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Link Building in the Age of Google Search Plus your World

by Jason Acidre
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This is a guest post by Jason Acidre from Kaiserthesage.

Google Search Plus your World has forever changed the search game. But did it really change the game of links?A lot of practitioners are saying that it’s the end of the traditional methodologies that most of us have been accustomed to, particularly in manipulating (or helping search engines to have better) search results through link building, but I don’t think that it’s permanent.

The value of merit-based links will never die, and that’s for sure, as it’s still the best way to characterize and qualify credible pages over the web. At this stage of search, I believe that any link that generates traffic can and will still yield rankings, attract more natural linkers and grow a brand’s online presence. 

This kind of maturity that we are all seeing from Google is only proving that everyone (from businesses, marketers to users) has to evolve and adapt according to its own progression. So where should your link acquisition campaign focus on:

  • Getting as many highly relevant traffic sources as you can.
  • Focusing on branding (to cultivate branded search and direct traffic).
  • Acquiring links that can get you traffic (click-through visitors).

Link building is not dead. Its role has only shifted to a broader perspective in terms of marketing a website/brand, where rankings will only be a fraction of the objectives of a whole strategy – as very well explained by John Doherty in this post.

Below are some of my ideas on how you can promote your website, develop brand awareness, build your domain authority and improve search visibility all at the same time through link building.

Build Web Content Partnerships

Content contributions and/or collaborating with others to generate content on different mediums, especially on blogs and news websites related to your field of expertise, is one effective way to continuously build a strong brand presence, grow readership and generate constant traffic (well-targeted audience) for your site.

You can target blogs/websites that specialize in a closely-related area of your specialization (ex: SEO and Social Media, interior design and architecture, etc…), and offer your expertise by adding content to their site regularly as a blogger and/or columnist for that particular category (your expertise).

There are many methods that you can use to identify blogs that will qualify for you to be associated with in terms of constant content contributions, by simply basing it through site metrics such as:

  1. The amount of new or unique visitors of the target site per month (you can use Compete.com to retrieve this type of data), because when you’re publishing content regularly to their site, with very visible link placements to your site, you are then able to absorb some of those unique visitors.
  2. The quality of the content that they are providing, as the more they are producing great content, the more that they’ll be able to pass through high value traffic to your website.
  3. Your own Analytics, and by finding domains (blogs/websites) that are already linking to you and sending high percentage of new visitors with low bounce rates. This can help you improve how you base your link qualifications/acquisitions through the most common link positions and the contexts of your existing links that have high click-through rate. You can also choose to make these blogs as your next content partners (you’ll have higher approval rate since they are already linking to you).

Know who’s linking to you, and re-optimize the value of your link partnership by suggesting a linkable asset or launching a link bait on their site. If this page/approach succeeds, it can definitely boost the value of the link that you’ll be acquiring, the chances of getting constant traffic and in having your brand more exposed.

Example: Becoming a columnist on Technorati or a regular contributor on small/medium sized, but niche-targeted blogs, and then submit your content once or twice a month.

Build an Authoritative Brand in Communities

Become known in your industry by actively participating and genuinely contributing on high-traffic communities such as blogs and forums. Sharing your thoughts and giving useful ideas to your community will more likely make people interested in your business and would want to be a part of your network.

Being more visible and engaging through these channels resembles a trustworthy brand, and investing your efforts to build online relationships around your business will definitely help you create a scalable structure for your site’s marketing campaign.

Few tips on building your brand through community discussions:

  1. Capitalize on useful comments and contributions, because they have high CTR.
  2. Be consistent with your gravatar, as it helps with brand retention.
  3. Share the content that you’ve commented on through social networks to help the page get indexed, and also to help promote the page/post, which can develop your relationship with the author.
  4. Build great, relevant and socially engaging content on your site/blog, so that when people start checking out your site it will be much easier to get them to share or link to your content. It also demonstrates your expertise, which will make you more authoritative in your industry.

Content Marketing 

Keep on generating great content internally and externally, because it’s simply the best marketing tool at this stage of search, social and inbound marketing. Educating your target audience through content and diversifying the reach of your content/cause through different platforms can induce greater results particularly in:

  • Making your brand more recognized in your industry.
  • Generating branded search and citations.
  • Getting more referred traffic/visitors to your website.
  • Assimilating competitive industry keywords through the volume of branded links.
  • Getting more social network followers (especially on Google+).

Here are some of the most popular methods that you can use in making your content marketing campaign more productive:

  • Creating comprehensive blog posts based on extensive research.
  • Submitting guest posts on relevant and high-traffic blogs.
  • Launching rich-media content such as infographics, slide presentations and videos.
  • Offering free whitepapers or Ebooks.
  • Curating and crowdsourcing content.
  • Sharing useful content on different social platforms that you are actively using.
  • Organizing events such as awards, contests and/or live Q&A’s.
  • Creating compelling images and promoting them through Pinterest, Flickr, Stumbleupon and other image hosting/bookmarking sites.
  • Heavily promoting the content that you’re launching through email outreach and social media.

Getting +1s and shares on Google+

Plus ones and shares on Google+ could be a big part of the future of great links, and preparing your marketing strategy towards this approach is just necessary, knowing that it can possibly give more impact on search rankings this year.

Here are some methods that you can implement to improve your content’s social traction on Google+:

  1. Make the Google +1 button more visible on your site, like placing it on your content’s call to action or above the fold.
  2. Use this linker outreach method to pursue natural linkers in your industry. Then let them know how you’ve found them, as they are more likely to share your content on sites where you have found them.
  3. Build your authority on Google+, by increasing the number of people adding you in their circles as well as the mentions to your Google+ page/profile and also by continuously sharing useful content to improve the numbers of re-shares and +1s within Google+.

Build links to your Google+ Page 

Whether you build links through the content you distribute externally or the conversations you build from communities, when you’re building links to your Google+ page, you are leading people to a webpage where they are cornered to take a single action – to add you in their circles.

You can build links to your Google+ from your author profile when sending out guest blogs, establishing connections through blog comments, your forum signature and from promoting it directly through your website and other social networking sites where you already have a following base.

If you liked this post, you can add me on Google+.

This post was written by...

Jason Acidre – who has written 1 posts on Point Blank SEO.

Jason Acidre+ is a marketing consultant for Affilorama, the world’s largest affiliate marketing portal. He also blogs at Kaiserthesage and you can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre.

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14 Comments
  1. Neil says:

    All good points Jason. And actually quite relevant today for me – as I was just celebrating moving up the rankings (and finally seeing a trickle of traffic through my link building efforts) one of my better content pages was linked to on Reddit and has sent a complete flood of traffic through instead. Just goes to show that without content your marketing is worthless, and with good content you can conquer the internet (albeit slowly in my case).

    • Jason Acidre says:

      Congrats on that recent success Neil! :) Content is always the foundation of any campaign, as it’s the only reason why people will share, link and follow your brand. As long as you’re good at this area of marketing, it will be much easier to promote your brand.

  2. Mike Gracen says:

    A well written article (as usual Jason). While I am not completely sold on the longevity of G+ and it’s role in building authority, I will certainly keep this article handy for future reference.

    • Jason Acidre says:

      Thanks for dropping by Mike. I do also feel that G+ being integrated with search results is still unstable, as a lot of changes will still be implemented for sure (given that they are giving not-so relevant results on some queries). But of course, preparing and adapting to these changes is our job.

  3. Robert Antwi says:

    Exceptional Jason,

    To add to your website partnerships, “Google Ad Planner”; also allows people to see related sites, plus traffic (although its not exact and some people do with hold when setting up there GA) – the added benefit is the category of other sites a sites traffic comes from.

    Also adding more people to your Google +, or should i say inspiring them, you can find relevant people via here:

    http://findpeopleonplus.com/directory

    You can also submit to that directory and have people connect with you via that way.

    Great Post Jason

    • Jason Acidre says:

      Hey Robert!

      Those were some awesome suggestions! Thanks! You should write about those tips man, and hit me up once it goes live, would definitely love to see your thoughts on it :) – I know you have lots of secrets that many would love to get a hold of.

  4. Andre Morris says:

    Certainly the promotion of Google+ *everywhere* is necessary due to the the primary reasons stated above. It’s a beautiful thing to get a head start for those of us who came late to Facebook but have been in the G+ game since the beginning.

  5. Czar Castro says:

    Hi Jason. Coming from a professional SEO company, I agree that “the value of merit-based links will never die”. This means that if you give or create quality content,a lot of people will appreciate that. For me the value of creating content should be treated as scholarly as possible. Regarding building web content partnership, I think this is the key to help you for this Google Search Plus your World. Good article as always. Cheers

    • Jason Acidre says:

      Thanks Czar, and really glad that you liked the post :)

      Most solid strategies always rely on a strong foundation, which most of the time – in our case – is the power of the content. Focusing and aiming to really be good at providing great content can bullet-proof your campaign from any algorithmic update, because whatever search engines do, people will always know content that is worth sharing, spending time reading (usage data) and linking to.

  6. Hi Jason. Another great and useful post about the latest SEO and social media related changes on Google and Google+.

    As you said in your post about Building Authority and Influence in Google+
    “Optimizing your content by including the rel=”author” tag and reciprocating it with your Google+ profile has been one of the most efficient ways in increasing your posts/pages’ SERP click-through rate, as it’s perceived as a more trustworthy and credible content when displayed on search results.”

    Linking to your Google+ page from your blog comments is one of the easiest things you can do it for your Google+ activity and building authority process.

    Link Building is not dead, it’s just a little different. For example, if I can to choose, I will be glad to see my, or my client page, on the social part of the SERP, rather than be somewhere on the 1st page, 5th place or 6th.

  7. Jonny says:

    Really Helpful information. I’ll definitely share this with others..

  8. Good info thanks for sharing with us.Nice information, valuable and excellent, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need, thanks for all the enthusiasm to offer such helpful information here…

  9. Justin Mazza says:

    Good stuff here Jason. I am starting to wonder if G+ will become more valuable than FaceBook or Twitter?

    I have been finding myself on Google+ more lately than the other social sharing sites. I took down my FaceBook fanpage widget on my blog and added a Google+ page widget.

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