Along with many aspects of the World-Wide Web, link building has evolved over the years as search engines continually try to provide their users with the kind of quality content they desire. The most effective methodology has mutated from a “spray and pray” approach in which the quantity of links to your website was more important than where those links came from to a quality-based approach in which the authority of each site linking to yours matters more than the number of links you’re able to add. This means of link building has allowed searchers to be reasonably sure that the site they visit from a search engine is going to provide the kind of content they had in mind when they initiated their search.
Link Building In The Past
In the bad old days, link building was very simple: The more links you could generate to your site, the higher your site would rank on Google and other search engines. And it was pretty easy to generate thousands of backlinks. Simply pay an army of link builders a very low wage, and they would scour all the blogs and forums that had anything in common with your site and what it provides and make any kind of inane comment that included a link back to your site. This approach could generate thousands of links in a matter of days. It also clogged blogs up with all manner of garbage which ruined the user experience for bloggers and their readers.
Another tactic would be to list your website in a website directory. These are sites that contain a large and usually poorly-maintained list of websites typically organized by category. Not many people actually used these sites, but it was another way to get your name out there and add to your backlink profile.
One really silly practice was to create a white link on a white background. Because people couldn’t see it, it didn’t interfere with a site’s readability, but search engines would still index these links. But Google is now wise to the ways of these manipulative links and will punish involved sites accordingly if it detects them.
One idea that originated in the early days of the Web and is still in use today is that of a link exchange. You gather a network of websites, and each member of the network would agree to link to the other members. Since many of these websites were not topically related to each other, this could confuse readers as well as search engines which assumed that a site would only link to other sites in the same niche. Google is much more picky about this now; if it sees a bunch of unrelated sites that link to each other, it could punish you by lowering your ranking or even de-indexing you. However, if you want to reach out to other sites in your niche and exchange links with them, this would still pass muster with Google.
More recently, Google has made changes to its algorithm to encourage website owners to gather links from other sites organically as was intended by the designers of the Web. You don’t want to add 500 links at a time; you want to attract them in dribs and drabs and build up your domain authority in a natural way. There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Local Business Listing: If you have a brick-and-mortar location, you’ll definitely want to list your business on Google, Yelp and similar websites. You don’t need to become a paid member, but listing your name on these highly reputable sites gets you quality backlinks. You can even use a page of your site to link to the listings where you can be found online.
- Guest Posting: Do you have a unique take on a topic in your niche or related to it? Bloggers are always looking for compelling guest posts. Reach out to popular blogs that cover topics related to what you offer, and follow their instructions for guest posting. They get to add to their quality content, and you get a backlink from a trusted source that search engines can determine is in your niche; everybody wins! If you’re not the greatest writer or you don’t have the time to do this yourself, ArticleHub can help.
- Blogger Outreach: This is similar to guest posting, but in this case you partner with a blogger to help promote your brand. By hooking them up with free products or monetary compensation, you not only get a valuable link to your site; you also benefit from enthusiastic promotion by a passionate blogger. Locating and negotiating with bloggers can be time-intensive, however, so you may want to contract out your blogger outreach campaigns to a specialist such as ArticleHub.
How ArticleHub Can Help
At ArticleHub, we’ve built a name for ourselves as the people brands turn to when they want to get noticed. Properly executed link building and blogger outreach campaigns can send word of your brand whizzing around the Web and social media. Our management team has upwards of 15 years’ experience in this area, so we know what works and what doesn’t. Contact us today and let’s have a chat about what we can do to bolster your backlink profile!