be condemned. Still we have to create links as there is no alternative provided to us, we have to optimize our websites for Google.
Let’s check out some link building maneuvers that I believe must be utilized by my fellow SEOs.
Don’t go by the title, nothing is easy when it comes to obtaining those juicy backlinks to your website. I used the term “easier way” just to indicate that the ways mentioned in this segment are somewhat easier to strategize and implement as compared to the ones that I’ll cover later in the article. Let’s begin-
Press Releases – Approach them with caution and don’t look at them as sources to get easy links. Press releases are for informative and promotion purposes, and are NOT a link building getaway!
PRweb, Digital Journal, PRdaily,etc. are few of the good examples.
Business Listings – If you are a business and you want people to find and buy your service, business listings make more sense than other rubbish in the entire world.
Yahoo business, Yelp, Google Business, etc. are fantastic examples and really important in the modern sense of the concept.
Article Directories – Don’t go this way, if you want spammy links, However, there are few decent article directories, such as Ezine, Goarticles and Storify, among others that can be used for link building and have moderation procedure in place.
I won’t put my money on article directories, but if you maintain quality they might work.
Submissions – These are easy links, but may not return the value as you’d like. They work great if the content quality is great, and will compel other users to link back to that page that will in turn share some link juice to your main site as well.
Popular trends involve CSS sites, audio, image, infographics, PDF, product and portfolio submissions.
Social Bookmarking – Traffic directors and very useful. If you want more people to receive your content, social bookmarking sites like Stumbleupon, Reddit, Squidoo, Digg, Delicious, Tumblr, Scoopit, etc.
“The link that didn’t made you sweat to earn isn’t worthy at all. The more the sweat, the more will be the value of that link.”
The point couldn’t be more simple and precise. A backlink that is easily earned cannot provide more value than the link that took in more hard work, time and patience. Getting those meaty high quality links from reputed and trustworthy domains aren’t a piece of cake, and need an extremely methodical strategy and action plan.
High quality Web 2.0 – This link building scheme requires a complete A-Z plan of web 2.0 article creations, linking methodology, content creation and content promotion.
Web 2.0 articles allow us to rank better by taking the domain advantage from blogging sites, such as WordPress, Blogspot, Weebly, etc.
Generate high quality blogs that adhere to the Google guidelines and provide value to the readers. There are a few tips that you could use to organize and create your web2.0 profile.
• Unique content – that’s the first and most important trick.
• Blog Posts that add value to the reader (at least 400-500 words).
• Publish at least 10-20 posts on each blog under one profile.
• The blog themes must be unique.
• Anchor text variations must be natural.
• Separate identities for different web 2.0 formats.
Guest Blogs – HIgh quality guest posts are still very much in fashion, but stay away from spammy guest post sites or networks. They might work for short-term, but low quality blog posts will be identified as web spam sooner or later.
Invest time and energy on your guest blogging strategy. Build author profiles, link to Google Authorship and be patient. Good authorship and following could do more good than hundreds of links alone. Understand that and improvise.
Design and implement blogger outreach campaigns. Brian Dean has a fantastic article in this regard. Please check it out here.
Influential Blogger Outreach – The saying – “Don’t build links, build relationships instead” couldn’t be much truer than its literal sense. We all want to be subject matter experts and influential bloggers in our niche industry, but those who already are influential weren’t exactly so when they started out. The point is they had to work hard in order to reach the heights they are at the moment.
Develop healthy relationships with your niche bloggers and have them push your content. You can ask them to write for your site, or help you in getting published on some high trust blogs. You never know the kind of value a link from an influential blog can do your site’s SEO, rankings and inbound traffic.
News blogs or reviews – Ideal for new websites, user generated reviews and press mentions can be a great way to acquire high quality links. You may need to dedicate some time to your brand’s PR, make some connections and earn venerated mentions across high profile news blogs and business websites. HARO (Help A Reporter Out) works great, provided you deliver high quality articles in the shortest possible time frame as the competition is usually pretty high.
Links are easy to earn, but building a clean Google-friendly backlink profile requires proactive thinking, pragmatic measures and the ability to overcome alluring easy link building tricks. Stay focussed in your work and avoid things that don’t regulate your power-trust ratio in the eyes of Google. Stay clean as that is the essence of a neat link building strategy in 2014.