For 2019 I endeavoured to write link building articles that were suitable for introductory, intermediate and advanced levels of knowledge.
Link building is more than just tactics and strategies. There is a great deal of background information that helps explain why it’s best to do things a certain way for maximum success.
The articles this year includes background information surrounding links, including the history of link building practices and how Google might score and rank links.
Link Building Fundamentals
As the title says, this article introduces the fundamentals of links and link building. Read this first for an overview of links and link building.
How to Build Links
In the past, Google’s algorithm was tuned for statistical signals to indicate something is normal versus spam, counting of links to determine what is most popular and so on.
All of that had little to do with actual users. In my opinion, what’s changed in recent years is that Google’s become more accurate about categorizing links by topics.
The main idea of this article is to think about what Google is doing then use those insights to plan your link building strategy.
“1. Cultivate Natural Citations with Solution Pages
A link building strategy that is most relevant for 2019 is to identify problems that need solving then creating content that solves those problems. This can be the heart of a link building strategy.”
The other recommended strategies are:
2. Don’t Be a Virus – Be Useful
3. Build Relationships with People Not Sites
4. Link Begging
5. Become the Site You Want a Link From
The takeaway from the entire article was that the best link building focuses on people rather than links. That means to focus on who is going to give the link and who is going to see the link and if both are a good match for your site.
Too often link building projects get hung up on “semantic” relevance and lose sight of being relevant to people. Textual relevance is important and I don’t wish to minimize that. However, taking a moment to consider a link in terms of the quality of traffic it might bring is another test of how strong that link may be.
That’s important because when Google talks about relevance it’s almost always in the context of being relevant to people. So if you’re judging links by how relevant they are to people, in my experience, the most relevant links are going to be those that are well matched to people who are likely to convert to a customer.
Read: How to Build Links
Link Building 101 – Suggest a Link
This article gives an overview of the suggest a link strategy for building links then offers six tips on how to maximize success rate.
Improve the Suggest a Link Strategy
This is a simple update to the suggest a link strategy that in my experience significantly improved the success rate.
Why Link Quotas Can Be Counterproductive
Many traditional work flows and expectations for link building can slow down the link building process.
This article introduces the concept of coordinating content creation with the link building process and discusses why link building quotas can sometimes result in links that do not improve sales.
State of Link Building Today
This article reviews a wide range of factors that affects links. The article discusses issues surrounding the trustworthiness of links to how Google might spot paid links. This is an intermediate level article that covers a wide range of link related considerations.
Coordinate Content with Links
This article goes deeper into the concept of coordinating the link building process with the content creation initiative. Specifically it links three qualities of content and links that can influence the success of a link:
- Meaning of a Search Query
- Topic of a Link
- Topic of a Web Page
Offline Marketing Tactics for Online Links
These are marketing related tips that help solve the link building problem without having to engage in traditional link building activities. Clearly a link building initiative will improve while employing a wide range of strategies. But if traditional outreach link building isn’t viable, then these tips offer an alternative.
Advanced Link Building
This article discusses a patent that Bill Slawski discovered and wrote about. The article describes a Google patent that describes a way to create a “virtual” anchor text when the anchor text is missing. The purpose of creating this kind of “virtual” anchor text is to give the link the context that a traditional anchor text would give.
The article linked below describes how this patent describes how Google might discover relevance in a post-anchor text Internet.