SEO is becoming challenging day by day.
Google is continuously launching updates one after other just to filter low quality content and reward quality bloggers. Recently Google released Panda 4.0 update which was another update to make this SEO environment more user-friendly.
People (even me) are struggling hard to rank their content high in search engines and get more rewards by serving it to right audience.
I asked some of the best SEO experts in the industry for their link building strategies. I appreciate their efforts and time to share their SEO tips with everyone.
When you will complete reading this article I would love to read your comments… further I would love to see you sharing these awesome SEO tips with your fellow bloggers so that they can also make their blogs more SEO friendly.
I asked just two questions:
Ques 1. What are the best link building strategies after Penguin/Panda updates?
Ques 2. Please share your 2 favorite link building tools.
So let’s hear what these experts are saying:
1. Neil Patel
Ans 1. The best link building methods post Panda and Penguin is content marketing. By writing killer content that helps educate people, you’ll naturally gain backlinks over time. You just have to make sure the content you are writing is evergreen, in which it is still useful a few years from now.
Ans 2. As for tools, I don’t think tools should be used to build links other than backlink checkers such as Ahrefs or Open Site Explorer. Using a tool that builds your links can quickly cause a penalty.
Ans 1. I don’t pay much attention to Google updates anymore as I don’t build ‘forced’ backlinks or put too much effort into SEO (next to no keyword research and just basic on page SEO) for NicheHacks.com I focus solely on getting natural links through content marketing. I create top quality content that people want to link to and share naturally then I make sure they know about it through manual outreach (twitter & email). I also link out and feature others in my niche regularly and try and network where possible. Most of my efforts go into driving traffic from non SEO traffic.
Ans 2. I don’t have any. Haven’t used any for a long time.
Ans 1. It really depends on what you are looking to achieve but if you want to rank quickly and make money you really cannot beat this strategy which is giving the latest updates a run for their money!
Ans 2. Again in terms of favourite link building tools it depends on your goals and what you are looking to achieve but I really love GSA Search Engine Ranker for all things blackhat. If you wan’t to take a more steady approach that engages people at the same time you can look at BuzzBundle.
Ans 1. The best strategy is to test like crazyyyyy, the more useful data you have the better. Flashback to gradeschool, grind on some scientific experiment type process, make a hypothesis, run a large enough sample to make a conclusion, rinse and repeat. It’s just an algo, not a human, remember that always.
Ans 2. SEOs are gonna hate but they all use it, GSA search engine ranker. Next Gscraper, little tank.
5. Chris Dyson
Ans 1. You have to create a compelling reason to link to your site. Is your site useful? If it’s not useful, then make content that is useful. Have a look on forums, Quora and blog comments where ever your audience are… find out what their pain points are. Create content that will help resolve those problems, use that content as linkable assets. For example we built the Website Penalty Indicator to help website buyers learn if a site might have a Google Penalty or not.
Ans 2. My two favourite link building tools are:
1. Buzzstream – it makes it easy to keep control of a campaign and collaborate easily with others.
2. URLProfiler – helps to analyse successful content by gathering social share counts and link metrics It also collects contact information for sites too.
6. Ann Smarty
Ans 1. Getting featured in expert interviews is a great way to get cited. The awesome thing about it that you create the powerful co-citation for your brand by being listed among niche experts.
It also creates other powerful signals:
(1) Social (Group interviews are always eagerly shared by all the participants which creates the powerful social media presence for the piece where you are cited
(2) Being listed in the group interview adds trust signals as well because when readers see you among subject-matter expert automatically assume you are the authority. There are networking opportunities too because you get to know more voices in your industry and get a chance to connect to them (and develop that relationship further).
7. Zac Johnson
Ans 1. The search engines are always changing and new algorithms are going into affect all the time. It’s actually becoming more of a pain and hassle to try and keep up than anything else. For this reason I focus on building my brand and exposure versus trying to rank for specific keywords and terms. In short… be everywhere — and this can be anything from guest writing, podcasting, doing interviews and everything in between. People will find you with or without the search engines.
Ans 2. This goes back to my previous answer… it’s all about creating quality and engaging content that doesn’t have to rank in the search results. Writing a killer tutorial, guide or content piece on another blog can get you a lot more exposure than some low end keywords. Focus on GREAT content that will bring you traffic for months and years to come, not just for days or weeks.
8. Paul Shapiro
Ans 1. It’s now confirmed that disavowing links isn’t the only way to recover from a Penguin penalty. Building high-quality links can also help. So, build some killer content. Good quality content isn’t going to be vulnerable to Panda, and will help attract links to dig yourself out of a Penguin based hole.
Of course, we all know the SEO world isn’t just build content and they will come, you need put time and effort into promotion (or link building). For that, I’m a big fan of the skyscraper technique and this tactic.
- LinksSpy – Input your website and a list of competitor website and it will tell you backlinks that your competitor has and where there is overlap. The basic idea is that if 5 of your competitors all have a backlink from a website and you don’t, it should be easy enough to get. LinkSpy even helps with the outreach process. It’s awesome.
- WhereDoI.link – “Where Do I Link?” is great for qualifying prospects. Put in a domain name and see the types of websites that the domain links out to. If you’re an e-commerce site and your prospect is only linking out to academic journals, than the likelihood of scoring a link with them probably isn’t good.
9. Samuel Scott
Ans 1: As I explain in this essay on my website, the best and greatest numbers of links come as results of just doing good marketing and public relations to get news coverage and publicity. These links are 100% natural and will never put you at risk of a Penguin penalty because Google wants websites to earn links rather than build them. In the end, Google wants to show quality, relevant brands in search results — not merely the websites that have the best keyword use or most links.
Don’t think about how to get links. Think about how to do good marketing and public relations. Then, the best links will come as just natural by-products. For more information, I’d gladly refer people to two essays that I published on Moz here and here.
Ans 2: I don’t use “linkbuilding tools” per see — I use PR software to do public relations and publicity that results in links. Two tools I use are Cision and Buzzstream.
10. David Leonhardt
Ans 1: No contest, round-up posts. I am not one who typically does round-ups, although I have participated in dozens of them. I tend to write most of my posts in the last minute, riding a wave of inspiration, whereas round-up posts take methodical planning.
However, late in 2014 I published a round-up post at http://thgmwriters.com/blog/four-writers-habits-awesome/ . It’s not even one of those “44 Experts” types of posts. I just asked for some input from four people I knew and respected. It would appear those people valued the post, because according to Google Webmaster Tools, it is my second most linked-to page. Only the home page has more.
I should point out that I did not decide to write an expert round-up post for the links. My reasons for going that route were for the fresh perspectives and the added help in social media that would also probably follow. Links and traffic are just happy additional benefits. And when I do other round-up posts, it will once again be mostly for the perspectives and somewhat for the social media support.
Ans 2: I don’t use tools primarily for link-building. My best links – most of my links, indeed – are the result of being a highly active networker in social media and in private discussion groups. That means that social media tools like Viral Content Buzz and Triberr and Social Buzz Club are really the tools that end up leading to whatever links I get.
When I do have cause to interact with websites unfamiliar to me, I will take a quick glance at http://moonsy.com/domain_authority/ to determine what amount of effort I should make.
11. Casey Markee
Ans 1: Google has made it clear that in a post-Penguin world any form of link building that can be automated is a complete waste of time. Further, Google doesn’t just want links to “appear” natural, they want natural links. These are links that for the link earning SEO seeks to answer four very clear questions:
- Does the link provide value to the user?
- Is the link niche-relevant and worthy of Google consideration?
- Does the link get clicked or send measurable analytics traffic?
- Was the link “given” or “earned” freely?
The BEST link building strategies in light of the above are really “link earning” in nature. Some examples of these types of Google-Friendly link classes or strategies that users should concentrate on could include: public relations link building (building brand and web mentions), scholarship link building (offering and then actually awarding a quality scholarship), local link earning (sponsorships, festivals, chambers, networking, etc.), beneficial link earning (answering interview requests, participating in Q&A’s, etc.), content link building (white papers, link bait, evergreen long form content that fulfills a need, etc.) and many, many others.
Bottom line: Google wants links with an EDITORIAL component. A gatekeeper at one end that says “yes or no” to the link. Do that, and your link is worth its weight in Gold.
Ans 2: Successful link building comes down to one word: outreach. Knowing where to look and how to approach possible link opportunities is an art. One such tool to accomplish this is Buzz Sumo. With Buzz Sumo I can research what content is hot and currently pulling in the most links then research and publish my own similar idea to maximum effect. I can even use the tool to research the BEST influencers by niche, keyword or demographic and then reach out them individually to give my own content a “push.”
Another fantastic link building tool is BuzzStream. BuzzStream works by automating some of the time-sucking aspects of link building. I can take all the content, influencers and metrics I’ve identified via Buzz Sumo and then import them into BuzzSteam. I can then use the software to research contact information on identified influencers, keep track of individual outreach requests, and expand my influencer research by cross-matching my own records with those of BuzzStream. Both tools have my highest recommendation.
Ans 1: In a post-Penguin world the best link building strategy is to write great blog posts, hope for your content to get noticed and to acquire links organically…. JUST. KIDDING!
The very same approach (“build it and they will come”) has become synonymous with “set up for failure” in the startup space – so please don’t do that. You still need to write great content – that part is true. Having great content assets that you can point to, is essential for actively acquiring links.
Link building is too often described as passive – as something that will just “happen” – when in reality it is hard work. If you want links, you have to ask for them, you have to talk to others and convince them that linking to you is in their interest.
Before you can engage with people, you have to find them. This is an important step: You need to find influencers in your industry who will be interested in linking to you, because you’ve got more important things to do than to chase after people who will never link to you. The best way to do that is through competitive analysis – i.e. finding out which websites link to your competitors. Here’s a great article on that topic.
At the very basic level link building is reaching out and building relationships first. You want to get to know someone, understand their struggles and find a way of helping them while placing a link on their website. This can be done by pointing them to a great curated list of resources on your website, by giving them an interview, contributing to their expert roundup (like I do right now) or any number of other ways.
To me this is the best link building strategy – it always was and it always will be.
Link building is frickin’ hard work.
Ans 2: BuzzSumo – a great tool to find content that does well for the keywords you want to target. After you found good content with a few flaws (e.g. outdated or very short articles) that still did well, you’ve got a starting point to improve it.
LinksSpy – helps you find great link opportunities by spying on your competition. Target other companies in your niche and learn where they get links from – then use their laboriously acquired links against them. First you “steal” their content with BuzzSumo and then you promote your improved/”stolen” content to “steal” their links.