Since Google introduced its Penguin algorithm change, many webmasters have been struggling to generate meaningful back-links to their website that actually increase their quality scores and help to boost their web rankings.
Penguin disregards and even penalises the spammy ‘paid’ links that some companies and disreputable SEO agencies source.
Now its sophisticated new (yet still ever changing) algorithm really looks at the quality of those links, so if they’re clearly spammy, you won’t get any further up the page ranks – and you could even drop.
So bearing this in mind, what’s the best strategy for link building, and where should you start?
- The number one thing you can do to encourage natural back-links is to produce decent website content that people want to share. These might be blog posts, whitepapers or even infographics; as long as it’s providing value and is well-optimised for search engines, it will help to generate organic link backs.
- Submit your website address to reputable online directories; Hubspot has listed 50 for starters.
- Make sure you’re active on social media and other off-website platforms, and optimise link shares with hashtags. This makes the links easily shareable. Keep track of relevant hashtags to your business on Twitter and Facebook – follow the conversation and develop content based around it, then share the link using the same hashtag. This will help your content to spread further as people will be more likely to share the link from their own platforms.
- Request reciprocal back-links from other website owners – those whose businesses complement (but aren’t in direct competition with) your own.
- Write articles for use on other websites – for example news publications – and request a website link in the byline. Most journalists are happy to oblige so long as the content is relevant to their readership. PR is a great way to link-build naturally, and the better-known the publication, the better the impact the links will have on your ‘quality score’ (how Google rates the quality and reliability of your site.)
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