Prior to the Google Panda and Penguin updates, many webmasters were focused on getting as many inbound links as possible, regardless of their relevance or quality. The more links, the better. Following Google’s Penguin, today link building is all about quality inbound links rather than quantity. The fact is, you can have a handful of quality, authority links coming into your website and fare far better than if you had 100 “junk” inbound links. Building relevant links into your pages is an essential component of SEO, but how can you accomplish that? Here are a few tips.
Exceptional content. As we’ve said over and over, great content rules the web. Today, the safest way you can build quality links coming in to your website is to attract natural links through content that is valuable, useful, even entertaining. Blogging is one of the best ways to create great content on a frequent basis, and because it is easy to leverage through social media, the results are even better.
Monitor social media discussions using Google Alerts or Topsy. Google Alerts and Topsy are tools that makes it easy for you to know when discussions relevant to your business are going on on Facebook and other social media sites. When a discussion is happening or questions being asked, you will be alerted – which means you can join in and offer your guidance or insights. If you can link to an article or blog post with information relevant to the topic of the conversation, even better. Google Alerts is also a great way to know when your company is mentioned, and when it is, to check whether that mention includes a link to your blog or website.
Link text should be diversified. At one time not too long ago, it was thought that the best way to rank for your keyword was to use text links containing that keyword (or phrase) in nearly every link pointing to your page. Today, not so much. Diversify your link text, using your name or company name in some, URL in others, and keywords in some. For instance, when you comment on blogs use your name or company name instead of keywords. In your blog posts or articles, use text links that contain your keywords, but in a way that leads your reader to content that is useful and relevant; in other words, what he or she expects to find on the other side of that link.
While no one knows what to expect from Google next, one thing you can count on is that quality counts both in terms of content and inbound links. Focus on both, and you’ll likely never have to worry about what Google pulls out of their hat next.