Search engines use links to evaluate the popularity and importance of a website. In a very real way, it is a continuous opinion poll. Using complex algorithms, search engines decide not only popularity, but also trust, authority, and spam.
However there is also a risk associated with link building if it is done poorly, or in a way that Google doesn’t approve. The result could actually be a search penalty for your website. Hence, if you really want to compete in search you need to know how to build links to your website without getting penalised.
The main benefits of good link building is a higher ranking in search engine results. This only occurs if quality content generates quality links. The goal of link building is expanding your site’s reach to new visitors. However, bad link building can have a negative effect, becomes a waste of time, and could see you penalised by search engines.
Here are our 7 tips on how to build links without getting penalised:
Internal Links — Yes, internal links are important. They assist search engine spiders in finding website content. It also helps readers navigate your site, and is especially important with cornerstone content.
Outbound Links — Often overlooked, outbound links will bring attention to your website. Bloggers pay attention to who is linking to them, and many will reciprocate if you have quality content. Linking just to link will get ignored. Quality is always key.
Blog Commenting — This can have a very negative effect if spamming other blog posts. It also doesn’t have much impact on SEO. However, like outbound links, consistent commenting on a popular blog will bring attention to your site, generating links.
Help A Reporter — Sites like HARO and SourceBottle allow you the ability to share your knowledge and expertise with reporters. If featured in an article, you drastically increase your authority and “trustability”, make your site more discoverable, and receive a high-quality link to your site.
Guest Posting — When you contribute content, on a quality site, you boost your authority, influence, and trust. Some sites allow you to link to your content if it is relevant to your contribution and not at all spammy. Nonetheless, a site that accepts guest posts typically link the author by-line or have an “author box.”
Link Bait — This is content carefully crafted to attract one-way links. It includes everything from “attacking” prominent bloggers hoping they will respond to running contests and awards. The benefit is many links coming into your site without the need to reciprocate.
Social Media — While gaining shares, likes, and comments are important on social media, effective link building requires creating a community around yourself or your brand. Interacting with other bloggers and influencers will bring links to your quality content.
And here are some things to avoid:
- Buying links,
- Exchanging links,
- Guest blogging with weak content,
- Commenting on blogs just to leave a link,
- Linking to unrelated topics,
- Links from sites with no content,
- Links from advertising sites,
- Over-linking to your homepage, and
- Reposting old content on different sites.
The team at Sticky has some of the leading SEO experts in Australia, but in 2015 we took our SEO services to a new level by joining forces with a global network of search professionals. This group works at the cutting edge of traffic generation and collectively we stay up to date with the latest developments in search, link building and ranking algorithm changes in order to help leading organisations in very competitive industries achieve amazing results online. As one of the only Australian search engine optimisation agencies granted membership to this invitation only global network, Sticky clients now benefit not only from our 10 years of search experience, but from the collective expertise of some of the world’s most successful search specialists. Together we can solve almost any search challenge.