Buying links, although frowned upon by Google, will probably never disappear completely. It’s a quick and easy way (if you have the money) to generate a lot of links to your site very quickly with very little work. However, an SEO strategy consisting entirely of paid links, will do little to help you in the SERPs over the long run.
Google isn’t just interested in how many links point back to your site; they are also interested in the diversity of those links. It makes sense that well respected sites will naturally generate a wide variety of links from a variety of different sources, and Google is always looking to boost the rank of “naturally” good sites.
But if you have a blog that you want to jumpstart quickly, how can you replicate a natural diversity of links in order to rank better in the SERPs? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Guest posts
Google considers content king, and contextual links are highly valued. That is, if you can link to your website naturally, within the text of a guest post, that link will figure powerfully as Google attempts to rank your site against relevant search terms. Plus guest posting allows you to show off how much you know about a subject and gain greater exposure for yourself and your brand, building your reputation to different audiences, and giving you clout within your niche.
2) Vary Keywords
When you are placing links (whether within guest posts or otherwise) make sure you vary your anchor text. One of the reasons JC Penny got caught was that all their anchor text was the same. Think about it this way: A good website will naturally gain links with a diversity of anchor text, so you want to imitate that natural pattern by creating a variety of anchor text combinations when linking to your website, both with your brand name as well as a variety of related terms.
3. Great on-site content
When you have great content on your site, people will naturally link to it. But many websites have great blog posts, so try experimenting with a number of content strategies, like videos, inforgraphics, PDF guides, and more. If people find your resources valuable, they’ll link to them through their own site and social networks—automatically creating a diversity of links.
4. Commenting and forums
Not all blogs and websites will allow links in their comments, and many will make them “nofollow” links. But that’s okay. Some sites allow follow links in the comments and, even if they don’t, other commenters will see your link and may click on it, exposing you to more readers and higher traffic, especially if you have insightful and/or controversial comments.
Both Google and Bing track links on publicly shared Facebook and Twitter feeds, so it is to your benefit not only to create profiles and share brand links, but to encourage social sharing of your website content in order to capitalize on the link juice they generate.
Google likes a healthy link profile, and when it sees that you have a variety of links from a variety of sources with a natural variety of anchor text, it will view your site as a naturally good site and move it up in the SERPs.
About Guest Author:
James Ged is a writer, SEO, and internet marketer for Comcast.USDirect.com where he blogs about geeky internet stuff as well as Comcast internet.