Link Building for SEO - Falkon Digital Ltd

Link Building for SEO

By Sadie on March 20, 2014

Penguins Link Penalties

Link building for SEO has changed a lot in the past few years, the penalties from algorithm updates have seen even big brands plummet in the search engines, so it makes you wonder is there any point in link building?

Penguins and penalties

Link building for SEO has changed a lot in the past few years, the penalties from algorithm updates have seen even big brands plummet in the search engines, so it makes you wonder is there any point in link building?

Google has said for years do not manipulate the search engines with paid links, but they never had the technology to enforce this so we carried on buying links. We mixed them up with directory submissions, Press releases, article submissions but at the end of the day Google caught up with us. So we cleaned up our act, we got creative, we started doing guest blogs and infographics to get links, and low and behold these were frowned upon too.

We got smarter, the bad SEO’s changed their career, the good pushed forward and got better at building relationships it took up more time and got more expensive which meant small businesses struggle to afford the bigger campaigns.

Recent Link Penalties

In the past few weeks there seems to have been a new wave of link penalties, these are affecting clients who for the best part of 2 years have been squeaky clean. Brands are getting hit, the little guys are getting hit, the search engines in particular sectors are filled with Wikipedia and Yahoo answers style information pages, not brilliant for the user looking for a service.

These penalties are both partial and side wide for what seems like very minor offenses dating back up to 5 or 10 years in some cases. I feel like I am getting a delayed detention for writing my name on a desk at high school even though since then I graduated from Uni and have never vandalised since.

Some of the links that are being highlighted are coming from good websites, some are genuine links but use anchor text as a savvy blogger thought that was kind back then.

We have always practised link building on the whiter shade of Grey and have been even more cautious since Penguin, so it is very frustrating explaining to clients that their previous SEO work has finally caught up to them and in many cases isn’t any where near the black hat techniques that can do well.

I feel like I am getting a delayed detention now for writing my name on a desk at high school

Myblogguest – the guest blogging network, has disappeared from Google for their name, many infograph websites have gone and more waves of penalties are being sent out. It is starting to feel like they want to make an example of the obvious sites.

I have seen penalties for links from Blogspot and blogger networks, are they assuming that because these sites are obvious bloggers that they must be paid for links? I appreciate that Google wants to make the user experience better for everyone but it feels like they are going down obvious routes and getting it wrong at the detriment to the results.

Building Links

Should we stop building links? Google still needs links and signals for their algorithm, they tried switching it off but admitted the results were not good enough. They did however, admit that one of the link signals they have been using for years has been switched off and this has coincided with a number of extra penalties being dished out.

Google still needs links, and websites still need links, look at your clients referring traffic, do you want to stop getting links from these types of websites just because Google dictates that you should not be building links?

Stop buying crappy links

If you haven’t stopped buying poor quality links by now then stop. You will not slip under the net, they will catch up with you. No more links on pron websites along with 3oo other links of equal relevance. Stop getting cheap links in bulk, once upon a time clients wanted a link report of how many links we have acquired these would be 3 figures a month but now we are getting 1 or 2 links but they hold a lot more value. Clients need to appreciate the switch including the added benefits of referral traffic from these links.

Link Attraction

Have you got a crap website, with boring content? Then who is going to link to you? Make your content linkable, the most boring subjects in the world are interesting to someone find out what makes them tick and why they would link to you and give it to them. Scour the forums to see what your target audience are talking about and give it to them. Make it unique, package it up with good images or video and it is shareable, before you know it you have traffic, you have social shares and you will have links (you may need a bit of outreach and seeding to get this going) but essentially the theory works.

Stop thinking about the search engines, become a PR


The search engines don’t like the way SEO’s build links, so stop building links as a SEO, start thinking like a PR ( a digitally savvy PR) speak top people, get your client in front of people, find their USPs and shout about it (or tweet). PRs are brilliant at building relationships and that is the connection that a link mimics in the digital arena. Who cares if Google wants lots of links, your client wants that link that will bring loads of traffic, it could be nofollowed, it could be branded, it could be the URL, it could be controversial.

Stop worrying about the code

Old fashioned SEO meant the anchor text passed relevance, too much of this meant it created a signal, once no follow was introduced the followed links stuck out like a sore thumb. Stop worrying about the code used to create a link, this code leaves a trail, a pattern that for Google they can pick out with their algorithms. Look at the website you are getting a link from, are they a blogger who is concerned about it being a followed link but will pass a lot of traffic? No follow it then. Would it fit better in the content to use your brand or website URL, then do what is right for the website. By applying a different rule to each connection that is suitable to the circumstances the link will fit better and be more natural.

Add value

Don’t worry about infographics or guest posts, good quality content that is relevant will add value to any site, just don’t over saturate the same content this gets boring and will not help anyone.

There is no doubt that link building is harder, Google wants to get it right but in some cases is struggling, so for the mean time we need to forget about Google and just be concerned with good quality links for the sake of traffic. I just hope it sorts itself out soon!