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Link Building 2014

Contrary to what many people think, link building is far from over. We can, however, say ‘rest in peace’ to link scheming. To better clarify these two terms, many people like to refer to the correct, natural, form of link building as link ‘earning.’ It doesn’t matter how hard you try to convince yourself that your site no longer needs backlinks. Link earning is still the very best way to gain visibility in the SERPs.

Before this year passes by and you realize everything you did for SEO was ‘so last year,’ take a look at these helpful articles from some of the most reputable blogs in the industry. Your strategy just might do a 180.

Is Buying and Building Backlinks Really Dead?

Another wishful thought that can be detrimental to your digital marketing health, is the thought that because you don’t have to ‘buy’ links anymore, you can decrease your SEO or digital marketing budget. Earning quality, natural links, is just as expensive, if not more so than the link building strategies of days gone by.

In this Q and A, Rand Fishkin answers this question with valuable accompanying advice. He discusses the fact that SEO is now more challenging, time consuming, and less ‘fire-and-forget’. Building or buying a link, then moving on and forgetting about it, does not make your brand more respectable. This is exactly what Google is trying to avoid. They want links that show you’ve worked on building a relationship, worked to better your site, and worked to increase brand awareness. In most cases the more difficult it is to earn a link, the more valuable and long-term sustainable it is.

31 Link Building Tactics Discovered From Competitive Analysis

Now that you know link building is still a crucial part of your SEO strategy, how do you go about integrating this quality, natural, challenging, link earning? Kalia Strong has outlined 31 different relevant tactics gained from a simple competitive analysis. With so many different ways to conduct a competitive analysis, everyone’s results vary. However, it doesn’t matter what your results look like, the way you interpret them and act on them should essentially be the same. From contests to sponsorship, this list of 31 tactics is bound to have something relatable to you and your site.

Link Building the Right Way in 2014

In this article, Chuck Price at searchenginewatch.com talks about how the new page rank is relevance and helps us narrow in on a few safe and beneficial link earning tactics. He also clarifies the fine line mentioned in Rand Fishkin’s Q & A answer, between link scheming and link building.

A few of the techniques Chuck calls out as link scheming include:

  • Buying or selling links that pass PageRank
  • Using automated programs or services to create links to your site
  • Large-scale article marketing or guest posting using keyword-rich anchor text
  • Creating & Distributing Press releases with optimized anchor text

A couple of the link earning techniques Chuck labels as safe and effective include:

  • Focus external link building efforts on the acquisition of editorially given links. These are links requiring human intervention and approval.
  • Quality trumps quantity. A few links from high trust/authority websites will have more impact than hundreds of links from “Made for Guest Posting” blogs.

There is no easy way out, or is there? Depending on how you view it, this new SEO world algorithm crediting everything that’s relevant, natural, and consumer-friendly can be seen as much less complicated. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to build links, 2014 is not your year.