In this episode oh Here’s Why, Eric and Mark discuss the history of Link Building. A lot of people are afraid to do Link Building anymore, especially after Matt Cutts and Co. have come down on it pretty hard as a marketing strategy. However, Link building is more about brand building these days. When done correctly it is still a viable and legitimate practice. Let Eric and Mark help with the best ways to approach it.
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Eric: Welcome to another episode of Here’s Why with Mark and Eric!
Mark: Eric, why are people afraid to link build?
Eric: That’s a great question Mark. A lot of things have happened in the last year, one of those, is Google published guidelines that started to tell people that press releases are bad for links, they started talking about widgets being bad for links, and they even talked about infographics potentially being bad for links. Those guidelines were a bit fuzzy, but the message was clear: they saw lots of people doing things they didn’t like.
And then there was Matt Cutts’ famous blog post of January 20, 2014, in which talking about guest posting for SEO, he said, “Stick a fork in it.” That does not sound like a ringing endorsement for the practice of guest blogging for SEO. These things have made people afraid of building links. It has also made them think that Google might not be using it in their algorithm anymore. That is not the case. Not too long ago Matt Cutts did a video where he explained that they tested an algorithm without links as part of it and essentially they gave up on it because it was far worse in terms of results.
Mark: So if Google still uses and needs links, how do we go about getting links that Google will like?
Eric: There’s two different things you can do. First of all, we all like this idea of being direct and going out and asking for links; you have to be very careful about that these days. What you really want to start to think about is, if im going to ask someone to link to my site, is that link going in a place where you might actually get traffic from it. In other words, it’s the same kind of thing you might do if you were marketing your business even if the Google algorithm wasn’t there.
That is a very important headset to have. Another part of is it is not about volume of links, it’s about quality of links. You have to use that as a guideline. I think perhaps even more important and more powerful, is an indirect approach to building links. That is, you build up a strong social media presence, a strong reputation in the industry, and maybe you are doing guest posting, but in the form of guest columns on people’s sites as a way of building your reputation and your following.
That way when you start to publish good content on your blog you can share it on social media, you will have built an audience with people through your various activities and then people will share it with others, which can draw links to it. This indirect method of building links is extremely powerful and sounds a bit like PR in some sense. There is definitely a strong relationship there, although I do think there are some technical things you can do which would go beyond that of a PR firm.
Mark: So to sum up, if you’re getting links out there, make sure it’s on a place where it’s relevant and the link drives relevant traffic to your site. But it’s even better if you can create an atmosphere where you are attracting links and people want to link to your content.
Eric: Absolutely. That’s the way you should think about it these days.
Mark: Great tips Eric, Thanks! And please join us again. You’ll find all the links for the resources we mentioned down in the description below.