Internet Marketing in Australia is still about the SEO basics despite the hype about all the Google updates. It may not surprise you to learn that link building has taken a few different approaches over the years. From the tedious manual building to the questionable ‘instant-links’ – you need to start questioning the approach that will work for your business – this means not just increase your SEO and ‘link-juice’ but also not get you penalised by Google. As such, I want to tell you a bit about the ‘finesse’ needed as we move into 2016.
The idea that link building is dead and buried may have been true a few years ago, but with the recent Google updates, especially Penguin, the problem has been addressed and the current environment for link building is more honest and focuses not on sheer numbers, but on quality links – it is now all about ‘link earning’.
The objective is not to ‘make your links appear natural’; the objective is that your links are natural. Matt Cutts.
As mentioned, the rollout of Google Penguin in 2012 has had a serious and deep-rooted impact in how links are considered in SEO. It has created a shift from schemes to strategies. Pre-2012, the SEO focus was upon manipulating the Search Engine algorithm by generating as many links as possible from a variety of domains and little attention was given to the quality of links, sites or anchor text. This led to a new generation of incestuous SEO practices such as link wheels. When Google said enough, much of the fall out led to the collapse of these sites and eradication of these practices. These techniques, while well established, became known as ‘black hat’ tactics. And a long list of approaches soon became not only unpopular but counter-productive.
To give you an indication, here are some tactics that are (thankfully) dead in the world of 2015 SEO:
- Abusing Blog networks
- Buying links
- Link wheels
- Trading links
- Low quality or irrelevant sites providing links
- Anything from a source that resembles spam (excessive comments, article marketing etc.)
Link Building in 2016
So, in the 2016 SEO universe, shaped by Google Penguin, the process is harder, slower and more challenging, so how can this be a good thing? Firstly, by removing all the underhanded and shady practices, it means that to get results, you need to be a website that actually produces quality content and earns links to similar quality. It is about building a true reputation and earning an authentic place at the top of the Search Engine results rather than manipulating your way to the top.
As such, you need to look at the following ways to not create links, but earn links:
- Promote content appropriately so the best types of people are exposed to it, they will be more naturally motivated to share and link your content
- Focus on relationships, if you have influence in your professional sphere then you will build a reputation for quality and you will be turned to for your expertise and value
- Content that is original, engaging and fascinating to your audience will lead to people naturally wanting to discuss, comment and share your website.
There is still a level of strategy to this process, but you start to see more merit rather than manipulation. No longer is it a numbers game, the focus is on quality and value. You should now build your brand, not your links. If you do this naturally than the link strategy will flow logically as a by-product of your work.
So what are Quality Links?
The answer to this was provided by the Google Penguin update. A number of questions began being introduced as a sort of guidance to the type of links that a webmaster should be seeking, or asking before engaging a link profile. The following list shows the important considerations you should think of in determining the quality of a potential link.
- Is the site relevant to the theme of my content?
- How much advertising does it have, has it been overrun?
- Checking the comments and social media presence, does the site have an active community?
- Is the content that it publishes of a high standard?
- Be the development and selection of content being driven by a positive editorial hand?
- Is their incoming link profile of a high standard?
- Is it a professional design/site?
- Ultimately, am I happy having this brand associated with my own?
If you are unsure of how to proceed with this, then approach an SEO professional. If they are willing to see the potential in your website and services, then they often have the connections and trust that can help to create the quality links that your site needs to get the respect you see that it deserves. Or visit our website for more information http://www.internetmarketingexperts.net.au/