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  1. Philip@SearchBenefit.com
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    SEO Link Development in 2013 and Beyond


    This is the addendum / update to this SEOchat's older link development sticky here. The original sticky is dedicated mostly to white hat link development, and the info in it is still mostly good and useful. In this new post, I will address how link development has changed most recently in the wake of Google’s 2012-2013 "Penguin" (and other related) updates. [Note: Most of this mainly concerns Google, not the other search engines, so I am posting this in the Google forum. If you quote from this post, please refer to the source: http://forums.seochat.com/google-opt...nd-470186.html.]

    What Has Changed in Link Development for Google
    In summary, the updates have had these technical consequences for offsite link development that targets Google:
    1. Cheap black-hat link-building on blogs farms generally does not work the way it used to.
    2. Do not try to manipulate Google rankings with keywords in your links (anchor text). Often, such attempts will cause your site NOT to rank for the given keyword.
    3. Do now build links to your home page much at all.
    4. Do not build links to your commercial pages much at all.
    5. It is widely speculated that the relevance of the linking page / site has come to play a greater importance.
    6. Naive / cheap / old-school manipulative link-building can get your site penalized by Google.

    How To Do It Now
    So how do we do link development in 2013 and beyond? We want to rank for our main keywords! Can links still help? Sure, here is how.
    1. Strive to get natural links. For example, asking for links is natural and legitimate. You can ask your friends and colleagues, there is nothing wrong with it. (However, do not practice link exchanges.) At a more advanced level, gain links via vigorous content marketing, which is the "scientific" way to gain natural links today (see this sticky about it: Content Marketing Fundamentals As I See Them).
    2. Forget about keywords in offsite links. Instead, get links for referral traffic, brand value, and link juice.
    3. Instead of your home page, link to the most relevant internal pages.
    4. Instead of your sales pages, most links should go to (A) your free information and free resource pages: blogs, white papers, forums, news, events, free downloads, etc., and (B) to your corporate information pages: About Us, Management, Team and so on.
    5. It doesn’t matter so much via what pages fresh link juice is flowing into your site. On your site, organize the flow of link juice from the noncommercial sections of your site into your most important sales pages (which have the right money keywords deployed in the title tags and elsewhere).

    Link Building Survey
    2013 survey on link building (Moz) -- the current state of the link industry.

    The Guest Posting Debate
    Lately there has been much discussion among SEOs about guest-posting. Does it still work as a good source of links, or has Google devalued links from guest posts? If done right, it still works great, folks. Google's Matt Cutts clarifies some details in these videos:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGieiNe6RL4 (most recent)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMxC3wQZOyc

    Fresh Link Bait Ideas
    Link bait is content that is so useful and unique that it attracts natural links. Much SEO thinking has gone lately into coming up with innovative ways of making link baits.

    This Moz post is great on tactics: 12 Scalable Link-Building Tactics - Moz.

    This Search Engine Journal post has fine tips regarding link-bait approaches and strategy:
    3 Core Link Baiting Strategies for 2013 | Search Engine Journal

    Also see:
    How To Get Links By Writing About Other People

    How I Do Link Baiting on @kaiserthesage - Kaiserthesage

    An Additional Note
    Bing / Yahoo apparently remain more amenable than Google to manipulation by the cheaper kinds of link building. But the thing to notice is that those who invested in white-hat development (great content, link-bait and its marketing) instead of black-hat development (paid networked links) prior 2012-13 have ended up keeping their gains after the Google updates. Bing / Yahoo may eventually catch up too.

    Got more relevant insights or resources? Share them below!

    Comments on this post

    • DarrenHaye agrees
    • gurvinderpal agrees : A must Read !!
    • BuyGifts.com agrees : Glad you're keeping it current, thanks! BTW, #3 at the top should be "not" instead of "now".
    Last edited by PhilipSEO; Oct 21st, 2013 at 12:44 AM.
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    Another interesting method (one I've never tried personally but worth a mention) is "broken link building" - you can find a good post on it at moz The Broken Link Building Bible - Moz

    I don't think much of Guest Blogging generally because most people aren't able to create content worthy of going on an authoritative site, so who will accept their poor content? low quality sites = low quality links.

    I also think it's worth pointing out that we're talking about long term sustainable rankings, you can still spam a site to high rankings, just don't expect it to stay there for very long.

    Comments on this post

    • PhilipSEO agrees : thanks for this!
    I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill
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    Great post Phillip,

    Very comprehensive and condensed at the same time - hard to do!

    I think one of the most salient points is shying away from backlinks pointing directly to your homepage and/or commercial pages. Getting links to the Resources/About Us sections of the site is going to be the more "natural" signal in 2013 and beyond, which makes a well-planned internal linking strategy even more important to distribute that link equity to the the revenue generating pages on the site.

    Comments on this post

    • PhilipSEO agrees : yup!
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    I think in general that this is a great, very useful post, but one thing it a bit unclear. Do you mean "Do now [i.e. now is a good time to] build links to your homepage" or did you meant "do not," as one of the replies above understood, and as seems suggested by your context?
    If you mean do not build links to your homepage, I have to strongly disagree. This is one of the most natural ways to get links, and even though it won't usually convert as well as a landing page, this is still excellent. The message above about these links being a bad idea is off the mark imho.

    Comments on this post

    • davidtrounce agrees
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    And after you've read the whole article above, remember two things about Google:

    1. About the time you've figured out how to please them, they will change all the rules again.
    2. Despite popular opinion, there is a lot more going than SEO. Your best bet is to diversify and spread out.
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    I love the list and hopefully this can be updated frequently. If you will analyze the things mentioned above, you will notice that the techniques all involve quality content and linkbuilding. It is like the new SEO is more on targeting/ranking for 'humans' and not for search engines. Quality is always a priority. Thanks again.
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    In earlier days SEO was upto the keyword research, a solid onpage SEO and with few of the link building strategy. But from the year 2013 the SEO has grown up and evolve in doing the new process and strategy for the link building process. The new strategies are like quality of the links have more importance, increasing the importance of social media, do the appropriate keyword research to succeed in the SEO, create the awesome content quality, share your contents in the social media site like Facebook and Twitter.
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    try to target on high pr sites and write whats related to the post.it will surely help you and at last try to fix the broken links.
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    This link is very helpful for the link development-
    clickz.com/clickz/column/2138806/link-development-the-key-successful-seo
  18. #10
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    I think in common that this is a fantastic, very useful publish, but one factor it a bit uncertain. Do you mean "Do now [i.e. now is a fun time to] develop hyperlinks to your homepage" or did you intended "do not," as one of the responses above recognized, and as seems recommended by your context?
    If you mean do not develop hyperlinks to your home-page, I have to highly don't agree. This is one of the most organic methods to get hyperlinks, and even though it won't usually turn as well as a website, this is still outstanding. The concept above about these hyperlinks being a bad concept is off the indicate imho.

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