Definitely, optimizing web properties for organic search requires vigorous research, tactful planning and effective implementation. However, one aspect that really makes the SEO process time-consuming is link building. It’s not possible to build hundreds of links (pointing back to your domain) overnight. On top of that, the recent Google algo updates have changed the link building landscape quite a bit. Link building tactics that were useful a couple of years ago have turned out to be completely useless today. Those previous techniques are not just useless, but harmful also.
Whether you are a business owner, a blogger or a webmaster, you’ll surely need to keep a close watch as things continue to change at Google so that you can drive your site’s SEO in the right direction.
As we are about to enter 2013, scores of articles and blog posts have been written pointing out the SEO myths that you need to throw out the window and the SEO tactics that you should focus on, in the near future and beyond.
SEO in 2013 requires a change in the mindset.
According to Thomas Schmitz (of Schmitz Marketing), you need to change the way you look at search engines. Even if your business website contains only a couple of pages, you need to take an enterprise SEO approach. In addition to that, you should make an effort to become an online brand. You must have noticed that most of the big companies or brands rank excellently well in search engine results. So, by becoming an online brand, you’ll get the added ‘brand-benefit’ in searches.
Most of us will agree with what Schmitz says. As the SEO landscape continues to change, webmasters, SEO professionals and web property owners also need to change their approach to the entire process.
[Warning: If you don’t change, you’ll do it at your own risk.]
Among other things (or tactics) that need a change, the approach to link building must also change.
‘Link building’ or ‘Link earning’? That’s the question.
You have been building links for a long time. You have been mass-submitting to web directories. You have been submitting hundreds of (spun) articles to article directories. You have been exchanging links. You have been spamming the comment section on blogs. You have been participating at various link schemes.
And many of you have been buying links also.
Sorry, it’s all over.
It’s all over because Google has its Penguin update in place. It’s over because search engines have evolved, become smarter. If you still indulge in those ‘no-more-valid’ practices, you’ll only waste your time. In fact, you’ll ruin your website or blog, or may be your entire online business (God forbid!).
You don’t need to ‘build’ links anymore.
Instead, you need to ‘earn’ them.
When you are out to build links, you are bound to make mistakes. You will be tempted to acquire as many links as possible, without caring about the authority, relevancy and the quality of those links. And when you ‘build’ links too fast, it may not look very natural to search engines.
OK, you got the point. But how do you ‘earn’ links?
When you want to earn links, you need to start investing in content creation. By creating top quality content, you keep visitors coming to your website as well as continue to earn more and more inbound links overtime. Since it’s all a natural process, search engines like Google are going to love it.
When you build links, it may or may not look natural (remember ‘unnatural link warnings’ from Google Webmaster Tools making the rounds?). But when you earn them, it’s always going to be a natural process. After all, there’s no point in taking risks when your entire online business is at stake. You never know whether your website or blog will survive the next algorithmic update, unless you are strictly abiding by the webmaster guidelines as set up by major search engines.
As far as Google is concerned, ‘building links’ is almost dead!
It’s better to play safe!
What to Do Now
So, get ready to hire a good blog writer or content writer. Sit with them, and work out your content strategy, in accordance with your objectives. Create content in many different forms including blog posts, articles, press releases, product reviews, industry reports, video, images, slideshows etc. Just make sure you are taking good care of your target audience. You’ll continue to earn links.
Most importantly, you won’t need to hire a link building agency (who look at it as merely a numbers game) if you are adequately investing in content creation. It’s about time you stopped ‘building’ links and started to ‘earn’ them.
Are you ready to drive your business website’s SEO in the right direction in 2013? Feel free to share your opinions and views.