Have you been relying on the same link building strategy for the past year or so? If so, you really need to think about updating that strategy. Google is constantly changing and so it really should not come as a surprise that you should change as well.
I am not about to write another post telling you how to do link building. Plenty of posts like that already exist.
In the past, I've tried to give actionable advice about how I build links to my own niche sites; and have shown you step by step for 2 different niche site projects how Perrin and I built links to our niche sites.
However, would it surprise you to know that even the advice I gave early last year during the first niche site project is no longer applicable?
We work in an industry that changes so rapidly that you need to constantly be changing your strategies. If you get nothing else out of the this post, get this; anything you read about link building 6 or more months ago may no longer be a good strategy!
And in 6 months from now, the way you currently build links could be outdated. You need to always be trying new strategies, tweaking how you build links, and staying top of the changes that Google is always making.
I feel like I have to write this, because I'm sure that some of you still feel like things talked about a year or 2 ago are still the way to go. On the other hand, I know that many of you already know that change is constant, and information is quickly outdated.
Just like I wrote last week about Exact match domains no longer being as valuable as they once were; link building has changed dramatically.
How Link Building Has Changed
Much of the recommendations there are still good. But I no longer use article directories or other low qualities sources. During Niche Site Project 1, I also mentioned that I used LayeredLinks.com to build links to my site BestSurvivalKnifeGuide,.com; I no longer recommend doing that because too many of the links are low quality.
In addition, anchor text variation is even more important now. I used to recommend using no more than 10% exact match keyword anchor text; now I recommend maybe never using it, or certainly far less than 10%.
Again, this point of this post is not to share what is working right now for link building, but to give you a wake up call (if you haven't heard it yet) that link building is constantly changing! If you are following advice written over 6 months ago, you should think long and hard about following it.
Do your own research to make sure you are up to date, as well as the information you are reading.
What Works Now May Not Tomorrow
I could sit here and tell you that what is working today is Private Blog Networks (PBN). And quite frankly, this is what I am using to a great degree for my new niche sites.
But because I have been in the business of building niche sites for a number of years, I know that eventually these strategies will pass as well. Perhaps the strategies will be great for years to come or maybe only 6 months, I don't know.
When you are trying to rank on Google's site, you are at Google's mercy to some degree.
At the end of the day, the best advice is to do your best to get the highest quality links you can in a natural fashion. I did a podcast interview with Jon Cooper where we discussed some of the link building strategies that are working now.
But remember, these may not be as great in a couple years!
What About White Hat?
As I've done often in the past, I want to clarify that there is distinctively 2 types of sites and therefore, 2 different types of ways you can approach link building.
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First is smaller niche sites, which is what I have been referring to in this blog post. Essentially, these smaller sites are built to get to the top of Google as quickly as possible and make money. I've shown step by step how to build these types of niche sites with Niche Site Projects 1 and 2.
For these smaller sites, I will link build in nearly any manner possible (within reason) to get Google to rank my site. These link building strategies are often short lived as mentioned.
As a result of focusing on great content and products, people often ask me to be interviewed for their podcast and do a whole show on me and of course link back to me.
Because people love the quality of Long Tail Pro, they use it, write about it, recommend it, and link to my site all the time.
I have never once sat down and thought about how to get links to either of these sites, but both have plenty.
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This long term approach to building an authority site is one that will never change. The link building strategy is simply to be “white hat” and let the links come as they may. Be active in your community and let others know that you are around and the links will come.
This is the link building strategy that Frasier Cain shared with me in detail on a previous podcast interview.
So, in a sense that type of link building strategy will never change, because essentially there isn't one.
Because there are 2 distinct types of sites and link building strategies, I've recommended that people try their hand at both: see my post about getting your feet wet with niche sites and then moving to authority sites.
Are You Up to Date?
Overall, you have to decide first what type of site you are going to build, and then the type of link building strategy that you might employ.
If you are actively going to try and build links, as I still do for my niche sites, you need to make sure your strategies are up to date! I confess, that many of my old posts here are no longer as valuable because of the ever changing industry we work in.
As well, I'm sure that Pat Flynn will be the first to say that his “THE Backlinking Strategy That Works” is no longer a strategy that works. That type of link building has run its course; and that's fine! As long as you are someone that recognizes that SEO is ever evolving, and never put much stock in old advice; you will be just fine.
I would love to hear your thoughts or additional questions that you might have below.