A friend and fellow search engine optimization expert asked if I knew of any good link building tactics. I thought he must know the same thing that I know. That is, that relevant link building is getting harder and harder…it has been over the last 3 to 4 years. We both agreed that the best way to get links is to simply write great content and over time, people will then link to your great content. But what about beyond that? Directories? Articles? Blog comments? Online Publicity?
The search engines always seem to be playing this never ending game of cat and mouse with links and search engine optimziation folks trying to build them. Truth is, link building is not for the faint of heart. A good link today may turn sour next week or next year. Then what? Reality is if you develop a blended white hat (by the book or following each search engine webmaster guidelines), then you should not have any issues in the future. Meaning, if you know a link source is not the best, for instance, not relevant, link exchange or paid link, then stay away from it. Also, never abuse any type of link building activity. If a particular source of a relevant link is generating visitors to your website then continue, but don’t overdo anything. The reality is the search engines always change things because SEO folks (or black/grey hat ones) tend to abuse a certain link building activity. I remember 6 years ago, link building consisted of some of the same things as it does today, but you could have a site with good content and good site optimziation and then exchange links and do very well. This is NOT the case today!
But that doesn’t mean link building is a fruitless activity. I still believe in the power of good links even if they’re getting more and more difficult to find. But what makes for a good link?
Based on my experience and various industry sources that I have seen in recent times, the criteria still come to:
Not necessarily in that order, but those are the important factors to locating a good quality link. So now that we know what kind of links to go for – relevant links from authoritative sites with strong anchor text that have aged – how do you get them? First, what you should NOT do is run out and start spamming directories and social bookmarking websites. That will get you nowhere. What will get you places is to write great content and market that content to your target audience in the places where your target audience likes to hang out. If you’ll do that on a consistent basis you’ll see the links. But a moderate submission strategy to top-notch authoritative websites within your niche is a nice augment. And don’t sweat the small stuff. The most important advice that I can give you is do your research and plan out your link building activities in advance, not only does this make it manageable, but keeps your link building program on track.