Don’t buy questionable link building packages, buy good ones
I was just talking with a friend about link building. He’s a small biz chap with a good product and looking to try and grow what he does.
He asked me for my thoughts on link building and it got me thinking of the variety of services that are out there. The game’s changed, primarily due to the increased perception of risk generated by the chatter and dings delivered by Google.
It’s basically pretty stupid to pay anyone for anything that takes a cheap arse ‘button press’ type approach to link building. 1000 directory submissions, 20 blog posts and 100 forum sigs might seem fairly attractive, especially if it’s packaged up in a £50 one time fee parcel with promises of boosts for your target keyword/s.
I probably sounded almost cliched but I found myself talking to him about creating genuine conversations and buzz and how that one of the best ways of achieving that might be to build a fully integrated platform that enabled him to do so, which might possibly mean creating the most kick arse resource in the country/region/planet for his niche.
I pointed him to a resource that’s fairly niche in the home improvement vertical and showed how they were enabling their visitors to ask questions, give feedback, review products and how they could read product how to’s with guides and tools and videos and podcasts along with the usual social box ticking.
There were a few other generalisms but the point of it all was to try and convey the idea that if you set out to make stuff that is link worthy, as in kick arse useful content that people will want to share on youtube, niche home improvement/green/save the world/ type communities, blogs, social networks etc, then half of the battle is won.
I guess I was trying to say that even if his end product out there in the real world is top class, well priced, sought after that if his online shop front didn’t do the same then in lots of ways, he’d be wasting his time. Why do people expect inferior shitty boring user experiences to rule their niches?
Socialise get down, let your souuuul hit the waves shake it now, go ladies, it’s a living dream… *
I don’t need to bang a drum that says that the web is becoming increasingly social. Anyone with half ounce of eighteen pence knows this already. The fact is that if you have a bog standard, say nothing space on the web, then by and large people just aren’t going to talk about you.
So I kind of went full circle and said something like your link building company should really be talking to you about these very things. Your brand, your product, your offering. How they’d go about creating something viral perhaps or how they’d use his voice and identity and add genuine value to the places that they engaged with on his behalf. He’s a small business, he can’t be everywhere, but maybe his link building company can give him some stellar advice as to how he can get others to do so. If they can’t then there’s a chance that they are stuck in some time warp creating very little else but shit.
Sure, you CAN go and buy links of course. You can go out and spam forums, blogs, pr networks with your stupidly crafted laser targetted anchor text and build links that way. It’ll work too, for a time, but eventually you might get caught up in some mess that see’s your domain Pandarised or Penguinated. I won’t mention Karma. I won’t mention the offence you’ll cause to all and sundry as you pay a bunch of wankers to go pollute the web with your pony “hi nice post” type comments, or your useless kill me now type shitty guest blog posts, or your no one gives a hoot type add no value to the world type press releases as I hope that’s a given.
My closing words were something along the line of ask this ‘expert link builder’ what it is they’ll do.Cut through any old bollocks they give like directories, shitty press releases, guest blog posts in spammy networks and instead listen to those who talk about you and your brand and their understanding of what it is that you are trying to achieve. If they can’t understand that then, I doubt that long term you’ll get any links worth having. Sure, there may be some short term SERP success; but if it’s built on a house of cards, then it’ll eventually fall. Far better to take a long view and do it properly the first time around.
Thanks for listening.
Link to your friends effectively
Some times we tend to take everything we’ve learnt for granted, we assume that everyone must surely know that already. It’s one of the reasons why we tend to use jargon – we just assume that because we know, then it follows that others probably know as well.
So with that little intro out of the way, herein follows a little statement of the obvious that might not be obvious to all. 😀
If you link to them with the words this, here, or click then you are really not doing them as much of a favour as you could be. You wan’t to help your friends right? You wan’t to help improve the relevance of their pages too huh?
So, if they write an article that talks about their launching a new link building service, then use those terms just as I did and link directly to the page too.
If you already know that they are ranking well for a particular term, then mix things up a little for them too. Think of variants of the words they’d like to found for and vary those. People looking for solid business blogging tips might not always enter those terms in a search engine, some might enter make money from your blog, or monetise your blog. By knowing who your write about and taking a little more time, you could be helping them and adding value to what you do, both for them and the people who will subsequently find them in a search engine somewhere.
For those who don’t know – search engines use a thing called anchor text to help them determine relevance. The words that are contained in the link add weight to the page by adding contextual weight. An assumption is made that if a person points to a page with descriptive words, then it follows that the page is likely to be a good match for those terms. If enough people, or enough sites with sufficient levels of authority link to that page for those terms, then the relevance of this page amongst others, is boosted resulting in a greater likelihood of that particular page being returned for the search engine query.