Like in many large cities in the U.S., businesses are in stiff competition in Springfield, MA. If you want to even have the chance of competing, you’ll need to utilize the Internet, specifically online marketing. People are now dependent on their mobile devices when it comes to searching for local businesses and certain products that they need, making online promotional strategies a must.
When talk of online marketing comes up, you can expect search engine optimization (SEO) to be mentioned. This is important for a reason. A large percentage of people in the U.S. are using search engines to find products or services. No matter what your target demographics are, you better believe they are using the Internet. Therefore, appearing in search results raises your chances of being found by your target market.
This is where SEO comes in, and a big part of it, aside from creating optimized and relevant content, is link building. Google and other major search engines take into account the quality and quantity of links to your site’s pages when ranking them in the results.
Recently, a confusion happened when Google’s Diogo Botelho wrote something that implies it’s bad to ask for links. Search Engine Land reported that Google has already clarified this, saying that asking for links is okay as long as you do it the right way. So what’s the “right way” exactly?
The Right Way to Build Links and What to Avoid
It turns out that the “right way” means that links to your web pages must not violate Google’s Linking Webmaster Guidelines. Otherwise, you’ll be penalized. The big daddy of search engines lists the following as link schemes that can negatively impact your site’s ranking:
- Buying/Selling Links. This is if you paid someone, with money or otherwise, for them to give a PageRank-passing link to your website.
- Too many link exchanges. Cross-linking is considered excessive if it’s done just for the sake of cross-linking, i.e. provides no value for the audience.
- Fabricated links. Creating links to your site using services or automated programs falls under this category.
- Any other unnatural links. A link is considered unnatural if it wasn’t vouched for by the owner of the site or wasn’t placed editorially.
Google has been getting really good at evaluating links and the search engine can now identify natural, organic links from those that aren’t. While studying the linking guidelines is valuable, the whole point is that the links must be “real”—meaning, the links should actually be useful for the user instead of manipulating page rankings. You can consult with SEO experts, like Attract More Clients, to learn how to effectively carry out link building.
Google Clarifies: Asking For Links The Right Way Is OK, Search Engine Land, July 8, 2015
Link Building: No Longer About Manipulation, Search Engine Land, July 7, 2015