Discovering Link Building: can it be done or does it penalize me? When we talk about link building we often also talk about penalties . Some say “write quality content and the links will come by themselves”, is this still the case? What is the truth about link building? Let us try to take stock of the situation on a very thorny subject.
When it comes to SEO, or search engine optimization, the term link building is often associated with “black hat techniques” and “safe penalties”. In reality, “link building”, or rather the art of link building, is a subject that must be studied, tested (on proprietary projects and not directly on customers) and continuously improved. And it is not absolute evil.
Link building is one of the operations that an SEO takes care of, it is used to increase the number of inbound links to a website. Link building is done to increase the authority of a domain and its contents, thus improving the positioning within search engines.
Basically Google originally evaluated each website based on the number of links received (resources that cited a particular website), starting from the concept that if a website that talks about … is cited by numerous similar websites and newspapers, it certainly has great value and great authority on the subject . Over the years, the search engine has clearly evolved and improved the way of organizing the results of the search pages (SERP), evaluating numerous other factors besides the simple “number of links received from a website”.
At this point you have probably heard, or read around that doing link building is the absolute evil, you put your name, your site, your positioning at risk , and they will also have told you that if you write quality content the links will come .
The truth is that getting links is very complicated, especially in Italy, where even if they copy your article, they have no qualms and don’t bother to “cite the source”. This is why it is important to do link building .
In summary, therefore, it is very difficult to receive spontaneous links , especially if you are not already established in your sector and you are not known on the web. This is why it is very important to do link building! And if you think that even the most successful people in the sector in some way “do link building” (perhaps because they are invited for guest posts / interviews, or because they participate as speakers at sector events) you will soon realize why it is important to strategy for acquiring links to your website.
Ok, so links are good. I take my website and start putting it in directories, article marketing sites (where I publish poor quality content), then I leave some scattered comments ( clearly comments in the style of “Great article” – “I think so too” – …), I always link to the homepage of my website using a “set of pre-established keywords” and wait to see the results of my work.
The result will be a penalty. This is not the correct way to do link building, and this is why link building is associated with Spam. By the way, among the “black hat” link building techniques there are also:
- Insert links in the footer
- Insert hidden links
- Insert “invisible” links (of the same color as the background of the page for example, links with white color)
- Comment spam via bots
- Purchase of links “per kg” (through websites that offer these services)
- Creating link schemes, exchanging links, pyramids or sites created just for link building
- Purchase paid text links
Link building White hat: It can be done!
If your strategy aims to create content of value and quality, answer a question from a user who does not yet have a complete answer on the net, offer added value, create an editorial plan for your website and improve the visibility of your website, a good link building strategy will allow you to achieve your goals.
Before starting to do link building it would be good, for example, to do an analysis of the competitors : how are they behaving? How many inbound links are there from our competitors? What is the average between brand mentions, brand citations and website links? The links that my competitor receives with which anchors are they inserted? Which variables?
By the way, it is also very important to understand how our competitors move within social networks: do they participate in groups? How? do they have pages? Are they followed?
We learn to balance values and find a “standard” for our reference sector and, once we have this data, we begin to build our “link base”.
I thought of creating a bulleted list with the two types of possible link building: the one that “hurts your website” and the one “that is good”:
- Buy many links in a short time // Receive links from quality sites with a certain consistency over time
- Insert links on sites not in target with respect to your website // Insert links only on sites in target
- Massive insertion in directories // Insertion in selected quality directories
- Receive links with a predetermined set of keywords // Vary the anchor text making it “natural”
- Copy content and social bookmarking // Create quality content and engage users
- Exchange links // Propose the inclusion of a quality link to your site
Welcome Link earning?
I also take advantage of this article for a personal consideration. It used to be called link building. Then it was said that “doing link building was against Google’s regulation and led to penalties”. And the world of SEO has been struggling to find a viable solution to solve this problem. What was the solution? Change the name of the link building, calling it “link earning”.
Developing creative content that allows you to obtain links, or link baiting , or buy content through the drafting or proposal of writing content within blogs, is nothing more than link building.
Another topic is to be included in the theme of link building , or the theme of the sale of links , or the purchase of posts, guest posts, or, basically, articles with links that lead to a website that we want to grow in terms of links entry and reputation.
Is it possible to do it? Is it harmful? Once again the answer cannot and must not be univocal: the buying and selling of links on sites and blogs can be positive if done in an intelligent and structured way, definitely harmful if you buy links from sites that have, for example, mainly articles with links to sites. external or low-quality sites, with generalist, copied or low-value content.
A practical example will clarify the concept better:
Antonio decides to buy for his site “at home gardening” an article with links on the site dedicated to plants “of all the grass a bundle”: the article that Antonio will publish will concern the topic “how to prune the boxwood giving it the forms of animals ”, thus providing a quality article with an original content. Inside the article, or at the end, he writes that inside “at home gardening” there are many useful tips on how to prune plants and more. Do you think this link is of quality or is it of little importance / relevance to Google?
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Giovanni, on the other hand, has a site called “I sell you the iPhone 6”, he contacts the owner of the site “technology in my home” (a website that only has articles with affiliated products and / or items sold with links to various sites of offers and promotions) and buy an article with a link. The article published is titled “iphone 6 at the lowest price” and the content of the article is a technical data sheet of the iPhone 6. The phrase “iphone 6 offers” and “where to buy iphone 6 at the lowest price “, in the article he inserts 3 or 4 links with anchor text” buy iphone 6 “,” iphone 6 offer “,” iphone 6 lowest price “. How much quality does this article have in your opinion? What can Google think?
Learning to buy (and sell links ) : it is therefore important to know how to select the sites where to buy the links and articles, create content of value and quality and wisely mix the type of content purchased ( remember that citations and co-occurrences are also important ). A lot could be written on this subject, but it seemed to me at least necessary to talk about it at least in general terms.