When you type keywords into a search engine, you get a SERP or search engine results page. To the average searcher, this doesn’t really mean a whole lot to them. They’re just looking for information. But to the person relying on SERP to bring in traffic, it means big success (or little success) with getting people to their site. Building links helps bring in traffic because it can cause a page to rank higher.
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Building links the blackhat way (the not good way!)
Not every site used honest methods when it came to building links – and they learned it from unscrupulous marketers who taught blackhat efforts.
Google cracked down on websites that employed scheming or tactics that tried to scam the system. Because of this crackdown, site owners have to be more careful how they build links. They could end up violating the rules of SEO if they aren’t careful. Breaking the rules gets your site penalized, drops your ranking and you lose traffic.
Blackhat link building practices include:
- Using follow links for sponsorships or another type of payment
- Buying links
- Using irrelevant links in your content
Another way you want to avoid breaking the rules of SEO is to make sure that you don’t have any external links in your website footer. Many people don’t even realize they’re there – so double check and clean up any SEO-damaging links on or to your site online.
Building links using good practices
You don’t have to break the rules. You can build solid links that won’t get your hands slapped. Whenever you’re about to engage in a link strategy, always ask yourself the one question that will keep your site’s links within the rules. That question is, “Is this link relevant?”
For a link to be relevant, it should be a natural one. Unnatural links can get you penalized. You don’t want to link the website where your content is on dog training to your website on natural remedies to treat acne. Neither one of those topics has any relevance to the other. You can bet a search algorithm will catch it.
Make sure that you build links from sites that are beneficial to visitors. If you link to a site that that exists (but that’s pretty much it), then this is a failed link. Even if your site is relevant – if you link to someone else’s site that isn’t – it will hurt your site’s ranking.
Using nofollow links
You need to know how to use links to your advantage and this is information that SEO Enigma Reloaded can show you. Using nofollow attributes will keep search engines happy. You can use “rel=nofollow” to keep from getting penalized for any links that aren’t natural.
This lets that site link be ignored. You’ll see this with paid links. Another example of unnatural links are links that are under your influence – and these are what search engines look for.
When your anchor text has links, you need to use a nofollow in order to avoid getting busted by the algorithm. If you’re on someone else’s site doing a guest blog, don’t use keywords in the anchor text that lead back to your site.
Guest post links
Guest posting is a great way to build links as well as relationships with others in your niche. This is simply the process of writing a post that someone else puts on their site. They then link back to you. Or having someone else write a post for your site.
The benefits of guest posting on other sites:
- You get exposed to a whole new audience
- The links on their site helps raise your authority
- You are helping to establish yourself as an expert in your niche
The benefits of having guest posts on your site:
- The guest poster will more than likely share the post which exposes you to a whole new audience
- You are building relationships with others in your niche
- They may want you to return the favour
- You don’t have to write a post that day (huzzah!)
If you do decide to accept guest posts on your site, be mindful that the topic they are writing on fits in your niche. You will need to put some clear guidelines in place as well. This will make editing much easier for you.
Collaborations are another great way to build links that also helps you build relationships with others in your niche. A collaboration post is a post where several bloggers write some input. This could be something such as ‘5 bloggers share their best SEO tools’. They then get a link back to their site and everyone shares it around.
Keep in mind your niche and relevance to your own website if you do decide to participate in collaborations. There are some great Facebook Groups that people post requests for collaboration posts.
Related Post: The beginner’s guide to SEO
Final Thoughts on building links
Link building and SEO doesn’t have to be scary, as long as you are writing quality content and inserting relevant links you can’t go too far wrong. If you are still unsure about SEO I have a free 5 day SEO email boot camp that you can participate in.
Still confused? Leave a message in the comments and I will get back to you as soon as I can!
More SEO resources
- Dare to Conquer SEO boot camp – this free boot camp is run by Paul Scrivens (Scrivs) of Dare to Conquer
- A smooth, well-coded theme is essential for SEO, Bluchic has many beautiful, feminine, responsive themes to choose from (I use the Isabelle theme).
- The She Approach to Building your Traffic ebook delves into SEO, Google Analytics and much more.
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