Panda, Penguin and other Google updates are part of search marketing. The frequency of updates has continued to garner attention over the last 6 months.
The only sure thing; it’s likely to continue as Google stays its course in refining standards for quality content.
And in a post-Panda and Penguin world, smarter more meaningful link building is not only recommended but a requirement.
Understanding this is only the tip of the iceberg. What lies below the surface is the real opportunity and from SES Chicago, here’s what you should be thinking about.
7 Link Building Philosophies to create value and remain Penguin-friendly. Shared with the audience by Jon Ball of PageOnePower.
1. In a World without Google
Imagine if Google didn’t exist, where would you spend link building efforts? What would you do and not do?
Keeping asking yourself this: If Matt Cuts were looking over your shoulder would you continue pursuing that link?
To avoid the penguin or next iteration of algorithm updates, start matching your link building with an audience-centric marketing plan. Who can we help and with what information?
2. Relevancy First
What makes sense? This should be common sense, but continue repeating this to yourself and your team.
Does it make sense to get a link to your cat food site from a brain surgery forum?
To do this, create a relevancy tree to better understand how your core topics are related to others. Start with those that have online communities and start building out based on relevance. This is where link building opportunities start rising to the surface.
3. Website Owners are People
People link to people. And the best links come from people, not forms or any variety of insta-links.
4. It’s Time for Grey Matter to Matter
The best link building asset you have is your brain. The ability to make connections between your content, its value and your audience is all housed between your ears.
5. Link Building as a Team
Link building alone is like building a fire with one log. The spark you need to concept creative content and link building strategies is best done in group settings.
Brainstorm Sessions. Activities. Creative Idea Contests. Whatever it takes to get your team generating ideas.
6. Forget Viral
Trying to get something to go viral, is like trying to catch a cold.
It’s not up to you. It’s up to the others around you and how motivated they are to help spread your content.
Create content that’s always in pursuit of ‘For the better of mankind’.
We have to make peace with the idea that no one cares about our products / services (at first). Asking people for a link because your awesome isn’t of value to anyone but you.
Provide value. Help people. Offer solutions to problems.
Next is taking philosophy and putting it into action by making a plan.
Here are 5 Steps to Make a Link building plan
Warning: don’t underestimate the enormity of the task before you. To do it right, it takes time and effort.
Step 1 – List Your Assets
Identify the assets you currently have available both on and offsite.
On your Site; videos, images, fulfillment, blog(s)
Off your site; customers, staff, friends, connections
Step 2 – Research
Download and review your backlink portfolio and that of your competitors.
Prioritize research based on who is currently ranking Page 1.
Next, make a list of those relevant to your space. Start with searches such as; ‘keyword news’, ‘keyword experts’, ‘keyword associations’, ‘keyword blogs’
Step 3 – Strategize
It’s time to brainstorm, no idea too big or small. Let it all out and see what your team can come up with.
Once you have a list to work from, start prioritizing based on relevance, impact and feasibility.
Step 4 – Create a Schedule
Link building efforts should match up with the overall editorial plan driving your marketing content. Work your link building ideas into a schedule to keep everyone on track.
Try not to execute all ideas at once. You will learn as you go and you want to be able to leverage what you have learned as you move forward.
Step 5 – Adapt
You will fail. It’s the way it is. Know that and be ready to adapt.
You will also succeed. Celebrate and keep doing the things that work.
What link building philosophies or approaches have you implemented Post-Penguin? Anything you are willing to share? :)