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How to Get Links without Breaking the Rules

Despite the rise of social signals and the continued prominence of content as primary search engine optimization tools, high-quality inbound links remain one of the three big components in improving rankings. The automated processes have been devalued; low-quality posts, footer links, and sidebar links are a thing of the past and in excess can actually hurt a website.

Strong, contextual links are still valid. In fact, some have shown that they're more important than ever.

In this infographic by Digital Net Agency, they examine the two different types of link-acquisition strategies. They talk about the six major bad strategies to avoid and then highlight five techniques that work. One in particular, "contributing", should be fleshed out a bit. The idea is that by creating and sharing content that brings value to others, it's possible to generate high-quality contextual links by the sheer merits of the content and its promotion. In essence, if you're bringing value, you'll get value in return.

Click to enlarge.

"Links" image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Views: 243

Tags: Infographic, Links, SEO, Search

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Comment by Alexander Lau on November 13, 2012 at 6:05am

Love this infographic!

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 13, 2012 at 5:55am

Organic search is a slow process that requires a strategy, a work plan and ongoing maintenance, measurement and adjustment. It's no secret, building credible, high PageRank(ing), incoming or back links is definitely one giant aspect of improving domain authority (ranking) and staying ranked. Obviously, using black-hat techniques are a huge no-no (beware of using tools or 3rd parties using tools such as XRumer and the like).

Google's recent Penguin update dictates this process, even more so than it did pre-update. Gone are applying importance to link farms, keyword stuffing, hidden content (without paying respect to the user experience), copied content as well as over-optimization.

Social Signals are 8% of the algorithm equation, at least in Googlebot's eyes. Not sure about Bing (forget Yahoo, it's a dead duck, Bing owns it. Microsoft have been lying about it, since day one, they've always had the intention of doing away with it). I could be wrong, but it wouldn't surprise me if the importance of social interaction eclipses the importance of back linking, sometime in the near future (~2013 / early 2014). Facebook, a digital playground, it's "Google or backlink juice" is negligible, however, your participation (the "signals" given off) apparently mean quite a bit to Googlebot. In my opinion, Google moved slowly on this concept, taking into account Social engagement and if I'm not mistaken Matt Cutts denied much of it, even though they obviously had it planned for the Penguin update for quite some time. Maybe it was due to the fact they had no idea how to determine the difference between their own tool, Google+ (much more than a social network alone) and competitors, obviously Facebook being the biggest, but the emerging Pinterest had to also have been taken into consideration. Here's a very good article from SEOMoz entitled: "10 Dead Simple Tips to Take Advantage of Google+ for SEO". There are many good Google+ rules to follow, listed in the article.

There have been many instances where an authoritive backlinking site allowed for 'dofollow' links, but switched their game plan to 'nofollow'. Pinterest comes to mind, they turned the tables on many of the groups using it for 'back link juice'.     

Original, informative content production and its application has never been as important and its application to Social is becoming a vital part as well. My belief, it will overtake the importance of inbound links (not that they should be ignored), in terms of its ranking / web equity magnitude.

You mentioned, applying low quality posts, footer and sidebar links in excess can hurt a site. Have you thought about creating a post geared towards what most call 'Over-Optimization'?

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