Since Google has emerged as the force to be reckoned with in the late 90’s, marketers everywhere have done everything in their power to control the beast. Anyone who has a monetized website has tried to learn what they can about search engine optimization. The majority fail to turn that effort into coin. What is the first conclusion most seem to draw when their endeavors fail? SEO AND LINKBUILDING MUST BE DEAD!!!!
When I started marketing in 2009, there was a lot of crap out there that supposedly ensured success with Google. One of the ideas came in the form of these things called “link farms.” Link farms were basically directories where so-called SEO experts could fool the search engines into thinking their sites had gained numerous relevant backlinks from various sources. These directories were targeted with the first Panda update and do not exist anymore because Google caught on to what the SEO experts were up to.
Subsequent updates to the Google algorithm in the form of furry creatures have berated and limited SEO gurus at every turn, wherever possible. The loopholes that used to mean automatic page one ranking are far fewer than ever before. So this brings us to the title of this post: Is linkbuilding really dead? Let me answer this question by posing a statement: linkbuilding will NEVER be dead!
Affiliate marketing is dumb because linkbuilding is impossible…
To me, affiliate marketing is the most profitable and surefire method of internet marketing. Yet, the majority of the people I looked up to when I began my journey in affiliate marketing have left Google completely. The Google updates totally destroyed their morale. Instead of weathering the storm and evolving, they gave up. If you are looking into affiliate marketing right now, you NEED to be aware of the perils of linkbuilding and ranking on Google. If you approach it with the hunter mentality, you will fail.
Linkbuilding will always be of the utmost importance. Having linkbuilding skills is extremely valuable. Just ask this guy I found on Upwork (used to be Odesk).
He earns at least $250 every hour for linkbuilding! If this isn’t evidence that linkbuilding is NOT dead, I don’t know what is! He values his time, and his skills can be valuable to you. That is why you would hire him in the first place. Once you become an expert at linkbuilding, here are just a few things you can use with that power:
- Outsource your skills to other marketers for hundreds an hour.
- Rank multiple sites on Google and get paid on the sites you monetize.
- Get on leaderboards for affiliate products via Clickbank or JVZoo and gain recognition.
- Build up a fat Adsense account and generate a passive income.
- Get leads, build a list, and much, much more!
If you know nothing about copywriting, finding JV partners, email marketing, list building, website design, or anything else… linkbuilding could still make you rich. You can outsource everything else you need to do and still make six figures easily.
What is link building?
A lot of people seem to think linkbuilding is a package they can buy on fiverr.com for $5. If you are getting thousands of backlinks for $5, you are just asking for a Google bitchslap! There is countless software on the market (some since 2010 that people still buy) that promise to automate the process of backlinks for you. Most of the time, this is what the Fiverr guys use for their gigs. They get you countless links, but most are never indexed, and the ones that do get recognized as backlinks are not of any value.
So, what is link building? It is merely the process of showing Google that your site is popular by getting other sites and people to talk about you. This is why pagerank used to be the most important ranking factor. Google has shifted their logic and now social signals are among the most important ranking factors.
What does linkbuilding mean to Google?
The aim of the Google updates have always been to serve the user, not the webmaster. Highlight that statement and always remember it! Google is not there to make you money – it is there to bring relevant searches to its users. I mean, they are also there to make money for themselves, but user experience is why it’s harder to cheat at SEO! Popular content that is shared more than other content will get higher rankings than content that no one sees.
Google does not hate linkbuilding! It does hate people who try to cheat their system by using blackhat tactics. A wise man once told me, the harder a link is to get, the more value it will have. I have found this statement to be TRUE! Your goal with linkbuilding is not to get more [backlinks] than anyone else, but to get the best links possible that pass on the most link juice. If you want a glass of grape juice, you are gonna want to find the juiciest grapes… raisins don’t make very good grape juice.
Some Important Ranking Metrics to be aware of
Google has many metrics in its ranking algorithm. Linkbuilding is a mode to ranking your website, but to understand why it is still relevant, we need to look at a few of the metrics it helps contribute to.
Authority is what all websites who rank well on Google have. Pagerank has become antiquated and domain authority has replaced it. Google places your website on a scale of 0-100 and this value (the higher, the better) will ultimately determine how quickly your posts rank without any linking to the individual pages themselves. This is powerful stuff!
Domain authority is the measure of the authority of your entire website, but page authority is the measure of each page separate from the domain. A page from a high domain authority site with little page authority will rank well, but other people can still outrank it easily if they know what they’re doing. If you practice linkbuilding on a regular basis, you will have high domain and page authority.
Think of the internet as a fluid system. The important sites contain more fluid than the obscure little-traveled sites. When you are linked to by important sites, they send some of their fluids to you, which will make your site more important! Link juice is actually a measured substance in Google and counts a great deal in ranking highly.
The amount of shares your site/pages get is a HUGE metric for ranking now. The Penguin update in 2011 made social sharing one of the most important ways to rank your content. If you have a site without a way for other sites to share/like your content, you are hurting your site’s SEO. There are countless social platforms now. Some of the most most popular include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Some Definite Link Building Tips
While Linkbuilding may be a very powerful way to get your site noticed by other sites across the web, the proverbial Google sandbox serves as a reminder that linkbuilding the wrong way will hurt your popularity and ultimately, your visibility in the search engine. On that note, let’s discuss a few powerful ways to do linkbuilding!
Three Powerful Link Building Strategies
If you just focus on these three link building strategies with your site, you will see a huge rise in your ranking potential!
Building authority sites is the only way to go in today’s search engine world. The sites with real authority have hundreds to thousands of pages filled with content. Having oodles of content will not suffice to rank your site alone, though. You want people to peruse your site from one piece of content to another for as long as possible. In order to achieve this, internal linking is essential!
Internal linking spread the link juice across your site, much like veins spread blood from the heart throughout the body. It makes your site much more user-friendly in Google’s eyes and helps leave a trail of breadcrumbs for your visitors. There is a lot of Hansel and Gretel in SEO, didn’t you know?!
Some Internal Linking Tips:
- A fast, easy way to utilize internal linking, is to install a recommended content plugin onto your site. This will display three or more articles you’ve written under each post and pose them as a recommendation. You see all the popular blogs doing this via recommended/sponsored content at the bottom of the page. Very nifty – and very effective!
- Go through your site and post links to other articles in places you feel are relevant. Every single post should link to at least one or two other posts on your blog.
- Make use of your sidebar. It is recommended to have your most popular posts in your sidebar so your readers have easy access to the content other readers love the most.
- Make sure all your internal links are dofollow. This is a biggie! In a world where people argue over the correct recipe of nofollow/dofollow, internal links are a nobrainer. There is just no reason to keep the link juice from flowing across your site. That is unless you are protecting certain pages from Google robots.
Competitor Link Mining
I know the link mining part makes it sound somewhat underhanded and fishy, but it is actually the method most SEO agencies use to find their backlinks. You can access one of the three backlink checking resources to find who your competitors are linking to (Ahrefs, MajesticSEO, MOZ Opensite Explorer), or you can use an awesome tool I now use for all projects, Traffic Travis.
Traffic Travis is a free or paid tool that can list all the places your competitors put one of their links and much more! The free version does everything the paid version does, you are just limited in terms of the quantity you can do at any one point in time.
We can sort through the relevancy of all the pages our competitors used and sort them from highest to lowest page authority (which is what I do). Once we have figured out what links have the most power, we can check them out and use them for links ourselves. We can also get a better look at our competitors and see how our keywords are ranking in all the search engines.
Do you remember above how I said the harder a link is to get, the more value it has? This definitely applies here. An effective linkbuilding campaign needs to have some element of active outreach. This doesn’t mean you have to call and fraternize with your competitors, but it does mean you need to be out there making a name for yourself!
I plan to unveil this link building strategy further in future posts. For now I want you to think about outreach and what it would mean for you if other blog owners on page one for your target keywords enthusiastically endorsed your site! You can easily outsource this task to a VA or use a service I love called Ninja Outreach to find blogs to connect to. This will literally cut your linkbuilding time in half and give you much higher quality backlinks in the process!
Basically, the idea is to find blog owners in your niche who have authority. You establish a relationship with them of mutual respect. You link to each other and voila – you’ve got yourself a link! The real key here is finesse and tact. Other bloggers know their competition wants their link juice. How are you going to persuade them you are worthy?
Every single day, the landscape of SEO is changing. Google is the pioneer and we are the settlers that follow in its wake. Linkbuilding will always be of the utmost importance for anyone that wants to be showcased on Google for any relevant keywords people may be interested in searching for.
Google sees links as a reward for those sites that have high quality content. The absence of links (or presence of low quality spammy links) is viewed as the opposite. You may think your links are good, or maybe you have the best content on the interwebs – if you have no proof, it really doesn’t matter. By using internal linking, link mining, and relationship building, you can build trust and control the outcome through your own power. If you focus on this, the links will come, much like the people come to see Kevin Costner’s field of dreams. If you never saw that movie, I am sorry I gave away the ending.
Hopefully you learned something today. If you loved this article and want more, please like and share this piece of content everywhere you can! Shoot me an email at Freedomfromfailure@gmail.com and let’s discuss SEO! I am always on the lookout for more linkbuilding opportunities!