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Beginner’s Guide to Link Building

Not sure what link building is?

Even more confused on how to accomplish it?

Well, you’re not alone….Link building is one of the most difficult tasks that an SEO professional faces each day. That’s right – it challenges professionals. So it’s not hard to imagine how the novice would run for the hills at the thought of a link building campaign.

In a very small nutshell, link building is an online form of promotional marketing, whereby you find great websites (content) to link your website/brand/company/content to. You are essentially attempting to spin an SEO spiderweb that reaches across the vast expanse of the world wide web. The larger your web, the more you’ll “catch,” so to speak. Ever seen Charlotte’s Web? Be Charlotte – steady, methodical, with fierce determination.

Ok, so……On the internet, there is this mega-giant called Google. They pretty much say what to do, when to do it, and most importantly, how to do it. And seeing as though Google has gabillions upon gabillions of web pages to sort through, it must use a structured algorithm in order to organize the chaos. One factor in Google’s algorithm is links.

Links = Votes

Basically when a particular page links back to your website, you’ve earned a “vote” from the online community. The more votes you get, the more popular you must be, right? Well, while that may work for prom queen selection, it’s a little more complicated in the grown up world. The answer is: yes and no (I know, trick question).

You see, Google analyzes the popularity of a page based on the number AND the popularity of the pages that link to them. So not only do you have to be popular to win prom queen, but the people voting for you must be popular too! Hence, you become popular by association (The parallels to real life are astonishing, don’tcha think?). Similarly, trustworthy sites tend to link to other trustworthy sites. Respected news sites and government sites are good examples of this.

According to a Moz.com survey, 81% of companies increased their link building spending over the last 12 months, and another 73% intend to increase their spending over the next 12 months. People are catching wind of the “Make Google Like Me” game, and they don’t want to lose to the competition. And you shouldn’t either. So, what tips should be considered when beginning your link building campaign? Well, we’ll tell ya.

Global Popularity

As mentioned above, the more links you have from other sites, the more popular you are. Just how far does that web of yours span? Work on making it larger and stronger.

Local Popularity

This refers to the popularity you have among others in your niche. Example: You manufacture coffee. You’ll gain much more popularity with links on coffee shop websites and other coffee-related sites, than you would a link on your best friend’s blog telling the world how wonderful your coffee is. Make sense?

Anchor text

This is anchor text. It is the highlighted portion of words that are visible when another page is hyperlinked into a post. These are important because Google, the smart little devil that it is, assimilates what the hyperlink (anchor text) says and what is actually in the content. It learns to associate those words with the content of the link.

Trust Rank

As stated previously, the more trustworthy the company you keep, the more trustworthy you will be – in the eyes of Google.

Link Neighborhood

Inversely, spam sites generally link to other spam sites. So if you have despicable neighborhood friends, you’re bound to be despicable as well.

Freshness

Just as bread turns stale if left out, so do links. Times like these require a little refresher in order to maintain popularity. What we mean is, continue to link build to keep heads turning, and more importantly, Google smiling.

Social Sharing

We’re not sure how, but Google does take into account the social scene. The more shares and retweets you receive, the higher you jump on the totem pole of coolness. (Find out how to get more Facebook likes and shares!)

Also keep in mind that buying links is frowned upon. It’s considered a high-risk tactic. Big Brother will find out and he’ll slap you off your high horse by penalizing you. So, utilize these tips in order to boost your google authority through link backs.

Happy Linking!

By Lori Isbell

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