How I Do Link-Building In 2013

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Link Building In 2013In 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.

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  • Donna Merrill

    Oh my Garen!

    You have my wheels spinning now. Awesome ideas I want to now use on my bog.
    I’ve done it in the past, with the “click here” now it is time to do it again.

    I also will use your idea of extending to another blogger. Thanks my friend,

    • Garen Arnold

      Hey Donna,

      No problem. Let me know if you have any issues with SEO or need some advice to get ranking good on your keywords :)

  • Jon R. Patrick

    Great Tips, and thanks.
    Wondering, how important do you think backlinks are with the updates, as compared to social sharing?

    • Garen Arnold

      Hey Jon,

      SEO has changed but as long as there is Google (or a search engine) it’s worth it to get free traffic to your website. A mix of social buzz and good authority backlinks is the way to go. Gone are the day of low quality backlinks.

  • Robin J Emdon

    Very interesting article Garen. Bottom line… keep it real! That’s the ever more clear message from the holier than thou ‘google’!


    • Garen Arnold

      Hey Robin,

      Haha I will keep it real :). Just mix up anchors and build from authority sites and you will be good. In fact, you will look forward to Google updates.

  • Heru Prasetyono

    Thank you for the elaboration. From here I know what steps must I do to do link building which is of importance we can do to generate traffics or to raise our ranks in search engine. They are the use of Adwords Keyword Tools and try to find similar blog to ours. Great posting.

    • Garen Arnold

      Hey Heru,

      Just remember that SEO takes awhile. I have had sites that took years before I saw results in the search engines.

  • Felix Lee

    These are awesome tips. The consequences of those Panda and Penguin updates have indeed been difficult for many people. This will be very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

    • Garen Arnold

      Hey Felix,

      Yep those to Google updates reeked havoc on a lot of sites and blogs. It’s good to not have so much trust in Google :) I have made this mistake and do lots of social participation so that I am not just relying on SEO so much.

  • Chery Schmidt

    Wow Garen This was an Great Article, I really do need to learn more about keywords I just basically write and I don’t really do to much keyword research. I guess I should’t say I never have I just don’t really understand it all .. I never knew about ÜberSuggest, this is something I will check out. I am sharing for you :) Thanks for sharing Chery :)

    • Garen Arnold

      Hey Chery,

      There is a thing called cornerstone content. This is content you write for your blog that is keyword optimized in hopes for getting ranked in Google. Not all your post have to be this way. A lot of people make this mistake. In fact, only 5-10% of mine are done that way :) Oh this gives me another idea for an article to write on now! For cornerstone content you can use the Google tool (free) or Market Samurai (saves a lot of time and is one time payment though).