The Evolution of Link Building
by Alan Suchan on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 @ 09:06
Plain and simple, in order to rank high in search engines, you need to have other sites linking to your site. Links are digital votes of confidence and tell search engines that other sites view you as an authority on a certain subject. Just like SEO as a whole, the process of obtaining links can change in an instant, as it did in 2012 when Google unleashed the Penguin update.
Link Building Strategy of the Past
Prior to Penguin, link building was a pretty straightforward process. Select a page on your site you wanted to try to boost in search engines, choose a keyword, write a short title and description of your website that included that keyword and submit all of that information to a number of online directories. In no time, you’d see the ranking for your chosen keyword increase.
After Penguin, many sites began seeing a drop off in rankings and organic traffic. As it often does, Google caught on to these tactics and started to push sites using spammy link tactics further down in search results. In order to recover from Penguin, Google required you manually reach out to the sites it viewed as spammy and ask them to remove the link to your site. If that was unsuccessful, you could upload a disavow file within Google Search Console telling Google to ignore those links.
At this point, you’ve spent a good amount of time submitting your site to directories, and now have to spend time reaching out to those sites asking them to remove the link. That sounds a lot like working on a house. If you do it right the first time, you won’t have to worry about spending more time - and money - fixing it later. The same can be said for link building: do it right the first time and you should be safe.
Link Building Today
Today, there is still a large time investment in link building. A good plan requires targeted outreach and a great piece of content to promote. Finding the right sites to target is important and time consuming. You’ll want to make sure the sites you are going to reach out to are authoritative and not viewed as spammy. Customizing your outreach email is also important. If you want someone to take the time to link to your site, you should take the time to draft a personal email to them. All of those are time consuming, but necessary.
When it comes to creating content, it’s important to always ask yourself “Why would someone want to link to this?” Keep that in mind when creating the asset you want to promote and you’ll almost always see more success.
There are other link building practices that still work, but all still require time and patience. What have you used to increase the number of sites linking to yours?