‘How do you build links?’ – no one is asking this question anymore. Everyone that runs a company website or a business blog is now concerned about ‘how to build good links’. That’s the way link building has changed over the last one year. One update after another, Google is tightening the rope for all web property owners across the globe. Before you get started with building links for your site, you should seriously evaluate whether the links that you’re planning to acquire will keep you safe in the long term.

Potential Link Targets

Sending out automated emails to webmasters is a violation of Google webmaster guidelines. Link building networks are getting penalized. If you’re truly concerned about growing your site’s presence in Google search results, you should re-structure your link building strategy right away or create a new one altogether.

So, the big question now remains how you can locate potential targets from where you can get your site linked.

Before you begin with the process of finding high quality link targets, you should set up your goals. It will certainly consume a good amount of time, and you should clearly define the number of links that you want to acquire and decide a timeframe for the same. Knowing your goals will also keep you on the right track and keep you motivated all along while making the measurement of ROI easier for you. One important thing in this regard is that you should always set up higher goals than what you expect, as not all sites that you’ve targeted will be willing to link to your site.

Second, it’s extremely important to evaluate whether your website is really worth the links you want to acquire. Unless your own site is ‘linkable’, you won’t get much out of your link building efforts. If your site needs an overhaul, both in terms of design and content, you should go back and get it done in the first place.

Once you’ve covered the basics, it’s time to move on and get started with the process of finding potential backlink targets. First and foremost, you need to locate the sites from where you want your own website or blog linked. The sites that you choose should be closely related to your own niche. Additionally, you should look for traits including authority, relevance and trustworthiness. Since it may not always be easy to evaluate the exact quality of a link target, using some free or third-party tools is highly recommended.

Here are a couple of tools you may use –

  • Google.com
  • Google Blog Search
  • LinkResearchTools
  • Open Site Explorer
  • Majestic SEO

Depending on your specific requirements, you may want to go for a free Google tool or use a paid third-party tool.

Second, you should gear up to conduct some competitive research. Make a list of some of your key competitors and find out those sites that link to them. If a site has linked to your competitors’ websites, there are good possibilities that they would link to your website as well. However, what’s even more important is to understand the reasons that have compelled a third-party site to link to your competition. If it’s not reciprocal linking, there must be some good reason behind it. Once you’re aware of the reasons, you’ll be in a better position to actually get links from those third-party sites.

Link building in the post-Penguin era of Google has become tougher and more competitive. Unless you’re willing to locate potential link targets and roll up your sleeves to earn those links as well, you won’t be able to survive in the race of organic search rankings, drive more traffic to your site and make money from it. So, get ready to work out an effective strategy for the same and put it into action without any delay.

Please feel free to leave a comment or share an opinion.