Search engine optimization is an easy process to understand in general, but knowing all of the specifics is a lot more difficult. A big part of this is the speed with which this discipline evolves. Despite how rapidly techniques are developed and abandoned, there are certain core principles that have remained constant.
Offering quality content to your visitors remains important, as does building strong links with trusted high-authority sites. What’s different now is that Google is a lot less tolerant of optimization shortcuts. That means that if you listened to “experts” who said you could get ahead by buying links, spinning content, and taking other steps into the ethical gray areas of SEO, you might be in trouble.
In 2016, it’s still important to build quality links. It doesn’t just improve your site’s search engine ranking, it also builds authority. Here’s what you need to know about link-building today.
The Latest From Penguin
When Google introduced the Penguin update, link spammers were in for a bad time as their tactics were cracked down on. Now the same criteria used to find bad and dead links is going live. What does that mean? There’s no more room in the SEO game for shortcuts to backlinks! You need to play by the rules established by the search engines and go after your links in a natural, reasonable way.
Quality Always Comes First
Google has finally started to figure out that the mere presence of links on your page means nothing with regards to its utility to people who visit. The search engine has gotten a lot smarter about judging whether or not visitors are actually going to want to use the links you provide.
When it comes to backlinks, the best way you can attract them is by generating content that’s going to be definitely useful for your visitors.
Whether it’s implicit or implied, there’s a question lurking in the mind of every person that follows a link. If that link brings them to your page and their question ends up answered, your odds of getting shared just went way, way up. Start gearing your content towards this goal. Answer specific questions so that you can increase your odds of helping individual visitors.
To get your hands on lots of juicy high-authority links, don’t be afraid to engage with sites and individuals that have a strong positive reputation in your niche. Carrying information from these trusted sources will rapidly improve your own site’s authority.
Use Your Analytics
You should have the analytic tools in place to see where traffic is coming into your site. Google’s certainly looking at this information; you should be as well.
You can throw in helpful outbound links wherever they enhance your visitor’s experience. Strangely, a lot of professional marketers overlook the importance of providing this kind of supplemental linkage even though Google is very vocally in favor of it.
Link building is one part of the SEO game that’s always changing. If it’s not a real-time implementation of the Penguin update, it’s going to be some other factor shaking things up. As long as you stick to ethical link-building tactics, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.