I made this presentation about a year ago during the Search Engine Strategies (SES) Conference at New Delhi in December 2012. The topic is “Link Building Tool and Tactics” and is a very valid topic in light of Google’s ongoing war on spam.
Around the world SEO agencies in India are popular mainly for link building. Even after Google came out with the Penguin update that penalized low quality links which impacted a huge number of websites yet we still regularly come across emails from SEO agencies offering this service. I am sure if you own a website then you too get these kind of emails offering X number of links for a fixed amount.
Even though Google has updated its algorithm to fight link spam however links remain an important currency for any website. We know even in today’s environment links work in propelling your website towards the coveted #1 ranking in SERPS.
To check how true this is just type the query “Click Here” into Google. What website do you think ranks #1 for this query? It is “Adobe” but they haven’t used “click here” in the content of the page. So how do they rank for this term? It is because they provide software like “Adobe Flash Player”, “Adobe Reader” etc. In case you don’t have this software on your computer and you try to open a document that needs this software to read a program then the message you get is: “To download Adobe Flash Player Click Here”.
This is the reason why even big websites get caught in Paid Link Campaigns. One of the most recent cases is that of RapGenius.com which was penalized by Google during the week of Christmas 2013 and they immediately lost nearly 70% of their traffic. Google is not only penalizing the websites directly but is also penalizing Link Networks that are involved in selling links.
Therefore it is extremely important how we go about increasing the value of a website. Tactics that were popular prior to Penguin such as low quality articles, article spinning, mass directory submissions etc no longer work. In fact you must ensure your teams do not engage in this type of link building as it can actually have a negative impact on your website.
What works today is something that has always worked since the web was first formed, i.e. high quality content. Think about it, why would anyone link to you if you don’t offer something of value. If your content is similar to other websites within your industry then what value are you providing? You need to think outside the box and come up with content that your audience will find engaging.
For those websites that have been caught with their pants down and have lost rankings and traffic. They must now prove to Google that they have mended their ways and clean up the toxic links that got them the penalty. This is a very tedious manual process and involves a lot of skill and judgement. You will need to use the Link Disavow tool by Google but do so only after genuinely trying to remove toxic links and be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
You will certainly need tools to help you with both the link building and link pruning process. Some tools that provide you visibility about your links are:
Google Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Tools
Please go ahead and download my presentation about Link Building Tools and Tactics. Please note these are my personal views.