Link Building – are you doing it?
Link building is something you may have heard about, read about, and maybe even thought about. But… are you doing it? Do you need a link building service?
Link building is so important for SEO that if you’re not doing it, it’s time to turn off your phone, close the curtains, lock the door, and direct all your attention to the subject.
Okay, maybe you have keep your phone on, but focus on this fact: Link. Building. Is. Critical. To. Your. Business. If you can’t figure out how to do it, don’t want to do it, or think it’s too time consuming, perhaps it’s time for you to consider hiring a link building service.
Consider the following graphic:
Link Age Matters
As you can see, the link weight percentage credited to new links pointing to your site is already 10 to 15% in the very first month! Any savvy business person will tell you that’s not something to ignore.
We’re going to take a closer look at link building, including how a link building service can really help your business.
First of all, what is link building? Very simply (too simple, actually), it refers to links that point to pages within your website, both internal and external. In this post, we are most interested in the links that point back to your website from other websites on the Internet, also known as external links or backlinks. They are terrifically important to your online success. In fact, Cyrus Shepard, another SEO expert writing on Moz says, “Can you rank on Google without links? New data says slim chance.”
Yes, you will find so-called experts in the industry who will tell you that links don’t matter to Google any more. Evidence says they do! A study done by Moz found that almost no website without at least one backlink ranked for any competitive (read useful) search phrases and the majority had a lot more links.
Look again at our graphic. Notice how the Link Juice (Page Rank Weight or PR Weight) increases with time for a link. (For more information on link juice, check out Natalie’s video). Notice how important that link becomes to your PR within just 6 months.
As you might expect, many people who have found out about the importance of external links have decided to take matters into their own hands and just get as many links pointing back their website as they possibly can. They google blogs, forums, fanpages, etc., often just typing in something as wide open as “forums.” Try that, right now. I just did and up came World of Warcraft Forums and a whole lot of other totally irrelevant returns.
Spam Doesn’t Pay
If you were to post comments on the above forum (if allowed at all) with the link for your website, it would likely be completely irrelevant (unless your website happens to be about fantasy gaming). I get people trying to sell love potions trying to post spam comments on the blog all the time. They have no relevance, and in fact, my spam software simply blows most of them into the great cyberspace garbage can, anyway. What is worse, for the thousands and thousands of eager would be entrepreneurs doing this is that they are actually harming themselves. Google and the other search engine robots pick this behavior up almost instantly these days, and because the sites the links are on have no relevancy, they actually push you rankings down, rather than raising them.
Link Building Service or Blood and Sweat?
If you’re determined to do your own link building, rather than taking advantage of a link building service, spend the time to really laser target your searches for relevancy. Find sites that aren’t just generally relevant, but “bull’s eye” relevant. There is a right way to carry out your searches that will save you much more time than you will spend doing it incorrectly.
Backing up to an earlier remark – relevancy is critical. Remember that I said most spam comments on the blog get dumped without me ever seeing them? That means they are totally wasted. Comments that don’t get caught by Jetpack, Askimet or one of the other great security choices out there, still get flagged and dumped when I see them, because I don’t want them wasting my bandwidth. They might show up to a search engine, but not for long, and when the site is checked again, they’re gone.
Look at the graphic again, and notice what that means. It means that even if you didn’t get flagged for spam by the search engines, the link only helped your PR at most for a month. That means you would have to do the same amount of work all over again for a potential increase in page rank of 10 to 15%.
Relevancy Equals Link Longevity
What you really want is for your link to stay on a relevant site permanently. That means it needs to be done properly in the first place. The better quality the link is, right from the outset, the more it helps your link juice. One really good link is better than an untold number of useless ones.
Another thing you really need to take into consideration is what is happening with Google and the other important search portals now. (The others will follow Google, if they haven’t already. Why reinvent the wooden wheel when you can copy a Pirelli radial?)
If you’ve been online for a few years, you’ve probably heard about Google’s always changing algorithms. All the “gurus” worked like crazy every time it happened to try to figure out what Google was doing (they didn’t just volunteer their secrets) and then when they decided they’d figured it out, they sold their information with a nice, fat, hyped up spin on it, for “only” $997.99!
In my opinion, those days are over, except for the money to be made by the less ethical of these so-called gurus. Google now uses Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is never going to be replaced by something else. AI just keeps on learning – forever! This means that now, more than every before, you better do it properly, because a computer never forgets, and that is what’s at the heart of AI… Except that unlike intelligent humans, AI doesn’t have a heart and doesn’t care whether you succeed or fail.
Doing your own link building, if done correctly, or having a professional link building service do it for you will produce the kind of results shown in the graphic. But if it’s not done correctly, you could be digging yourself a deep, dark hole you will never be able to climb out of.
The alternative, a very good one, like with so many things in this world, is to hire professionals. The initial cost of a link building service will more than pay for itself in the end.
Please share your insights and even your horror stories if you dare, about your link building experience, in the comment section below.
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