Link building has become something of an SEO minefield of late. Search engines are penalising webmasters that are found to be manipulating search results in an effort to obtain a higher page rank.
As a result, many website owners have been deterred from practicing link building altogether – which is a detriment to your page rank as link building is honoured very highly by search engines – hence the hard line to ensure link building practices are fairly executed.
So what advice do search engines give about link building?
Yahoo and Bing
Bing and Yahoo are more relaxed with their link building guidelines than Google. Bing in particular encourage link builders to “simply ask websites for them.”
However, that does not mean you can manipulate search results by paying for them. Asking for links seems reasonable if the decision is left to the owner of third party websites.
Yahoo also suggest corresponding with related sites and providers of relevant content. The owners of said sites have the option to refuse if they do not think your content is good enough to link to or is not relevant to their readers.
With regards requesting link from third party sites, Google is less specific. Their guidelines state, creating links that are not editorially placed is a violation of the guidelines.
There is a case to argue that giving editors the right to choose whether they would like to link to your article or not, is “editorially placed.” After all, the editor knowingly puts the link in.
As long as the link is not purchased, requesting links cannot be considered “unnatural” and is therefore not manipulating search results.
The key points of link building
The most significant rule for link builders is that your content has to be original and relevant. It must be of good quality otherwise you will not get anybody to link to the page whether independently or by request.
Relevancy is also important to end-users. The most linked to sites either support what the writer is explaining or directs readers to further information. Your website must identify you as an expert in your field, therefore you should have a well maintained blog with plenty of quality content on offer.
And link building works both ways. If you are asking a web owner if they would like to link to you, be certain that they also have, or will have, a strong domain authority.
If you are linked to by websites that are full of spammy content and weak links, your website will be penalised because it appears to search engines as though you are trying to manipulate search results.
Webmasters that request payments for links will be identified as spam sooner or later, so avoid them like the clap.
Link building is much easier if you have content that is worth linking to. Therefore ensure you have well written, in-depth and informative content that provides value to readers and you will gradually attract inbound links and improve your page rank.
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.