How to Build Links and Live to Tell the Tale

Link building is the SEO equivalent of sky diving; it’s
dangerous and there’s a (slight) possibility that you could die, but the rewards for
getting it right are such that you’ll always want more. And much like the
moment when you’re just about to jump, SEOs practising link building are in a
state of panic – hyperventilating over whether old methods are still safe to

So let’s clear a few things up: is link building dead? No.

link building still safe? Yes, if you do it right.

Can you still get away with
link farming, excessive exchanging and guest blogging like you could back in
the wide-boy days of 2010? No chance.

Link building is still as influential as ever, it’s just
that Google is more effective at rooting out the rubbish these days, and this is
definitely a good thing. Before the search engine released its Penguin update
to rid results pages of spammy links, using Google was like BBC One on a
Saturday night – good content was the exception rather than the rule. Today,
quality is the order of the day. Everything is tailored toward the user and
delivering the best experience possible.

Practising Safe Linking

Safe linking is a simple process; not quite as simple as
automated link programs, but a hell of a lot simpler than mass guest posting or
buying and selling links. You see all it really takes is those two staples of
White Hat SEO: honesty and integrity.

Be honest with Google and it will reward you in kind. Keep
links relevant and useful for the user and you can’t go wrong. Dip your toes in
the murky waters of unethical link building, however, and your website will
disappear faster than a politician’s promise.

Linking Done Right

From here on in, you’re going to be a safe link builder –
one that does everything by the book (to be honest, you can’t really afford to
be anything else). And here are five ways you’re going to do it.

1. Be natural
Matt Cutts said it best: “…the objective is not to make your links appear
natural; the objective is that your links are natural.” You’re building an
audience not links, and this comes from content-driven link acquisition.

2. Quality over
quantity always
– 10 high quality links from reputable and trusted sources
is worth more than 10,000 from a low quality site.

3. Keep it relevant
– Links should always be from sites that are related to yours and on pages that
are relevant to your reader base.

4. Create compelling
– the best links come from your brilliance as a producer of
content, or the brilliance of whoever it is that’s producing your content.
Quality articles, blog posts, infographics, images and videos get links from
others simply by providing something enjoyable and informative to the consumer.

5. Share your work
with the world
– a strong social media following combined with great
content offers endless linking possibility. Remember the Harlem Shake? That’s
the power of social media as a link building tool.

When Google starts throwing websites out of the plane, safe
link building is the only way to ensure you’ll be given a parachute that works.
It’s not always the most exciting of journeys and you won’t arrive at your
destination as quickly, but you’ll always survive in one piece!

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