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The Right Mix of Old School and New School Link Building
The challenge in link building is to find a good mix of easy to manage and long term effectiveness. When I started SEO in 2004, the best links were the hardest ones to get. It’s still true. Even in 2010 we knew best practices in link building was to go social, make real relationships and build link-worthy content. In 2011 and 2012, the online world got a slap in the face as Google actually began to enforce link building best practices via Panda and Penguin along with ranking penalties and webmaster tools messages about unnatural link profiles. By 2013, I expect there will be a general acceptance of the idea of creating an environment that will attract links without asking for them. This of course, starting from zero, will take a long time and is not a doable solution for many businesses that must justify an SEO budget. But how can you measure and claim the value provided without counting links you actually created one-by-one?
Guest Blog Link Building
Many older link building tactics are still worthwhile in building a natural back link profile. These tactics can be performed in an accountable way where link building efforts can be directly associated to the resulting links. A great example of this is the guest blog. The guest blog is an ideal means of creating links. It is a win-win solution. You provide content for a website. Your link is only published if the website owner feels the content is valuable and appropriate. Not only does it eliminate the possibility of spam, you can build a mutual relationship through the exchange.
How to Submit a Guest Blog That Gets Published
The following is actual guest blog content submitted to my SEO blog. This is a great example of how to make contact and provide content that gets published. Initial contact was made by Paul via my website contact form. He said he wanted to submit a guest blog. I’ve received requests for guest blogs in the past, however his was on topic, so I was interested. He provided his website in the initial contact and was up front about working for a link building service. He provided three blog titles, all of which sounded like good posts for my SEO blog. Here is the actual contact form message he left me (last name & email omitted for privacy).
I am working with Diamondlinks link building service and want to guest post on your site. I have relevant articles that should complement your site.
Quick Ways to Start SEO on a New Website
How Do I Get Started in SEO?
5 Link Building Methods for 2012
Please let me know if this works for you.
Example Guest Blog Content
I checked out his website, read through the services and gained an idea for the attitude and mindset of the services. Everything looked on the up and up. I responded to Paul’s email, saying the titles looked good, send me a post to see if I like it. He sent the following post. I agree with the following link building methods as being good for 2012 and pretty safe as a future proof solution, assuming you keep a good balance and go easy on article distribution (some people say avoid it altogether). I let Paul know I’d like to write an intro for the post, which you have read up to this point. So here is the post content Paul sent me.
5 Link Building Methods for 2012
While you may have heard the mantra “content is king” being repeated more often than usual in 2012, effective link building is still absolutely imperative when it comes to a successful internet marketing campaign. While fresh and interesting content is also extremely important, Google’s algorithm is still based primarily on links and thus link building is likely to be around for a long time to come. To help you sort through the cacophony of link building techniques out there (many of which will actually hurt you in the long run!), here are five excellent link building methods for 2012.
Vary your Anchor Text
Some of Google’s recent updates have heavily penalized sites who used the exact same anchor text during their link building campaigns. While this used to actually offer sites more of a boost, practicing this technique will get your website a one ticket to Google’s sandbox. Vary your anchor text by incorporating your keyword in various formats. For example, if your keyword is “tennis shoes”, use anchor text such as “best tennis shoes”, “tennis shoes for sale” etc. This will make your links look natural to Google’s bots.
Guest blogging is currently one of the most effective link building techniques in 2012. Internet marketers are seeing excellent results by posting high-quality blog posts on relevant blogs within their niche. Don’t just post on every blog you can find; you will see much better results by finding blogs relative to your keyword, with a decent PR and good traffic.
Continuing with the trend of blog interaction, leaving value-added comments on relevant blogs is also an excellent link building method for 2012. Don’t leave spammy comments that are obviously there solely for a link; leaving high-quality comments will help you in the long run by not only earning the trust of the blog owner, but of the readers of your comment that will likely end up on your website after reading your comment. That said, be sure to include a link to your website in a non-invasive, natural looking way.
Utilize Social Media
Google has just recently been putting a high priority on what are known as “social signals”, or essentially a strong presence on the various social networks. Be sure that your website has an active Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and any other social media account that you can frequently add content to.
A method that has been around for a while and still has excellent potential for search engine rankings, article writing is a great way to get a plethora of contextual and targeted backlinks. Make sure to vary your article at least a little bit between article directories, as submitting the exact same one can hurt you in the long run.
There you have it folks, five link building methods for 2012 that are sure to give you a boost in the search engine rankings. Now get out there and start building some links!