Ninja penguinBuilding trusted links is a major benefit for your SEO campaign. However, with so many bad industry practices, link building has become the target of search engine penalties.

The key to successful link building campaigns is attracting natural links as opposed to unnatural links. If you try to manipulate search results, expect a Google penalty.

Search engines only count backlinks that appear to be genuine – what they call earned media. If the owner of a website is recommending you to their readers, search engines give you more kudos.

But historically, it was all too easy for marketers to get unnatural links, so Google waded in with Google Penguin and dished out penalties for black hat marketers.

Trust and authority

Google looks for websites that have good trust and authority scores based on the amount of visitors a website gets and how trusted it is by users. They have several metrics to determine this.

Google will credit back links from a website with high trust and authority scores more than they will websites with low trust and authority scores. However, you link building campaign should have a well-balanced spread, but keeping low authority sites to a minimum.

Spam links are ranked down, and it is worth your while to check you inbound link data and remove any low quality links as they are more detrimental to your page rank than they are good for them.

By keeping a check on the type of links your website is receiving, you will gradually improve your domain authority and trust scores which ultimately lead to higher rankings.

You can start to build trust and authority by embedding outbound links to reputable sites that are relevant to your content. This shows Google that you source information from reputable partners and share quality content with your readers.

Quality content

Link building practices these days are not so much about fishing for links, but building an online reputation that naturally attracts links. And that requires producing good quality content on your blog and third party blogs.

Before you embark on a link building campaign, you have to commit to it for the long-term and understand that the key to ranking in search engines requires rich content that offers value to the reader and provides a good user-experience.

Writing editorials for third party sites does not get you a backlink anymore. You will get a no=follow link directed back to your site, but that in itself can drive traffic.

But for the purposes of link building, you ideally want to position yourself as an expert in your field so that readers of third party sites also visit your site. Content curators working in the same field as you will then point links back to your website.

Avoid paid links

To publish your content on third party sites requires you approaching the website owner. Be careful who you work with here. The site which you want to publish on must be relevant to your niche and should also publish quality content.

During this part of the link building exercise you will probably be asked to pay a fee to publish your content. If the reason for payment is for a backlink, do not go ahead as Google are looking for unnatural links and you will be penalised.

However, the owner of the third party site may be a reputable blogger that blogs to make a bit of extra cash or even a full-time income. Should this be the case and you have to pay, negotiate a service from them and request they be influencers for you by writing content on your behalf.

Link building still has a lot to offer website owners in 2015 and beyond, but it is a long-term project and requires quality content and quality contacts. Start building immediately and in a few years, you will start to taste the fruits of your labour.

Bertey SEO Services

Bertey are a boutique digital marketing agency with a love for organic search (and in particular technical SEO). We don’t dilute our efforts by working with a large number of clients, and provide a granular service with attention to detail. If you have experienced problems with SEO on your site, get in touch and we will take a look with a view to providing you with an initial mini SEO audit free of charge.