A little while back, I took to the stage at SeshEO to talk about the nature of link building in 2019. As someone who has been building links for many years, I felt it was time to share my tried and tested link building tactics with the world. And, good news, my slides are now available to view right here!
What is SeshEO?
SeshEO is a laidback digital marketing event which allows marketers from all over the country to meet and feed off each other’s knowledge. Highlights and takeaways from the last SeshEO can be found here!
How to build links without receiving penalties
What is a backlink?
A backlink (or inbound link) is formed when one site mentions another with a hyperlink to said other site. This not only increases the chances of finding the linked site, but Google takes this backlink as an indication that the website is reputable. The graph below proves just how valuable links are for a website – look how much your rankings can improve when you have top-quality referring domains!
The Penguin Update: When link building changed forever
Before 2012, the state of link building was so bad that Google needed to step in and change their algorithm. So, in April 2012, Google rolled out the Web Spam update, which was later renamed as the Penguin Update. Penguin punished websites using manipulative link schemes; putting a spanner in the works for those sponging from link farms, paid links, and other unethical practises. With large companies like JCPenny and Rap Genius having their website’s severely penalised for unethical link schemes, it became clear that this Penguin update was about to change the world of SEO forever.
How to build ethical links
With Google watching your every move, it’s important to ensure that your link building efforts are fair. I have 4 tactics which will guarantee success for link building in 2019 onwards:
🗣️ Digital PR
🔗 Unlinked mentions
💔 Broken backlink building
1. Digital PR
Digital PR is one of the best ways to gain excellent backlinks for your website. It is done through sending newsworthy content to journalists and bloggers, in exchange for a link on their publication. Digital PR is incredibly effective; journalists want content that will keep their readers engaged, so if you can provide this, then you’re on the road to a strong link.
Example: In January, the Bulldog team created an infographic for a client, based around ‘how to double your holiday in 2019’. This was a hot topic for those facing January blues, and after outreaching to relevant journalists, this infographic ended up getting placed on publications like Metro and Express. With links.
Newsjacking involves utilising the popularity of a news story or trend to gain coverage on fast-paced social media/news websites. Take the world-famous ‘blue/black, white/gold’ dress for example, as to which many brands used to their advantage. A personal favourite of mine was Dunkin’ Donuts’, who released two new doughnuts and a witty tweet in relation to the whole scandal. Something so simple amounted to thousands of retweets and likes. You’ve got to be quick and on the ball, but it’s worth it.
When it comes to newsjacking for your own advantage, monitor the #journorequest hashtag on Twitter. Many journalists use this hashtag to find interesting news stories – use this to your advantage, but only when it’s relevant.
3. Unlinked mentions
Unlinked mentions provide an amazingly easy way to get good links if you’re working with a well-known brand. To put it simply, you need to find mentions of your brand name on the internet (use Google Alerts), follow up with the author, and ask them to add in a link. Although this won’t always be successful, there’s no harm in trying!
4. Broken backlink building
Last, but by no means least, we have broken backlink building. Broken backlink building essentially does what it says on the tin – you need to find backlinks that no longer work, contact the author, and suggest that they should point to your website instead. Of course, this only works if your content is relevant to the broken link, so be sure to check this before reaching out.
What happens when you build good links?
As you can see, there are many creative ways to build good links in an ethical way. But – what happens when you actually build these links?
That’s right – you don’t only improve domain authority; your rankings and traffic will soar too. True SEO magic! If you would like some assistance with any of the above link building tactics, or would like to see how link building can benefit your website, get in touch with me today via [firstname.lastname@example.org].