Do you know what does work in link building and what doesn’t? Do you want to know? CEMPER.COM recommends these 7 golden rules for obtaining great and sustainable links. With our help you can improve your Website’s Traffic and you ranking in the Search engines.
Link building is a technique widely used by SEOs that took off when Google introduced its link analysis algorithm PageRank in 1999.
Since then both the link building practices as well as the ways in which search engines operate have changed a lot and keep on changing all the time.
There is lots of updated information on link building available like the 101 link building tips on SEO Book (also check out my German translation). Unfortunately a lot of outdated information on link building can still be found on the internet, especially in old forums, and is therefore falsely still applied by many.
It doesn’t work like in 2004 anymore unfortunately.
You cannot point a PR8 site-wide link at a three-days-old data feed domain and expect it to have 5 billion pages indexed within a couple of days and earn a lot of money over Christmas time. Tough it was fun it simply doesn’t work that way anymore!
If you have practiced link building over the past years you must have been wondering why things stopped working the way they did before. This article is to explain the 7 golden rules of white hat link building for 2009 that will enable you to find and use those really juicy pages that will lead you to success. But first let’s quickly recap what DID matter in link building a while ago, but doesn’t matter anymore today!
Precise Anchor Texts – previously SEOs were used to optimizing by using the same anchor texts for their links over and over again. Since anchor text filters are in full effect since 2006 varying your anchor texts is key today.
Google PageRank – the famous green bar is not a metric that enables you to learn more about the strength of a page. Google returns random page rank data if they feel like to – just because it’s fun and they like to fool us SEOs. This was even confirmed by Matt Cutts of Google.
Alexa Rank – this metric is skewed towards online marketing people and is therefore not an adequate traffic metric to be used.
Google Backlink Data – the number of backlinks reported by Google is only a fraction of what is really there. Furthermore, random samples are returned, so you might see the spammiest of all links you have. This was also confirmed by Google. The metric was crippled in 2004 and shouldn’t be used for making decisions either.
Google Cache Date – this metric was also crippled as it is heavily used by SEOs. Juicy pages that rank are often returned as having no cache set. Therefore, you can forget about the cache date, too.
What still does matter in link building nowadays is relevancy and trust! It’s as simple as that!
Link building today is all about relevant pages and in content links! You want to have the links inside the content of a relevant page, a page talking about your business, products or topics relevant to you. What you want is links neatly embedded inside a page, not navigational text links.
The practice of using presell pages, a term introduced by Aaron Wall, enables you to get such high-relevance, in-content links easily. You write up a page that talks about your industry, company or products and have links to your site in there. The content on the page looks just like a normal article written by a newspaper or a fan of yours. This method used in link building replaced irrelevant footer links that were crippled in 2004.
Domain trust concerns the trust of your domain and the trust of the domain linking to you. What this means is that you need links from trusted sites in order to become trusted! Both the trust of linking from & to domain is important as well as the domain age, the brand and co-citations. All of these factors make up the trust rank of your website.
Concerning those factors co-citations are of great importance. A term that most are familiar with when it comes to link building is “bad neighbourhood”. This is simply a special case of a co-citation that points to the fact that who you link to with is important, but also who is linked with you! So even if you are not directly linking to bad guys, if you are on pages linked together with bad guys you already have a problem.
What trust rank means is that link quality is relative: if your domain is trusted it will respond differently and more quickly to links and there will be more LSI in effect.
What this signifies is that you should built TRUST not only LINKS! It is not about link building only, it is more than that!
I already mentioned in the introduction that natural anchor text distribution is crucial today, because of the anchor text filters used. But what is
natural you might ask yourself?
A natural link looks like it was built by a user, not an SEO. Normal users don’t care about anchor texts and so if all your links look like built by an SEO your are in trouble!
What this means is that you don’t only have high value keywords in your links, but also some links saying “cool site”, “brand name x”, “click here” or even a longer phrase. Don’t over-optimize!
I have a client myself that had an old and strong domain with lots of links to it which got a penalty for a target page, because we built only 10 links with the exact same anchor text for two months. His site was then dropped by 30 positions in Google, but moved up again when we varied anchor texts and added useless anchor texts and nofollows.
We overdid it – you shouldn’t!
If you build links, do you build nofollow links on relevant pages as well? Of course you do, because you don’t look at PageRank. If you apply the nofollow tag PageRank is not passed on – but it does not avoid passing relevancy and trust!
Normal users don’t care about nofollow – if you ask the everyday guy what a nofollow is he will have no clue and won’t care, because he doesn’t have to. As your links should look like they have been built by normal users you should also include nofollow links.
When a pace is juicy this means that the page ranks and that it passes value to you if you place a link on it. Therefore, a webpage that does rank for a phrase or keyword important to you is a page that you want to have a link on regardless of PageRank, cache date and other metrics. Why? If Google thinks Juice is important so should you!
You don’t want to have links on duplicate content pages like article directories and article sites – at least for Google (Yahoo and msn are a different story). You don’t want to add links into pages that are years old without changing their content. Again bad neighbourhood is something to pay attention to!
Don’t try to get a link on a site if the neighbourhood consists of 48 linkbuyers that have placed their links for different topics even if it is a PR4. It is not a content page talking about your product, business or industry. The page is only plastered with links because of a little green bar – you are smarter than that, you don’t want a link there!
I guess you have learned it from this article by now, but let me repeat it again: You don’t care about PR, your users don’t care about PR and Google merely uses it to signal that a site has been banned. PR is not important!
The webmaster guidelines of Google explicitly say that you shouldn’t buy links for PageRank and in this matter you should really trust them.
Here are the slides from my presentation on the 7 golden rules for white hat link building at the A4 Uexpo 2009:
Christoph, just wanted to let you know that we’re pleased with your service! Almost 3 months after starting the new campaign with you we went straight into the TOP 5 for that single word generic (take it out of the testimonial please – I do not want my competitors stumbling on you. Sorry LOL. We will be looking for another campaign in the New Year with you!Jason Owner of an e-commerce site in UK retail industry who chose to remain anonymous for obvious reasons …
Christoph is a really hard working business man. He has substantiated knowledge about SEO and Link Building. Also I know him as very friendly and helpful.Nina Baumann, SEO consultant, Onetomarket (business partner)
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