How can you build effective links back to your site without penalty?

Building Links Penalty FreeWhen we were in high school, most everyone wanted to hang out with the popular kids. Heck, most everyone wanted to BE one of the popular kids.

In the saturated web world, is your business website ‘the popular kid’?

Google likes sites that are ‘popular’, so it measures and keeps track of just how many sites ‘link’ to your site. The more sites that ‘link’ to your site, the more popular your site is in Google’s eyes.

As usual, the popular kid gets the love, the attention, and in this case, that means getting the rankings your site needs to do business for you while you sleep!

So, the concept sounds easy, right? Just get ‘lots’ of links pointing back to your site over time, and watch your site climb in the rankings for your target phrases.

Make friends, contact people, surely over time other site owners will see your valuable, gorgeous site and link to you without asking, right?

[divider scroll_text=”Back To Top”]

Buying Links Can Hurt Your Site!

Busy site owners are not lining up to link to your business site out of the gate. In fact, if your site is brand new, most people won’t even know it exists until Google has had a chance to index and rank it, unless you are running pay-per-click or a massive print campaign initially.

So, in order to start building links, many people simply start ‘buying’ links.

The problem is, Google is not a fan of your ‘buying’ links generally speaking. In fact, Google has been known to penalize sites that buy truckloads of links to drive the point home. Some sites who were actually selling links are no longer doing it because THEY were getting penalized as well.

How does Google know? Honestly, it’s not that difficult for anyone to see the difference. A ‘natural’ link will generally be one that occurs because the referring site feels that YOUR site is of some value to THEIR visitors….they actually WANT to send people to your site because it makes their site more valuable!

However, if you simply buy a bunch of links, your site is going to be listed in a long list of ‘sponsored’ links on a site known for selling them….not tough to figure out for most average surfers OR for Google.

[divider scroll_text=”Back To Top”]

Reciprocal Links Don’t Help Much Either!

Let’s say you have 500 links on your site. Let’s also say, that all 500 sites that you link to, link right back to you. Google sees this as suspicious, ‘link trading’ activity which can hurt you as well. After all, does this activity suggest to them that your site is truly popular, valuable, and worthy of their higher rankings? Of course not.

Does this mean that you can’t link to other sites? Again, of course not! It means, that you should have links going OUT to sites that your visitors might be interested in, and that other sites should send links to you because they feel that YOUR site would be of interest to their visitors.

For instance, a real estate site might link to a mortgage broker, and then that broker might link to an appraiser, so on and so forth…..these are all logical sites to move a customer and educate them in the process of buying a home.

[divider scroll_text=”Back To Top”]

So, how do we build links to our sites without ‘penalty’?

The easiest way to SAFELY build links to your site is to create content that people want to link TO. However, the content should be RELEVANT for it to be considered safe for your site. The term for a hot page or section of your site that other sites find compelling and ‘linkable’ is called LINK BAIT.

Again, link bait can be great for your site if it makes sense. The perfect example might be a ‘Top Ten Summer Fashion Trends’ page. People who find this interesting will certainly want to share it with others, and they will likely link to this page from their site.

That’s fantastic for you IF your site actually has something to do with fashion, but that traffic won’t help you if your site is for a funeral home business….you get the idea.

[divider scroll_text=”Back To Top”]

Do Links From Social Sites Help Or Hurt?

Let’s put it this way….any site you can easily create, like a FaceBook page, is going to help get the word out (assuming that people visit that page), but it’s not going to help with rankings. Google knows that anyone can create a FaceBook page quickly (or other forms of social media) and link to your site…..mainly YOU can create one and link to YOUR site.

So, not to discourage social media at all, just don’t make this the number one priority in terms of growing you online rank with Google….they know!

[divider scroll_text=”Back To Top”]

Link Worthy Content

In the end, what Google is really looking for are nice solid links to your site from ‘other popular kids’ in school. That is so say, other popular sites that are proven sites with a reputation on the line. If those guys (.gov sites, .edu sites) are sending traffic your way, it’s only going to help your rankings for the content that you are presenting!

Don’t forget, if you have questions, or would like us to help ‘translate’ results, get a FREE estimate here!