Quick article today. SEO is not dead, nor is link building. But you’ve got to be very careful with it. Of course, I advocate trying your best to build a website that can attract natural links. And if it’s such a niche where this is very hard to do, network with other people in the niche and build relationships which can translate into natural links over time. But that doesn’t mean you have to completely throw away manual link building; but if you choose to “linkbuild” you need to be careful about how you do it. Since I know that 99% of you won’t just sit back and wait for links to come to you, it’s important to link build the RIGHT way.
These strategies are strategies many of us have been talking about for years; the difference now is that NOT doing them can get your site penalized far easier now than in the past.
Strategy 1: Vary the hell out of your anchor text links to your sites
This should be quite obvious to you by now, but if you are slamming links with the same anchor text over and over to your site, you are going to end up on the wrong site of the penguin updates. SEO’s often are faced with choosing a keyword they want to rank for or a keyword they don’t want to rank for when selecting the anchor text for a link. It goes without saying that most choose the later. You should really now be ensuring MOST of your anchor text is for keywords you are not directly trying to rank for.
I’ve given a basic breakdown. This is not necessary scientific or anything, but rather a safer rule of thumb to follow when building anchor text. The basic idea is to keep your exact keyword anchors (especially the main keywords you want to rank) well under 50% of the anchor links you get. I’d say between 10-20 percent of the links should have your exact anchor text. The other 20-50 percent of the time, you vary the exact keyword with other words included, as part of a sentance, or just use semantically related keywords instead part of the time). The other 30% – 40% of the links should straight out just be your domain name exactly with or without http:// (vary it) or without the domain extension and some spaces between each word. The rest of the time, use CLICK HERE, HERE, WEBSITE or some bunk word you absolutely don’t want to rank for.
The whole goal here is to simulate natural link anchor text patters. MOST real natural links won’t have your exact anchor text. This is where having an exact keyword domain comes in really handy for natural link building — many of the links (which are usually your domain name or some variation of the keyword in the domain) will contain the exact anchors you want to rank for. More general sites that don’t have the keyword in the domain will find it much harder to rank for that term.
your domain name
(Title of Website)
(related keywords to the main keyword, i.e. “pet clothing” instead of “dog clothing” or “short term loans” instead of “payday loans”)
(main keyword you want to rank for)
(main keyword + extra stuff/sentence)
(h2 title of a page on your site)
Strategy 2: Create Related MiniSites to Support Main Site
The idea here is not to set up a bunch of general (and shitty) mini sites and hastily link them to the main site. That’s asking for trouble. Minisites are highly focused sites that often can rank faster for a specific topic/keyword because they are so focused. Yes, they’ve been slammed the past few updates, but with proper links and good content (both in quality and number of content), mini sites can still rank well. The key now is to develop quality mini sites solely to SUPPORT your main site/es.
The basics of a mini-site network:
- Mini Sites are semantically related to whatever they are linking to — Having a “payday loan mini site” link to a “dog training” site will not be a topically related site and may trigger flags now. A general “pet mini site” or a cat website or a website about animals linking to a dog training site IS a topically relevant link and wont’ trigger flags. I’m not saying every link from unrelated sites will hurt, but too many of them will. It’s best to try and keep everything related now.
- Links (preferably quality ones!) to every mini site – if you set up a mini site network with a bunch of new domains that have no links at all to them, don’t expect to shoot up through the rankings. True, the links will count and make some difference (especially if the whole network is a year or two + in age), but not anything like if the mini sites have links to them. The better quality links your mini sites have, the better your main site will rank.
- Min Sites don’t link to each other — you may be able to get away with some linkage, but for the most part, try and keep all the mini sites distanced from each other.
- You don’t have mini sites (and the money site/s) on Google Webmaster Tools, SAME google adsense ID, or google analytics — This is a dead sure way to let google know these sites are all a network.
- Different C-Class IP’s, unique RDNS, and unique name servers. Basically, proper SEO hosting — there’s a lot of debate about SEO hosting, but I’d say bite the bullet and get it if you plan to set up a network of mini sites to support your money sites. You should make sure your mini sites are all on seperate C class IP’s, RDNS’s and name servers. This is most easily achieved with SEO hosting, though you could just get a ton of cheap hosting services and spread things around in a pinch.
- Privacy WHOIS Enabled on Every MiniSite
Strategy 3: GET LINKS SLOWLY
Don’t build links to fast. There is nothing more suspicious than a website suddenly getting dozens or hundreds of links over a short period of time and you could trigger a penalty. As a rule of thumb, one or two new links every few days. This depends largely on the number of links you already have. If your site has thousands of links, then a handful of links every day won’t hurt. If you have 20 thousand links, then you could probably get dozens of links every day. If you have no links or a couple hundred or less, only a couple links every few days!
Strategy 4: Get Different Types of Links (but mostly links from pages/posts)
You don’t always want links from the same source, unless those sources are self-hosted blogs. If your links are ONLY from comments, directories, web 2.0′s, RSS, or other low quality link fodder, you absolutely want to make sure you are getting OTHER kinds of links, mainly links from real sites. I’ll take a properly anchored link from a self hosted blog / static website any day over a comment link, profile link, RSS links, web directory link. Web 2.0 links (ezine articles, goarticles, and such) are better than the lowest tier links (comment/profile), but not by that much these days (the exception being if the web 2.0 actually has some PR + backlinks to it).