What I mean by this is many of the easy-to-get links can and will have a negative impact on your overall SEO score. Instead, it’s time to focus on quality and this means you might want to think about increasing your link budget and getting a ladder so you can reach the good quality fruit at the top of the tree. 10 years ago complete noobs could run Scrapebox, Xrummer and other automatic link building software and dominate the SERPs no longer does that stuff keep Matt Cutts up at night. Google seems to be winning the race and forcing us to seek better, higher quality links.
Google vs SEOs
It’s always been a technological arms race between SEOs and the big brother of the web, Google’s Webspam team. As we evolve, so do their algorithms and really, Google should embrace and reward our mischievous efforts are the evolutionary driving force that made Google what it is today. Yes, we SEOs owe ourselves a pat on the back for our contribution in Google’s Algos we taught them how to identify truly higher quality, relevant content from the billions of other garbage pages out there.
As this race continues, it is a natural inevitability that the easiest way to obtain links will always result in lower quality links because as those channels become overused and abused, Google will have no choice but to update their algorithm and sometimes these updates come with serious consequences as we saw in the last Penguin update.
The White vs. Black Hat Debate
A good way to explain this is to compare it to financial investments. If you are willing to take on more risk and exposure then the rewards can be much greater. I know two different people in the same adult niche applying basically the exact same black-hat SEO strategy and today one is pumping in millions while the other got penalized and may never recover. Sometimes there seems to be no rhyme or reason why some sites get slapped while others never get penalized and that can be a risky game to play. Now, of course, the best financial strategy is one that combines just the right mixture of high-risk and low-risk stocks. That being said, your link building strategy should be the same.
Not only can adding quality links to your site render better results but it can also inculcate your site against penalties as I’ve mentioned before. You might think what you are doing is good for now but Google has already shown us what they are capable of with the Panda and Penguin updates. The Panda targeted on-page attributes while the Penguin fought against spammy link profiles. I’m not telling you guys that you should listen to everything Matt Cutts tells and go 100% white-hat but some expensive or hard to obtain links is just what this SEO doctor orders.
Where to get quality links?
- The best links to get are always from the sites that rank for your keywords and these are usually the hardest but well worth the money and effort.
- Contextual links. Produce high-quality content and push it out there linking back to your site.
- Wikipedia- If your site is so awesome and credible then why isn’t it listed in Wikipedia?
- Educational sites- don’t just spam .edu sites instead actually contribute to or participate in educational journals and studies.
- Social Signals- Are people talking about you or your site? They should be.
- News Sites- Get mentioned in the news or try the easier route press releases.
- Partnerships- Forge real online partnerships with another reputable website.
- Go the Extra Mile- Take extra measures in all your link building activities. Little nuances can make a big difference in the end.
Now go forth and conquer, my SEO compadres!