The New Art of External Link Building

Link Building Is A Rollercoaster

Link Building Is A Rollercoaster

One of the most critical SEO efforts is external link building. This simply means getting other websites to link back to your site. But before you go hog wild getting as many backlinks as you can, read our post on how to do this SEO art effectively.

Recently there have been some major shifts in the way Google ranks your sites based on your link building efforts. Every year or so, there are major changes to the way the Google algorithm considers backlinks. This can get to be daunting for people managing websites and SEO campaigns.

We are going to lay out a simple recipe for external link building that should be rather time-independent. Meaning, no matter what Google or the other search engines do in the future, this recipe should be a safe bet from here on out.

1. Think Natural

This is more of a mindset than a “to-do”. Websites that get a large amount of backlinks in one month, and didn’t get any backlinks the previous months appear to have “unnatural” link growth. Search engines may see this large increase of backlinks and think that your site is up to something suspicious. This type of quick ramp up can hurt your link building efforts. So what is the natural way to link build? The natural progression of websites is that they tend to grow and CONTRACT over the years. Some sites are seasonal, some sites get a popularity spurt for a few months, and a lot of sites just flat line. Think of how your site traffic varies over time and consider your traffic trends while you are link building.

2. What Would Be Your Most Popular Backlink?

Generally, the most common backlinks on the web are just links to a domain name, where the anchor text is the domain name.

For Example: <a href = ” ” > < / a >

With that said, make sure that 50% or more of your backlinks match the above type of backlink.

3. Don’t Put Too Much Focus On One Or Two KeyWord Backlinks

If you really want to rank high for the word “widget”, don’t have 100% of your backlinks pointing to your domain name with the anchor text as “widget”. It’s just looks plain fishy in the eyes of the search engines. It’s OK to have a few backlinks with just one or two word keyword phrases only, but keep this effort to below 25% of your entire backlinking strategy.

4. Make Sure Your Backlinks Point To Some Interal Pages

When people decide to link to your site, they sometimes pick internal pages to link to. This is natural. Create some backlinks for internal pages and even consider using entire sentences as the anchor text.

5. Randomize!

I would venture to say the more random your link building efforts are (by varying your anchor text and corresponding URLs), the more natural it will seem. The thing you need to consider here, is how would the public backlink to you? They would probably pick random pages on your site they found useful and would post the URLS of those pages as backlinks. The point here is really vary your backlink and anchor text distribution.

6. Quality over Quantity

If you try to go for quantity, you are bound to get very low PR (page rank) links, and links from sites that border on the “dark side”. These links can be potentially damaging if their numbers are too high. If you get a few links from bad seeds, it won’t hurt because you have no control over those. But focus on quality. Find reputable sites to get backlinks from with a decent PR.

7. Ramp Up And Ramp Down Your Link Building

Some months, tone down your backlink numbers. Make your link building effort look “wavy” and “jagged”, and stay away from linear link building.

This is a general guide for link building. The best course is to plan out a “natural” link building worksheet for the future months ahead. Put it all down on paper and see if your course looks natural.

A lot of this advice comes from new Google algorithm changes and some rumblings in the SEO community. This is our attempt at setting a good course for those who are going to begin a link building strategy or are already in the middle of one. We would be more than happy to hear your thoughts and advice on this matter.



5 responses to “The New Art of External Link Building”

  1. Gregg says:

    This is a great post and this list of top 7 tips are great to keep in mind as our team does link building for our clients. I will forward this post to our team. Thanks, OCS! Gregg

  2. admin says:

    There something else that’s important to keep in mind too: Sites that are already authorities in the eyes of the major search engines do not have follow these rules of link building as much. Basically they can get away with bad link building practices for the most part. Gray Wolf had a great article on this with regard to How to Abuse the New DiggBar for Fun and Profit. He mentions the fact that doing unsavory link building can actually benefit a digg post. So if you are doing SEO for a major corporation that is a household name, your job should be a lot easier..

  3. I’ll definitly try to follow your advice. I’m sur as well that Google considers everything that doesn’t look natural as suspicious and ignors the links

  4. Sam Alga Acosta says:

    Very useful tips on link building startegies. I’ll be sure to follow your advice on Natural , Random, Quality Keyword backlinks. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Diversify your link building is a wonderful idea. You don’t want your links to all come from similar sources. Natural links from sites that are relevant to your industry will do the most to boost your rankings.

5 Comments on The New Art of External Link Building