The holy grail of SEO has long been links since the inception of search engines. While some people might say that links are being phased out, the truth is that they are still a vital role to SEO and will be for some time.
In fact, Matt Cutts (Head of Google’s Webspam Team) stated that they tried an experiment where they eliminate links from their algorithm but still ranked sites on all other factors. The results as you could expect were atrocious. Links are still a vital role to SEO and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
Link Building in 2014
Link building has been the subject of Google's Penguin update and it is widely considered to be one of the destructive updates for SEOs.
In the past, link building was about finding as many links as possible. In the early days of SEO, it didn't even matter where they were from, anchor text diversity did not matter, and the quality of links had no real effect if you built enough.
While some techniques still work from the past, most of the old link building techniques are long dead and should no longer be used.
Link Building – What Google Wants
Technically speaking, Google does not want you to build any manual links on your own. This is actually against their terms although Google has admitted that there is still some grey area related to this subject. What Google really wants is for you to earn links.
I know what you're thinking… How can I EARN links? Well, according to Google you can:
* Create content so amazing that people just naturally link to it and share it.
* Promote your content so it appears in front of the right audience, causing them to share and link to your content.
* Build relationships with people in your niche so they know your content is valuable and authoritative enough to share.
This is incredibly difficult for some people and this is why building is brand takes more than a few days. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither should your website either. Still, there's nothing wrong with actively searching for links and most so-called “white hat” SEOs would agree that certain techniques are okay.
Finding Quality Links
Finding quality links are essential to your link building efforts. Before accepting a link, you should evaluate the link to determine whether or not the link will help or harm your site. To do so, look at the site and see if:
* The site is relevant to your content.
* The content quality is superb.
* The design is clean and professional.
* Links coming into the site are high-quality links.
* You’d be comfortable associating your brand with the site in question.
* Advertising is carefully placed and does not overrun the site.
If the site fits many of these categories, then chances are the link from the site will be a quality link. In addition, always try to get a link from the sites ranking in the top-10 for your niche. They’re ranking in the first page for the reason. Try to suck some link juice from their site.
What About SEO Link Spam?
Any SEO blog will address spam or black hat SEO methods at some point. While Google has taken out the basic forms of spam and black hat SEO methods, the truth is that Black hat SEOs have evolved and are still ranking for several tough keywords using complex and smarter spam.
If you’re trying to build a real brand, these methods do not have any role in your SEO strategy. Spam is still very shortsighted and you’ll always be one algorithm update away from having your entire portfolio of sites being wiped out. Build a brand that lasts and ignore black hat SEO all together.
In today’s world, link building is not about getting a lot of links. Instead, you’ll need to find quality links that are related to your website. These links will help build your brand and bring you quality traffic that you can leverage into potential customers.
or go back to last chapter: