goodroi - 6:48 pm on Dec 31, 2012 (gmt 0)
We all know that links influence Google rankings. That is why there have been so many different link manipulation schemes that initially worked at least until Google closed down those shortcuts and handed out a few penalties.
How is a website supposed to handle link building and still keep Google happy?
If you are lucky and have a big budget, then hire a professional link builder. This is not going to be cheap. If someone is offering cheap links, in my experience 99% of the time the links are worthless and/or dangerous. You get what you pay for so expect to pay thousands and thousands of dollars for quality link building.
Instead you can be like me and do your own link building. Here are my top goals:
#1 - Build backlinks that generate traffic and sales for my site
#2 - Expand my brand by adding backlinks to relevant audiences
#3 - Boost my Google search rankings.
Did you notice that boosting my Google search rankings is listed last? I know from personal experience that if I take care of #1 and #2, then #3 naturally happen without me having to do any of the shortcuts I did years ago that really upset Google. This is what I use as my general guide. Here are some specific link techniques:
Directories - I avoid most of them because most of them have no relevant traffic to send to me. If there is a very relevant trade association directory or local business directory that can drive sales then I would submit my site.
Paid Text Links - I love paid links IF they can drive me traffic that converts into sales. That is called smart advertising. Unfortunately most paid links will not drive traffic so I tend to avoid them.
Guest Blogging - Many webmasters seem to not have learned the mistakes of paid text links and from the penalties that Google handed out. If you can keep it relevant then go for it, otherwise be smart and stay away. I like to offer free content to relevant websites that do not have blogs. Just because a webmaster does not blog does not mean they don't like to be given professionally written, relevant content.
Contests/Giveaways - This is another outdated link building technique. The problem with this is you can't control the anchor text or what site will talk about you and that is probably not going to be good for your Google rankings. I prefer to do smaller, more targeted contests and giveaways. This gives me more control over anchor text and which sites I am reaching.
Interviews - This works both ways. Offering interviews to relevant websites is like guest blogging. Just make sure you give great information so your interview turns into really good content that people want to read and click-through to your site. You can also find industry people with big egos and even bigger self-marketing operations. If you interview them and stroke their egos just right, you will end up with having these industry people talk about you and sharing your interview url with their twitter, facebook and blog followings.
Bottom line - GET CREATIVE. You need to offer better value propositions for other websites to link to you. You wouldn't expect great results from a 10 year old used car so why expect great results from 10 year old link building techniques? Freshen up those ideas. Don't worry about rejection. 90% rejection still means 10% of your quality link building is succeeding and that is way better than taking the risky shortcuts that will eventually end up in a Google penalty.