For 2019, I have strived to write link building articles suitable for introductory, intermediate and advanced knowledge levels.
Link building is more than just tactics and strategies. There’s a lot of basic information out there that helps explain why it’s best to do things a certain way for maximum success.
This year’s articles include general information about links, including the history of link building practices and how Google may score and rank links.
Link Building Fundamentals
As the title suggests, this article covers the fundamentals of linking and link building. Read this first for an overview of links and link building.
How to build links
In the past, Google’s algorithm was tuned for statistical signals to indicate something is normal versus spam, link counting to determine what’s most popular, and so on.
None of this had much to do with actual users. In my opinion, what has changed in recent years is that Google has become more specific in categorizing links by topics.
The main idea of this article is to think about what Google is doing and then use that information to plan your link building strategy.
“1. Cultivate Natural Quotes with Solution Pages
A most relevant link building strategy for 2019 is to identify the issues that need to be addressed and then create content that addresses those issues. This can be the heart of a link building strategy.
Other recommended strategies are:
2. Don’t be a virus – Be useful
3. Build relationships with people, not sites
4. Begging Link
5. Become the site you want a link to
The takeaway from the entire article was that the best link building focuses on people rather than links. This means focusing on who is going to give the link and who is going to see the link and whether the two are a good match for your site.
Too often, link building projects get hung up on “semantic” relevance and lose sight of their relevance to people. Textual relevance is important and I don’t want to minimize that. However, taking a moment to consider a link in terms of the quality of traffic it might bring is another test of that link’s strength.
It’s important because when Google talks about relevance, it’s almost always in the context of being relevant to people. So if you judge links by how relevant they are to people, in my experience the most relevant links will be the ones that are most relevant to people who are likely to convert to customers.
Read: How to build links
Link Building 101 – Suggest a Link
This article provides an overview of the link suggestion strategy for building links, then offers six tips for maximizing the success rate.
Read: Link Building 101: Suggest a Link Method
Improve Strategy Suggest Link
This is a simple update to the link suggestion strategy which in my experience has improved the success rate significantly.
Read: This 1 link building tip will increase the success rate
Why link quotas can be counterproductive
Many traditional link building workflows and expectations can slow down the link building process.
This article introduces the concept of coordinating content creation with the link building process and explains why link building quotas can sometimes result in links that don’t improve sales.
Read: How to super-power your link building
Link Building Status Today
This article reviews a wide range of factors that affect links. The article discusses issues with link reliability and how Google might spot paid links. This is a mid-level article that covers a wide range of link considerations.
Read: What is the status of links and rankings in 2019?
Coordinate content with links
This article digs deeper into the concept of coordinating the link building process with the content creation initiative. Specifically, it connects three qualities of content and links that can influence the success of a link:
- Meaning of a search query
- Subject of a link
- Subject of a web page
Read: Coordinating links and content for success
Offline Marketing Tactics for Online Links
These are marketing related tips that help solve the link building problem without having to engage in traditional link building activities. Clearly, a link building initiative will improve while employing a wide range of strategies. But if building traditional outreach links isn’t viable, these tips offer an alternative.
Read: 5 non-spammy link building tips that work
Advanced Link Building
This article is about a patent that Bill Slawski discovered and written. The article describes a Google patent that describes a way to create “virtual” anchor text when anchor text is missing. The purpose of creating this type of “virtual” anchor text is to give the link the context that a traditional anchor text would give.
The article linked below describes how this patent describes how Google could discover the relevance of post-anchor Internet text.
Read: Google patent update suggests change to anchor text signal