Of late, link building has been discussed to no end, in the sense that many webmasters and SEOs feel that Google’s next ‘big surprise’ (read: algorithm update) will bring some changes to this aspect of the SEO game. It is, indeed expected, for the search engine giant to focus on a sort of crackdown on link buying schemes and site networks which link too many domains in order to tamper with back link profiles through excessive domain linking. However, this all doesn’t mean link building is about to go belly-up, but simply that it’s undergoing a redefinition. As others have noted before, it’s more pro-active and future-focused to call it ‘link earning’ these days. This renaming, which might seem minor, actually reframes the entire paradigm of the process and renders it safer in the face of all the uncertainties Google has in store for us all. That being said, here are four fresh approaches to link earning you might find useful.
Find great sites first
As most SEOs these days know, a lot of their ‘game mechanics’, as professed by Google, has gone social. This, in turn, has made many focus more on building relationships via social media and, say, Followerwonk, in order to identify posting opportunities and other venues for getting their brand name across. However, it is still a priority to find top quality sites for your guest posts, before attempting to connect with the bloggers or webmasters behind them. Without domain authority, the site will not do much to help you upgrade your rankings.
Identify and connect
Many complain they have a hard time finding contact details for the people they need to get in touch with, for good links. However, what these people don’t know is that the process becomes much easier once you’ve found the site itself. There are tools out there to scan sites and find contact info for authors. Similarly, once you’ve found their email address, it’s easy as one-two-three to use that address in order to find the people you’re interested in social media. From that point onward, it’s all up to your networking and pitching skills.
Fix mistakes of the past
One great way to improve your number of quality of back links is to scan for mentions of your brand that bear no links or for links that lead to pages which no longer exists. Similarly, if your produce visual content and find it floating around unlinked in the search results, correcting this is a great way to boost your profile. Just make sure you go about this in a courteous, disinterested way: email webmasters to let them know that they’re using your content and allow them to go on using it, provided they link back to you. Correct 404s that have to do with your site on others’ platforms. In the long run, you will help those sites improve their standing, in terms of quality, while also gaining some advantages yourself.
Think of the author
While AuthorRank might not be in place just yet, both PR and SEO experts advise that you aim for websites that has some sort of authorship function in place. Most experts advise in favor of linking the authors’ Google+ profiles with their author profiles, but linking to other social networks, or simply having an Author Bio function in place is a good thing. This is because, as many have noticed, authorship now counts in the SERPs, but also in clicks and traffic. Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that some of the world’s top publishing platforms have yet to implement such measures – you are still going to want to get featured there. Meanwhile, as you do outreach for smaller sites, do check for their authorship implementation.