Scan through the webmaster boards nowadays and you might think that SEOs are spending as much time disavowing links as building them. When you add in the fact that social signals continue to increase in importance as ranking factors you begin to wonder whether links have had their day.
However, the fact is that links are still a key part of any SEO strategy.
Google has been diligent in preventing worthless links from being counted in its algorithm. That means that worthy links are all the more valuable.
Ideally, we want others to link to us naturally. But that can be difficult for small sites without much of the wow factor. Let’s face it, other sites want to link to sites that make them look good as well as provide value. So what’s a small Sydney ceramic tile website to do, for instance?
Earning Rather than Building Links
The fact is that you don’t have to be a big site to provide value. By creating helpful guides for their target customers, small sites can garner natural backlinks by virtue of the sheer value of their content.
In today’s SEO world, the talk is of earning links. It’s more in line with Google’s policy of valuing natural links – those that other sites build to you because you’ve earned them. It helps make the web the meritocracy it should be. After all, we all want the best when we go online.
So What Does a Good Link Look Like?
Firstly, to comply with Google’s love of relevance, it should appear on a site somehow related to yours.
You have a lot of leeway here. The ceramic tile site could try to get links from sites about the country it imports from or sites covering interior design, real estate and a host of other themes. You just need a little creative lateral thinking.
Continuing with the same them, the link should be to a page covering the same topic. So the country link above should link to the page on its site that covers where it sources its exports, not one on available designs, for example.
Finally, the link should be of value. When a web user clicks that link, he should arrive at a place where he can learn more. In other words, when link building, you need to consider whether or not that link enhances user experience.
In essence, today’s link-building requires a shift in mindset away from the old ‘throw up as many as possible’ way of thinking. Just keep your target user in mind and you won’t go far wrong. And don’t the social media angle. Combined with some judicious linkbuilding it should be just what you need to help your clients’ sites rank in a sustainable manner.