Link building is still a big factor in the SEO world. In fact, it is worth upto about 60% of the overall ranking factor that Google looks at when deciding who should be on the first page for any given phrase someone types into the search engine.
What exactly is link building? Basically it’s all about votes for websites. Say website B puts a link back to site A on their site, this is considered a vote from site B to Site A. In theory the more quality links you have pointing back to your site, the more authoritative Google thinks you are, and the higher up the rankings you go.
Now back in the olden days of 2010 you could basically get a link back from any old site and your website would rank. It was basically a numbers game. 400 links here, 400 links there and you would rank effectively for any website.
Penguin UpdateThis all changed in 2012 when Google brought in what was called the Penguin update. (Google does like to name their updates after animals for some strange reason). Upto this point a link would never harm your website, due to the fact that your unscrupulous competitors could easily throw some suspicious links at your site and get you penalised. Many websites were caught out by the update and saw their hard earned rankings and traffic to the website plummet. Recovering from a hit from Penguin is extremely hard with some sites never recovering.
Organic Link BuildingSo how do you protect yourself? What links should you be building? According to Neil from Web Design Agency ESP Projects Ltd, “Well that all depends on the nature of your business. If you are B2C you could look to get product reviews. This is where you find influential bloggers, send them a free sample and ask them to review your product (make sure you are confident it will be a positive review though!!).” You could approach people within your industry and ask them if they would like to promote your products in exchange for a commission of sales (a great way to get links), you could write blog posts and take some great looking pictures and post them on sites such a Pinterest or instagram . This is called link baiting. Where people naturally want to share your content or pictures and link back naturally to your site.
B2B Link BuildingIf you’re a B2B customer – look at writing testimonials for people you network with, or know. Do you have business cards?, a website?, Use office supplies?, write testimonials about how happy you are with the services provided. Most people will post these on their own website with a link back to you.
Guest Blog posting – Regardless of the industry Guest blog posting is a great way to get links. Simply write an informational article about your niche (usually around 500 words or more) and then approach other sites within your niche to host the content. You will be amazed how many sites are looking for guest posts these days.
These are just a few of the ways to build links. Just remember one thing if you are not sure if a link is a good or a bad link just ask yourself “would I build this link if Google didn’t exist?”.