Ask 10 different SEO firms about link building strategy, and you’ll get 10 different opinions. Some will stress social media, others may value content creation, and a few will even promote paid links and link exchanges. Frankly, however, the only opinion that really matters is Google’s.
Because Google decides which links matter and which don’t, we listen up when they decide to speak on the subject. Recently, the Google Webmaster blog had a post on what constitutes a valuable link and what you can do to get those links. Read on to learn from the source the best and worst ways to build your links:
• Become an expert in your field and get involved in an online community. Contribute to blogs and forums, but don’t spam them with shameless promotion for your site because quality links come through the relationships formed in the communities, not the comments themselves.
• Publish helpful, unique, compelling content. This could include anything from a tutorial to a video or tool. Original research or polls also attract quality links.
• For an immediate traffic bump, try humor. Funny content will get picked up by social media and can attract hundreds of links in a short time. According to Google, this is a quick pick-up rather than a long-term strategy.
• Buying links – While paid links may provide a small bump, Google says they’re likely to have no positive impact on a site’s performance over time.
• Exchanging links – When addressing this questionable link-building technique, Google’s Webmaster blog uses this ominous warning: “If your site’s visibility in the Google index is important to you it’s best to avoid [exchanging links].”
• Google tells Webmasters to submit their site to relevant, topical directories instead of mass-submissions to SEO link directories.
Basically, Google is saying what we’ve said all along – building links the right way wins the day. Google knows about all the shady link building tactics, and they’ve invested a fortune to make sure those efforts yield minimal results. Take the time to build links the right way, and you’ll see real results over the long haul.