We see a lot of people out there saying that link building is dead, backlinks don’t impact search engines anymore and thoughts like this. The truth is that link building got a shift over the years and this makes people confuse about it. It’s annoying that some people are giving up their precious time completely in link building, and at the end, they are fed up with it because they do not know how to play the game according to the rules. The thing here is that if you play by the rules, it will take you more time but proudly you’ll be the winner on edge.
We’ll try to make it easier for people to understand it with this real-life example.
Let’s see link building just as a soccer game. First, when they started to play soccer, there were no rules. It didn’t have much difference with boxing. People start to think wisely, and they put some order and rules on the game. That’s what made the game much more joyful. As always there are going to be people who will try to break these rules. However, now there is a solution for this, the referee who takes out of the game these selfish people. The thing here is that you just need to see Google as the referee and not try to mess with him. So playing by the rules is something that we aim for.
Don’t control your anchor text
This is the rule that every SEO should follow on. Never ask for anchor text. When you are creating guest posts, doing outreach and even begging for link exchange, asking for the anchor text is going to be seen from Google as a manipulative technique to it’s algorithm.
When you are trying to get the same anchor text as the one at the SERP, you are creating a mold over your site, and over optimization. Whoever is linking to you whether it is a do-follow or a no-follow link they should link to you according to the article and this makes your link profile much more natural, the one that Google is looking for.
Avoid Links in Control
All of the cause of this post, in fact, is done to tell what links you should avoid. If you go deep and read what Google says about backlinks, you will be finding that they commonly are strict about links in control. Google cracks down on guest blogging networks, signature profile links, widget links, and all these types of links that you are in control of the anchor text. Any new update that Google will make in the future, most of its focus will be on this pattern. This kind of links is lately used also with Private Blog Networks (PBN). Google is taking care of this also, not with just using it’s algorithm but even doing it manually. The head of Web Spam Team Matt Cutts, manually found a link network that was offering service on Black Hat Forums. Here’s a tweet from him when the PBN known as Anglo Rank got penalized.
It’s true that we are always going to have situations when we have the opportunity to control the anchor text, but we must be very careful with these links since we can get very easy penalized.
Don’t link externally in widget and footer
Grant McArthur says the one rule that is mostly violated all the time even that Google talked about it clearly is that you must not link externally in the footer. However, for this rule SEOs are divided into two sections, the ones who say Do that, one of them is ViperChill, and the other side who tells that you must not do that, is MOZ.
Viperchill on his post How 16 Companies are Dominating the World’s Google Search Results clearly explains that footer links still work, and MOZ just doesn’t give a reason for it and says don’t do it. I think if you are a brand new website you should go with the MOZ version but if you are an authoritative site then trying Viperchill opinion wouldn’t be that bad, but I still do not suggest it for long term results.
The same thing also goes for site-wide links. Expect for navigation inside the site; there shouldn’t be any other type of link that links to another website.
These are the best practices that you should follow at least for the year 2017, as we know things on SEO industry evaluate so fast.
Squeeze For Nofollow
In this new era of link building, we must start smartly to embrace the no follow links and try to not avoid these links. As we have seen that no follow, links don’t help us at all on passing the link juice for ranking pages. You should keep in mind that even no follow links, are crawled by Google and considered as a ranking factor. The rumors that no follow links are just for users and Search Engines do not crawl them are not right at all. There is evidence that are people who have benefited, and also a lot, from passing link juice from no follow links just by blog commenting. Since I haven’t tried this for myself, I can’t tell if that’s right, but I’ll update the post when I test by myself. If that’s right, it could be a very good news for link builders, right?
Make Outreach a Habit
I do a lot of outreach, and I like it the most from other link building forms. Why? I know it’s the hardest one, the percentages of the people who don’t return the email back are much higher than the ones that do. Thoroughly I like outreach because I don’t get only a link back, but I also create a relationship with the person that sometimes can be much helper than a backlink. Keep in mind that. The concept of outreach is getting the right eyeballs on your content and building these natural links, whether it’s a do follow or even a no follow one. This is a process ongoing; that’s why I mentioned habit here, because once you create that relationship that I’m talking to, you could ask it for a link for your second, third and ongoing posts.
Get a link where there’s traffic!
When we are looking to get links, there’s one thing that we should always to keep in mind; that’s value. Why should we add a link in this post for a grocery store in San Francisco, does it make the post more credible? This is how Google is judging links, if not yet, this is the thing where they were putting millions of dollars in.
I couldn’t hit the publish button without giving my final thoughts about link building process. I know that there’s a lot more to talk, but whatever thing you have to add or ask, please do that in the comment section down below. When you are doing good marketing like publishing great content, taking the word out to those influencers in your industry, you should know that you are also doing link building.