If you’re paying for links or building them manually, it’s becoming more and more important to make it look like you’re gaining them naturally. That’s because, as a site owner, you’re supposed to be gaining them naturally, at least in Google’s eyes.
And the search engines are becoming increasingly good at sniffing out links that, by their rules, haven’t been earned.
In an ideal world, what is considered ‘earned’ would be up for debate. In the real world though, we must play by their rules.
Therefore, if you’re actively involved in the backlinks you obtain and not simply sitting back and taking whatever comes at you via your ‘too awesome for words!’ content, then don’t raise any flags and make it easy for Google to discount your hard earned links.
Follow the tips below the help keep your link profile as natural looking as possible.
Because things that aren’t in accordance with nature are easy to spot.
1. Vary Your Anchor Text
Targeting one specific term and building links with exactly the same anchor text and description is never a good idea. Instead try to gain links that have varied versions of your preferred anchor text. For example, if your main term was “online college degrees” you might also target; ‘college degrees online’, ‘online colleges and degrees’ and even ‘degrees and colleges online’. Also get some links that are just straight URLs (and even images) as not every site would naturally link to you using anchor text or keywords.
2. Don’t Focus on Just Pages with High PageRank
Again, in the natural realm of things, not every site that links to yours would have high PR (or even any PR). Don’t be afraid to ask for, or spend your money, on backlinks from pages that are of good quality and indexed, but maybe don’t have oodles of PageRank. They’re not a waste of time if they’re helping to balance out your link profile.
3. Don’t Forget Your Inner Pages
Don’t focus your campaign solely on gaining links to the homepage. Choose important inner pages and get links to those too. By doing this you’ll be showing Google that your content is garnering interest.
4. Get All Different Types of Links
There are many different types of backlinks, with editorial style ones being the best. Definitely try to score these but don’t focus exclusively on any one type of link. Also strive to gain links from blogrolls/sidebars, resource type pages, quality directory listings, social media sites, sponsorships and awards etc. Basically anywhere it makes sense for your site to be listed or mentioned.
5. Stay Away From Link Schemes
Avoid automated link programs and spammy “submit site” or “add url” type of sites. Showing up in these places only tells Google that you may be actively seeking links to increase your popularity. Focus on obtaining links that not just everyone can have (i.e. ones you can bring home to mama).
And again, only get links where it makes sense.
6. Keep the Link Velocity Slow and Steady
Unless your site has recently been mentioned on CNN or made the homepage of digg, be wary of the rate at which you are gaining your manual links. Just remember, it isn’t only the sheer number of links that matters in the long run but the quality of the sites linking to you.