Writing by Brick Marketing in Link Building
Prior to the Google Penguin update, people were a little more reckless with their link building. If they could drop a link on a site and include anchor text, they’d do it. Once Google cracked down on this practice, the game has been somewhat different. The focus is now on building a natural link portfolio and quality trumps quantity every time. Google is handing out penalties to websites that appear to be building inbound links in an unnatural manner. Here are a few ways to ensure that your site isn’t found guilty:
Build links at an appropriate pace
Before getting started with an SEO link building campaign, it’s important to do an audit of your inbound links to know where you stand. The number of inbound links that you have may surprise you and it will give you a starting point. If you only have a few hundred inbound links, or less, you will want to be conservative and aim for only building 15-20 a month. If you have thousands of inbound links, more would be OK. Links should grow naturally. If there is a huge surge in links in a short period of time that can raise a red flag with the search engines.
Don’t abuse anchor text
Keyword anchor text linking is still OK in small doses, but think about how an outsider (someone not at your company, not associated with your website, and doesn’t know anything about SEO) would link to your site. They’d probably link to the brand, link to the full URL, link to YourBrand.com, etc. They also might link to generic words or phrases like “click here”, “visit this website”, or “for more information”. The bottom line is, don’t always link to a keyword.
Don’t pay attention to no follow/ do follow
Only accumulating links from do follow sites that have a very high authority is not only nearly impossible to do, but can also be harmful if you succeed. In order to keep your linking natural you want links from a mix of do follow and no follow sites that have varying levels of authority. The primary concern when building links should be whether the site is generating traffic from target audience members.
Link from various sites
Once you’ve been at link building for awhile you may find that you have a handful of sites that you are loyal to and contribute guest blog posts/articles/etc. to on a regular basis. This is great, but don’t stop there. These sites shouldn’t be the “be all, end all” of your link building efforts. Each month you should make a point to look for new linking opportunities. Of course, this is going to take some time but it’s well worth it. A great place to look for new link opportunities is at your competitors’ backlinks. Pull the inbound links of your top 5 competitors and try to find at least 5 new linking opportunities from this list per month.