If you want to rank on page 1 and have no idea where to start, this post is for you. It's a detailed look at the different types of links you need to rank on the search engines and how to get them.
And if you can't or don't want to?
Well that's my job so get in touch.
For those with a short attention span, you can jump to the area you like below.
Outreach is simply contacting webmasters and asking for a link. It's not as 'whitehat' as most SEO agenices would have you believe. Any request for a link is against Google's rules. But these are the types of links that you want.
Links from established and trusted sites in your niche. These are the links that will put you on page one and keep you there.
But here's the rub...
You need to have a product, service or piece of content amazing enough to get the link.
Most of you business owners are too busy running your businesses to sit down and put together something that shows your true level of expertise.
You could pay a writer but it's difficult to find someone who knows your business as well as you do. Finding someone who can also write can be a challenge too.
Now on top of this you have another problem...
You've got to build a list of sites that would be interested in linking to your masterpiece. Then you've got to contact them in a way that they'll respond. This is not so easy...
This is a great long term strategy that will put you on top and keep you there.
But it's outside the budget of many businesses.
The big companies do it. Your competitors do it. You can do it too.
There are large number of sites that are essentially selling links.
Do these links work?
You betcha they work and they are a hell of a lot easier to get than with whitehat outreach. You can 'donate' to charities for links. You can pay for niche specific directories.
Or you can just contact the webmaster with a direct offer for a link.
If you go about this strategy, then remember that not all links are made the same. Sidebar links and Footer links have far less power than links within an article. And a link from the homepage in a body of text will give the best bang for buck.
Also avoid 'renting' links as these monthly costs can get out of hand quickly.
Trading links with other local businesses is a great strategy. And it;s easy to do too.
Think of all those other business owners that you met over the years. Al you have to do is leverage your connections in your community.
Reach out to friends and fellow business owners in your area and ask for a link.
You might have to write an article or give a reciprocal link but that might as well be a gimmie.
Local outreach is a great place to get started. And far easier than most people think. These links are great for local businesses. They are geo-relevant and help Google know that your business is important locally.
A PBN is a network of sites that you own that you use for linking purposes.. WTF?
Yes. SEOs buy or build and maintain networks of real sites. This means creating content, building a network of social profiles. Keeping the content fresh and relevant to the network theme.
This is not an job you should take lightly. To do it well and fly under the Google 'radar' takes planning, a well managed team and some investment depending on your competition.
The key word in this is "Private". The "PBN" links that are bought on forums and in FaceBook groups are not private these are Public PBNS. But more on the dangers of these in a moment.
PBNs have been all the rage for the last few years and Google is getting much better at finding and deindexing PBN links. There is a huge number of 'footprints' or commonalities that Google can use to uncover a poorly built PBN and I am not going to cover them here,
But to give you a rough idea of how a PBN is built, here are some basic steps.
If you want long term safe rankings, then a PBN is the way to go. They take time, money and quite a bit of expertise to build well. But you will rank and see the benefits in your increased business and revenue. Remember that a PBNs built well are futureproof backlinks.
A Public Blog Network is just as it's named. It's a network of of sites that you can buy links on.
Do they work?
Yes they do... BUT! And it's a big one.
These link networks are advertised publicly and it's only a matter of time before Google gets around to uncovering them. Public networks get hit every few years and the folks who bought links get penalised.
So it really depends on your site. Is your site a long term investment or looking for a short term quick win. It's up to you to judge the risk vs the reward.
These types of links are dangerous. Any link network that is traded publicly is bound to be taken down by Google at some stage.
They do work but the question is ... for how long?
These are some of the first links I build. They are not powerful but for a local site, they add geographic relevancy. They help the Search Engines understand that a business is relevant in a particular area.
They are also an great to use to balance anchor text ratios.
There are a variety of different types of directories some are locally relevant others are niche relevant.
Be careful of outdated information floating around on the web. SEO changes fast. What worked in 2014 can hurt your rankings in 2016.
Be warned though...
These links are not really worth paying for. Outside of some specialist directories that provide a link and provide a steady stream of traffic, Its not worth paying for directory links. You can use your budget elsewhere for greater benefit.
These are not powerful links. They won't put you on page one and they won't make you coffee. They do provide niche or geo relevant links though. Which is very important for Google to understand what you business is about and where it is. These links are essential for local businesses to rank in Google Maps.
A well written press release pushed through the correct channels can produce a large amount of links and pick up more natural links from sites and bloggers writing about it.
Whilst this type of strategy is great for social sites it is more difficult and takes a lot more creativity to make it work for small to medium sized enterprises.
Google hit press release sites a few years back and SEOs lamented their death. But they never really died. They're just not as powerful as they used to be. PR links are great for diversifying your link profile, provide real traffic and increase your exposure. Don't ignore press releases.
Web 2.0's have long been the staple of the SEO industry. They can be used in a variety of ways and if done right, they still work great and will give you a nice boost in the SERPs.
Despite being abused by spammers over the years a manually created web 2 property with decent quality content is a good link.
Whilst it does take time, it is worth the effort and should be in most link building campaigns. These links can also be powered up, but more on that later.
These types of links have long been the staple of SEOs. They are contextual links that you control and you can power them up with additional tier 2 links. They do take time to build and make look real so be prepared to put in the time.
What are image sharing sites you ask? Flickr, Pinterest, Imgur and tens of others that you come across over the years. You can share an image and drop a link.
These are not the strongest links by any means. But they have their uses.
They are great for diversifying your anchor text ratio and for getting ready to drop your stronger links,
These type of link will not rank your site alone. But they are an important part of a healthy diverse link profile and can be done over time. Your competition is probably not getting these links so this is an easy win.
Now I know you've seen these images over the last few years. They are every where and people love them. They give you bite sized information and statistics in an eye catching way.
Just so we are on the same page, here's a quick example I had made a little while ago.
So how do we use infographics to build backlinks? Here's how.
Like some other types of futureproof backlinks, these will not rank your site alone. But they will make a difference. Few local businesses bother with these type of links and once they are done they will be evergreen. You can also boost these Tier 1 links for branding purposes.
I love video links. Sites like YouTube, Vimeo and Vidler all provide a great link for a little bit of effort. If you do them right, Google loves them and you can often rank videos on page 1.
More spots on page 1 mean more visitors which of course means more ....
Remember the one video can be uploaded to a lot of different sites. If you put a little effort into making a video worth sharing, then you can generate traffic and sales too.
Social signals are mentions and links from social sharing sites like FaceBook, Twitter, Digg and Google+.
This is by no means complicated. But it is very important in 2016 and looks to be an increasingly important ranking factor as time passes.
Social Signals are not just links and signals to the search engines that your content is popular. They are also reassuring signs of trust to your customers. Other people like your product or service so ... it must be good.
Sape or Sapient Network Solutions is a Russian based company listed on the Russian stock exchange that provide links on a variety of sites for purchase.
Now this may all sound very Mary Poppins but the reality is that the majority of sites on these networks are hacked by .... you guessed it.
These are powerful links and can make an immediate impact on your rankings.
But lets be honest. You don't want these links at your business site. If you have a lead gen site that you can afford to loose then these links are something to consider.
But you've been warned.
By using SAPE you are supporting criminals. These are not the type of criminals who kill babies but they are still criminals. If this is cool with you and you understand the risks, then go ahead. You will see a boost in rankings but be careful when selecting your links...
Link Spam used to work great a few years ago and essentially you are using tools to automate link building. But those days are gone.
If you use automated tools to build links to your site, then you are asking for trouble. Google is a lot smarter about spam in 2016.
Automated tools do have their place in a link building strategy but you must be very careful. These tools should never be used directly at your site.
Links spam created by GSA SER, XRummer or any other automated tool have their place in the SEO world but they should only be used on Tiers 3 or 4. They can be very dangerous when pointed directly at your site. And for most business owners links spam is best avoided.
Backlinks are great... but they are worthless unless the Search Engines know about them.
For all your hard work to pay off, Google needs to know that there are all these great links pointing to your site.
How do you do this?
There are a variety of ways.
Getting your backlinks indexed is really essential to page one rankings. If you are serious about managing your backlinks. There is a great program called Backlink Monitor by Inspydr Software that is a huge help.
So there you have it, this is the majority of the types of links you can build. If you have any questions on this get in touch.