Link Building Strategies – Without Link Networks

Google’s mass de-indexing of blogs within networks used for paid links shook the SEO world to its core during April 2012.. Sites which offered high PR contextual backlinks for a monthly fee had their power taken away overnigh.

Is Google right to do this? Are website owners right to pay for links? I don’t care! If you want futile moral pontification you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m interested in what happens now…

Several internet marketing “gurus” advocated link networks (some of which had a pretty good affiliate scheme going) as a part of a wider link building strategy. Some internet marketing “gooroos” actually advocated link networks and nothing else, we haven’t heard much from them recently!

So how does this change our wider link building and SEO strategy? they use PRIVATE BLOG NETWORK (pbn)

Pat Flynn, the cherubic-faced ex-architect that gets better results than hard-nosed SEOers wrote recently about what happened and what now. Pat concluded that his diversified link strategy still works without the link networks.

As you can see above in Pat’s revised link building strategy, he uses a first tier of Web 2.0 sites, top article directories and new blogs, backed up by a second tier of mass article submissions and social bookmarking.

Pat goes on to recommend blog commenting, guest posting, forum profiles, relationship nurturing and social media to broaden the type of the incoming links.

The key word here is diversification. If you had link networks as part of a diverse link building strategy then you will be less affected by the recent changes. You may even be doing better as maybe your competitors relied on link networks alone!

AdSense Flippers Justin Cooke and Joe Magnotti offer some great advice as always – they suggest a way forward in their revised SEO and link building strategy but stress that this hasn’t been tested thoroughly. This is a follow-on from their original link building strategy.

The guys are going to be experimenting with article submission sites going forward.

They are also going to be less “unnatural” with their anchor text. This is because of a separate development where Matt Cutts recently announced that Google will penalize “over-optimization”which may mean too many links coming in with the exact same anchor text. So less anchor text with “buy cheap flowers” for a florist website and more anchor text with “click here” and the website domain. Again, variety and diversity is key.

Others Spencer Haws from Niche Pursuits concludes in his article that private blog networks aren’t dead but some of them are in a serious condition in intensive care. He will be urging diversity in link building although he will still be using blog networks but less so.

Joseph Archibald from Life and Times of an Internet Marketer is taking a longer term view of his SEO business, concluding that fast and furious rankings don’t seem to work in Google any longer. So slowly, slowly, catchee, monkey, think long term and build more authoritative niche (if that isn’t an oxymoron!) sites.

Michelle MacPhearson has an interesting interview with two link networks where they say, amongst other things, that the de-indexing of blog networks is nothing new.

Trent Dyrsmid believes that with every change comes an opportunity, suggesting that competitors that lazily only used link networks will fall away and that other linking methods will become available.

Ralph Kooi of Niche Websites advocates a solid strategy of social media, article submission, guest posting, Web 2.0, document sharing, press releases, etc. Ralph has also mentioned Triberr and SEOclerks (an SEO Fiverr, only more expensive) to help you out.

Important lessons to learn from last week (and many weeks before!): diversify and vary. Add unique and useful content to your sites regularly. Keep the inbound links varied in terms of type and anchor text. Sit back and take a longer term view!

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