Develop Your Linking Strategy Before Link Building

Do you use a linking strategy as part of your search engine optimization (SEO)?  Do you understand how link building impacts your website?

Almost everyone with a website knows link building is one of the basic building blocks of SEO.  To put it in very simple terms, every time someone links to your site they are casting a vote, adding to the popularity of your site in the search engine results.  The more links pointing to your site, the more your site is trusted by others and the higher it will appear in the rankings.

That should make it simple right … to rank higher you just need to get more links than your competition?

No, it’s not that simple!  Other factors come into play.

When planning your linking strategy consider quality over quantity.  The more relevant content and site providing the link, the more search engines value it, especially if it uses an anchor text closely matching your keywords.

More importantly, the more closely related the site providing the link is to yours, the more likely people will click on the link.  They will see the link as a source to clarify a point or to provide additional reading.  The people who click the link have an obvious interest in the topic.  They may like what they see on your site and subscribe to your RSS  feed or become return readers.

Sites with unrelated content or coming from questionable domains will be given less value.

Also consider how your link building practices will appear to the search engines.  If your site suddenly receives 5,000 links in 24 hours all containing the identical anchor text it will raise eyebrows.  The chances of 5,000 sites suddenly linking to you with identical anchor text in a 24 hour period is impossible.

Avoid using automated submission services and tools that will blast your site with a huge number of links.  Individuals who email you promising to get your site to page #1 in Google are probably using these techniques.  The are ineffective and the search engines will see this as an attempt to manipulate ranking.  It may also appear as a possible link scheme.

Such techniques will have negative impacts on your SEO.

Use a more natural link building process varying both your anchor text and the number of links you get over time.

You should also never buy links.  This violates guidelines established by both Google and Bing and can result in your site being de-listed from their respective search indexes.

Most people who experience trouble in ranking for keywords or with being de-indexed from search results have at some point, participated in questionable linking practices.  The search algorithms have matured to detect linking strategies designed to manipulate search rankings.  You may get away with these practices in the short term but will eventually pay the price.

Concentrate on writing link worthy content.  The more unique and compelling your content, the more likely someone will create a link to it.  Never underestimate the value of your content to generate links.

Nobody said link building would be easy.  However, if you keep these suggestions in mind while developing your linking strategy, it may take a little more work and a little longer to get ranked for your keywords but the benefits will be rewarding.

What are some things you consider as part of your linking strategy?

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About Barry Wheeler

Barry Wheeler is a blogger, novice SEO, geek and passionate Newfoundlander. Operating several successful websites and online communities, Barry has started exploring the social internet and its impact on all facets of society including personal life and business relationships. Find Barry on Twitter @barrywheeler and FaceBook or on his website Barry Wheeler - Blogging for Success.
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7 Responses to Develop Your Linking Strategy Before Link Building

  1. Hi Barry

    I clicked over to see what you had to say about link building. I am building a new site at the moment. It isn’t a blog and a completely different biz model to my lavender site.

    Am just up to looking at link building. I agree with you that it is important to have quality over quantity. Have seen all sorts of questionable practices written about in the blogosphere! As if they can fool Google!!!

    I only want quality in-bound links to my site that are relevant to my niche. That may prove a challenge as the quality sites I have seen (that are not competitors) are the highly ranked medical sites. Can’t imagine they will be dishing out “do-follow links” to a new site any time soon lol

    Will be interesting to see how it all pans out. Yet another challenge in establishing my presence in a completely different niche to the one I am already in.

    Thanks for sharing with us. Interesting and informative post.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Patricia,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      That’s the catch-22 for any new site coming online … having to build credibility and trust in a niche before getting some quality links. I struggled with a similar situation about 5 or 6 years ago. After about 6 months I had a site that was one of the best I ever launched. No one wanted to link to me.

      One day, one of the largest national newspapers called me, wanted to talk about my site, now everyone wants to link to me! I fire off an email and voila, it’s “no problem” to get a link!

      Good luck and hope things work out for you!


  2. Sire says:

    Good link building is probably the hardest thing to do as far as SEO goes. This is because the best kind of links you can get are ones where people link to your blog because they believe it has something that others would be interested in. This is why its so important to write the best content you can.

    Having said that no-one will know your blog exists unless you put yourself out there and that is where social media and more importantly blog commenting comes in. Leaving great comments on blogs and forums is a great way to show people you exist and you are a force to be reckoned with. That you know what you’re taking about and that you are willing to share your knowledge with others. It’s a slow process but well worth it.

    • Hi Sire,

      Yes, that’s the key “good link building”. This is what attracts people to try many of the “tactics” or “services” promoting link building. What they fail to reallize is these links have very little quality or are so ineffective they may actually be harming their SEO efforts.

      Interaction like this, developing a dialogue with your readers and with your visitors establishes relationships that develop over time. This in itself adds to the exposure. Some bloggers are “shy” and don’t see the benefit in interacting like this or in the social networks.

      That’s the challenges of being a blogger, putting yourself out there ever opportunity you have!

      Thanks for sharing your insights!


  3. Sire says:

    Funny you should mention the shy factor Barry because that’s me in the offline world, but once I get online you can’t shut me up 😀

    I think it’s because when it comes to ‘talking’ online I have time to check what I’m saying before publishing it whereas offline I never know when I put my foot in my mouth until it’s too late.

    • Sire,

      I have several friends are are like yourself. They use their blogs and online interactions much the same way. They are also brilliant writers and have refined their writing skills so much through blogging, I’ve said they should be published!

      Do you find you get more comfortable the more you interact with people online?


  4. Seth says:

    Yes… you’re really right… create first a plan on how to do link building. Link building is really necessary in a certain website in able for it to be visible in the web. It doesn’t mean only one strategy to use but lots of them. Thanks for your post I’m quite informed.

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