According to the industry experts, link building is responsible for about 30 percent of the overall score Google grants a website in order to give a ranking. Those who thought that “links can’t hurt you” have learnt good lessons when Panda Penguin came out. And we know that Google has no plan to stop here. In fact, Hummingbird is just few steps away from putting its point across. So the question arises what is the future-proof link building strategy and how to survive the upcoming Google updates?
High-reward links vs. Unnatural links
First, let’s define what are they? There is no exact definition of unnatural links, but there are some characteristics represent them. Such links are scalable, can be automated, over-optimized, with unchanging anchors and built in a certain pattern which Google algorithms can recognize. The website eventually receives unnatural links warning from the search engine and is under a big risk to get penalized and lose the current ranking which ultimately leads to a drop in traffic. So what are the links which are not only harmless, but rewarding, meaning a website receives better indexing and higher ranking? In this sense, the best kind of links are those close to natural with varying anchors so it seems that the anchors are not forced. Editorial links or often called one-way in-content links is a good example of high-reward links which bring large weight to the overall state of the linking. Obviously, for a new website it is often hard to achieve sufficient amount of natural links and such techniques as guest posting, commenting and publishing press releases are used. So here it is important to use highly-trusted, worthy sources as Penguin is carefully watching over the space and spam is not welcome.
Content is still a king
As the links meant to be earned in natural way, it means that people need to find the content interesting. Even if it is not 100 percent natural right now, that is what the aim of any website should be. It is not about quantity of articles, it is about quality today. Content needs to be unique, well-written, relevant and pithy so it has a chance to be sported by industry bloggers or other marketing experts, therefore, has a higher chance to be spread out to a wider audience. Besides, Google is good at recognizing spammy, copied and over-optimized content with small value to real users. Using poor content devalues a website. If it hasn’t happen yet, it is still only a matter of time. New upgrades are just round the corner. Creating sound content is time-consuming job, but in case you are ready to lose years of work optimizing the website, it is better to invest in content creation.
It is not about the type of link, it is about the implementation
Among all type of links, press releases and blog commenting have attracted a lot of negative attention lately when talking about future-proof link building strategy.Press releases were always considered one of the most valuable links. But recently they are losing its importance too due to a low quality of some publishing resources and commonly matching anchor text. Therefore, it is very important to find a trusted source for publishing such a link. The experienced industry experts say that press releases should not be used for links at all and the anchor can be replaced with website URL or its brand name. At the end of the day, press release is meant to announce company’s news. Publishing a worthy company update on a valuable source, a website with a help of industry related news companies has a big chance to go widespread and pull attention directly to the website. In this way, a published press release won’t create a link – it becomes a tool to call for links.
Guest posting also deserves special attention as it is often the main link building tactic of many SEO specialists.Today over-optimized anchor content does not work anymore. Instead, the anchor text should be fitted in the article in the most natural way. It is crucial to have useful, informative content with personality for an audience, so such links can serve as a bridge connecting the guest post and the website.
It is a fact which cannot be ignored today: social media help to build quality links. Share, likes and retweets are the new generation of valuable links with natural anchor.It requirestime and resources to build them. Link building through social media channels as never demands quality content resources. And it pays off as they attract natural links. Many experts agree that this will be the only way to receive backlinks which Google value high soon in near future. The more people talk about a website the better the result will be. Therefore, it is important to involve as many people as you can. It is a good idea to get noticed by influential people or even ask them for a link to make this process faster. Besides link building, social media assists business on many other levels such as brand awareness, online community growth and, in some cases these resources can act as a platform to generate leads.
Type of link itself will not hurt your hard job, but the way you implement this link may bring some trouble. If it is done right, it will lead to reward. While using trusted and active sources for publishing as well as keeping high quality content, you can stick to your old techniques and be on the safe side.