Image representing Link Builder as depicted in...
Image via CrunchBase

If you are familiar with how the search engines operate, you’ll know that links form a central place in any SEO strategy, in any business operating online. In fact, the old “miserable failure” or “click here” keywords are familiar link stories. (The first one relates to the White House and Mr. George W. Bush back in the day, the second from Adobe’s PDF reader. When folks typed these keywords into Google, those web pages would be listed first, since people linked to them with that keyword). Google, above all – favors links for authority & trust – and eventually, if you do it well – you’ll earn top listings in search engine results pages.

Times have changed. (Sort of). Sure, content, links, social networking and an array of multiple link building strategies are just as important today as “then”.

But … here are the successful link building tactics that will do wonders for you now. (and, get you there faster)

When anybody talks about links within the SEO community, a stressed look show up on their faces. It’s a hard, long road to head down. And, since there are so many options – from manual labor and research, software tools, and even automated black hat link building tactics, it’s hard to know what works, especially for the newbie. Add to this the time it takes for any effort in this area – no wonder it’s the dreaded monster to combat for most SEOs.

In a recent post Expert SEO consultant John Andrews noted:

Link building must match your site’s unique positioning and needs, and your link builder should consider everything in the toolbox when forming a link building strategy – John Andrews SEO

There are no cookie-cutter link building strategies! When you approach link building as just a “task list” of directory submissions, forum posts, blog posts and article spinning for mass distribution and syndication, you are missing the boat – big time.

We see so much of this across the Internet. And, it looks compelling, because of case histories, testimonials and compelling sales copy. Add to this the incredible deals that are available. $29.99 for 1,000 directories, done for your in 48 hours! Gosh, I’d be a fool not to go for that. Plus, what’s the big deal? If it doesn’t work, I can just skip my Starbucks latte for a few days, and I’ll be cash-flow positive again. 😉

Don’t fall into that trap. Please.

I have worked with some of the best link builders in the industry, and they all say the same. Go for quality, even if it takes longer (doesn’t always have to be the case either, by the way).

Link builder extraordinare Eric Ward is one of those people. Google comments on this link building strategy: “Eric follows the right link building approach. He’s interested in links that are given based on merit, and those are the links that stand the test of time —Matt Cutts, Google”

Matt Cutts
Image via Wikipedia

In forming a new link building strategy there are a couple of simple questions I always start with before digging deeper:

1) Link worthy content.

If you have a website that provides very little information about your topic and doesn’t appear to “care” about its users, search engines and the linkerati will not either. And worse yet, your competitors may already be ahead of you. Don’t copy content from other pages either, create original stuff.

2) Content is King.

Content is the foundation for the Internet, and the links are what discovers that content. If you don’t have a content strategy in place now, how easily can you get one together? And, how fast can you implement it on your site (or possibly create a new domain and related strategy). Do you have a WordPress blog installed? What keywords show up when you review your analytics? Have you done keyword research to check how many times searches are performed daily, monthly?

3) Marketplace.

Are you in a market that there is genuine interest for your product or service? If not so much – then, what can you do to create awareness and draw attention to yourself through content? I have talked about the power of infographics before. You can create graphics, video, audio, text and leverage distribution via the social community and personal partnerships to amass links in both a viral and natural way, without spamming.

Finally, nothing is for free. If you are serious about building out your organic presence (long term, top listings in search engines) you will have to pay for somebody’s time, knowledge and tools.

SEO is not cheap, takes time, and must be done right (read: quality). If you are willing to commit, and work it  – you can have amazing success. And, don’t forget that if you are working with clients, a supportive, two-way collaboration effort is another key to success.

What do you think?

You may have tried different SEO blackhat tools and programs, but they don’t work for a serious, long term SEO campaign. Google will catch you. Programs like Twitter bot, SENuke, Scrapebox, Xrumer, UbotStudio, TweetAttack, Hrefer and Best Spinner are all bogus.


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.