How Does Link Building Work Now?
Link building has changed drastically in a short amount of time. At one time buying 100 exact keyword links from individual IP addresses was the norm. This solution however has gone from being the standered, to being shady, to being catastrophic, as ranking algorithms have evolved.
[pullquote align=”normal”]Get rid of your preconceptions about link building. It’s a whole new game that centers around natural website promotion. It’s all about making yourself an authority in your field and helping users find you – the links, then, are just a small part of your overall strategy. [/pullquote]
Yes, as you grow your business, you’ll need to acquire inbound links. It’s just part of the online marketing game. My goal is to help you understand how to do it correctly – naturally.
Understanding Inbound Links
Inbound links are, generally speaking, a good thing. They help you to promote your business by funneling visitors from different locations all over the web. They coincidentally help you to increase your search rankings too. Can they help you cheat a little with the search algorithm? Probably. The secret to success, though, is to concentrate on the promotional aspect.
It’s wise to think of link building as a kind of organic marketing. If you market correctly, you’ll get links back to your site. They’ll come in all shapes and sizes, and they’ll help to promote your business through natural search traffic.
What does a good organic link profile look like in the real world, though? Below are a few tips that will give you the answer.
In the bad old days, Google essentially calculated how many times a keyword was used on your site and gave you a rank related to that number. You could buy thousands of links to something related to your site and quickly dominate a keyword – and everyone suffered for it. Those days are gone, thankfully, a number of new ranking factors have taken their place and anchor text variety is one of them.
[pullquote align=”normal”]Instead of just going for keywords, you need to focus on a variety of different anchor texts to look natural. [/pullquote]
Examples of natural anchor text
- Your Website
- Visit Your Website
- (blog post titles)
- (main keywords)
- (long tail keywords)
- Random anchors (click here, check this out, find more info on “keyword” here)
If you don’t have a natural anchor profile, you won’t be able to rank. Your backlink profile needs to have a variety of well-written anchor text that links to your site. Good anchor text isn’t just a way to stay on Google’s good side – it’s a great way to help your rankings.
Location, Location, Location
In a perfect world, you’ll get links from nothing but the highest-rated of websites. In the real world, every legitimate online business gets backlinks from lower-authority sites. Understanding where your backlinks are coming from is valuable.
If you provide a valuable resource, expect to get links from article sites. If you are in the service industry, expect links from local directories. Do guest posting the right way and you’ll get links from related websites that help you gain credibility as an authority on a particular topic. Backlinks in the real world come from many places, and you should always expect this to be true.
If your backlinks are only pointing towards your homepage, you might be doing something wrong. In the real world, backlinks ought to be point anywhere where there is valuable content. If you’re regularly updating your your site, promoting your blog, goods and services correctly, those pages should be getting quite a bit of link love too.
If your inbound links are overwhelming a single page, you aren’t promoting every aspect of your business correctly. Everything you do to promote your products and services should help to generate links to all of your pages.
Types Of Backlink
Backlinks come in many varieties. Some of them are marked as “follow” and others are marked as “no-follow”. Some links are banner ads, some banner ads have alt tags, and some don’t. Trying to understand every aspect of inbound links can be incredibly confusing for a first-timer, so here are some general ideas.
- Guest Posts
- Banner Ads
- Influencer Marketing
- Established Directories
- PPC (modestly if you have to)
- Sponsored Reviews (encourage full disclosure)
- Share Content You Create on Social Media Platforms
- Encourage People To Share Your Content
Some businesses generate a fair amount of backlinks just by dint of the industry they represent. If you’re running an nationally recognized business, for example, there’s a good chance that backlinks are going to come your way by the hundreds. If you’re running a plumbing site, on the other hand, you’ll probably only acquire a few links in the lifetime of your site.
Go, Promote Your Business
[pullquote align=”normal”]Backlinks are endorsements that help to promote your business. As you contribute to your community and in your industry online, they’ll come your way. [/pullquote]If you think of acquiring backlinks as promoting your site then they will appear natural (because they are) and those endorsements will help your rankings. This is how link building works today.