If you’ve been around the internet for long, you know that the way websites are ranked has recently changed, thanks to Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. In recent months, Google has devalued links that were considered low quality or “spammy,” so websites that had hundreds or even thousands of links have dropped out of sight in terms of ranking. Search engines now want to see strong, authority links, and prefer quality over quantity.
What are the SEO link building strategies you should be implementing for 2012?
Link tactics you should avoid include:
- Links from sites that are not relevant to yours
- Links from low quality content pages
- Outbound links to Web 2.0 sites or WP blogs you created for the purpose of generating links, if those sites are poor quality
Link building strategies to start implementing now:
- Links coming from a variety of sources. All of your links should not come from a single source, such as forums or article directories. Vary the source of your links so that they appear natural to the search engines. For instance, if your linking strategy includes getting 10 new links in 30 days to your home page, make sure they are divided into social links, blog posts, press releases, web 2.0 sites, videos, etc.
- Vary your anchor text usage. In the past, many people used the same exact anchor text or a close variation for every link pointing to a specific page. Now, it’s important that your anchor text varies, including long tail keywords and even links using the actual URL of the page you are linking to.
- Review the links you currently have. It’s time-consuming to get rid of spammy and irrelevant links, but well worth the time spent. If you have links coming from pages with no rank, blog networks and spammy sites or link farms, get rid of them!
- Build links according to the age of your website. If your blog/website is new, it will look a little “fishy” to the search engines if you have hundreds of links coming in. Older, more established sites naturally get more links. The pace for link building should be established in accordance with the site’s age and past performance.
- Create links for your readers, not for search engines. Google wants the reader to have the best possible experience. Focus on building links that weave naturally into the context of your content, and that will interest your traffic rather than creating links for the sole purpose of raising your search engine ranking.
The way SEO link building is implemented has changed dramatically over the past months, particularly since the beginning of 2012. Keep these tips in mind, and experience positive results from your link building efforts!