A New Look at Link-Building

To continue on with the theme of Adding Value to the Web, it's important to take a new look at our Linking Strategy. I'll just pick up here where the discussion left off in the comments section of that post:

People are starting to realize that “inbound links” (as they’ve been done in the past few years) arent the be-all-end-all of ‘SEO’ anymore... or at least won't be for long.

That’s not to say that good quality links shouldnt be sought after - because they should. But all of this link submission, link requests, links pages, submitting to directories by the hundreds, etc - it’s just not adding value to the web for the most part. Some directories, yes - hundreds or thousands, no.

You may remember the discussion on Link Development vs Traffic Development that I posted about a couple of weeks ago. In that article, Rae Hoffman tells us why it's time to make changes to our Linking Strategy - "Out with the old, In with the new" she says.

If you haven't had an opportunity to read that article, definitely take 90 seconds to look it over. Over the last two months, while developing several new sites and revamping my established sites, I have been putting a lot of thought into my own linking strategy.

Obtaining quality inbound links is probably the least appealing aspect of setting up a website. In fact, it can be a royal pain if you ask me. Especially on a strictly commercial website, like the product-based affiliate sites that I started putting up in the last couple of years. It's just work (yuck!) - very time consuming, done right.

This is one of the things that impressed me about WordPress and blogging so much when I set up WP here at ClickNewz. I found that 'link building' came much more naturally with blogs, and also that there was a lot of potential with the Tagging and RSS capabilities.

This is what spawned the article I posted at V7N titled Social Networking in the Blogosphere. (I'll be joining Greg Niland on the GoodKarma Radio Show at WebmasterRadio next week on that topic, by the way - but more on that later...)

Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you that you should be blogging - or that you should go and turn all of your static websites into "blogs" (or RSS-enabled web pages). Although... that really wouldnt be a bad idea 😉

Anyway, if you are blogging you will find some good 'traffic development' tips in the article on Social Networking that I linked to above. I will follow up on this post, too, with some Link Building and Traffic Building tips specifically for static websites over the next couple of days.

I'll close here with a little snippet from my discussion forum where one of the newer members was talking about "putting in an effort to increase PageRank" and his personal frustrations with it all. My response was this: 

The key is to do the things that naturally reward you with higher PR and better Alexa rankings. You cant really 'fight for them' or 'try for them' without doing these things anyway, so it's just a matter of shifting your focus to creating a quality resource and promoting it properly. I find it much easier to work in that mode, and with that focus... and the results come naturally.

Any type of 'manipulation' is going to be harder work with lesser results (in the end) - and could very well give you opposite the results you desire in the long run.

So what types of things should you focus on?

  • Quality Content (which people will naturally want to link to)
  • Functionality/Usability
  • Internal Link Structure (good for both SE's and visitors)
  • Gaining Exposure (network on forums/blogs, submit to quality directories, etc)
  • Obtaining quality Inbound Links from established (related) websites
  • Submitting quality articles/content to directories & webmasters

Really, all it boils down to is getting back to developing valuable high-quality resources online - and to stop focusing on manipulating the search engines and obtaining 'rank'. Ironically, that is what will bring you better rankings in the major search engines. It's just a shift of focus - and a very positive shift, if you ask me.

The search engines want to provide good results. All we have to do is offer exactly what their searchers are looking for... and it becomes a win/win/win situation.

Lynn Terry, quality linker

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About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn’s unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews…more»

Discussion

  1. It's all about marketing baby. 😉

  2. Brian Gilley says:

    Hi Lynn, You said:

    "Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that you should be blogging - or that you should go and turn all of your static websites into “blogs”..."

    I think you're saying that because blogs allow more interaction and promotes easier linking with users that they are generally more successful.

    It's funny, most of companies and webmasters I know have found that their site is much slower at building traffic and links because of their CMS and overall design. Usability, functionality, and categorization on their sites seriously lack - even down to the nitty gritty of their web design.

    A good rule of thumb is to use a good CMS solution. Drupal, for instance, comes standard with blog(s), forum(s), pages, and stories (although they are known as nodes). And PHP modules/snippets as far as you can see 🙂

    I think if you give users the functionality like what a Drupal-type CMS provides, then you are always a big step ahead at link building.

    Varying URL structures, polls, trackbacks, pings, categorization, and more than I could add in this post are all great things to help build links more quickly. IMO, this type of CMS is the only way to go.

  3. Very good points, Brian! Yes, I believe that having interactive websites, and also high quality content, are keys to the sites that will rise to the top over the coming year.

    As Rae put it in her post at WMW, visitors have higher expectations these days. It pays to look at ways that we can deliver, 'compete' and gain trust & respect in our niches.

    -Lynn

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