Optimizing your site to rank well for search engines is an ongoing process. With search algorithms continuously changing you have to have the ability to adapt in today’s dynamic environment. Link building is the most important part of a sound SEO strategy that can contribute to a site getting tons of traffic per month or none at all. Building high quality links that look natural is extremely important because Google is currently cracking down on private blog networks, link farms and other unnatural methods of generating links.
What Are Backlinks
Backlinks are incoming links to website. They are important to the success of a website because they are used by search engines to validate the importance of a site. A site that has thousands of low quality backlinks from websites with unrelated content will not gain any benefit, but a site with backlinks from high ranking sites with related content will be viewed as an authority site and rank highly on search engines.
What’s The Best Strategy for Building Links
It’s easy to be tempted into purchasing backlinks. I mean why not, many webmaster’s simply just purchase links and their sites are ranking well. The issue with this is the 800 pound gorilla, Google is on the hunt. They recently took down Build My Rank (BMR), a private blog network that several websites used for backlinks. Google de-indexed all their links and websites that relied heavily on the link juice from BMR plummeted in rank. Google has made it clear that they are actively targeting illegitimate methods used to obtain links.
A solid link building strategy needs to be carefully planned and slowly implemented so the process looks natural. A list of my favorite link building strategies are listed below:
1. Internal Linking – Internal linking is important because it helps spiders from search engines find new content on your site. When creating internal links use anchor text with relevant keywords to link to other content within your site.
2. Great Content – Many site owners fail to realize what a powerful tool they have in their own content. It’s simple, create great content and others will link to it. That’s the great thing about using a platform like WordPress. I receive a ping-back whenever someone links to one of my articles. The ping-back contains the url of the site that linked to you, which gives you the benefit of checking the page rank of the website. These are the types of natural links that search engines love so it’s really important to write good content.
3. Article Directories – Submitting articles to various article directories is a solid method of obtaining backlinks. When using this strategy it’s important to only use quality article directories that are dofollow. Article directories are also an effective method of marketing your website as long as quality content is submitted to the various directories. High ranking article directories will show up in search engines so you can get the benefit of the backlink and your article being rendered for organic search. A great tool that can be used to automate the process of article submission can be found here. If you would prefer to manually submit articles you can find dofollow article directories here.
4. Guest Posting – Guest posting on blogs in a similar niche has become very popular. Webmasters for established sites need a steady flow of fresh content and many of them don’t mind posting content from guest bloggers as long as it’s quality work. A huge benefit of guest blogging is the link juice gained from an established authority site. Many authority sites get thousands of visitors per month so an additional benefit is the traffic that you may receive from readers of your guest post.
5. Commenting on Blogs - Search for popular blogs in your niche and comment on posts where you feel you can add value. Many webmasters are on the look out for obvious spam and they won’t post your comment if it doesn’t add any real value. Once you provide a comment there’s also a box where you can add the url back to your website. When using this strategy make sure you only target dofollow blogs. I’d personally recommend using dofollow comment luv blogs because they provide a link to the last post from your websites for all to see.
What You Shouldn’t Do
1. Buying links – Purchasing links is very tempting for many webmasters because they are certain that their competitors are doing the same thing. Although, it’s a certainty that a majority of sites are purchasing links it still doesn’t make it safe. Many backlinking services are readily available and what would keep Google or other search engines from discovering their strategy and making their links worthless? It’s easy to think that you won’t get caught, but even large retail companies have been exposed in linking schemes. I’m not completely against purchasing links if you find a reputable service that really understands what they are doing. If you go this route, make sure you have other strategies in place so your site rankings are not completely ruined if the links ever get de-indexed.
2. Reciprocal linking - Two sites agree to link back to each other. This is normally ineffective and a complete waste of time. Besides, if you work hard to build your site’s ranking through legitimate means why should you allow someone to benefit by linking to you?
3. Link Farms - Link farms are sites that contain many links to many other sites and pages. They contain very little content and the links are often unrelated, and have no real value in search.