Any SEO will tell you that since the middle of the last decade, links have been one of the most important factors when it comes to ranking well with the search engines. Something else they will tell you is that it is time consuming, mildly frustrating, and powerful. The idea behind link building is to build genuine online ‘popularity’ in the eyes of search engine robots through citations on websites – other than the one the links are pointing to. In other words, link building is the digital version of word of mouth, as more sites link to your site, users and search engines alike will view your site as a credible source for the topics you are linked to by.
There is a lot of theory and concept when it comes to the value of link building. As well as a number of schools of thought as to best practices. No matter what you or your SEO believe, link building is a close second to content in its value to a complete optimization and online marketing strategy.
As Aaron Wall and Andy Hagans state in their SEO Book post titled, 101 Ways to Build Link Popularity,
“…links are still the basic connector, the basic relationship, on the Web. And for the forseeable future they’re going to be the easiest way for a computer program to judge the importance and trustworthiness of a Web page.”
So, how do we do link building? Without getting to technical or giving out our brand strategies, the answer is, it depends. There are a number of methods to ‘build’ new links and garner online credibility:
1. First and the best way is natural link building. Having great content, a compelling story or product, or a viral sensation are all examples of natural link building. This type of link building is “true” link building from the standpoint that the Internet community values your content, material, or media and is basically doing the work for you. The payoff for creating quality, is receiving credibility for the material and given topic. There is one down side to natural link ‘building,’ there is little to no control on how the material is used or how users will link back to you.
2. Relationship building. In the past, we focused on establishing relationships with other websites, webmasters and article publishers to build very useful links. Nevertheless, this type of link building can be very time consuming and may take weeks, if not months, before a single article or post with a link is published. That is, if you are attempting to establish new relationships. One thing we offer through our link building is the fact that we have a number of relationships with a number of general, specific, and niche resources.
3. Social media. Social media is fairly new, but has spread like wild fire. Sites like Pinterest, tumblr and Facebook all offer ways of sharing information or websites users find interesting. These links are becoming every more powerful as search engines turn to real-time sources to provide relevant results. With social media links, you may see a dramatic increase in traffic, followed by sharp declines but ultimately, the traffic should be seen as an opportunity for new customers. This is why a website needs to be optimized for conversions, all the traffic in the world won’t do you any good if your site isn’t helping you convert visitors into consumers of your product or service.
4. Directories. In SEO 1.0 directory submissions were an easy way to get a new or undiscovered website links with relative ease that would improve ranking. This type of link building is a dying trend, but most continue to post in directories to help get new websites some link love.
5. Comment links. I mention this for one reason, there is nearly no value or reason to do this type of link building. Now, I will say this, if you have something of value or frequently visit a blog, website or forum and can constructively add to the conversation, having a complete profile and links will provide additional credibility – from a user/visitor standpoint. An example is with http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/canonical-link-tag/, a number of the comments have merit and are therefore not spam. This site, authored by Matt Cutts – the Head of Webspam at Google, has a page rank of 9 according to a number of tools, such as RavenTools.
Doing all of these items and more are the reason behind the value of having experienced SEOs working on your behalf. If you have been searching for more information or a Nashville SEO service or SEM consultant, look no further. You online marketing solution must be customized for you, your brand and your service or product. Don’t turn to a cookie cutter service or automated service – you’ve worked hard on your business, have an organization that works as hard as you do. Contact us today to learn even more about our SEO/SEM solutions, 615.669.9106.