the way we were movie

The Way We Were: The Romance of Link Building, Part 2

This article is a continuation of Link Dating, The Romance of Link Building.

With the final nail in the guest blogging coffin by Matt Cutts a few weeks back and with the impact Hummingbird has had on websites, many have been wondering if link building is also a thing of the past? The answer is both yes and no.

Link building is evolving alongside the ever-changing online marketing world. Before I have briefly mentioned that while we used to think of link building as an end result, we should focus on creating relationships, both online and offline, as the end result. Later, way down the road a result of these relationships will hopefully result in natural linking. So, I’m going to try to connect it to a romantic point of view here and say that you can’t force a good relationship, it just happens on its own. I know that you’re thinking, “How can I possibly get links this way, from great websites with high DA and PA?” The sorry truth is that it will just take time.

Your Link Relationship Status

Things have changed- you can’t go out and actively look for links anymore, it’s just not the best practice. Now, more than ever, online marketing is taking a shift to favor natural… well… everything, and it’s only going to get better. Think about the way we write content, title tags, meta descriptions, etc.- it’s less about pleasing the Google bots and more about pleasing the average reader. Same thing with links- stop trying to get them just to please crawlers! Use them as more of a solidification of a relationship versus a way to further benefit your company or business. Put a ring on it with a link! Ok, sorry that one was too far.

celebrity breakups
The way they were- link building’s relationship with SEO has evolved into just friends, but they parted amicably.

Promote new content, and make people want to read it, next make sure it is captivating enough to compel someone to share it. This should be old news to you but it’s something you’ll hear over and over again. The essential part here that most leave out is the promoting new content. I’m even guilty of it. Remember that new updates and algorithm changes will track natural social sharing much easier than before.

Learn Your Compatibility

Thinking of links this way, you can increase diversity including links from different companies, people and even locations, and the best part is, when you build links this way (slow and steady wins the race), you’re creating a lasting connection.

Just today I was listening to Whiteboard Friday on Moz, and Rand Fishkin was giving us marketers the exact same advice. Think about the common ground that you have with customers (or readers) and make the conversation and content more about interacting with the user. Bring back authenticity. Rand said that when you’re so focused on short-term success, you jeopardize your long-term success. I don’t see how that can be more true in regards to link building.

So when you’re putting your business out there just remember these “link dating” tips:

  • Beware of creepers- check out your link profile to make sure a competitor isn’t negatively affecting your DA by linking spamming your website.
  • Just be yourself- don’t try to overstretch and oversell your business or your content, let the authenticity shine through- readers will notice
  • Find compatibility- learn what you have in common with others past just business, networking fosters connections and can lead to links
  • Be open to diversity- know that great links are out there and waiting to be on your site, you just have to connect with your many diverse interests, both personal and in business
  • Share your love- promote content when you can in a natural way, just don’t spam your friends or followers!
  • Don’t force your relationship- if you’re forcing ideas to fit with someone else’s just to create a link, it won’t be worth it, and the same thing goes for any content you create- find links for the foundation that is great content (not the other way around)

Have any more link building tips or nuggets of love– er, knowledge for 2014? Let us know below!

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