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Link Building in a Post-Penguin World

Link building used to be the center of SEO. For a while it was all that mattered and if you weren’t building links then you weren’t doing SEO. Google recently updated its Penguin algorithm, which is designed to penalize sites that attempt to manipulate rankings with low quality link building. Penguin was first released in 2012 and with each update it gets harder and harder to build links.

A low quality link is defined by a number of factors, including:

  • Links with exact match anchor text
  • Links on irrelevant sites
  • Links surrounded by low quality content
  • Links on sites with a poor backlink profile

This list could go on and on and these are just a few of the things that define a low quality link.

Developing a Strategy

In a post-Penguin world, a link building campaign has to be carried out carefully. It has to be done with purpose and your backlink profile should slowly grow over time. Here are a few things to keep in might at the start of any link building campaign:

  • Decide which keywords are important to you
  • Determine the types of sites that are relevant to your own
  • Understand what makes a quality site and a safe site to build a link to
  • Research various anchor texts you can use for links

These are great things to figure out at the start of your link building campaign.

How to Build Links Today

Every good link building campaign has a strategy. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to start with directories. Some of the biggest ones include Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Yellow Pages. Once you’ve built out your business pages on these directories, it’s time to start writing content that people want to share.

Guest posting is still an effective way to build links as long as you create relationships with quality sites and avoid exact match anchor text. The idea behind guest posting is that you create content with links to your site and you ask another site to publish it. It is crucial that you create unique, high quality content for each site you build a relationship with.

Outside of building links through directories, content creation is the way to go. Once again it has to be content people want to link to and share with others. If you create a “how-to” article then make it the best one available on the internet. Add pictures, videos, graphs and anything else that makes it the best how-to article that people can find on the subject. You want it to become the go-to source and people will consistently share and link to your site if you accomplish this.

Establishing a link building strategy is important, but remember that it should always be evolving. You need to keep up with Google updates like Penguin because what works today may not be so effect six months from now.