In many ways, the Google Penguin update really tossed up a lot of what the internet marketing world thought they knew about SEO. Many old linkbuilding tactics, such as buying .edu links, mass blog comment posting or article directory submissions not only lost value, but could actually come back and hurt your rankings.
Today, the search engine game has more and more become about getting real, genuine backlinks back to your website. Low quality backlinks have lost massive value, while high quality backlinks are gaining more weight.
In addition, Google is placing more emphasis on person to person relationships. In other words, social media relationships are beginning to play more of a part in search engine rankings.
It’s safe to assume that Google Penguin won’t be Google’s last big tossup. As search engine technology and especially the AI technology that was developed for Panda evolve, we can expect more big changes to roll out. More likely than not, these changes will further deemphasize low quality linking and prop up high quality linking even more.
So in the post-panda world, what can you do to build more backlinks and build your rankings? Read on.
#1) Guest Blogging
One fantastic way to build links to any website is to write guest blogs. What’s amazing about guest blogging is that not only do you get high quality links back to your website, but you also get to put your content right in front of real people in your industry.
There are a few different ways to write guest blogs. The easiest way is to head over to MyBlogGuest.com and find other blogs in your industry who want your content.
This is fantastic for links, but most high quality, high traffic blogs won’t be advertising for guest posts this way.
Instead, you need to approach them directly. Try to build a relationship with them by commenting on their blogs and interacting with them over Twitter. Build high quality content on your own website.
Then, when you think you can provide something of value to their audience, send them a message directly with your proposal.
#2) Genuine Web 2.0 Links
Another great source of links is genuine Web 2.0 properties. These include Squidoo, Hubpages or any other kinds of websites where you can create your own content and have it distributed to a real community of people.
The key to creating these kinds of Web 2.0 properties is to create high quality pages. A lot of marketers simply spam Squidoo or other similar sites with low quality content. This doesn’t work.
Instead, you need to create high quality content that actually gets voted for on these sites. On Hubpages for example, you want to create pages that actually get a high Hubscore.
When you create a high quality Web 2.0 property, people will comment on it, interact with it and link to it. Google will often rank the page highly. Any links you point to your site from that property will be hugely beneficial to your site.
#3) Help a Reporter Out
One of the best ways to get in contact with reporters who need stories is Help a Reporter Out (HARO.) This is a free site where reporters who need sources go to post what they need.
Sign up for their newsletter. Anytime a reporter requests a source in your area of expertise, contact them. Get in touch and let them pick your brains about the topic.
This benefits you in a few ways. First, they’ll often link to your website right then and there. Make sure you ask them to make the link active, as often newspapers will just write your site in text without linking.
Second however, you build a relationship with that journalist. If you keep doing this, you’ll soon have a small rolodex of press people who’re in your debt. When you next launch a creative or edgy product, you can get in touch with them and manufacture your own press blitz.
#4) Contact Your Commenters
If you run a blog, discussion board or website that has any kind of social interaction, chances are other people who also have websites are going to contact you.
Whenever you receive a comment from someone who says they love your site, get in touch with them. See if you can arrange some sort of backlink deal with them.
These people already love your content. Getting them to agree to have you write a guest post or even give a free link back to you on a relevant page shouldn’t be too difficult.
#5) Build Real Relationships
Go to conferences and cultivate real, genuine relationships. Meet people face to face and engender goodwill.
A lot of people will link to you if they like you and you ask. In fact, for many high profile individuals that’s the only way you can get them to link back to you.
People with massive twitter followings or blog followings are very rarely going to link to you if you just ask them out of the blue. They don’t know you and receive a dozen such requests every day.
On the other hand, if you meet them in person, have a good conversation and develop a rapport, there’s a very good chance they’ll do you that favor. That’s how you get the PR5 and PR6 backlinks – Through real personal relationships.
#6) Social Bookmarking Websites
Getting your content to the front of a social bookmarking website like Reddit, Digg or StumbleUpon is a fantastic way to drive tons and tons of traffic your way. If you’re making this a genuine goal of yours, make sure your server is setup to handle the traffic.
If you do manage to get your post ranked highly on a social bookmarking site, you’ll see tens of thousands of people flooding into your website. Don’t be alarmed if the bounce rate is much higher than usual or the time on site much lower. The quality of traffic from these sites tends to be lower, as people on these sites click many links in a short period of time.
The real value you’ll get from getting on the front of a social bookmarking site is through the links you’ll build. If you land on the front of reddit, you’re going to get dozens or even hundreds of backlinks in a matter of hours or days. These will help your rankings for the rest of your site’s life.
#7) Build a Strong Social Media Presence
Google is paying more and more attention to social media. Already Google +1s carry a ton of weight. If someone +1s any of your content, there’s a great chance that your site will be popping up very often in the search results.
Create a popular fan page. Be active on Twitter. Get Google +1s. If you’re not already active on social media, now is the time. The time for webmasters to “wait and see if it matters” is over.
Experts have said it. Web stats have said it. Users have said it and now the search engines are saying it: Social media matters. Today, not only will it drive visitors, but it’ll drive rankings as well.
Social media links might not matter in the traditional PageRank passing sense, but having a strong social media presence will still certainly help your rankings.
#8) Do an Interview
Find experts in your niche and interview them about the subject.
When you do this, the expert will often link to you. Other people will link to you. It’ll be fantastic for search rankings, for twitter, for Facebook, for your email list and for building traction all around.
Again, the key to getting people to agree to be interviewed is to build personal relationships. Either that, or build relationships with key networkers who can introduce you to other influential people.
#9) Start a Video Series
Videos are a fantastic way to both get new visitors and improve your relationship with your old ones.
Start a video series and publish it regularly. Get people in the habit of receiving content from you. People who love your content will watch and share your videos regularly. Keyword optimize your videos and there’s a great chance that you’ll rank highly on Google or YouTube.
These are nine linkbuilding tactics you can use today to generate real, genuine links that post-penguin Google will love. What’s more is that these linkbuilding tactics will almost definitely survive the next Google update, and the one after that. These links aren’t built on quick-fix solutions, but actually get you real endorsements from real people.
[Penguin Image by Free-StockPhotos.com ]