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The Only Thing You Need to Know About Link-Building

January 2, 2012 · 20 comments

in SEO

If you’ve been around the internet for longer than 20 minutes or so, I’m sure you’ve run across a number of articles with titles similar to these:

“The 5 Best Link-Building Techniques”

“How To Boost Your Google Rankings Overnight”

“How To Spam Forums and Blogs for Backlinks Without Appearing Spammy”

A proper link-building strategy can seem a bit overwhelming, especially when you get started. Don’t worry, you’re here and you’re safe with me now! I am going to answer ALL of these questions, and most other questions you might have about the absolute best SEO technique. The only one you’ll ever need. Once you discover this amazing secret, you’ll abandon all your forums, all the comments you leave in blogs you don’t read and don’t really apply to the website you’re promoting and you’ll start making some real progress toward boosting your Google rankings.

But it won’t happen overnight.

And it’s not easy. At least, not as easy as buying X amount of links from a link farmed based in India.

Are you still with me? If you are, you probably know where I’m going with this. Here’s the secret to gaming the system:

Stop trying to game the system. If you aren’t trying to game the system, that’s good. You’re already halfway there! Start trying to provide real content. Start adding value to the internet. Start adding your own expertise, experience, insights and point of view to the internet.

The time spent trying to think of new ways to get around Panda (and the inevitable successor to Panda, and the inevitable successor to Panda’s successor) could be better spent writing blog posts about what you know, or what you’re passionate about, or what you’re interested in but don’t quite understand.

Search Engines Aren’t Stupid

Here’s the thing about Google. (The same holds true for Bing and Yahoo, but Google still reigns supreme, so most of my work is focused on ranking better in Google searches.) Google isn’t stupid. Google may be slow, and easily tricked, sure. But it isn’t stupid.

The people who refine Google’s search algorithms aren’t really interested in how many backlinks you have. They’re interested in finding the best, most efficient way to return relevant search results to the people who use Google. Spammy techniques like link farming, link wheeling, link purchasing and so forth and so on work because they trick Google, not because they’re valuable.

Don’t Waste Time on Black Hat SEO

I’m not against black hat techniques because I think I’m morally superior. I recognize they work, at least in the short term. But I’m a long-term thinker, and black hat techniques do not produce quality, lasting results. Remember when  JC Penney’s black hat tactics  got them in trouble earlier in 2011. Sure, maybe JC Penney didn’t suffer that much from the drop in their search results, but the principle holds true: black hat tactics are not sustainable over the long term.

To keep your rankings up, you have to keep buying more links, spamming more forums and blogs, building more link wheels and otherwise dumping more garbage onto the internet. What if JC Penney had spent the time, money and effort it used to post thousands of unrelated links on thousands of unrelated websites on providing relevant, valuable content instead?

Take the Time to Build Quality Links

If you’re taking the time to build links to your site, one of two things is happening: either you’re being paid by a client or you’re working for yourself. Why wouldn’t you want to make the best effort possible?

Do you think there’s a business in the world that’s interested in a short-term boost in search engine rankings followed by the inevitable sharp drop off once Google wises up?

Truth time: there’s enough garbage on the internet. If you’re after long-term results, start providing value. Be honest about who you are and what you represent. Because Google may be slow, but it isn’t stupid.

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Tyler Moore is an SEO consultant from Indianapolis, IN. He's been blogging and writing content for websites since 2001. He's interested in web design and development, SaaS, e-commerce, and SEO. Tyler currently works for DocRaptor, a web application used to convert HTML to PDF with a simple HTTP POST request.

Tyler has written 1 awesome articles for us at Opportunities Planet

Twitter: @illbzo1

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