4 Post-Penguin Link Building Tactics Every Company Should Be Doing

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In the first article in this series, “6 Dead Link Building Tactics You Should Avoid,” I talked about the types of links you should avoid and why some businesses still buy them. In this article, I’ll discuss the types of links you should try to get to improve search engine rankings and website traffic. I’ll also show you how to convince your boss why it’s important to budget properly for SEO.

In this post-Penguin era, you have probably heard over and over that the quality of your backlinks are more important than the quantity. Well, it’s true. Ever since Google’s  Penguin algorithm started wreaking havoc on website rankings, the types of inbound links that are safe for your website have dwindled. Here are four that are still safe and beneficial.

1. Great Content Attracts Great Links

Awesome, engaging content attracts awesome inbound links, so a great content strategy should be one of the first priorities for your business. Google recently made it clear with the addition of “in-depth articles” in its search results that article length is now a factor for authority and ranking. Google’s in-depth article section features articles that are typically over 2,000 words. These high-profile posts get a special section on the first page of Google’s search results.

Great content has additional advantages. When you ask editors and webmasters to allow you to contribute via guest blogging, you’ll be met with much warmer responses if your existing content is stellar.

2. Guest Blogging: My Personal Favorite

Guest blogging is a powerful way to improve your Author Rank while creating inbound links. These links can help build your personal and company brand awareness while driving targeted traffic to your website. When your articles are published on highly authoritative websites like Huffington Post, Forbes, or Entrepreneur.com, your name and your brand will gain credibility, authority, and trust from the site’s readers. A series of guest blogging articles can also result in lots of referral traffic as readers click-through to your other work on your website (but only if you’ve got a solid content strategy and high-quality work already on your website).

3. Infographics

Infographics are a powerful way to visually represent large amounts of information. In cases where statistics and facts would make a reader’s head spin, infographics can tie all of this information into one easy-to-understand image.

Infographics are a great way to get links, too. Many websites will link to infographics or embed them within their own articles because they provide strong visual support for readers. For more information in how to use infographics effectively, see “The Definitive Guide to Writing and Promoting a Viral Infographic.”

4.    High-Quality Local and Industry-Specific Directories

Most businesses will benefit from registering their company information on Google and Bing. Sites like getlisted.org and Yext.com will help register your company information on additional quality local directories. Trade associations can be a great way to get into industry-specific directories.

No Secret Sauce Necessary

For most reputable SEO firms, there is no “secret sauce” that they are unwilling to share with their customers. The right firm will work with a company to create a plan that’s suitable based upon your goals, existing link profile, and budget.

Convincing Your Boss About the Necessity of SEO

These tips can help convince your boss of the importance of getting the right types of backlinks. Consider becoming a mentor who assists your boss in understanding the true benefits of the right types of SEO.

Most business people are mainly interested in the bottom line and getting “bargain SEO services” can be appealing. This may be particularly true if they have a small budget.

In this case, it’s very important to discuss expectations and realistic timelines based upon their budget. After that, it’s important that the decision-makers understand the risk involved in purchasing low-quality links versus the rewards of engaging in real SEO and link building, such as via a strategic content marketing campaign.

When presenting this discussion to your boss, preparation is key. You can prepare visual aids showing how your site currently ranks for important keywords and then compare them to your competitors. You can also discuss your current traffic versus future goals. Keep in mind that your goal is to ask for a reasonable budget for SEO services. Initially, you can keep it simple and share the importance of proper website SEO optimization as well as getting the right types of inbound links for success.

If the website already has plenty of good inbound links, don’t forget to include money in the budget for an SEO audit so you’ll know the types of links and anchor diversification you already have. Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. SEO services can scale up as your business grows and more money becomes available.

One more thing to keep in mind is that SEO is a gradual process. It’s important to let management know that they won’t see changes overnight and possibly even for a year or more. In the end, businesses who engage in quality SEO strategies as part of their marketing efforts see higher traffic and sales.


Link building is a time-intensive process, but it’s also part of a much broader strategy of content marketing. Publish amazing content (both on and off your website) and you’ll be rewarded with inbound links, traffic, leads, and sales. Whether you build your own links or hire a content marketing agency to assist with your efforts, have a plan and budget in place for SEO in order to grow your business.

Image credit: casscountynd.gov (public domain)

Jayson DeMers
Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.
Jayson DeMers
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  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/105713460323923270242 Rick Lomas

    After having spent some months removing bad links from a site to get a penalty lifted, I would be very wary about building links just because you think they are OK. The Link Detox tool by Link Research Tools has a really good ‘what if?’ mode to predict if the link you are going to build will be a good one. I think that is the only way to go at the moment.

  • http://www.indian-seo-company.com/ Aditi

    Hello Jayson!
    These link building strategies are truly the most effective ones and specially when you are targeting your site to rank well in the search engines in the era of Penguin and Panda. Infact, I follow all of these vital processes. Guest Blogging is important and vital but yes at the same time your content need to be informative and unique too. Quality content is important nowadays and it need to be maintained. Thanks for sharing these effective tips!

  • http://www.durhamlane.co.uk/ Theo Erwing

    Interesting post, although I’d be interested in discussing what is a priority and what isn’t. I know it changes from one company to the other, but it’d be good to read what people think of the matter.

  • http://www.edynamic.net Aditya Khanna

    Hi Jayson,

    In 2014, If in back of your mind, your intention is to create links, then unfortunately you would not be able to do good SEO. The basics of SEO and search engine ranking is sharing knowledgeable material. Now this can be in form of blogs, articles, PPT’s for Video’s. So My recommendation as a Consultant is whatever you do should add value to your qualified audience.

    I hope this helps
    Aditya Khanna
    Sr SEO Consultant

  • http://moneytechchakra.com Julian

    I have never tried infographics before. I heard they easily go viral on pinterest

    • http://www.moxiedot.com Kelsey Jones

      I agree Julian. Especially since they are in a visual format, and Pinterest is all about pretty pictures. 😉

  • http://www.webservicesct.com Tim Dugan

    Nice post Jayson – many are saying post hummingbird that link building is dead all-together. However, this post (as do I) emphasizes that link building is still a quality tactic – but just like much of 2013 SEO (and beyond) we need to focus on higher quality in general.

  • http://www.thenetimpact.com/ Jennifer

    Nothing too out of the blue here. Just keeping up the quality work. Thanks for the information about the “in-depth” articles. I wasn’t aware of the 2,000 word length being typical.

  • James Halloran

    I really like your last point about convincing your boss about the necessity of SEO. Many of them outsource such responsibilities to an SEO or PR firm, but sometimes those firms don’t know any more than you do about SEO. That’s why if you do outsource such a service, it’s best to make sure they really know what they’re talking about.

    Our recent blog post titled, “Dear Corporations, It’s Time to Talk to Your PR Company,” details this problem very well. I highly recommend you take a read!

  • http://informlocal.com/ Mike Kern

    People are curating and sharing good information all the time. This is a great piece that I will definitely share. I have written the same article in so many words my self in the past. You walk the walk! Guest posting here for a trade mag… Brilliant!
    People say SEO is Dead: I say black hat manipulative SEO is dead… Long Live SEO!

  • http://www.edynamic.net Aditya Khanna

    Any activity which provides value to the user is legitimate good activity

  • http://usawebseo.com/nyc-seo-services-new-york-search-engine-optimization-company/ Ayush

    Hey Jayson,

    where can I get stats and data for a topic for infographics ? Any idea ?


  • http://www.sunilkumar.us Sunil

    Nice post Jayson. After Hummingbird’s update by Google, content is King.

  • http://www.etrafficwebmarketing.com.au Cameron Francis

    All of these processes are great however not really ground breaking. From an agency point of view I think more time needs to be spent on the relationship between the Client and SEO Agency. If there is a universal understanding and synergy all other variables start increasing as a result…

  • http://www.generateseoleads.com Aamir Siddiqui

    Good article by Jason Meyers. I think these are all good endeavors to make your website backlinks and traffic. But guest blogging is too time-consuming process as i have been doing this too, you have to create a good pitch on the topic for bloggers outreach then write an enticing blog on it and wait for its publishing date too hectic deed. Infographics are good if it is designed and market professionally. Local citations is a good option for local businesses nowadays but just create your citations on high authority website does make sense. Good post Jason! Keep on writing for us dude! 🙂

  • http://www.webapps-online.com Jan Niemantsverdriet

    I found out that guest posts on authoritative websites seem to be the most effective at this moment. Even more after the update from Google. Finding blogs or news websites with authority in your field of expertise can be difficult. For those interested: we made a tool available that searches these kind of websites bases on your selected keywords (http://www.webapps-online.com/online-tools/link-building-advisor). It’s free to use.

  • http://interfaceplanet.com/citrix-web-interface.aspx Gary Smith

    Nowadays Quality content is the first important task for each and every website, it needs to be maintained. Link building strategies from do follow site are the most specially when you are targeting your keywords to rank high in the search engines. I follow all of these vital processes.

  • http://www.moveoutmates.co.uk/ Geoff Smith

    I agree and disagree with you. Great content gives you the opportunity to have good backlinks, shares and mentions, but this does not mean that the moment you post your brilliant article the comments will start flooding. You need a whole strategy to go along. The right sharing, right social networks, communities. A lot of hard work, probably help from some friends. It might even take you weeks and months for someone important to notice your article.

    And there are a lot of examples for smaller articles with 600 words or so which succeed, too. Again, everything is about socialising this article. When it gets enough attention Google will see it as important.

    Guest Blogging can be dangerous. In one hand you have another place to post your beautiful work. But on the other hand, you never know how this blog will develop. You have to be very careful when choosing the place. Some say Google hates guest posts, others are denying such theories. For now I stick to regular articles.

    Infographics – They are overused. You have to create something incredibly brilliant and viral for people to actually want to share it. And after years of infographic making, things are getting harder. People are tired of them, but they are not tired of Visual Content. So you might want to try different strategies. Give them smaller pieces of information, smaller charts. Or you can even try with some quotes with beautiful backgrounds.

    I completely agree on the boss part. We often have trouble with them. Even if they know the importance of SEO, they might not know what are the present trends. And I hate when the boss tells you “Do this or that” and his methods are outdated.

    Conclusion – these methods can work, but if you do them the smart way.

  • http://www.u18.edu.in SK Yadav

    Hi Jayson.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.
    I am an educational blogger and writes for http://www.u18.edu.in/
    I have found somewhere that guest blogging is almost dead. As per new updates, link building through guest bogging is not Google friendly. How much truth lies inside this fact? What if we publish guest posts on less popular websites? Will this affect the site rank or not?

    • http://rank.bg/ Rank

      Guest blogging is useful if the article is published in high quality and relevant website. I think it’s the safest link building strategy. The most difficult part is to find the relevant blogs which will accept your article. That’s why content is important in terms of SEO.

  • http://www.ethicallinkbuilding.co.uk/ Thomas

    Yes there’s been a massive shift in link building strategies since the Penguin algo first rolled out in april 2012.

    Pre Penguin there was too much focus on keyword anchor text and page rank.

    Focus on relevance, and seek inbound links that offer the potential to send real targeted visitors.

  • http://www.wpcub.com/ Janmejai

    seriously Directory listing?
    Most of the directories are just full of spams.

    • http://www.moxiedot.com Kelsey Jones

      While this is true for a lot of online directories, I’ve found local directories to be extremely useful to online and local businesses. The two Jayson mentioned are focused on local business listings, not random linking directories.

      • http://www.webservicesct.com Tim Dugan

        Agreed Kelsey – low quality directories are one thing, but high-quality directories absolutely play a critical role in SEO (especially Local SEO)

  • http://www.internalsoul.com/2014-seo-trends-roadmap-to-adapt-the-change/ Souvik mallick

    Nie Post Jayson as a follow up of your previous post. I also love guest blogging a lot, its not only good for backlinks but also for traffic and brand awareness. In 2014 i would try to focus more on content marketing and guest blogging rather than directories as they need huge time for apporval.

  • http://making-a-blog.com/ saheim

    This is awesome piece of information from you Jayson.But on the third point i beg to disagree with you a little bit. Matt cuts recently warned people about the over use of infographics- whats you take on that?.

  • Abhijit Gupta

    This is really brilliant blog. These link building strategies are truly the most effective ones. The tips about link building are really helpful. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful and informative article with us.