There was once a time not too long ago when just adding links, any link, multiple mass ‘bought’ links from practically any website, regardless of what or where they came from, would immediately and automatically ‘bump’ up your website rankings to near the top of the natural search engines. Those days are now pretty much gone as Google and the other major search engines are constantly realigning their SERP algorithms to determine how genuine these links really are that are pointing back to your site. They now decide if these links are natural or organic links, or if they were built, mass produced or bought. So your SEO efforts may need a bit of an adjustment when it comes to this new era of building relevant links. You will need to adapt towards Link Development, which is building deeper realistic backlinks in order to stay afloat on top of the search engines.
Link Development Basics
Link development isn’t and shouldn’t be considered the same as link building. In the past, you would acquire links, any type of link, regardless of its value or niche, by whatever method necessary. Link Development is rather based on a strategy of you building more natural real organic backlinks. Developing valuable links which are of the highest in quality.
What’s Required For Link Development Is Following Some Basic Steps:
Site Placement Does Matter
• Links which are placed on the left side of your Web page post, which is still believed are indexed first, have more influence than those place on the right side or the bottom of the page
• Links which are part of a sites actual content is a lot more valuable than blogroll or footer type of links
Anchor Text Links
• One factor that these major search engines can easily detect in their algorithm is the frequency of anchor text. If you constantly continue to build links for just one or two targeted keywords and exclusively use those same terms repeatedly in your anchor text, this will set off potential ‘red flags’ with Google, as this is now considered as non-organic link building
Do-Follow No-Follow Blog Commenting
• Blog comments which are obviously ‘spammy’ is useless and a complete waste of time
• But, if your vertical or niche happens to be heavily influenced by blogs, such as say… tech products, weight loss, or fashion etc., it can then be beneficial to converse with these types of blogs as a consumer or an enthusiastic user. You can do this regardless if the links that points back to your own site are no-follow or do-follow. The cumulative effect of participating should benefit your SEO efforts
Link Development Techniques That Work
Using solid proven Link Development methods that works are extremely important. Applying the following techniques will result in developing valuable organic links gained through intrinsic means. These link development tactics may require a bit of effort, but the final outcome should provide for better sustainability with the search engines.
Build Widgets For Sites
Building widgets are an extremely powerful method in link development. The drawback is that they can be time and effort consuming. Building the widget itself is easy however, the difficult part is getting others to adopt and use the widget. So you need to make sure that the widget you are creating has superior value proposition strong enough that thousands of site owners will be willing to add it to their own blog or site. There are numerous amounts of niche based advertising options that you’re competing with for website widget space. There are tough competitors such as Google AdSense, as well as a variety of different retargeting display ad agencies popping up all over the place, offering anywhere from .05c up to $5 CPCs.
Some Examples Of Successful Widgets Currently Being Used
Yelp and their ‘Review Widget’ provides small local businesses with unbiased, trusted 3rd party valuable content, which also includes a map to the business’ exact location. There are a lot of businesses that currently use Yelp’s widget to add legitimate functionality for their site users.
What Bizrate does is they will provide e-commerce based websites with a “Stamp Of Approval” feature, which helps on-page conversions. 50% percent of Bizrate’s actual backlinks can be attributable to the widget, an example can be found here at: Zappos.com.
Infographics can be an excellent way of developing topical as well as relevant links back to your website. The purpose of infographics is creating worthy viral content as well as gaining user adoption. The infographic however, should be useful or entertaining to be useful.
Reporting And Tracking
Tracking the link development process is an extremely important step, otherwise you are driving aimlessly without it. Tracking your SEO campaigns helps you in pinpointing which of the strategies are working, and which are duds. You should then be able to put your efforts towards the strategies producing results, resulting in greater link development.
Listed Are Some Methods For Link Development Tracking:
Using Open Site Explorer opensiteexplorer.com
OpenSite Explorer is an excellent tool provided you use their API. It gives you complete insight into your website’s link graph, the distribution of anchor text, as well as trustrank.
• Link Graph: You will be able to plot and follow your own link graph by tracking the changes on OpenSite Explorer’s externally followed links. By you plotting the links that point back to your site each week, you will be able to track your link graph
• Anchor Text: This metric will help you with competitive sizing. You will be able to compare the number of keyword-specific anchor text that are pointing back to your competitor vs your own blog or site. Although the volume of anchor text isn’t the only factor, it will help benchmark yourself against your competition.
Google Webmaster Tools
Google’s Webmaster Tools has improved significantly since it was first introduced. It will now offer a day-by-day update on your blogs health, as well as external and internal links, visits, keyword ranking and click-through data. This data is extremely important for SEO.
Some of the most valuable features of Google Webmaster Tool include:
• It will monitor external as well as internal links
• It will evaluate your sites performance
• Project traffic or even revenue based on search query
• Track and report duplicate Title or Meta Tags
• Submit Sitemaps
The most important and valuable function is Search Query Analysis. This can be used to predict the effects of increasing a keywords rank, on both traffic or projected revenue.
Google Search Query Analysis
So overall, link building as you once knew it has definitely changed. If you are responsible for the SEO for your site, you need to evolve as well as adapt when it comes to developing links. Building value instead of volume provides for long term sustainable SEO relevancy. This is important both for the eyes of the ever changing and improving search engines, as well as for your users, who are now directly influencing your SEO efforts.