Backlinks are a subject I try to stay away from because my understanding and success in SEO has come about without their help. A long time ago, I wrote an article giving a basic overview of them and why in most cases, spending too much time trying to build them was a mistake and while I did give some basic pointers on which type people should be creating, I never went into too many details on it.
Today that is different. I will show you how to build the type of GOOD backlinks (BL) that will carry SEO benefits and only work to help your site get better rankings in Google, while at the same time not having to worry about Google turning around one day and penalizing you for doing it, a situation I am far too familiar with.
Now I want to make a few points about this subject and my history with it…
1) I used to believe in BL when they first came out and I did have multiple sites, for which I paid $100’s of dollars for to get people from certain networks to build them for me.
In the process, I was able to see amazing rankings, well into the first page within a week, for competitive keywords that I would “never” rank for had I not used those BL in the first place.
Seeing such quick results felt like magic and to anyone doing SEO, those type of quick results, and shortly after, lots and lots of traffic seemed like a wonderful dream.
2) My “luck” with BL made a complete 180 turn when Google released a new update (It was either penguin or panda, I can’t remember, but it destroyed everything and here is the story).
Overnight the same websites which through the BL originally ranked well, sank. and I mean they really sank. Suddenly all that money I had paid was for nothing. I had no traffic, no real rankings and no more money coming in. My business was destroyed and so was anyone else’s who engaged in the same methods I did at the time.
Millions of websites were hit. Any website which managed to escape Google’s eye was eventually exposed and punished through future updates.
3) Fortunately, I had opposing opinions at the time from mentors I was consulting with at Wealthy Affiliate who never did believe in the “bandwagon” that was BL and did forewarn me about how I was playing a dangerous game of SEO and when things went bad, I ran to them for advice.
4) They suggested I start over and while that was not something I was not ready to accept, in the end, I did indeed take their advice, started over and completely forgot about BL and it was the right decision.
5) The most important part of this story…
What they told me to do was to create a new, fresh website that instead of focusing on building BL, focused entirely on building high quality content.
I wrote articles daily for my niche topic, build my new fresh site which overtime grew to being an authority page and my rankings grew proportionally overtime.
Because I focused on this, traditional method, every time throughout my website’s growth that Google released a new update, my site was not only UNAFFECTED, but in many instances, it actually grew in traffic and rankings post update.
This was because the competing websites I was trying to rank with on the first page were getting destroyed for continuing to try and use BL and they suffered the same thing my old sites did. And with the new space that was vacant, my site took over those rankings, and thus grew.
That site is the one you’re looking at now and it serves as an example of how to PROPERLY do SEO.
6) Now the part about actually creating good BL…
There have been 4 particular BL methods I have found to work quite well in my experiences after rebuilding my business which today are totally safe to use and now I will share them with you:
A) YouTube videos linking back to your site work very well, but do not over stress this.
Throughout my time building up content for the “backlink” free website, I started experimenting with creating YouTube videos and with one that I made, I linked it in the description back to my website.
My experience there has taught me that this process does help both the YouTube video and website rank better, but not too much, so my efforts remain mainly focused on creating content on my website, not on this method so much.
The key here is to target low competition keywords on YouTube, create videos for them, create tags in the description for them and link back to a website article that also talks about the same type of keyword. Ideally you will want your video to be of high quality value because if gets dislikes, it will likely not get clicks in it’s description and it’s those clicks which lead to better traffic back to your site.
B) Create a social button and let people SHARE your website’s content.
Right now I am using “Mashable” which is a social share button you see at the top of my post here that anyone can visit, click on, and share on their social media pages, be it Twitter, Facebook, ect…
If what you write on your website is interesting enough for your visitors to enjoy and share, they’ll do it and the fact that they will click through to do this is actually a form of BL.
Google really appreciates websites whose visitors take the time to comment on the actual page and also socially share it because it lets them know that there’s “this” site out there with good information on it that people are talking about.
C) Fan pages are also helpful and another form of social shares.
I created a fan page (on Facebook) for this website months ago, which I started by simply taking content I wrote on this website and just sharing those articles on the fan page.
I first invited certain friends I knew that would support me to like the page and in turn also like the posts I would share there. Each like led to a potential BL and visit to my website.
Today that fan page has about a 100 likes and while I am not overly busy working on it, it does mildly help send traffic from Facebook to my page. Likes help.
D) Citations are probably the only old school form of BL that actually still work today… but for local businesses.
If you are building a local business website, look into doing citations. Basically if you own a local business or are helping that business get better recognized on Google, you will visit several important index type websites like Foursquare, Google+ local, Yelp, Yellowpages, and sites of that sort, create a citation which is basically an address and sometimes link back to the website.
The more of these you create (citations), the more BL you’ll have that help the actual local business website grow in exposure.
Citations just so we’re clear are forms of BL that work specifically for local business websites, not necessarily SEO pages like mine which seek to rank worldwide, not locally.
My final thoughts:
With the exception of citations, my experience with BL ever since my bad experiences with them has been that they are overrated and NOT something you should focus too much on. Instead:
Create a content rich website that is ever growing. Let people who come to your page share it and create the BL for you. This is how it’s supposed to be.
I have found that people who focus too much on this topic, tend to focus on the actual link building part far more than actually on the FAR more important part and that is building their website up.
They think they can get SEO success through building cheap links, but the rules are set against this, so don’t waste your time anymore on this…
In the end, content creation is what creates SEO success, not link building.
Any success you have with creating BL will only be temporary. Content on your page however that is large and rich in information will last you for a long time and that in my experience is the only thing you should focus on.
Do not let link building, even if it’s THIS good kind I showed you take you away from focusing on your website’s content growth. If you do, you will only hinder it’s long term success, take it from someone who has years of experience from both of these positions.