For years, the backbone of SEO was link building and in many instances, this was in a very crude form. It’s not too far in the past that we all remember seeing 200 links filling a page, each having very little to do with the one next to it. Looking back, it’s amazing to think that the majority of SEO’s worked in this way but what must be remembered is that these techniques worked and they worked well. In addition to this, what must also be remembered is that these links were almost all bought and most used only exact match anchor texts. What that created was massive link profiles across only one or two keyword anchor texts, all from almost completely irrelevant sources and what we would now look at and instantly class as spam. Two years ago, this approach worked and it worked well. In a matter of weeks, a website could go from absolutely nowhere to the top 3 on Google and if positions did start to fall, you’d simply buy another few hundred links across an anchor text of your main key phrase.
Fast forward to now and these techniques are regarded as nothing short of excessively black hat and are strongly regarded as methods which will cause more harm than good for a website. In order to rank in strong positions on Google in 2013, following two major Penguin updates, it’s vital to build up your online brand and, in short, earn links as opposed to build links. With this in mind, does this now mean that as opposed to building links we need to set about earning them? As opposed to having full control over a link, webmasters need to be coming up with ways to encourage others to link to them, ensuring a wide and natural link profile. When you think about it, it makes absolute sense. When someone is linking naturally to your website, why would they link with the anchor text of a keyword? To put it short, they wouldn’t. The majority of bloggers and the like will always link out with either a URL or a brand name as it makes most sense. Links, in Google’s words, are editorial votes and an editorial vote is very unlikely to be through anything except your brand name, URL or a generic ‘click here’ unless it’s linking through your product, a long tail term.
SEO’s need to work on obtaining a natural link profile and in 2013 that means earning links as opposed to building them. Yes, it is extra work and does take longer and cost more (in terms of labour), however it’s well worth it as it will ensure that your site rides out every algorithm update Google can throw at it. SEO in 2013 is very different to how SEO was back in 2012, just two years ago and if you want to succeed online, it’s absolutely vital that you adhere to Googles webmaster guidelines and work with them not against them.
In the coming months, who knows what we as SEO’s might see rolled out by the likes of Matt Cutts and his team, however if you’re working within the webmaster guidelines, you won’t have anything at all to worry about! It’s only those who carry out techniques which go against the guidelines who need to worry about the consequences of such updates so don’t let it be you! Google themselves offer plenty of guidance on what to do and what not to do and in short, if you earn links as opposed to build links, you’ll say out of harms way for sure!
About The Author
Jay writes on a range of marketing concepts, specifically focussing on digital marketing techniques which include the likes of SEO, PPC and Social Media. In this instance, he is writing on behalf of SpeedySEO in Essex to share and showcase their knowledge on what it takes to obtain top positions on Google.