Does link building ever scare you?
Have you heard Google’s Matt Cutts saying this (or something like this)?
“The philosophy that we’ve always had is if you make something that’s compelling then it would be much easier to get people to write about it and to link to it. And so a lot of people approach it from a direction that’s backwards. They try to get the links first and then they want to be grandfathered in or think they will be a successful website as a result.”
Do you feel like Google will penalize your site if you build links because they rather want you to create compelling, share-worthy content and to earn links?
Well, Google doesn’t say so but they don’t mind if you invest your efforts in building high-quality links. Which means link building is not a black-hat tactic. As a matter of fact, it’s never been.
Google just doesn’t want you to indulge in link spamming or buying do-follow links for search manipulation.
But what link building practices don’t risk you penalties and are truly good for you, especially since the recently-released Google Penguin 2.1, which affected 1% of queries?
Let us discuss.
Ok, I agree – guest blogging is the most commonly used white-hat link building practice nowadays. But let’s face the sad truth: it’s often not done in the right manner.
Google recommends refraining from “large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links” and that’s exactly what many, many webmasters haven’t been paying attention to.
See, true guest blogging has nothing to do with SEO and everything to do with providing value, building relationships, increasing traffic and gaining authority. If you focus on the latter you’ll inevitably get the former. Simple as that.
Don’t forget establishing yourself as an author using Google+ Authorship to gain more from your guest posting efforts.
As SEOs we’re used to using different tools and often experimenting the new ones in the market. We can reach out to the folks behind those tools, writing in a kind review and asking them whether they’d be interested in putting it up on their website.
If they agree, you get a free, high-authority link that’s completely natural and provides tremendous value.
You may not have heard of it before, but it’s a great way to build some new connections and get some new links.
As SEOs we’re fond of competitive analysis, finding out exactly what our competitors are doing. You’re right: there’re many, many SEO tools to help.
All you have to do is to search their link profile and find out where you can capitalize, in some way or the other.
For example, if your competitor has been recently interviewed by someone, there’s a great chance they may want to interview you as well.
Everybody wants to refer to a detailed, authoritative case study. Pick up some latest industry trend (or some well-established belief) and try going to the bottom of it.
Can you find out something that’d interest people? Can you give them value through your thorough research and efforts? Can you make them quote you almost every time they talk about that particular subject?
And even better, can you present that case study in the most interactive way possible? Infographic maybe? (For those who don’t know, infographics are more likely to go viral than traditional-style content.)
Over to you… What are your winning link building ideas? We’ll see you in the comments.