05 Nov 2012

SEO Backlinking vs. Authority Site Building

So what is SEO all about now? One word – Authority! The SEO industry used to have a blueprint to follow, and it’s always been about Google’s algorithm. Back links. Build links with heavy anchor text. Try to get as many as possible. Basically that was it. Not anymore. The game is much more sophisticated as we wind down 2012. Although backlinks are still a big part of the algorithm, they have been drastically diminished in their value. It is all about authority now.

SEO Backlinking vs. Authority Site Building.

Anybody who has a good SEO tool can see this for themselves. Just reverse engineer the top 10 competitors.

This is for the keyword “Mini Split”.

SEO Backlinking

Take note above how 3 of those top ten sites have NO links pointing to their target page, and the rest have just a few? Now take a look at this:

authority site building

This is the #1 guy, arrow pointing above. Notice how not even one of the links uses the anchor text “Mini Split”.

Of course there will always be exceptions – but after researching many different niches these results continue to hold water. Yes, remember this is Google we are dealing with, so it’s not too much a stretch to hypothesize that eventually the majority of their index will start looking this way. Google essentially is telling webmasters to “take a hike”.

If you didn’t read the recent interview with an Ex Google employee, here’s an interesting excerpt from the article:

“Question 5. What are common trends you looked for to determine a spammy link profile?There are a good few elements taken into account here, like how many links are there in total? A very important one; what is the quality of the pages they come in from? Do the pages look “real” or are they just there to host the links? What anchors are used? The commercial vs. non commercial ratio of the anchors. In reality it’s very easy to recognise a blackhat profile, all you have to do is imagine what anchors would have been used if the linking happened completely naturally and compare it with what is going on in reality. Anyone can do it, just think logically and keep in mind which keywords convert to money.

Question 7. What are 3 off site (link building) tactics that you recommend? Off site link building has dramatically changed since the recent updates. Anything that you can do automatically or at scale putts your website at risk. So keep the following in mind; Link building has changed from an almost purely technical process into something that resembles a relationship management campaign. Building a network with owners of sites that are related to yours for example. If your website is about cheese production, reach out to people in the milk industry, like I mentioned before, relevance is the new PR. Second, don’t dismiss directories completely. I have heard people talking about directories being altogether bad and advise people to avoid them. This is not the case, good quality, moderated directories, or niche directories are still worth looking in to. Third, to stay focussed on quality of pages linking in to you, Google judges your link profile by the quality of pages linking to your site, getting 3 links from authentic pages will do much more than 1000 links from splogs, so invest your time into getting quality, not quantity.

So in conclusion, what can we do? Build authority sites with good content. Stop building garbage. Build relevant links. SEO backlinking authority site building should be done together. Make your anchor text profile as natural looking as possible.