Link building can be said to be a combination of several skills. The aim being that you want other people to link to your website that in turns will drive traffic to your website.
At the same time several search engines list their search results based on the number of links present on other websites. It some this is a measure of popularity of the website in question. Hence what link building ends up being a combination of good programming skills, sales, psychology, good quality content creation and even common marketing skills.
The story so far…
Link Building was really big. I said “was” big since that was in the past. The fact is that “Link Building” is where most of the people (websites) are getting hurt and this is mainly due to the stricter rules now implemented by Google; which if broken result in penalties. This move by Google was required and correct even though it meant doom for a lot of SEO professionals.
The reason why Google had to take such drastic measures is that link building was very big at one point of time in SEO history. In fact there was a time when if you wanted more traffic from a search engine than Link Building was a must. Thus link building was the chief task for the SEO team.
However this went wrong and a great number of SEO teams began using Spam links in order to do their link building, so that their website would climb to the top fast. These were called the Black SEO techniques and were quite effective till now.
Google – The game changer
As we turn our calendars to 2015 in little under a week we still have one very dominant search engine. In fact Google enjoys the status of being the “King of Search Engines”. That title comes with many responsibilities as well and Google has tweaked their search algorithm over the years to make sure that the end users are able to find good quality links and content that may be of some real use to them.
Thus they have shown great commitment and acted responsibly in keeping the World Wide Web still a good place to surf and search for things of interest. Over the last three years Google has made some serious changes to their search engine algorithm. This has raised many questions in the minds of the SEO professionals as to whether their not so standard SEO techniques will get them into trouble and at the same time which of the SEO practices are actually effective.
The question in the minds of many was “Is link building dead?”
The answer to that question is not easy. Because after all the changes made by Google till date, Link Building as you know it (or knew it) is no longer effective. In the sense that the previous link building strategies are no longer effective. To be more specific the link building strategies listed below do not work and may even get you into trouble:
- Reciprocal Links
- Exact match anchor text
- Guest Blogging
- Blog-roll links
- Blog post comment links
- Links in the forums
There were several SEO professionals that ignored the changes made by Google to the search engine algorithms and as so happened they paid a heavy price. Two recent high profile examples are the song lyric website ‘Rap Genius’ and the travel website ‘Expedite’.
The second part of the answer is that links will continue to act as an important signal for the Google Search Engine. Besides which Google has no plans to completely remove “links” as a signal for their Search Engines algorithm in the future either.
Thus although it is no longer any good actively seeks links anymore if you continue to practice good SEO techniques and do things right the links will come. This way there is no risk of being penalized as well. Such types of links are called earned links and are the ones that can make all the difference.
For example if a news website publishes the link to your company in their article that would qualify as an earned link. Google will take into consideration links that appear on trustworthy news sites or other similar websites and use that to promote the ranking of that website.
Surviving the change…
Now that the SEO scene looks quite different it is a matter of surviving the recent changes and developing more and better SEO strategies. This effectively means that is no quick and short method to fame for the websites any more when it comes to search engine listings. However there are several techniques that can make a difference.
The popularity of your website will make a big difference. Since logically the more popular the website is it is likely to be more important as well. Google too will take into consideration the popularity of a website which will precipitate in its search results ranking. When it comes to being popular both global popularity and local or domain specific popularity matter.
For example BBC is highly popular and well trusted website with 1000’s of links from all over the world hence it is comes as no big surprise that it is at the top when you do a search for “news websites”. What also counts is to have several local links as well at the right places. In addition to which it will be beneficial to target your efforts link building efforts in the same domain.
For example it is beneficial for a computer hardware website to have links from a games websites. On the other hand if you have several links from your friend’s website which is to do with Pet products it may not serve the purpose.
The good practices listed below will prove beneficial as well:
- Use good keywords for your anchor text.
- Assess the “Trust Rank” of the website you request or desire links from.
- The websites that are usually have a high trust rank are the Government Websites, Non-Profit Organization Websites and even Universities.
- Be careful when you link to other websites. Linking to websites that have a low rating or are Spam sites and untrusted websites can adversely affect your search engine ranking.
- Social Media does play a good role when it comes to shared links. Social Media is growing by the minute and although the potential of spamming is very high the fact that one good link shared in a network has an ability to reach the masses simply cannot be ignored and neither can the significance of that be ignored. Hence such links will make a difference to your search engine ranking to some extent.
- There is no fixed number of links to achieve to become popular and hence the more the links the better. In fact websites will a large number of fresh links are likely to me more popular.
There are several types of links that can be beneficial when it comes to boosting your search engine ranking as listed below:
- Natural Links: These are links that are given by other websites and pages who wish to link to your content or firm. They are not necessarily due to any direct action by the firm itself. For example these can be links on a news website. Such links are also often called earned links.
- Manual Links: These are links that a generated by special effort of the company or their SEO team. For example by emailing blogger, or submitting to popular directories or even by paying to be listed. Besides which at times it also pays to link to universities or government websites since those are more trust worthy. Hence this is done by convicting them that your website has good resources or provides noteworthy services.
- Self-Created Links: These kinds of links used to be effective but might just get you in trouble these days. Hence if you insist to continue doing this it may be a good idea to do so very carefully. As the name suggests these are links that are generated on the millions of website that offer visitors to create links via guest book signings, forum signatures, blog comments and ever user profiles. I strong advice to abstain from following this technique.
As you now know, Link Building has been around for a while now and has been in the news (Tech news) for all the wrong reasons. However as we enter into the year 2015 it is safe to say that link building is here to stay based on the recent trends of the Google updates.
The SEO practices surrounding Link Building have witnessed massive changes. For some it will mean developing a completely new strategy all together. In fact there are many and SEO methods that can be discussed to the end of the world. However that would take us way away from the scope of this article and hence it concludes with by stating the basics of link building.
Alakmalak is on firm that is known to always follow good practices and has been in the field long enough to have witnessed the ups and downs of the Google updates and shady SEO practices.
However after having developed more than 2000 websites for several clients from all across the globe and being equally active with SEO projects during that period it is safe to say that by choosing Alakmalak you are in safe hands. Hire Alakmalak as a your next Digital Marketing Consulting Firm today!