So we get it: link building is crucial to getting potential customers to our websites, so the more links the better… right? Of course (we won’t deny the benefits of link volume), but Google does not appreciate you leaving your “link children” all over irrelevant web pages simply for the sake of building your authority on their index. In fact, as Google’s search algorithm has changed over the past few years (over 13000 changes and counting) it has become abundantly clear that Google is not only opposed to, but taking an active role against link building simply for the sake of influencing rankings on their index.
“So how will I get Google to acknowledge my precious links? Traffic has to come from somewhere!”
The internet supports little to no exceptions to the principles that govern any good business: success on the internet is about good public relations and a friendly user experience.
Here are a few ideas things to consider when tackling these 3 principles of good link building:
When you’re checking out the magazine rack at the supermarket, you’re not going to pick up a fashion magazine to find out what’s going on in the gaming world. Link to sites where your target audience is likely to be present, looking for your unique services. For example, as an electronics manufacturer you might submit some of your new products to a popular tech site for a review.
A job reference from the CEO of a prestigious marketing company will definitely have more impact on an application than a reference from your third grade teacher. Google will grant more authority for links from sites that are “experts” or important authorities on the topic of your link. A link from a world renowned shoe corporation to your sock website will grant you more link authority than a link from Bob’s Shoe Repair of Kansas City.
The crime syndicate on your street corner may have a lot of authority in your neighborhood, but when the FBI shows up on the scene you probably don’t want to be associated with any of the crooks. Google also considers how trustworthy the sites are that link to you. This means that links from a “good” site may not be so helpful if they themselves have links with less desirable web pages.
Ultimately, legitimate link building is about meeting user needs. Link authority comes from offering value that will fulfill the intent of potential customers browsing the web, in fact, Google has made it abundantly clear that a “friendly user experience” is the very intent of their efforts. When the user becomes the focus of online marketing efforts, links will always flourish in the lovely “home” we’ve given them.