Since the last Google algorithm update, there are many rumors about link building and the white hat SEO strategies. I recently wrote about the importance of social engagement in contrast to SEO and it became a pretty hot topic. I believe the biggest question nowadays would be the important the the old school link building method.
Before we go any further, this is a snippet from Google Webmaster Tool:
Previously, Google said ...
'In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.'
And everything changes now with ...
'In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.'
Does this really means the end of link building techniques in search engine optimization? Of course not!
This doesn't prove that link building is no longer in use. In fact, this makes link building even richer and more valuable! And at the same time, this new Google algorithm makes link building ... yes, you got it right ... harder but definitely not impossible.
Important disclaimer: This article is more than 2,000 words and I dare you to do read it in just one go. If not, bookmark this page right now and come back anytime when you are ready!
What did we learn from the latest Google update?
Every time an update takes place, there are many things Google are showing us ... or at least, hinting us. Here are some things that I had learned which are the number of backlinks, using the right link building techniques and even using the right search engine optimization methods. And the only way to learn this is by watching those videos posted by Matt Cutts and his team.
So let's discuss on the proper link building strategies that work for search engines today.
1. Using the right SEO tools for link building
For those who really into SEO, it's a very known fact that you probably need at least one SEO tool to help you with those ranking and link building tactics. Seriously.
I know many people who uses paid SEO tools likeare having crazy time trying to create more quality backlinks to their articles. I would say, maybe they are having the time of their lives! 🙂
You might be thinking that, "Hey, take that you [email protected]#$ paid SEO tools!". Here's the reality check. These SEO tools will actually ... and still be rocking like any other days.
Yes! Let me repeat; link building isn't dead but it just got tougher. That's all.
For those who are using various link building tools, well, you just got to play smarter. You need to change the game plan but slowly.
Why? Google still loves quality backlinks and this doesn't mean that you can't get the best out of 'virtual assistance'.
Thinking of going white hat SEO to be on the safe side? Maybe this tool might help!
One thing for sure is that using SEO tools will not make you any safer from Google updates. You need to use SEO tools the right way and focus in your strategies. Always remember that misusing these SEO tools will actually destroy your traffic and your SEO ranking.
*p/s Looking at this article length, I'm going to write the so call 'SEO game plan' on another post.
2. Write articles for readers and not for bots
Link building isn't really link building only. For me, link building also means website marketing and communications. The more visibility people has on your website, the better chances you are going to create the 'brand awareness'.
And with that (assuming you write great articles), people are going to share your articles even more!
More shares = More love from Google.
There ain't any trick about link building and content sharing if you ask me. Write good stuffs, get your name out and let the people (readers) do the rest for you.
What you really need to learn about link building is you can't get everyone to love your writing or even share your articles. Okay, remember that every visitor who comes to your site is a potential 'buyer'.
Take the opportunity to get them spread the word for you and how you can possibly do that?
It really depends on how generous are you. For me, I do a win-win situation for my readers. I am using CommentLuv for WordPress and what this plugin does is simple. It allows users to share one of their links after they commented.
Wait! That isn't all.
For those who share my articles on social media, they will automatically get a DoFollow link back. Sounds good right?
You see, blogging is all about giving and just not taking completely. I see absolutely no reason why one should be so secretive about backlink.
3. The relationship between backlink, social communities and tribes
Recently, I'm very active on several sites such as BizSugar and Triberr. I wasn't actively sharing my links though. Instead, I was commenting and sharing other articles I felt useful.
The effect? One word: Tremendous.
As I had said about in #2, sharing is caring and there's no better way than helping a fellow blogger to share their articles. Heard about karma or what goes around, comes around?
Whenever you share an article on social networks, you are creating a good chance for others to visit your website in return. And most of the time, they would probably return a favor by giving a shout (hey, that's free publicity) for you.
Blogging isn't everything about yourself. Instead, it is all about relationship building and sharing of information. Grow your audience indirectly by doing good to others.
So, stop being a link whore and start linking out to others!
Yes mate. Right now! Don't worry, I'll wait!
4. Link building is closely related to sitemap
You have written an excellent article and you published it. After one week or probably a month, you ain't getting a hit and you are no closer in creating a viral article that drives hundreds of traffic to your website. So, what's wrong?
Okay. Here's the deal. You want to build good traffic, link building etc. You probably won't go far if you are not focusing enough on SEO. One of the search engine optimizations best practices is to have a sitemap.
Google just won't put you on first page of SERPs if Google is not aware of your existence. This is where sitemap plays a huge role in your website ranking.
So, yes. The first thing is to get your sitemap up immediately ... (moments of silence) ...
What's a sitemap? Site what?
A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for Web design, or a Web page that lists the pages on a Web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. There are two popular versions of a site map. An XML Sitemap is a structured format that a user doesn't need to see, but it tells the search engine about the pages in your site, their relative importance to each other, and how often they are updated. HTML sitemaps are designed for the user to help them find content on the page, and don't need to include each and every subpage. This helps visitors and search engine bots find pages on the site.
Makes any sense to you? Maybe this image from Google might help out.
Creating a sitemap is no hassle and you can do that within 5 minutes or less. Once you have your sitemap ready, head over to Google Webmaster Tool and Big Webmaster Tool to submit your sitemap.
5. Guest posting - The pros and cons in link building techniques
We can't deny the importance of guest posting especially when you are looking for a quality backlink. Writing good guest post will certainly drive traffic to your website without fail but there's something you need to know first!
Backlink building from guest posting is a double sided blade. Handle with care at all times.
Google and other search engines understand that many bloggers are actually trying to gain momentum and getting some quality backlinks from good page rank sites. When it comes to guest post, there isn't any difference.
Don't get me wrong. Guest posting is definitely worth it considering the quality of backlink. However, you do not want to over do it to avoid any penalty. The easiest methods which I see best fit for guest posting are:
- Writing quality articles
- Use maximum of three links per post
- Taking advantage of the rel"nofollow"
Huh? Isn't that rel="nofollow" means zero backlink?
Yes indeed. This is my link building strategy. You don't want search engines to consider your site as a link juice or link farm. Therefore, if the content in the link doesn't provide quality information for your readers, it is better off with a no follow rule.
Do you understand why I say it as a double sided blade now?
6. The viral factor and link building under one roof
Have you heard about viral video or viral content? So, what does the word, viral actually means?
For me, it means an action which is hit the world by storm ... unintentionally. Here's an example:
Years ago, a kid made a video to promote his band and uploaded it to MySpace. Sounds like, "duh" right?
The video was about a kid who ran around the garden smashing two Barbie dolls together, throwing tomato source all over the place and screaming the name of his band in a variation of pitches while his MySpace page flashed at the bottom of the screen.
And, guess what?
He received two million hits to his band's MySpace ... in just two days.
The kid didn't do much ... and probably took around 20 minutes trying to clean up the mess he did plus uploading the video.
Source: Adam Connell
Makes any sense? Probably not.
But does that matters? It certainly do!
Viral content, whether it be images, videos or quizzes - has the potential to drive massive amounts of traffic and generate a large amount of business leads or subscribers.
So, what the heck this has to do with link building?
Take the kid's case study for an example. Do you think that out of the two million hits the kid got, how many people actually share the video or his band?
I call this ... indirect link building since ... it's viral and we can't really control it, could we? I totally understand that there is no possible way to actually create a perfect viral content.
Math lesson: Let's say you manage (accidentally) create a viral content and it drives you tons of traffic. Do you know how much website traffic you are going to gain?
Even though there are no proven ways to actually create a viral content, here are 14 marketing tools to help you increase the chance of viral-ing and spread the word!
7. Old fashioned link building techniques. Are they dead?
I read so many articles about changing SEO techniques, so on and so forth. Question is, do you really need the traditional SEO building strategies now?
From what I see it, yes you need them and it is never advisable to ditch them. With all these Google Penguin and Google Panda, it is harder to score points with the old methods. But, each point you earned will worth even more than ever!
Fair deal for you?
We discussed about guest blogging, marketing techniques and SEO tool like this one above. Anyone of these could help you with SEO and this certainly doesn't prove that ancient SEO methods won't count anymore. Remember that most search engine optimization methods are based out of the trusted, ancient 'recipe'.
Since so many algorithms are calculated based on page ranks and number of links, I bet you totally understand where this is heading.
Personally, I would advise you to start changing your game plan. Like me, my approach to SEO is way different than three years back. I even created SEO Blueprints library which consist of every SEO techniques I'm practicing right now.
8. Avoid the BIGGEST link building mistakes
For me, the biggest sin you can ever do when it comes to SEO is when you think you had done enough. The truth is ... you aren't able to to completely do SEO.
Because SEO is a learning process and it has many implementation phrases. This means that what works today, might not work for tomorrow.
Now, tell me if you have ever (and I really mean e-v-e-r) thought of giving up.
Yes, you thought search engine optimization is too hard and you probably done everything you could. Yet, you're ain't seeing the results. People say you need to be patience and you waited for months and still, goddammit nothing happens!
Sounds familiar? Don't be shy and admit it. It happens to you, to me and nearly every blogger out there. It felt like a never ending war right?
Now, this is the cold hard fact. SEO doesn't happen overnight and certainly, there isn't any proven methods for us to judge how far we had done or accomplished.
However, we can always judge by page rank and the number of links that are pointing to our articles but, are those really counted?
Giving up hope is definitely a no-no here. Content, article and website optimization are all, ever growing activities which will always keep you on your toes (and for some, might even make you stay awake at night).
Agree to disagree?
Back to you
Wow! This is a longest post (as of now) which I had written! So, how do you like it? If you had read this in just one shot, I'm going to give you my salute. No doubt on that.
As for the topic, these are the top 8 workable link building techniques that we all can practise to build authority and at the same time, traffic. I used these nearly every day and whenever I'm blogging.
What do you think? Tell me what you think and you can easily do it right below.
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