Google has been on a mission to destroy web spam, and scalable link-building tactics have been a clear target since Penguin 2.0. Guest posting has been one of the hardest-hit targets in the war against web spam, with tons of link networks being deindexed or penalized, putting link-building circles in real danger.
Webmasters who are using scalable link tactics should be aware that Google has more time, and more money than they do, so in the long run, Google will win the war. Even though some tactics are still working, Google is picking them off one by one, so it may be time to join Google and play the game by the rules they put into place.
People are driven towards sites that offer or promote their favorite brands, and for webmasters, who used to use sneaky tactics to get traffic, they are noticing that traffic disappear, so more and more webmasters who have success on their minds, are building authority sites to catch the traffic they once had.
Everything you read about SEO links back to…links. You hear SEO specialists talk about the importance of links for a better ranking factor, and read where many believe it is the most important factor in placing well within the search engines. I have given you helpful advice on how to properly build links to avoid being penalized by Google, and all that still stands true, but it is not the only way.
You can build a successful authority site and get the traffic you want without building a single link….yes, you read that right!
A successful site still needs links, but only if the links are from other authority sites, and no spammy websites. Your site can have links from large sites, such as Huffington Post, Yahoo, and many others; you just have to know how to get them to come to you.
Now, parts of this may seem a little strange to you, especially if you have spent most of your time chasing links as part of your marketing campaign, but have faith, and read on.
First – STOP running after links altogether! That’s right, cancel your link building as a stand-alone activity. You CAN still grab a link when it is available when you promote your content, just do not dedicate any portion of your efforts to chasing links or on any type of link-building campaign.
With all the new and upcoming updates from Google, chances are, any link you obtain through link-building campaigns will possibly be penalized anyway, so avoid the wasted effort on something you may have to undo in the near future.
Second – Invest your efforts in your editorial campaigns. Now, this has been said time after time…WRITE QUALITY CONTENT! If you are outsourcing the writing work, put your link-building budget into paying good writers! Writers are a dime a dozen, but GOOD writers are rare! You can expect to pay much more for a quality writer than a run-of-mill old-school SEO writer. You do not want keyword-stuffed articles; you want something interesting, fresh, and well-written that people will actually read.
If you are still concerned about keywords, you should be, but the content is MUCH MORE important than the keywords, so focus on quality, and the keywords should flow naturally.
Third – Social media connection is a MUST! You may have been avoiding the social media networks, feeling as though they are a waste of time. Well, I am here to say, they are an important part of building a brand and establishing authority in any niche. It does not matter if you are trying to sell birdseed, or you are educating people about the alternative health care act, social media connection is essential to your success.
Do not simply join one social media network; join them all. Stay up to date on what is happening in your niche, what readers are interested in, what they are sharing, and try to fill the gaps of what they are missing with your unique content, tweets, status updates, media, or whatever.
Pinterest is one social media network that is often overlooked, but you are not going to make that mistake, are you? Of course, you aren’t!
The more people that see you, the larger chance of getting likes, shares, and links back to your site, and all those social signals you generated transform into higher search rankings, and more traffic, so start being noticed!
I realize that Pinterest is an anomaly to many website owners, and most do not understand how to even use it. Yes, you took the time to learn Facebook and Twitter, so pat yourself on the back for that, and move on to the next best thing…Pinterest!
Pinterest is ideal for driving referral traffic to your site. 90% of the pages are external links, and by adding focus to the site, you can expand your site for substantial growth!
Make sure all of your custom images are embedded to link back to your site. Stay very relevant to your niche when you pin on the boards, irrelevant pins can be banned, and they bring little to no engagement anyway. To draw more traffic, create images with a call to action, such as “click here”, “read on”, etc. And one thing that has been proven in a variety of studies, is that vertical images work better than horizontal ones.
Fourth – Promote other people's work. Yes, you worked hard on your content, or maybe you just paid a lot to get it done, either way, you want people to read what you wrote, not someone else’s stuff, right? Wrong! You DO want to promote the work that relates to your niche and offers a compelling view, or an interesting twist on a subject close to your heart. Why? Because, even though you are not chasing links, links still do matter, natural ones that is. So, by sharing content from another site, chances are, they will reciprocate and share your content as well.
Last, But Not Least – Tell people you promoted them! Do not just promote content from another site and forget about it, because there is a chance they will…and that defeats your entire purpose. Shoot out an email to the user, or mention them directly in a tweet where their work was shared. The main goal is to build a relationship with the other site owners, a kind of you scratch my back, I will scratch your scenario.
Yes, links are still very important to your website's success, but chasing them is not necessary. You can avoid penalties from Google, and still get the link backs your site needs by following the above WHITE HAT methods. The campaign provides a way for you to avoid investing money and time into a link-building campaign, and allows you to focus on other VERY IMPORTANT aspects of your campaign, and still get the benefit of links, and of course, traffic.