Google’s most recent algorithm update,”Fred,” nailed websites that used low-quality links to maintain their search rankings. Many of these websites used “link building” from SEO companies to get their search positions.
However, Google doesn’t like “built” links as they were doing them. At the same time, your SEO company can still “build” links. It’s just that it has to be done in a certain way so that Google doesn’t penalize you for your links.
What has to be done? Ask your SEO company how they build links. If they’re doing it in ways that Google likes, they should say they do one or more of these:
- Manual Email Outreach to Influential People in Your Niche
Google wants “natural” links. In an ideal, perfect world, a natural link is one that someone decided to post on their website because they thought your content was so useful it was worth linking to.
Well, you can’t get any closer to that than by emailing a website owner or editor of a content-heavy website and letting them know you have a piece of super-useful content their audience would love. Not every one will give you a link. But some will.
And those links are as close to “natural” as you can get.
- Social Media Promotion to Your Followers
Nothing gets easier than this. Every website owner does it. Unfortunately, that’s where promotion for most website owners ends.
But you should do it. Make sure only 20% of your posts (at most) go back to your content. Watch your analytics to see which posts get shared the most. Then, reshare them after 3-4 months or so.
- Guest Blogging
A few years ago, Google said it would penalize guest blogging. The SEO community, however, overreacted.
Unfortunately, guest blogging can be manipulated just like any other link building method. Spammy, low-quality blogs exist which have virtually no audience. And they sound like they’re written by third-graders.
Those aren’t really “blogs.” They’re designed exclusively for the purpose of getting links.
However, get posted at a blog with an audience of a few hundred to a few thousand people, and Google loves that link. It knows that website already. It knows it has an active and engaged audience.
It’s a legit community. Google loves links from places like those.
- Create a Joint Venture
Who serves the same audience you do? Who doesn’t directly compete with you to serve that audience?
Say you’re an HVAC company. Look for a plumbing company. Offer to work together on a blog post, which both of you will post on your websites and social media profiles.
You’ll each win links and social media followers. But you won’t hurt each other’s businesses.
Just make sure you target a company with a similar audience size as yours. If you go for the “big guys,” they won’t be interested because they don’t stand to benefit as much as you. However, they might go for an in-depth blog post from you because their audience would love your niche experience, and they can’t provide it themselves.
Links Will Remain the Currency of the Web
Social shares have gained some importance when determining your search rankings. But for right now, and the foreseeable future, links will have greater power than social shares.
Work with an SEO company who understands how to provide you with high-value links that don’t get on Google’s bad side.