Link building has changed quite a bit within the past decade and has become much more challenging than it used to be.
It is even more important now to adapt your link building strategies since the Penguin 4 Google Update, which Google announced at the end of last September. Link earning techniques are now more effective than mere link building. Your goal should be to attract links as organically as possible.
Penguin 4 Update
Penguin is now Google’s core algorithm. Its purpose is to search the internet, looking for sites that are spammy, and to penalize those that are.
Previous versions of Penguin only searched the net periodically, sometimes waiting for months before running again. The latest version of Penguin now functions in real time and will continuously filter individual pages in addition to entire sites.
What Is Link Earning?
Traditional link building uses links back to your site with no focus on credibility or quality content. On the other hand, link earning focuses on relevancy and valuable content or citations to link back to a site.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Your purpose with link earning is to naturally attract links based on how good your content is. ” quote=”Your purpose with link earning is to naturally attract links based on how good your content is.”]
Link Earning Techniques vs. Traditional Link Building
- Link earning is attracting links organically by publishing such compelling content that other writers include it in their content. In contrast, outdated link building is a 2-way exchange of links that looks manipulative.
- Promoting and earning links on social media channels has a greater impact than bulk submission on social bookmarking sites.
- Earn the links by making relevant and quality content on the popular sites of your niche rather than by buying and building links.
- Citations should be earned on popular sites such as Yelp, Foursquare, and Yellow Pages rather than by doing bulk submissions on low and poor quality sites.
- Participate actively in forums and Q&As in which you have real membership. Doing so will help you to improve the SEO of your website as well.
- Be a social influencer by being active on all social media channels rather than building a PBN (Private Blog Network).
Effective Link Earning Techniques in 2017
Promote Your Content
It should go without saying that you need to be creating good content for your own site. As you make a habit of posting strong content, make sure you also consistently promote your best content.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If you want to attract links, people need to want to link to you. ” quote=”If you want to attract links, people need to want to link to you. “]
The best way to get them to do so is create content they will find valuable. You should also make sure you have an “About” page on your site so that writers can easily find out more about you.
Contact the influencers in your niche to see if you can guest post on their sites. Do keep in mind, however, that the links in your guest posts need to fit the context of your content and be valuable to the readers.
Google doesn’t like it when you use money phrases as anchor text or when writers include links solely for the purpose of getting a link instead of to benefit readers.
Another option is to use round-ups to reach out to the influencers in your niche so they will link back your content on their sites on a weekly or monthly basis.
Round-ups are a great way to connect with other people in your industry by sharing valuable information. You also let your readers know about yourself and your online industry.
According to Loren Baker on Search Engine Journal:
Link Baiting is just like fishing. You publish a new page on a topic … and set it free on the web. Hopefully others pick up on the content as fresh and interesting and link to it. The article is the bait, and the link is the catch.
Everyday content isn’t good enough to be considered link bait. Read Loren’s post plus these 10 Extraordinary Examples of Effective Link Bait to better understand what it takes to create content that really attracts links.
Inviting Other Sites to the Party
A valuable way to generate both shares and incoming links is what Marty Weintraub at Aimclear Marketing calls “inviting others to the party”.
By linking to the content of influencers and related authority sites in your own content you increase the odds that they will share and link back to your site.
Be aware that because so many spammers use pingbacks and trackbacks to spam blogs, most larger blogs have turned off notifications. But serious marketers will have alerts set up to let them know you’ve linked to their sites.
Asking for Links in Existing Content
While some purists believe that any outreach to garner links may eventually be considered black hat, a common SEO approach is to identify content they feel could be improved by adding a link to their content and asking for that link.
What they don’t realize is that on larger sites contributing writers cannot change content once it goes live. So this strategy will only work on sites where you can reach the owner or editor.
A variation on this strategy is called broken link outreach. Use tools to identify which links on a site are broken and then offer replacement links. This will probably work better than just asking for a link to be added.
Press Release Submissions
Press releases are a way to make online impressions and get quality links. Write about news, product releases, or events related to your business.
Publish press releases on high PR sites with links back to your site. Such backlinks will help to build brand awareness and your credibility, but be aware that links in press releases should be nofollow.
Social Sharing of Links
There are about 2.23 billion social network users. People spend most of their time on social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and social media is one of the ranking factors Google considers.
You should make sure that you’re accessible and easy to find on social media. Promoting links on these channels will not only help you reach your target audience but will also help you get better rankings.
Submit infographics on the most authoritative sites. People prefer visual elements rather than simple content. You can create infographics that have quality facts, benefits, and tips and then mention your link at the end to earn credits.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Share the infographics on various popular channels, including Instagram and Pinterest.” quote=”Share the infographics on various popular channels, including Instagram and Pinterest.”]
Post the Penguin 4 Update, building links is all about adding quality and relevancy to improve the reader’s experience. Spammy links and link farms have no value at all. Once they were very popular, but now link building strategies have changed.
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