Link Building Strategies Have Evolved
The Evolution of SEO Link Building Strategies
Wanting To Land That Page One Listing On Google?
Having Strategic Link Building Strategies In Place Is Essential.
It’s true, there are many things to consider when trying to rank high in search engines therefore, putting updated link building strategies in place could make the difference between page one and page 10.
One of the most influential elements in search engine algorithms is having “off-page signals”. This is why it’s important to understand what’s good and what’s bad SEO practice when building links for your website.
So, what are “off-page signals”?
There are things you can do within your website that help to boost your SEO ranking (these are called on-page SEO) however, off-page SEO is the actions and strategies that move beyond the pages of your site. Off-page signals come from Social Media Marketing, Social Bookmarking and Link Building to name a few.
These are currently some of the most important off-page signals for search engine optimization. Overall off-page SEO link building strategies are the external links on other websites that point back to a page or pages on your domain.
The internet is a dynamic highway of changes when it comes to SEO hence the importance of having a trusted source who keeps up with those changes and understands how it could impact your bottom line.
The SEO and link building landscape is especially volatile because of the many individuals who try to work loopholes and cheat the system. What worked a year ago may be obsolete today.
Here is an overview of the changes that link building strategies have undergone over the years.
What is Link Building?
Link building is the collection of long-term strategies that website owners or marketers use to improve site authority, increase user traffic or improve search engine rankings, all through the use of external links pointing back to their domains.
All link building strategies involve acquiring links from other sites to yours. Link building is crucial for SEO since search engines use links to find new web pages and help determine page ranking results.
Old and New Link Building Strategies
Using links as a ranking factor was vital to Google domination of the search engine markets starting from the late 1990s. Since then, website owners and marketers have come up with different types of link building strategies.
To better understand the evolution of link building, you have to consider the search engine algorithms updates. These updates often mark a turning point in the SEO strategies that website owners utilize. One of the most influential algorithm updates for link building was Google Penguin update announced back in 2012.
Google introduced the Penguin algorithm update to combat the unethical techniques that SEO experts and webmasters were using to boost search engine rankings. Google also wanted to ensure that high-quality websites with relevant content ranked higher and therefore users could get more value from search queries.
Below are some notable pre-penguin link building strategies.
1. Link Exchanges
Link Exchanges become a popular link building strategy starting from the late 1990s. Webmasters realized that they could significantly increase their search engine rankings by building mass volumes of backlinks.
The quickest way of achieving this was through networks of webmasters where they would exchange links with each other. The validity or the relevancy of the links did not matter at the time. This tactic is largely ineffective today, but some SEOs still use it.
2. Heavy Use of the Anchor Text on Internal Links
Anchor texts are the clickable text in hyperlinks that often appear in blue or are underlined. Internal linking is essential for user experience and web crawlers.
However, some webmasters use numerous keyword-rich anchor texts in their internal links consequently, the problem is that those links appear spammy, over-optimized and manipulative to Google. This strategy became harmful for SEO after Penguin was rolled out.
3. Article Directories
Article directories were initially content sharing platforms. They quickly turned into link building outlets that resulted in the proliferation of low-quality content. Today, this tactic is employed for very few specific reader-oriented directories with strict guidelines
1. Link Earning
Link Earning is similarly referred to as Link attraction. This strategy revolves around developing relevant, valuable content that you publish on your website. This strategy aims to entice users to link to them based on the content, quality or ink-ability.
One advantage of this white-hat SEO tactic is that it helps to avoid algorithm penalties and the generated links are natural. It is among the best link building strategies. Links acquired through this method are highly valued, and Google holds them up as great examples.
2. Outreach Link Building
This is one of the most known strategies that webmasters and SEOs use to build links. It involves manually contacting other site owners and bloggers and requesting them to link back to you. You need to give them good reasons to link to you. Contacting individuals who are relevant within your niche is crucial if you are to realize success with this strategy.
3. Manual Link Building
Manual link building involves creating guest content for external publishers. Essentially, you produce material and content that these publishers will find valuable to their audience. This results in a mutually beneficial relationship.
You should then include natural value by adding a link to one of your web pages within the content. As you gain more authority and create better content, you’ll finally be able to attract higher authority publishers. Gradually, you increase the authority, reputation and traffic you get from this process.
There are several other peripheral white hat types of link building strategies that you can use for your website. These include press releases, interviews and collaborations. Measuring the results of different strategies through Google Analytics is essential for link building adjustments and it all starts with a professional SEO Audit.
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