Particularly, this is most likely applicable for SEO link builders, who are in charge of increasing the quality of inbound links to a page in order for a website to rank higher in organic search in a natural way. Since links are probably one of the most important ranking factors that search engines use, link builders must know the rules of obtaining links in a non-manipulative way which means, links that can stand the test of time.
In this post, I’ll provide the information for startup link builders before they start creating links for the website of their clients before they mess up and put those websites at high potential risks of getting penalized due to manipulative approach or unnatural linking approach.
Let’s get started.
First off, let’s get the definition of link building from Wikipedia, everyone’s source of information.
Right, creating links is easy though, but are those the links that your website needs to increase their authority and visibility of your website in your industry that can stand the test of time? Or those are the links that will deteriorate your website’s credibility in search engines that can result to penalization? You have to know the answer, otherwise you will probably lose your clients if they get hit or penalized by Google’s algorithm when they roll out or launch a new one.
For helpful information about Google Algorithm, visit Moz’s algorithm change history.
To understand how search works, visit Google’s inside search.
Importance of links for rankings
Google uses links for search rankings, that’s for sure and that’s why they often send manual penalty emails to websites through Google Webmaster Tools that they believe manipulating their search visibility – With this in mind, you can validate that search engines use links as an important signal to determine a website’s value, importance and worthwhile your website is to audience and industry.
Manual Action by Month
However, although links play an important role for websites, link builders should not get all the links that they want even the websites they are thinking of getting a link from are high quality and authoritative due to following reasons:
Relevancy – Search engines reward sites that get links from the websites that are related to them naturally – so if the link source of your website are mainly from artificial link building approach such as submission, blog comments, forum signatures and bookmarks in a large scale, your link profile might become questionable.
Location – Search engines use the location of the links that are referring to your website as a signal to identify where you’re attempting to rank – so if the domain extension of your website ends with .ca, you only have to create links from websites with the same domain extension of .ca and if you happen to create links from .au site in a large, you will probably not rank in your target location.
Engagement – Visitors engagement on a website is also important and a top priority when deciding to create links on your prospect websites – Your website needs to benefit from links you’ll generate in terms of traffic and not only juice.
Links play an important role for websites; they serve a vote for a website to escalate its authority and ability to rank in organic search. Links are also indication of trust to a website, which means the more inbound links your website has, the more trust factor they can send to your domain.
Link Acquisition Methods
Link building is an art. It’s one of the basics but the most challenging part as a link builder as you are opt to practice the approach that is not against in search rankings. It also requires creativity, patience and dedication when you’re creating links for your website – this means, you will have to create links that can be really useful to your website and not the type of links that you create just for the sake of links.
There are several types of link building methods that can link builders can put into practice and incorporate to benefit their websites, but the getting to know the basics is sometimes much better than doing the advanced approach in which you are not yet sure will work effectively for your websites.
Editorially given linksThese are the links that your website earned naturally, given by other websites that are related to your industry. Editorial links are much more valuable and trustworthy in link development as it shows that a website has produced something important and unique to its audience which deserves to be shared widely within their industry via link back or social share.
How to get editorial links?
- Produce a share worthy content
- Do case study content
- Controversial content
- Newsworthy content
Manual outreach link buildingThis type of method requires strategy and creativity as you’ll have to communicate with the people in your industry particularly website owners or bloggers that can potentially allow you to link to their website in a non-manipulative way of course.
How to do manual/outreach link building approach?
- Create an alert of your brand mentions
- Offer your content to industry bloggers
- Broken link building
Self-created links building
Self created links are the ones you personally created with intent to link your personal blog, website or article in your contribution in various channels that are topically related to your website, niche or industry. This type of approach is normally overly abused by link builders that aim to build inbound links to their website and hope to increase their search rankings. Unfortunately, it does not work out that way since Google released their Google Penguin algorithm.
Since Google has been dedicated in identifying and penalizing websites that they believe practicing SEO against their Guidelines, performing the following methods below will help you create links to your profile that does not violate their search guidelines:
- Q&A approach
- Forum contribution
- Content distribution
- Business and Individual profile creation
Significant things to know in link creation
There are some imperative approach that you need to keep in mind when link building for a website. This approach can help you make your link profile non-manipulative, although not essentially pure natural link building, you can assure to your clients that it’s not overly against to Google guidelines and the end result will not be prone to website penalty.
Anchor text and source diversification – Practice diversifying your anchor text profile and links sources – don’t just focus on one source of link ie; guest blogging and don’t repeatedly use the same keywords you’re targeting.
Website Relevancy – Practice getting links from websites within your industry or topically related to the content that you’re building links on.
Domain Authority – Avoid getting links from low quality domain as they may put your website at risk by getting links from low quality websites.
Followed links – Followed links are the ones that can pass “juice/authority’ to a webpage which helps a page to rank higher in SERP. However, if you focus on creating followed links to your website, this may cause negative results to your website – Remember the terms diversify is one crucial word in digital marketing.
Hottest Google Algorithms
Google’s dedication to fight spammers have never been doubted, they keep on releasing and updating their algorithms to identify which websites are manipulating their search rankings, practicing link building methods or tactics that are against their rules and guidelines.
Google Panda – Is a change to Google's search results ranking algorithm that was first released in February 2011. The change aimed to lower the rank of "low-quality sites" or "thin sites"
Google Penguin – Aims to decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using now declared black-hat SEO techniques involved in increasing artificially the ranking of a webpage by manipulating the number of links pointing to the page. Such tactics are commonly described as link schemes.
Google Hummingbird – About synonyms but also about context of search queries which aims to deliver search results as quick as possible Google could come up with
Ahrefs – The largest and the freshest index of live links. Index is updated every 15 min. Ahrefs Site Explorer is free to try.
Open Site Explorer – Open Site Explorer is Moz's Search Engine for Links. Perform competitive link research, explore backlinks, anchor text, and more for free
Majestic SEO - Link intelligence tools for SEO and Internet PR and Marketing. Site Explorer shows inbound link and site summary data.
Monitor backlinks – Monitoring tool for your backlinks for good SEO rankings and finding spammy links to help you avoid having negative signals to Google.
To stay updated in the industry trends, news and updates, visit the following websites regularly for knowledge improvement.
Search Engine Journal – News on search marketing, blogs, and Web 2.0
Search Engine Watch – A guide to search engine marketing and search engine optimization
SEO by the Sea – SEO by the Sea explores search engine patents and white papers, and provides internet marketing and search engine optimization
Search Engine Land – Search Engine Land is a must read hub for news and information about search engine marketing, optimization and how search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Live.com and Ask.com work for searchers.
Search Engine Roundtable – A well-rounded view on search engines and search engine marketing from five segments of the Web population represented by senior members of the major SEO/SEM forums on the Internet.
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Google Analytics
- Google trends
- Google keyword planner
- Google Plus
For more link building insights, Twitter and Google+