Linking strategies have long been the base of many SEO firms. And for good reason...it worked? The landscape is changing and that can be good news and bad news.
The Good News
The good news is you won't have to stress about producing copious amounts of links to your site to get it to link. SEO firms use a number of methods to increase the number of links to your site. If you did NOT hire an SEO company to do this, you might just start to see your website start to climb in the search engine ranks as the value of some of these link strategies is diminished. What linking strategies am I referring to?
- Paid links for sure... just don't do it.
- Excessive link exchanges (this used to be encouraged).
- Article marketing
- Guest Posting on other blogs
- Automated linking services and bookmarkting
- Text ads that pass PageRank
- Advertorials that pass PageRank
- Links with Optimized anchor text in articles or press releases
- Links from low quality directories and bookmark sites
- Widely distributed links in the footers of various websites
- Links embedded in widgets distributed to various sites
- Forum comments with optimized links
If you're not getting the picture, it's basically this. Google wants to give you no credit for having the initiative to go out on the web and create links back to your website. Google DOES want to give credit to those links that happen organically...meaning some site is referencing content from your site and giving you credit for it.
Why is this good news? Well, linking sucks! It is a literal pain in the butt.
But having said that, what do you do in lieu of having an emphasis on a linking strategy? It always comes back to the same answer. Build a good site with good content that people will want to read. The mantra: "Content is King!" is back in full force!
The Bad News
If your site used to rank well because you did spend some money on an SEO company whose main emphasis was a linking strategy, you could see your ranks dropping over time. It's time to rethink your strategy. Your focus needs to come back to core value. Don't worry about what your site delivers to Google. Worry about what it delivers to your clients. Google is getting even better at figuring out what site best serves the publics interest.