Backlinks have long been the foundation of search engine optimization (SEO). Google and other search engines consider websites more valuable if other sites are linked to them. However, you also probably know that with the recent Panda and Penguin updates, that the rules have changed.
The same backlinking strategies that once helped your site rank highly can now produce the opposite result. Some sites have felt the wrath of the Penguin, and seen their sites disappear from the rankings. If this has happened to you – or if you want to make sure it doesn’t – it’s critical to understand what does and doesn’t work in the post-Penguin world.
In today’s article, we will share some great tips on how to build Google-safe backlinks to your blog. These tips are based on my experience over the years building numerous successful websites.
Low quality links
Although some people believe that Google changed its rules overnight, this is not quite the case. What is really true is that with Panda and Penguin it began to enforce its policies, which had already been in place for a couple of years, more vigorously.
If you followed knowledgeable SEO principles two or three years ago, you would have already known that you had to be careful where you got your backlinks from. Once Penguin came along, however, this became a matter of survival for all blogs and websites.
Google began to crack down on this type of backlinking several years ago, but when Panda and Penguin came along it became a search and destroy mission. Now you must be very careful about where you get your links from or risk having a site that may as well be invisible!
High quality links
Some people are now saying that backlinks are no longer important, or that they will only harm your site. This is not the case, as you still need good quality backlinks to reach the top of the search engine listings.
The question is, where do you get such links? Let me share with you some good places where you can get high quality backlinks.
File sharing sites
This is a tactic that savvy bloggers and online marketers have used for years, but that many people still don’t know about. You write a report or eBook relevant to your niche and upload it to sites such as Scribd, Docstoc or Myplick.
These reports don’t have to be long. In fact, they can be articles of only a few pages. For this to be effective, you have to submit to these sites regularly. Naturally, you will want to use anchor text with your main keywords that links to your site.
While many people have proclaimed article marketing to be dead or obsolete, this isn’t actually the case. It is true that article directories no longer carry the same weight as they once did, so you won’t get significant backlinks from them.
However, if you write quality articles you can get your articles syndicated by other sites. This is where you have the chance to pick up valuable links. Make sure you write well researched and well written articles that other bloggers and perhaps even authority sites will want to use!
Blog commenting is a time-honored and still effective way to gain backlinks.
Please remember that, when you are commenting on blogs, make sure you say something helpful and interesting, not just a line or two such as “love your blog”. You want to contribute something useful to the discussion. Of course, this is the same with commenting on my blog – you must say something related to the topic and something which is useful and contributes to the discussion, otherwise your comment will not be approved.
As you may know, some blogs are “do follow,” which means you get a link back to your site which carries Google link juice. However, please do not be choosy to only comment on these “do follow” blogs, because even “no follow” blogs can be worth commenting on, especially if they get a lot of traffic.
Search engines will notice both no follow and do follow links, and it looks more natural when you have both. So there is no reason to even worry about this factor when commenting on blogs!
Guest blogging is slightly more involved than blog commenting, as you must contact the blog owner and ask if he or she accepts guest posts. When you find blogs that do accept them it can be a great source of both direct traffic and backlinks.
Leverage on social media sites
This is one of the most essential tips for building Penguin friendly links. This has to do not only with Google’s algorithms, but also the reality that more and more people access content on social media websites.
Every time you post to your blog, you should be sharing the post on all the social sites you use, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and others. Every time you do this, you have the chance to have your content shared by your friends and followers, and get more traffic!
Use diversity in your link building efforts
I have been sharing this important tips in many of my articles – Make sure you use anchor text for different keywords!
If you keep building links to the exact same keyword phrases, this can send the wrong kind of message to Google. It’s one of the practices that can cause you problems, which is why you should mix up your keywords.
Another point to keep in mind is to not always link to the same page on your site. Linking inner pages is good for your link building strategy, and it shows the search engines that you have a variety of content. On the post Penguin internet, you have to make your link building as diverse as possible.
High quality backlinks help you rank
Now as much as ever, you need good backlinks to help your blog rank with the search engines. This means using a variety of link building strategies, and remembering to include social media so people can share your content.
Stay away from shortcuts and low quality links, as these will only backfire and get your site penalized. If you’re not sure about where backlinks are coming from, or someone is offering them to you in bulk, they are probably bad news. Avoid them!
If you build quality backlinks regularly and from diverse sources, you will find that your blog or website thrives no matter what formula Google is using this week!