With Google exercising its position as the uncontested referee in the search landscape, numerous ancient practices have succumbed to injuries. Even numerous search marketers have accepted their misfortune; instead of finding the way out of the mess. Many of them seek professional advice. In fact, plenty of such confused souls come to me, seeking the right directions.
The most repeated query regards the ultimate fate of link building. Is link building dead? If no, what are the right ways to link building? Feeling bombarded with such questions, I decided to write down a complete post on the topic.
Is Link Building Dead?
I personally blame Google for the hysteria, particularly for the individuals whose entire venture sank abruptly. Still, Google owns the right to change its algorithm, for better or worse. Anyway, I recommend including link building in your online marketing strategy.
However, rules of the game have changed, and you need to comply with them. But, Google controls the monopoly, and is not shy to ‘utilize’ its position. Read on find out the right link building techniques.
Avoid the Practice of Controlling Links:
The first thing that erupts in my mind is the bulk of links under your control. If you carefully analyze Google’s takedown on widget links, guest blogging networks, and other links, anchor text is controlled. In fact, the search giant is specifically sensitive to this practice. If not now, the practice will definitely evoke action in the near future.
Ofcourse, we can’t completely abandon the practice all of a sudden, though I highly recommend adopting a cautious approach. Remember that these links could get devalued and penalized in the next update.
What about Links that Scale?
I am not fond of links that scale, particularly of widget boxes, author biography boxes, and so on. In fact, these links survive on severe attention and vigilance; anyway, try to not indulge in extreme manipulation. It may work today, though the future is uncertain for this practice.
Avoid Asking for Anchor Text
During my research, I found out that asking for anchor text infuriates the search giant. No matter what you’re doing, steer clear of this practice. This also ensures a natural link profile. Anyway, going natural is definite to shield your site from any change in algorithm.
During my years of activities in the online market, I’ve never asked for anchor text. I would also advise you to do the same.
Never Link Externally in the Footer:
It is quite painful to witness people breaching some clear-cut guidelines. You should NEVER link externally in the footer. Interestingly, Yahoo, Google and other search engines had already made their intention clear about links in the footer. So, it dispirits me to see search marketers foolishly involve links, and ultimately alluring disciplinary action.
Steer Clear of Site-wide Links:
Another big No is site wide link. The mere exception would be navigation. Of course, there are a few exceptions. But, the volatile market conditions don’t give much room to taking risks.
Reasons to Avoid Site Wide Links:
- The value of such links is comparatively not significant for optimization purposes.
- It could set off over-optimization filters.
Emphasize on Distribution of Links:
I firmly believe in the superiority of distribution over building, when it comes to links. Anyway, your ultimate aim is to attract maximum eyeballs.
Here, when we formulate marketing strategy for our clients, we strive to capitalize on social media channels. Our pure attention is towards getting the maximum distribution possible. For this, we prefer and recommend maintaining balance between great content and link building. You also NEED to juggle these tasks.
Points to Remember:
- Well-written, unique and informative content should be published.
- Don’t forget to involve buttons for social media sharing.
- Give readers some reasons to share your content.
Remember the Relevancy Clause:
It takes no rocket science to realize that links is as good as the traffic it generates. Otherwise, it is nothing more than utter waste of time and efforts. And never be bothered about getting the maximum traffic.
Most of us are brainwashed to think that maximum traffic should be our only priority. But, I believe in thinking beyond the set stereotypes and parameters. In my view, relevancy and quality paves the way for success, and not traffic.
I know that you’re feeling confused. Let’s take an example to clear the clouds. You have a site related to smartphones and related gadgets. It is clear that getting links from an automobile site makes no sense. For the sake of irrelevant web traffic, you’re messing with the smartest people on the planet (Google Folks!), many of whom are paid to discover any manipulative practice.
Don’t Be Scared of No Follow:
We’re in 2014. So, if you’re still running away from No follow, you better quit the SEO game. You must embrace this technique. Anyway, ineffective links are better junked before they result in a Google penalty.
Still, it is evident that Google notices (and not considers) such links. It is still unclear why the search mogul keeps an eye on them. Perhaps, the folks over there at Google desire to monitor and control everything in the online market.
I am not going to pretend that our profession, as a search marketer, is easy by any standard. In fact, it’s one of the difficult jobs out there. But hey, that’s what makes it so damn interesting.
I desire to conclude on the statement that link building is still alive; however, the keys to success have changed. All you need do is put your wits to work. And for any query or suggestions, leave your comments through the comments section given below. Last but not least, this work has been inspired by Cyrus Shepard‘s white board Friday. Watch the great blogger in action here.
Some related articles:
- Matt Cutts- Top 7 Most Effective Link Building Techniques for 2014
- SEO 2014 – What to Do and What Not to Do in SEO in 2014 A complete guide
- Off Page SEO Link Acquisition 2014 & beyond: The ‘Brand’ Way
Vishal Vivek is the Founder of SEO Corporation, a Search Engine Optimization Company based in New Delhi, serving clients across every continent in world except Antarctica. If you looking for link building suggestions, feel free to drop a mail to him.