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SEO is a highly dynamic digital discipline and it often revolves around link building activities. Link building is often seen as a spam-laden labyrinth with automated spam posts, spun content and link pyramids. Due to changes in search engine algorithms, current link building methods have become quality-driven and more refined. With its subsequent major clean-up campaigns, such as the Penguin algorithm updates, Google has been playing a significant part in managing link building activities throughout the World Wide Web.
Link schemes can be quite bad and if discovered, the perpetrator can be harshly penalized. Google already steps up its effort to penalize questionable websites with various spammy backlink techniques. If we are still engaging in link scheme techniques, it is likely that we will face a manual penalty and we will have reduced SERP. Recovery is possible, but it may take months or even years.
It is clear that crappy links are no longer working. Years ago, any link still has a value, no matter how small it is. Back then, we were able to get away with posting various non-contextual links that pointed back to our domains from forums posts and blog comments. We might even create dozens of fake blogs to generate backlinks for our primary website. Today, these tactics can be discovered easily and they are no longer tolerated. In fact, one method of ensuring top position in Google search result is by removing spammy links that are advertently or inadvertently added. If most of our links are irrelevant and reside in non-related websites, we will have no authoritative gains.
We will gain more values by getting links from different domains. Links gathered from many different sources can be seen as credibility factors. It means that if we get dozens of links from a single website, most of them will have diminished SEO values. Instead of getting more links from the same website, we should strive to get more from other websites.
If we are able create unique, quality content; guest posts are still the gold standard for getting proper off-site links. Our focus should be on creating high-quality content. If we do this properly, there should be no risk of penalty. It isn’t an intensive and complicated link-building campaign. One good, relevant backlink could have greater values than dozens of irrelevant ones. Guest posting is a good strategy and it is applicable if we are able to create quality content. If our content is good enough for the website owner, it should be good enough for the audience and search engines.
Although guest posting is a good technique, it still means that we can’t guest post anywhere we want. Thanks to the more intensive competition among websites of similar topics, website owners have increased their content standards, especially from outside contributors. If our content isn’t compelling enough, it will be more difficult to land various guest posting activities.
Press releases were once a popular way for building links. They are useful if obtained from news sources that are higher in authority. If we have a worthy topic, it should be quite easy for us to obtain featured links by submitting press releases through multiple press release distribution hubs. However, because press releases have been used out of proportion by some link builders, their authoritative values have been significantly reduced.
A common advice is to use keyword-rich anchor text, but this technique can backfire if used improperly. Google has improved its bots and algorithm to recognize whether we are using anchor texts unnaturally for specific manipulative purposes.
While guest posting is a good method, link earning is clearly a better one. With link earning, we create fantastic content that consistently becomes a magnet to attract various links. It’s always the best way to earn relevant links, since Google sets up its authority-based ranking. People who use manipulative and spammy tactics are usually unable to create content and audience in a genuine way. By awarding websites with excellent content, Google also discourages manipulative and spammy practice. Unfortunately, even with fantastic content, it’s still difficult to gain higher ranks. It takes patience and persistence to attract an audience and genuine links.
In reality, link building is more than just about getting higher rank in search engines. With link building, we could also get higher referral traffic, author reputation, and brand visibility.