In the world of SEO, 2012 was a year full of earthquakes. Google, mainly, but also Bing, started to take measures against web spam and they were very notorious. The names of Panda and Penguin still resonate and bring confusion to webmasters; and many still wonder how they can promote their services without being penalised for doing it in such a competitive virtual world.
Let’s smile, however. It is not as hard as you might think. The key word for doing link-building in 2013 is variety. Allow me to elaborate, and you will understand.
To make a long story very short, the Panda update is aimed at knocking down sites which have unclear, illegible or bad content. The Penguin update, in turn, is aimed at knocking down websites which are being “recommended” (read “have links”) with an evident pattern. Their logic is: “if 104 independent bloggers gave you a link to recommend your site, why did they recommend you exactly in the same way? There is something fishy about it, don’t you think?”
So the solution for link building now is to get “recommendations” in a variety of ways within clear, legible and good articles. It is not as hard as you think, and it can reasonably take a bunch of hours a week.
How to achieve that variety? You already have two good tools for that. The main one might be Adwords’ Keyword Suggestion Tool, but you can also count on ÜberSuggest as an alternative. In Adwords, just insert the keyword you are aiming for your rankings in the field, and next click on “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms”. Click search and next grab the full list either by downloading it, as I do, or hand-picking your results right on the screen. Either case, the objective is to get a list of at least 50 terms. This is usually piece of cake because people use lots of variants online.
To that list add now generic text variants: “click here”, “click here for more information”, “more details”, and the like. Got it? Now you really have variety, don’t you think? How many do you have? 100? Good.
Now the next step is to find blogs similar to yours and try to get links from them, using one variant on each of them. Aim for two a week, for example, and at the end of the year you will get over a hundred links to your site. Easy? I would say that yes, just make sure to get links which will not fall into the paws of the Panda.
How to achieve that? Well, that’s not as hard either.
Have you ever tried by asking them? Let me be honest here: I am extremely surprised with the effectiveness of just writing to a blogger in your field and asking for a link in a polite, friendly and sincere manner. Links are just links, you know? They are not gold, they are not radioactive material you need to handle with extreme care. Asking for them is sure one way to go and get them.
A second path to explore for you is the blogger communities. Pay attention to Blogger Link Up. Join the mailing list. Dozens of bloggers write there every week and say they want a guest post about topic A or topic B, and their requirements for the article. It is just what the doctor prescribed.
As for the articles, well, you can either write them yourself or outsource them. It is up to you. The point is to get those links in a reasonably steady —yet still varied— basis, with one or two variants from your list in each article.
You have more keywords to rank? Just rinse and repeat.
Author: George is the author of an international cultural e-mag and member of the search engine optimization staff of InTechCenter. This is his second post on this blog. If you are curious about the first one, find it.