In 2012, there have been some complaints from the SEO community in relation to link building. However, Google is simply keen to crackdown on practices which can give sites unfair advantages. As long as link building strategies are gradual and sensitive to the ethical framework, there should be no problem. Nonetheless, Matt Cutts, who is heading Google’s fight against spam, is clear that the conflict between Google and those who use manipulative behaviour is unlikely to be concluded in the foreseeable future. This means that methods which are currently acceptable might not be so down the track if they are viewed as distorting the search engine results pages.
Methods which no longer work well
To have perspective on the changing methods of getting good-quality relevant links, a quick visit to the past helps. There was a time when the use of directories and blog networks was likely to have a more positive influence than it currently does. Google could see that submitting a site to a directory which was not topic-relevant did not show that a site was worthy of greater attention from users.
Recently, Google has taken action against sites which used dodgy blog networks. Algorithm updates are meant to penalise large numbers of campaigns which use dubious tactics. This is much more efficient than going after individual offenders. These obsolete methods are no longer in the toolkit of most consultants.
Tactics that have retained their power
The regular and frequent addition of high-quality content remains a great way of getting links. It serves the additional purpose of keeping interested users coming right back to a site time after time. However, content must never be made for content’s sake. It has to be written in an engaging manner that is appropriate to the target audience. It should be informative and fit with what the sector demands. Style and accuracy are both essential. Guest blogging may also prove successful because it gives a firm a chance to demonstrate qualities like likeability, reliability and skill. However, nobody should be too aggressive in their search for guest blogging opportunities as it can irritate others.
Ways of getting links which may grow in importance
The study of competing sites is sometimes neglected. This can be because people are so focused on promoting their site that they do not spend sufficient time looking at those of others. Competing sites might be making headway with great competitions and special offers. Tactics should not be duplicated precisely, but they can often be learned from. If a consultant is not aware of what competitors are up to then their chances of beating them to the best links are minimal.
Social media are another great source of links. The likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are only likely to get more popular as time goes by. They must be used subtly for best results. Changes in the way the networks work need to be adapted to. New entrants to the sector require looking at in case they should be used alongside the more established networks for specific campaigns.