The latest Google algorithm change has pointed even more to them trying to get away from the corner they have backed themselves in to with links being such a strong part of your site strength. Because of the environment that they have set, companies for years have been trying to get links in somewhat unnatural ways, even if they weren’t trying to game the system. Often small businesses were just trying to do what they had to do to get exposure. With recent comments by Matt Cutts admitting that this has created a whole world of unnatural link building and how they would like to get away from links as such a strong part of your sites ranking power, he did say it will still remain strong for the foreseeable future.
From years of helping small businesses with building strength online and also not getting them penalized or “algorithmically adjusted” as Google might call it, I can tell you the best way to build links is to simply get your business out there and be active in the local communities you serve, but to do it with SEO in mind. There are some basic, but solid links you can get just from the basic every day world of doing business. Below are some basic ideas that can get you the basic layer of link to start building your site strength.
- Join the BBB. This adds credibility to what you do and gets a link from their credited site.
- Make sure you have your local Name, address, and phone on at least the most basic sites like Yelp, Google, Merchant Circle, and more. The more the better, but be consistent with your information. Inconsistent information will hurt you but these listings also add credibility and typically come with a link.
- Join and be active in your local chamber of commerce, and make sure you get that link they provide with membership that goes to your site.
- If you are a member of any national organizations or groups associated with what you do or have certifications that come with listings on these national organizations websites, make sure you get the link to your website on their if you can.
- If you can use your relationship with the university you attended to get a link to your business site, this can provide huge benefits, as universities typically have strong sites. Some will provide links to alumni while others may take something more creative like offering money in the form of a scholarship, etc. that can help you get exposure and solid links.
These are just a handful of natural ideas to get links that won’t get you in trouble and don’t force you to go out and write blogs, etc. Blogs can be very helpful to your business, but from my experience with many small business owners, this is the last thing they want to do. At least look at some of the above ideas to get you some basic online credibility and then you can build from there once you have a presence, and of course we can help take you to that next level. Make sure you enjoy the fireworks this 4th of July, and don’t spend it worried that you are going to have to worry about fireworks from Google.