SEOs have been paying so much attention to their backlink profiles in recent months that Google’s own Matt Cutts issued a warning to rein it in. Due to the search engine’s recent Penguin algorithm update, webmasters and brands were forced to take a fine-toothed comb to their websites to ensure all links were organic, from reputable sources and devoid of any black hat SEO strategies.
Stop with the spam
Now the esteemed Search Engineer offers supplementary link-building guidance in an interview with Stone Temple Consulting’s Eric Enge. During the discussion, he gives SEOs better tactics that will help them climb SERPs using white hat practices to bait links.
The premise behind link building should be simple, Cutts states. If you create something great, it should be easy to get people to share it. The problem is that many companies looking for fast results approach linkbuilding backwards. Instead of creating impressive domains that earn links based on the merit of website content, publishers want to earn the links to reap the benefits of a top-notch internet presence.
Put on the white hat
Brafton recently covered a Webmaster Help Channel video, in which Cutts says linkbuilding is one component of SEO strategies that marketers struggle to master. “A lot of people think about ‘How do I build more links?’ and they don’t think about the grander, global picture of ‘How do I make something compelling and then how do I make sure I market it well?’ I would think about the user experience of site … [and] what makes it compelling and fun.”
Aside from creating an optimal user experience, marketers are also advised to promote their branded content through social networks and press releases. While Cutts reminds publishers that links from press releases likely won’t sway ranking signals, the exposure itself will increase the chances that news outlets and reporters pick up on stories and create articles that do link back to their pages.
Syndication is another viable option for marketers hoping to earn more links and better visibility on the ‘net, he adds. Of course, companies must be transparent when producing web content that will be shared on other sites. Using Authorship markup gives credit to writers and embedded links point users back to pages where blogs or articles were originally posted.
Ultimately, sites created to give visitors great experiences and valuable information will rise to the top of search results pages, while companies cutting corners to drive results will lose traction and slip.