After all has been said and done about link building campaigns and the importance of driving inbound links to your company’s website, many small business owners and marketers are still confused by link building. But is it really as hard as they’re making it out to be?
To be sure, there are a lot of things to think about when building links.
- Should I request reciprocal links?
- What makes a link relevant?
- Quantity vs. quality
- What exactly is a quality link anyway?
- Do directory submissions really help?
- Is article marketing still effective?
- Does blogging build good links?
- Link age
- Domain age
- Anchor text
- Title attribute
- Surrounding text
- Are image links effective?
- Forum links vs. blog comments
- Social media profile links
- Is social bookmarking really link building?
- Do press releases build quality links?
I could go on and on. There are hundreds more questions and concerns that could be brought up in the discussion of link building and many of them don’t have any real definitive answers. So I can understand how confusing it can be for someone just getting started.
It is sometimes better to think about link building in terms of the negatives – that is, what you should not do versus what you should.
- You don’t want to place your links on pages with thousands of other links.
- You don’t want links on websites associated with warez, malware or other evil creatures of the Web.
- Stay away from iframe links and nefarious redirects.
- Don’t pay people to link to you.
- Don’t do too much link building too fast (although, as a caveat, it’s fairly difficult for a small business to break this rule as “too much too fast” often means thousands of links in a short time frame such as days or weeks).
- Don’t engage in questionable link building tactics.
If you have any questions or concerns about proper link building techniques, read the search engine guidelines – particularly Google and Bing. If they say it’s OK then it’s OK; if they say it’s not then it isn’t.
Link building isn’t hard, but it isn’t exactly easy either. It is important. If you feel like a fish out of water when you try it then you might want to find someone you trust to help you with building solid links with benefits that last a long time.