What Is Safe Link Building ?
When it comes to providing SEO tips, here's a big question for ya.. Is there such a thing as safe link building ? Wow.. talk about opening a can of hmmm... something right ? It's common knowledge that Google changes the rules anytime it wants and some may even believe they do it just for the fun of it just to keep link builders on their toes, but whatever the reason, it's like walking on uneven payment for anyone in the link building game and lets face it folks, that's not a fun place to be.
What is truly safe link building ? Maybe that's the place to start right ? The word that I would run with if I were looking for something that symbolized what safe meant in the SEO world is "natural". If you've been link building for any amount of time, you've seen this word around the forums. You've heard the conversations around natural link building. You've heard Matt Cutts talk about how links that you build need to come naturally. You may be scratching your head thinking... "What in the world does that mean" ? Well here's my take on it:
- If you went out in search of the link, it wasn't natural
- If you paid or bribed someone for the link it wasn't natural
- I debate whether reciprocal linking is natural based on how good ole' Matt defines it
- Guest posting for the link (again debatable), but it's kind of subjective here.. if you're writing for the link then it's not natural, but if you're writing to add value and you just so happen to get a link from it then I would argue that it is natural
- Infographics.. losing the punch that it once had now isn't "always" a safe link building tactic.. I wonder when Google is going to penalize this tactic that has been used.. rightfully so by whitehatters, but has also been abused to some degree by the spammers and by blackhatters too
Safe Link Building And SEO
So we're back to the question... what is SAFE ? If you're new to SEO, while it's never been an easy place to play, it's truly no joke now with all the penalties coming left and right for tactics that aren't considered natural or play by the rules tactics in Google land.
There are plenty of forums that you can explore that will have services galore to consider. Remember my post about avoiding the temptations ? Google BFF Bad Link Neighborhoods. Yeah that one.. Talk about red flags.. You may as well just wave to Google and say hey, I'm over here.. come and get me. Yeesh.. there was a time when you could add thousands of links to your backlink profile and never see a penalty, but try that nonsense now on a website project or business that you care about. Well let me restate that.. DON'T try that on a website or business site that you care about... it's a terrible idea.
So what do you do about this ???
Well the first thing that I would do is determine who your audience is and simply just write for them. If you have a business, the reality is that you have to connect with them and writing is a no cost, thought provoking way to show the people that are interested in your brand and business that you care about them. Everyone knows that writing takes time and when there's value embedded in the content that you're putting together, believe it or not that resonates with people. Focusing on the people that are interested in what you have to say will lead to building a very natural link profile. Yes, it is a slower process, but it's as natural as natural gets. When people read something that is worth sharing, they will share it all over the place and other people will share it too. Nothing ever built that was worthwhile was ever done very quickly. It took time and so will building a link profile that is natural to Google, but that's the point and that's what Google is looking for. Those are the websites that get rewarded when other businesses that have inflated their metrics get penalized and knocked out of the coveted first page positions they hold. The benefits of doing it right lead to dividends that are certainly worth waiting for.
Link Building And Patience
I get it that "waiting" is not the "in thing" to do. Given how quickly information is acquired and disseminated these days, waiting seems so 1999 ! But guess what.. it might not be for everyone, but man it works ! It gives true credence to the adage that "patience is a virtue". Additionally, if you're able to write for your readers and not focus on the popular notion... "what's in it for me", you might be on your way to doing something valuable, inspiring and meaningful.. things that people from all walks of life would be willing to connect themselves to, consume and respond to willingly. The sales pitch, something that people in general have developed a negative aversion to is also something that your readers will sense thousands of miles away or sense before you even make the attempt to try to sell them something they really don't need all for the sake of making a quick dollar.
The goal is to add value, build trust and solve the problems that your readers have and are looking to solve as well. Many of these problems can be found in other's blog posts, forums, blog comments, news and in video's related to the topic that you write about. The questions are everywhere and being a source of information and solutions will build your brand and readership which will also ultimately lead to others talking about you, sharing your content and thus in turn building a safe link profile that will help you move up the rankings in Google land.. and there's nothing wrong with getting as much Google love as you can.
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