What Works and What Doesn't Work in Link Building Today
After the recent Google updates building quality backlinks has become a real challenge for website owners. But it doesn't mean that you have to sit quietly and watch your website ranking and traffic going down.
You just need to know what does not work anymore to avoid it and what does work well instead. Then you will be able to continue your link building campaigns being certain that your efforts will result in higher website rankings and more free traffic from search engines.
Common Link Building Tactics That Do Not Work Anymore
Below are some of common link building tactics that worked well before but stopped working after the last Google update. Google sees them as an unnatural link bulding and an attempt to manipulate your search engine rankings. The sites that are known to use any of these link building methods are now penalized by Google:
- Getting links from link networks. Link networks were often used to get hundreds backlinks in a very short period of time, for example, for a brand new website. Google has introduced an algorithm that is able to detect backlinks from link networks. Now a website having few backlinks one day and then suddenly having hundreds backlinks on the next day without any progressive backlink growth is not treated very well.
- Getting all links from one source. Some time ago you could submit hundreds articles to an article directory or make hudreds of forum posts for the majority of your backlinks and get each backlink counted individually. It's not like that anymore. Now each link source is credited only once.
- Always using the same anchor text. Building backlinks using the same keyword phrase as the anchor text is now an indication that you are trying to build links artificially instead of getting them in the natural way. Google can reduce your website ranking for having many backlinks with the duplicate anchor text.
Now let's talk about good link building tactics that will help you improve your website search engine rankings in today's circumstances.
Best Link Building Tactics That Do Work Now
This is not a complete list because Google does not disclose all the factors it takes into account when ranking a website. Moreover, they can change their website ranking algorithm in the future but in today's world these link building tactics do work:
1. Grow links gradually. Google is watching at your link velocity – the speed at which you acquire backlinks – more closely now. Google will flag the site as fraud if there is a sudden boost in backlinks (this happesn if you use some automated link building tools). The sites getting links progressively are valued more than the sites receiving, for example, 100 new links, every few months. A hopping and sporadic appearance of links is an indication of unnatural link building.
2. Get links from well inter-linked pages. In-content links are stronger than links from author bios. If you have a link coming from a page that is well inter-linked (where visitors can easily navigate from one page to another), this link will give your site more link juice than a link coming from a page with a poor inter-linking. An example of the site with a good inter-linking is Wikipedia where each page has links to related pages. Article directories are the sites with a poor content inter-linking because they usually do not allow link from one article to another.
3. Diversify your anchor text; use no more than 10-20% exact-match anchor text. Having only keywords for your anchor text is considered as an intention to manipulate search engine rankings. To avoid this problem, create a diverse anchor text profile where you'll use completely neutral phrases like "Click here", "Read more", "Go here", "Click this link", "Visit this site" etc for about 40% of your anchor text, generic text and keywords like "Visit directemailsoftware.com to read about bulk email sender ", "Read more about email marketing solutions at glocksoft.com", "Visit my email marketing website at glocksoft.com" for about 30-40% of your anchors, and your keywords for for the last 20-30% of your anchors. And use your primary and secondary sets of keywords in the description.
To see what anchor text is used for your backlinks, download this backlink checker software
. Load the URLs of the pages where your backlinks should be and start the program. Backlink Diver will parse each page and tell you if your link exists or not. Plus, you will see the anchor text of your link. The best thing is that Backlink Diver will show you the percent of each anchor text used and you will get a clear picture about your linking profile.
4. Diversify your links (DoFollow/NoFollow). Diversify the locations from which you get links. Nothing looks more unnatural if almost every link pointing to the site is DoFollow. Focus on a natural mix of DoFollow and NoFollow backlinks.
5. Get quality links. Spend the time to produce superb content and get it published on strong, authority publishers. One of the ranking factors Google uses now is the quality of the site linking to your site and link location. Authority sites with a higher PageRank are considered the best sources to get backlinks from. Authority means the domain age, incoming links to the home page and deep pages, content value etc. The location of the backlink does matter too. A link placed within a content gets more value than a link placed in the footer or in the sidebar.
6. Get links from relevant sites. Link relevance also plays a role in ranking your website. Links coming from the sites of the same or similar niche get more credit.
7. Get media exposure for your product or service, and that will naturally turn into strong inbound links.
We've just talked about what doesn't work and what still works in link building today. It's more about theory than practice. In the next article we'll talk about link building methods we can use to build quality SEO backlinks in today's world. Stay tuned…