Link building is currently the most widely debated point in search. While link building has always been at the top of the debating agenda, recent comments from Google’s Matt Cutts and Google Penguin updates mean that it is now the number one topic on everyone’s lips.
One consequence of all of these factors is that some SEO agencies and webmasters have ceased link building activities completely. Of those that haven’t, there is definitely a more tentative approach being taken. The irony, of course, is that those who took the latter approach in the first place, so that they only built quality links, are sitting pretty in light of the recent updates.
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Link Building and SEO
While these concerns are understandable and well founded, the fact remains that link building is an essential component of a strong SEO campaign. If you’ve stopped link building through fear of a penalty, then you’re penalizing yourself anyway.
Businesses and webmasters who find themselves in this situation need to find a middle ground; we already know the problem with building links too quickly, but they need to go about it without their link building grinding to a halt.
Problems with Limiting Links
While you can resolve to only build links yourself a few times a week, the big issue is that it’s impossible to prevent links generating from elsewhere. What do you do if you find yourself in a situation where, having said you only want to build 20 links a week, you put an amazing piece of content on your own blog and it is quickly shared across various social networks and has dozens of links quickly pointing at it?
What we’re saying is that if you’re really concerned about the quality of links you’re getting, focus on your own site first and produce quality content that people want to link to. Yes, you’ll get some bad links thrown in there, but if they’re potentially damaging you can always disavow them yourself.
If you’re using a local SEO strategy, you also need to think about things like citations. If you’re using Bright Local tools for local SEO and citations, for example, you’re going to want to continue building these links.
How Much Content to Produce
If you’re still wary about link building, you might take the previous scenario and decide that one blog post each month is enough, as it gives you the number of links you want in one fell swoop.
However, you’re then not doing yourself any favors when it comes to SEO. If one piece of quality content can generate you that many links, how many more could you get if you produced one blog each week, or produced a press release to talk about your exciting new blog and resources section?
Your Approach to Link Building
The best approach to take to link building is to produce as much of your own high quality content as possible that will drive your natural links sky high. We’re not saying you should stop other initiatives like guest blogging, but you’ll need to become more aware of what represents a good and a bad linking opportunity.
Never put a lid on your link building, but be aware of how you can earn stronger, more powerful links that will make a huge difference to your overall SEO campaign.
Since the Google Panda update, link building is no longer what it used to be. I believe, as you state here, that content is more important now which is why I have shifted my focus in this direction. Obviously, there are other reasons for building links, apart from SEO. I have found that the best way to get back links which stick and help me is by producing content which others link to.