Many years ago a webmaster could insert links in random places, and see their website skyrocket to the front of Google in a week or two (sometimes less!). However, 2013 is full of mysterious algorithms, steep penalties for SEO “over optimizers”, and tons of opportunities for people who understand the new age of backlinks.
Let’s kick this off with some simple tips to prevent getting penalized by important search engines.
- Never purchase text links on other websites, no matter how cheap they are or how good the site’s “PR” is.
- Stop putting anchor text in your forum signatures. These links may be relevant to some of your posts, but will appear as ‘spam’ and unrelated in other forum threads.
- The best backlinks are the natural ones – Usually this means the links that are placed in pieces of content written by random internet users.
- Strict anchor text such as “good SEO tutorial” is pretty much classed with those spammy links like “cheap viagra online”.
- Build your backlinks by disregarding the search engines. If your links are relevant to the content, and are interesting to the reader, then you’ll be rewarded by the search engines (it’s all about being natural).
If you want to hear how I got penalized by not being natural, read my story and guide called ‘How to Rank High in Search Engines, in 2013’.
See that? That’s a great example of how to include a link to another one of your pages, while making it relevant to the content it’s placed in, the reader, and natural-looking for the search engines. Instead of using anchor text like “SEO tutorial” or “Rank high”, I used the title of my relevant article as the anchor text. It may not get my article to the first page of Google for a search term such as SEO, but it will not be penalized and it will bring me more readers than anchor text like “SEO tutorial” will.
Here are some modern ways to increase the outreach of your website and content.
- Create and use a Google+ page. Connect your account (on Plus) with your primary website(s). I also recommend developing a community of followers on your Google+ page. This will engage your fans with your content, and make your content/links appear more important. In turn, you may see your rank improve.
- Write sub-articles that talk about the same topic as your main article (or page). Make your sub-articles just as important as your main page, and highly relevant to your specific niche. In your sub-article, you should link to your main page or piece of content. You don’t want to go as far as creating a ‘link wheel’ or ‘link pyramid’, but linking to relevant content is not going to hurt you. Remember, keep it natural.
- If you don’t have enough time, hire an article writer to create high quality content for you. This content could be displayed on your own website, but I recommend having it put on a credible website that the writer has access to. The article could have a backlink in it, and could be displayed on a site such as Wired, or another popular site. It obviously depends on the writer.
I also recommend creating content on the Yahoo Contributor Network, which allows you to write high quality articles while giving yourself some free promotion (just keep it on topic!). You should also create a community page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks – Not just Google+.
In the future, Facebook’s Graph Search may become a prominent search engine for users all around the web. It is important to become comfortable with Facebook’s “Edges” and the concept of EdgeRank. If you are not familiar with Facebook’s Graph Search then you should read this article, ‘Introducing Facebook’s Graph Search’. Remember, part of building a backlink network is about securing your site’s future, not just the present state of it.