The Smart Person’s Guide to Link Building
Love them or loathe them, links still count. They count for a lot.
Danny Sullivan likened them to the fossil fuels of the Web — polluted, polluting, but still the best thing we’ve got until Google figures out how to power the quality of search using “renewables.”
So what is a webmaster to do?
Understand that the only links worth having are the links that you would still want if search engines didn’t exist. In other words, the links that send you targeted traffic.
The only links worth having are the links you would still want if search engines didn’t exist.
And keep it real, of course…
Three-odd years after Penguin first struck, it’s amazing how many posts you still see in the blogosphere that promote vaguely manipulative link-building practices. Sometimes you’ll even read about a tactic that is downright manipulative, like Penguin never even happened.
In 2015, anything short of 100% natural will probably hurt you — and probably sooner rather than later.
Matt Cutts spelled it out all the way back in 2009…
The objective is not to “make your links appear natural,” the objective is that your links are natural.
And just so that there’s no hint of search engine favoritism here, Duane Forrester from Bing said it equally well…
You should never know in advance a link is coming, or where it’s coming from.
But if the links you really want are the ones you don’t see coming, how the heck do you “build” them? In two ways…
First, create stand out content. If you don’t make your content at least twice as good as anything else out there, don’t expect anyone to link to it.
Better still, make it what Rand Fishkin called “10X” content.
Second, tell the world about your creation. Promote it through your social channels, your newsletter, your RSS feed, your personal network. If you think it’ll help, tell the paperboy.
Links will come. But you won’t see them coming!
Beyond that, push harder…
- What are you not saying now that you could say?
- What other types of content (video, audio, etc.) could you use to extend your reach?
- How could you promote your content with more muscularity? Or more creativity?
If “natural” links are the effect, the cause is stand out content that you took the trouble to promote.
So be smart…
Attend to the cause.
Are you just starting to build your online business and not sure where to start? We can help answer your questions and how to get started right.