11 Mar Page 1 Ranking Through Backlinks
Getting to page 1, the big show, the all important first page ranking is what all businesses contemplate and plan for. However, attaining such a goal can be allusive at best and down right discouraging at worst. This quagmire is only complicated by the fact that advice is freely found on every corner with only a portion being worthy of consideration.
“Our experts claim….” or “The studies find that…”, in the end it all comes down to who can you trust for factual and valid information.
Begin At The Source
When considering how best to rank in this extremely competitive and volatile online world, it is often best to look to those who are acknowledged authorities. While Google may not be the only search engine option available, there is no question they are indeed the most influential. So, when forming a strategy for developing backlinks, the holy grail of SEO acquisitions, it is critical to remember who it is that sets the rules.
No matter where you look, you will find those trying to circumvent the organic nature of backlink building. It’s true that in years gone by, such “Blackhat” techniques would yield some benefits. However, as search algorithm technology improves it is much harder to circumvent the approved backlink building methods.
Avoid The Backlink Minefields
The online marketing environment has become extremely competitive. almost anyone who can install a wordpress CMS or log into a social media account suddenly feels qualified to strike out on their own and begin offering services to the business community. Don’t get me wrong. I feel competition is definitely a good thing. However, as a market or industry becomes more and more saturated with businesses, invariably the darker side begins to rear its evil head. So it is with SEO techniques.
Suffice it to say there is no substitute for the tried and true time tested method of link building. That is through creation of content that is truly worth linking to. Unfortunately, not everyone can create such content. So, as you work to build your companies online presence, it is helpful to be aware of some of the less than acceptable forms of link building that might just land your website in Google hot water.
Backlinks For Hire
To the beginning SEO developer or even the do-it-yourself professional, purchasing backlinks to help boost your site’s rankings may seem like a no brainer. Purchasing backlinks? Whatever do you mean? Let me explain with an example.
John Q Business wants to propel his company onto the first page of his industry’s search pages. He has tried the conventional methods with little to no success. He just doesn’t have the domain authority to kick the big boys off the throne. In desperation, he decides to invest some money in a what he has been told is a “sure thing”.
Enter Rank em Right Agency. John has come to the R.E.R. agency because he believes they can help with his problem. They explain how they have spent years building the perfect network of companies that can link to his website, for a price. They indicate that they have purchased literally hundreds of domain names and have spent the past few years building seudo companies on each one.
Each domain has hundreds of pages with loads of content and domain authority. Their continued conversation goes something like this,
“So you see, John”, begins the crafty salesman. “We have created the perfect network of backlinking sites to propel you to the first page in as little as two months.”
“Wow”, John exclaims. “You mean you can provide all those backlinks overnight? ”
“That’s right” nods the smug marketer. “And it will only cost this much.”
The salesman continues to lay out the plan, which typically includes a healthy startup fee and a continual monthly fee to keep the backlinks active and alive.
It all seems like a great investment until you do a bit of research.
Whomever Has The Gold, Makes The Rules
Whomever Has The Gold, Makes The Rules. It’s an indisputable truth, and applies to online marketing and search rankings as well. In this case, the “whom” is Google and they have made the rules very clear. You may love or hate them, but you cannot dispute their authority. They are fair in that they are completely transparent as to the rules of their game. Simply navigate to the webmaster tools site and read them for yourself. (Reference “Link Schemes” via Google)
It is from that very article that I have taken the following text. The very first tenant of their backlink rules and procedures states:
The following are examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results:
- Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
- Using automated programs or services to create links to your site
“Oh” you say, “But who’s going to know? I mean, it’s not like Google is out there monitoring where all my backlinks come from… Are you sure? Let me just say that such an attitude is negligent and akin to playing with fire and also not altogether accurate. While it is true that many companies fly under Google’s radar, with respect to this particular link building violation, the risks are still formidable.
The problem is in using these types of link building strategies, you are leaving your company and your website vulnerable to possible punitive measures by Google. All it takes is one disgruntled customer to do a bit of research and report your backlink strategy to Google and Voila, you have a Google sanction or worse, find your website on Google’s black list. Not a desirable place to be, I think you would agree.
There are many ways you can be found guilty of artificially manipulating backlinks for the purpose of page rankings. For example:
- You Scratch My Back Technique – You see it all the time. Two companies agreeing to share backlinks on condition of the other reciprocating. Seems innocent enough, but Google has declared such link building to violate their link building as outlined in the Webmaster Guidelines.
- Forum Links in Comments – It seems smart right? Just go to a popular forum and comment on every post with your URL in the comment. Ex: “Wow, great information. http://xyz.com“. Not that great, don’t do it.
These are just a few more examples of Link Schemes, which are prohibited by Google.
How Will I Ever Get Quality Backlinks Then?
That is an excellent question. The answer is, roll up your sleeves and get busy creating content that is worthy backlinks. It is helpful to examine your motivation for the content you are creating. Ask yourself,
- Is this content primarily meant to sell my product or services?
- Have I included valuable content that will educate and inform?
- Does my content completely cover the topic and provide unbiased information?
If the answer to those questions is yes, then you probably are on the right path to link building.
If You Write Well, They Will Come
There is an old adage… well maybe not so old, as I just thought of it, anyway… An adage that says, “If You Write Well, They Will Come”. Okay, maybe not so sage like of wisdom but the fact remains; people are attracted to content that is educational, entertaining and innovative. So the moral of this tale is this; If you want to generate tons of backlinks, there is no easy shortcut. It takes hard work and creativity, not tricks and gimmicks. You can take that to the bank.
Developing “Linkable” Content
Start Blogging Folks!
There is nothing that google loves more than value laden content that will offer value to their users. A well crafted blog will offer monthly articles, incites, how to tips and tricks, etc… The key is to have something worth saying, not the easiest of tasks. It might take a bit of stretching and even stepping out of your comfort zone, but it’s worth the effort. Here are some ideas for quality blog topics.
- “How To” articles explaining simple things folks can do on their own.
- History and backstory on how your industry began, what makes your products unique, and even how they are produced.
- Relevant comment on current issues in your industry. Don’t be afraid to state your mind, just be sure to back up your statements with credible sources and facts.
- Fun facts and quicky details that are unique to your industry.
Take A Second Look
When is the last time you took a hard look at the actual content on your website? In creating unique sites for my clients, I always try to look at the website as not just a sales tool, but also as an educational one. The best way to sale your product is to answer every possible question the client may have and show them true value.
Include helpful stories of how your customers find value in your products. I’m not talking about cheesy testimonials, everyone hates those. I’m talking about real life case studies where your product has made a difference. Be honest, be genuine.
The Bottom Line
The take away here is that while backlinks are an absolute necessity for pagerank, You can not lose site of ethics and the proper procedures for procuring those links. If you work hard on your website content, the results will pay off big dividends. If you would like more information on ways to attract quality backlinks, we offer free consultations via phone or in person. We can help you craft eye catching content that will boost your company to the forefront of the competition. Simply give us a call at (801) 869-0149 or visit our website at: RLJ Online Marketing