Refining Your Link-Building Strategy
Link-building is an effective, proven method of driving traffic to your site. However, link-building is often done incorrectly, or inefficiently. I’m going to talk about some of the biggest mistakes SEOs make when building links, and ways you can turn the basic idea behind each tactic into a much more effective link building practice.
Replace Article Spinning with Guest Blogging
Put the article spinner away and stop cluttering up junk article sites with bland, boring content in the hopes of building enough backlinks that your SERP rankings will improve. A better use of your time is writing a thoughtful, informative guest post for a blog in your niche. Replacing article marketing with guest posting may seem a bit counter intuitive at first. After all, why should you publish a post on just one blog when you can use an article spinner, making it unique enough so Google doesn’t notice it’s a spun article, and then repeating this process and posting your articles on dozens of article sites?
For one thing, many article sites have been spammed so heavily they’ve been losing relevance. On top of that, most of the article sites that are still good resources, such as ezinearticles, are moderated by actual humans. These sites are well aware of spammy tactics, and can easily detect spun articles and junk content. Using reputable article sites is a good idea for spreading valuable information and driving traffic directly to your site, but I don’t recommend them just for building backlinks to assist with SERP rankings.
Article sites, even those with high PR and domain authority, have a lot of outbound links. The sheer volume of outbound links reduces the amount of link juice every link will get. By posting on a guest blog, you’ll typically be given two do-follow links in the author bio. Blogs don’t have nearly as many outbound links as an article site, and so pass more link juice along to your links. Guest blogging is the best way of building backlinks: you’re providing value to the internet, and gaining more valuable links to your site in return.
A Better Way of Blog Commenting
This tip is similar to my previous tip about guest blogging. Rather than spamming a couple dozen (or a couple hundred) do-follow comment blogs, focus on a handful that are related to your niche. I’d argue anchor text doesn’t even matter that much for these kinds of links, because what you’re trying to do is invite direct traffic from those who are interested in your niche. The way you accomplish this is by having interesting, relevant comments to add to blog posts, and by making yourself a regular. You’ll still be building links, but by using your real name as opposed to “keyword keywording” when you post, you’ll come across as an actual human and not just another scum bag SEO. Furthermore, if you’ve become part of that blog’s community, the owner will be much more open to publishing a guest blog post you’ve written.
How to Use Forums to Your Advantage
Much like blog commenting, forums are often misused. I’ve seen a lot of SEOs recommending posting in a ton of forums just enough to be able to post a link in their signature, then dropping off posting to once or twice a week. While this will build a backlink, these links are next to worthless. Not only are most forum signature links no-follow, but unless you’re specifically targeting relevant forums and really adding value to the conversation, you aren’t going to have many people checking out your site. If you’re already doing just that, this tip isn’t for you. Sorry! However, there are a few things you can do to really get some value from forum posting. I like to use Google Alerts to watch several keywords when I’m building links. What Google Alerts does is notify you whenever people are talking about your keywords. Posting a link to your site when someone is talking about your niche is far more effective than simply spamming dozens of forums with lame “Me, too!” type posts, relying on your signature to build links. As search engines become more sophisticated, they’re relying on context more and more, and the relevancy of links will become a bigger factor when determining SERP placement.
All these tips really come down to one thing: adding value to the internet. It’s much less likely that your site will be penalized for spammy tactics if you’re participating in conversations and spreading valuable information. I’ve always been a quality over quantity kind of guy when it comes to building links. It may seem a bit backwards, but by focusing less on building links, you’ll be able to build more valuable links. Spending an hour writing a thoughtful, interesting blog post is worth more than spending an hour spamming 20 different forums with a no-follow link in your signature.
About the guest author: Tyler Moore lives in Indianapolis and works as a freelance SEO consultant. Tyler specializes in guest blogging and white-hat SEO, and he’s currently working with DocRaptor. DocRaptor is a web application used for HTML to Excel conversion. You can find Tyler on Twitter @illbzo1, or email him directly at email@example.com
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