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Link Building Is Not What It Used To Be

non reciprocal linkingA few years ago, one of the primary SEO tactics was link building. There were tons of powerful tools to aid webmasters in obtaining and tracking inbound and outbound links.

Well, with the last 4 Google updates,  multiple linking strategies are not only USELESS, but detrimental to website placement.  And even though this is common knowledge, as Google constantly reminds us of the dangers of passing link juice on to other sites, link building remains a mainstay for many SEO companies.

Passing on Link Juice or Page Rank

Just last month, Google posted this article about passing on link juice or page rank. While the article is more focused on paid links, the same type of penalties exist for reciprocal or one way links. They will also penalize the destination site if they deem the link to be paid.

Natural or Organic Links

The only good links these days are natural or organic links. Reciprocal links are only worthwhile if the linking sites have similar topics. Since the majority of similar topic sites are more than likely your competitors, the best reciprocal link would be from another like-minded site in a different geographical area. For example, we set up many of our real estate  clients with links from other realtors in other areas, preferably with the same brokerage such as ReMax, Century 21 or Keller Williams.

We can’t state enough the importance that any links, whether inbound or outbound, are relative to the topics on BOTH sites.

The Myth That Outbound Links Hurt Search Engine Placement Debunked

We have read about and heard from a lot of SEO’s that outbound links without a reciprocal link can damage your Page Rank or placement. This is incorrect as long as the site you are linking to has a high topic authority that relates to your content.  Using real estate as an example again, Victoria, writes a ton of GEO Targeted content for Realtors®. On a county or city page, she will link out to that city’s  Chamber of Commerce, Government and School Districts websites as a reference. This works as an authority builder for that page as well as the site. Outbound links can be your friend if you use them properly.

Intra-linking Within Your Website Spells Success In The SERP’s

 One of the most overlooked SEO Linking Strategy is intrasite linking. These are links that keep references to similar content in the mix.  Most WordPress systems that have been around for a while can lose track of older content. We use signatures to keep the content in play and help build a web within the greater web.

There are plenty of plugins that will present related posts automatically at the end of a current article. Most are SEO friendly, but their idea of relevance is not the same as Google or Bing. Hence why we manually add on topic articles throughout and at the end of posts and pages.

Build a Solid Structure of Authoritative Topics

By building a solid structure of authoritative topics within WordPress you are not only helping the search engine spiders crawl your site and assign importance to the content on your terms. It is also very important for usability for your website visitors.

Fully Qualified Domain Name Links

Keep in mind that any link  you manually enter in your content or in a widget must be a fully qualified domain name link (FQDN) not a relative link: ../content/article.htm.  All links to the home page need to link to the domain, not a page like index.php or default.aspx. With larger sites that have a lot of content, we will often use list pages/posts command to enable a printed list of all content. This allows us to keep track of the linking structure we are creating within WordPress.

Archive pages are a quick and dirty way to see most of your content on one screen as excerpts. We prefer to print it up to aid in organizing the internal backlinks.

A pyramid linking structure can be of great value for older content. By taking NEW POST 1 and link to OLDER POST 2 which links to GRANDDADDY OLD POST 3 which in turn links back to post 1.

If you can give just 30 minutes a day to go back in and properly intra-link your content, it will  pay off in huge SEO dividends.  If  your webmaster or hired SEO company focuses exclusively on external link building and don’t spend the time to provide Intra-linking, it is your responsibility as website owner to find out why!

Organic Inbound Links Through Social Media, High Quality Content  And Discussion

Organic linking

Natural or Organic Links Rein Supreme

By far, the most important link is the natural or organic link which simply is another website linking to your content because it is relevant to what they are doing. Trackbacks, pingbacks and citations are all included in the Googlebot’s understanding about the topics your site is about.

Topic Authority is the Single Most Important Aspect of SEO

By linking to authority sites and getting links to your content and Facebook shares and Twitter re-tweets, your site is building its own topic authority. If you are a company focused on one area, Google Maps Places are another way to build authority for specific GEO targeted websites.

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About Victoria Stankard

Victoria Stankard has been an online SEO content writer for a variety of markets across the nation since 2006. Specializing in optimized content marketing strategies and owner of a successful organic search engine optimization company, Victoria writes for real people with "The Optimized Edge" - putting you on the map and more!

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