Tired of getting pushed around by Google Penguin? Have your previous link-building strategies been laid to waste? Afraid you’ll have to start all over again?
If you’re seriously thinking about going back to square one with your online marketing efforts — and it seems no one can stop you from doing so — you’re in luck. Today, we’ll talk about some link-building tricks that won’t get a frown from Google.
What follows are a series of quick tips on link building. You may be surprised to see some familiar techniques that many experts told you to stay away from, because they are supposed to be contraindicated by Google Penguin and Panda. We’ll talk about each one and show how your business can use them to push your site to a favored spot by the search engines.
So where should links be placed on — and out of — your site?
In the early days, directories were huge among SEOs. Posting links on article directories and other listings that related to your industry was once a key factor in ranking a site. That might not be the case these days; many directories have seen their value fall due to the wrath of Google Panda. But that’s not to say you should abandon directories altogether.
There are still some directories out there that carry solid SEO weight. The key is to stick with the ones that have achieved high authority and pagerank. Don’t bother with low-end directories. Choose at least five high-quality directories that cover categories which are closely tied to your site’s niche. Remember, in the day and age of Google Penguin and Panda, it’s not about quantity; it’s about quality.
Several years ago, blogroll links used to be huge. But they have waned in importance more recently. That’s because many people abused blogroll links so they tended to point to a whole lot of unrelated resources.
If you are keen to have your site included among an authority site’s blogroll links, be sure to check whether the blogroll points to industries or resources that relate only to yours. Also, make sure that the sites included in the blogroll are of high quality.
Much like most other types of links, comment links have declined in importance. As in many other instances, linking by way of comments has been subject to abuse by spammers.
However, if your intention is to add value to the conversation, and if the links you include will help to prove a point or provide substantive information for users, then by all means include those links. It should go without saying that the topic you comment on should be very relevant to your site.
Links on social media profiles
Social is now playing a vital role in SEO. While links on social media profiles such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are a great way to build links, for me they are awesome for creating bursts of traffic to a topic I want highlighted.
Guest posting is now huge. It offers bloggers an opportunity to share their expertise via other people’s blogs, and it also offers bloggers and online marketers a golden opportunity to link from highly authoritative sites.
Make guest posting a part of your online marketing efforts. Strive to create at least one or two compelling articles that you want to share to other bloggers’ audiences.
If you are still actively using article directories for your content marketing campaigns, chances are you are quite familiar with the resource box. The resource box is not only a great place to showcase who you are and what your services are all about; it’s also a great place to include links to your site.
A word of caution is in order, however, about using the resource box to point users to your site. Be careful not to over-optimize links with exact-match anchor texts. And make sure you vary the keywords you use as anchor texts.
Business directory links
These days, it’s definitely a must that you link from authoritative sites. If you can find directories where your local businesses are listed — such as your local chamber of commerce, trade organizations, etc. — get linked from these directories. They can be great not only for your ranking, but also for traffic.
Local is the way to go for many small businesses. If you can’t dominate the whole world, at least try to captivate the local business market.
Infographics are among some of today’s hottest visual content. They appeal to every visually oriented person’s preferences. As a matter of fact, infographics appeal to a broad range of audience, because most users are visually oriented.
What’s great about using infographics is that they can so easily go viral. Other publishers and social media users will share and re-share them across the web. And because links are inherently included in most infographics, you can easily create backlinks and traffic with them. If you haven’t yet included infographics in your marketing mix, now’s the time to start cranking up your creative juices with infographics.
Just like infographics, images that relate to your niche can be highly engaging. You can take advantage of image sites such as Google’s Picassa and Pinterest to share images that your target audience may find useful.
You can also create memes that relate to your topics and have them posted on social bookmarking sites such as Reddit and StumbleUpon for some potential virality.
Links still form a crucial part in SEO and online marketing as a whole. And they will remain so for the long haul. That’s why, while we need to be wary about some link-building activities, certain traditional techniques such as the ones outlined above will still provide value to your business, if done correctly and in a natural way.
Timothy Carter is the CRO for AudienceBloom. Since 1997 he's been helping businesses maximize their sales revenue from websites via content marketing, SEO and Internet Marketing strategies.
Over the years he's written for publications like Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, MarketingProfs and other highly respected online publications.