I’ve had a few conversations with business owners recently who had heard that link building was dead. I think some sales people are telling people that because many of the canned link building programs that the national companies have provided are indeed dead. They never should have worked to begin with but Google finally figured out how to discount them. Link building isn’t dead, just bad, unethical link building is dead, and it should have never been alive to begin with.
The reason Google put value on links is because they want to parallel the real world and referrals. To Google a link is like a referral, so they placed value on them and then everyone immediately tried to start gaming the system by buildng networks of fake sites and fake links and spinning articles and all of that kind of thing. If your links are a true representation of your business and your relationships you will do just fine.
So I thought I would put together a quick look at the 3 C’s of basic link building. These are to help people that are just getting started and want to build their site strength the right way. This is where I would suggest starting when you want to start to make a name for yourself in search.
3 C’s of Basic Link Building
Current Relationships: Many business owners have forgotten to take care of their most basic and easy link opportunities. Those are the relationships they already have. I mentioned above that Google is trying to parallel the real world. If you are a member of a chamber, a national organization for your industry, etc. make sure that you use that link that they often give you for your membership. These sites are often very relevant or strong and if you already have a relationship that comes with a link, make sure you use it.
Competitor Links: Take a look at links that your competitor has. This will often open up ideas or give you ideas of relationships you may have forgotten you had or that you can create easily. If a site is willing to link to a competitor, they are often willing to link to you and you should look in to it. I would look at a list of their links that you may get from a third party tool and start with those with the highest domain strength so you don’t accidentally replicate bad links a competitor may have built.
Community: The third C is your community. By community I refer to either your geographic area or your industry community. There are often opportunities for links by taking part in shows, joining chambers, sponsoring events or scholarships that are highly relevant and can get you great link opportunities. Again, being active in your community helps your business offline so use it to help you online as well. Sponsor that local 5K that gives you a link on the sponsors page or contribute to a scholarshiop that may bring you a link from a very respectable .edu site.
Is link building dead? Far from it. You just have to do it right. The 3 C’s is a great start. For help putting together a plan for your business please give us a call.