Link building was once thought to be dead, but it’s proving itself to be a quite a force in 2017. If you haven’t started already, you’ll want to work on becoming a link building expert before you’re left in the dust.
Link building, or the process of creating natural backlinks to your website, is one of Google’s main criteria for selecting which websites to rank highly and which ones to rank where nobody can see them.
How can you take advantage of that and become a link building expert? Let’s find out!
What is link building?
Link building was previously thought to be dead, but it seems like rumors of that death were somewhat exaggerated.
As you know, SEO is constantly shifting and changing. This means the requirements for ranking are hardly ever stationary for long, and you need to be able to keep up.
Google has confirmed that links are the #1 ranking factor other than content. That means that it’s nearly impossible in today’s climate to rank without good links.
Overall, the concept of link building isn’t difficult, so in some regards, it only takes some research to become a link building expert.
Think of links like votes, like popularity. The more people who link to your website, the more popular your website is. If your website is popular, by search engine logic, it’s got to be worth something, so it’s definitely worth displaying in results.
Currently, search engines analyze linked websites as authoritative sources. Based on the number of people linking to any source, the search engine can decide whether or not to display them, and what ranking to display them at.
It creates a network of authoritative and trusted sites in a certain network. Why wouldn’t legitimate sites link to other legitimate sites that offer similar things?
What do I need to know to be a link building expert?
The first thing you need to know to be a link building expert is how, exactly, links are used by search engines. Different links have different types of value, but – wait, what do you mean, “different links?” Aren’t all links the same?
Yes and no. All links are the same in that they’re something on a page that redirects someone to another page. That’s where the similarities stop.
Your links change by priority. If your website is popular and important, links to that site will be weighed more heavily than a more obscure site.
Additionally, if you have local or niche popularity, those could matter more than general sites without much focus.
Also, don’t underestimate anchor text! Anchor text is actually one of the strongest signals you can send to a search engine. The more links that point to a certain page with certain keywords, the higher your website can rank.
There are other factors to take into consideration, such as your neighborhood of links (legitimate sites will link to legitimate sites and vice versa, and search engines are capable of decoding this) and social sharing, but when it comes to on-page SEO especially, these are the ultimate things to keep in mind.
Tips and tricks
So, you’re convinced that link-building is a real thing at this point, but you’re not sure how to apply it and take your reign as a link building expert.
The first step to fulfilling your link building expert potential is to be careful.
That sounds counterproductive. We’re supposed to be telling you to take risks and encouraging you to defeat the wilds of the Internet. However, we’re also smart enough to understand that the chances of you outsmarting Google are very, very slim.
Google states outright in their Quality Guide that if you place your links deliberately in an effort to manipulate your ranking, you could be blacklisted from the search engine entirely.
Content creators attempt to boost their SEO ranking, and some employ links to do it. This means that you need to have to have the finesse to make your links flow naturally. Don’t spam them, or you’ll be in trouble.
Reciprocal linking is a great way to take advantage of link building, provided the links make sense and are exchanged fairly. If you’ve ever been on any social media, you know how annoying the “follow for follow” profiles are. Don’t be that guy, just for SEO.
Additionally, make sure any sources which link back to you are natural and make sense. Make sure they don’t stuff their content with keywords, or you’ll risk bringing down your own ranking.
Some people believe that a great way to take advantage of off-page SEO is to comment on forums. Forums typically give you a signature option which you can use to put links to your own services.
That’s not going to boost your SEO, in part because there’s no telling that your links are relevant to the topic. While you may get visitors from the forum, you also risk attracting bots and other unsavory things.
However, if you’re in an active discussion on a forum and you drop your link because it’s relevant, that can definitely help you out!
Our last trick to help you become a link building expert is pretty simple: don’t buy links.
It seems like it’s too good to be true, right? Spend some money and enjoy some recognition on someone’s website? However, buying links breaches Google’s guidelines.
Additionally, it’s much more rewarding to craft your own high-quality content without throwing your links at others.
Becoming a link building expert isn’t difficult, especially once you realize that everything old is new again. Link building may have gone out of style in regards to SEO in the past, but it’s back in fashion, and you need to be on this train.
Link building can boost your SEO by miles, and there are several ways to take advantage of it. The easiest area to focus on is dropping links to your content in relevant discussions, whether on forums or on blogs. Get out there, and get noticed!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding SEO and Internet marketing, feel free to drop us a line!