Proper link building practices are still one of the most important aspects of a search engine optimization campaign. However, the techniques of even half a year ago will not work today. Here are some of the best current practices that you can employ for today and for the future when it comes to link building.
First, focus on the future when it comes to what you do now.
Google, Yahoo and Bing are programming their search engines to read webpages and links in the same way as a human would read them. Dead links and links to irrelevant pages will lower the ranking of a website in the eyes of the major search engines. Realize that the major search engines will only move farther in this direction and focus all of your efforts towards building a site that the major search engines will find perfect today and five years from now.
The punishments for short-term strategies can be enacted retroactively. Moving forward, there is virtually no benefit to a short-term link building strategy that will certainly be ferreted out with the next iteration of Google Penguin. If you start your entire philosophy by saying that you will only generate quality links to relevant businesses, you will come out ahead in the end.
Second, be relevant to your local audience.
Although it is quite easy to get caught up in the fact that the Internet has a global reach, this is not what you should focus on. You should remain dedicated to building links in your local area especially if you are a new business without an established reputation on the Internet. The major search engines are set up to boost the rankings of websites that have a local following first.
This means that you should seek out local websites such as news organizations that have a high Google PageRank and try to get them to link to you. You should base outgoing links with localized keywords in the text – employ the same keyword strategy that you would for a PPC campaign. This will not only bring more local customers to you, but it will eventually help your overall ranking as your website becomes known as the place to go within a certain geographical area.
Third, be sure that you only date up.
You should only link out to websites that have a higher Google PageRank than you. This will ensure that you will be connected to websites that Google any other major search engines will consider reputable for a long period of time. There is no benefit to trying to attach yourself to fly-by-night websites that may have a short spike in the major search engines. When they go down, you will go down as well.
Fourth, check out your competition in order to see what is working for them.
It is easier than ever to see exactly what is working for your competition when it comes to a link building strategy. A simple Google search will air it out the keywords that they are using or their base URL text as well is the websites that they are linking to. You can try to obtain links from popular websites that are working for your competition; however, the careful of any conflicts of interest. Use your common sense here – the if the website is an educational facility or a news organization, you may be able to get on the list. However, if your competition is linking to a website of complementary products that they have known for years, you may want to skip this association.
There are many nuances to link building that can only be found out through trial and error. Keep a keen eye to the updates that the major search engines implement so that you will not fall behind in your search engine optimization strategy.