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Link building is a leading ranking factor. But link building has carried out a pretty bad reputation in the last decade since it was mainly about spamming and link stuffing. These black hat techniques are now hardly penalized by Google and the main search engines.
However, link building is still a ranking factor and can be done in the right way. It is about valuable and qualitative links which should add extra value for the visitors. Yes, this is about user experience and how users will perceive your website.
In fact, you should only link to websites in which you trust that are relevant to your business or your field of activity. In one word, focus on quality and forget quantity !
These 5 safe techniques will help you to gain qualitative and rewarded links.
As we told in our “6 Tips to effectively share your content” article, sharing your content is a great way to promote your website and earn links to it. The more active you are, the more shares, like, mentions and retweets you will gain. And as a matter of fact, the more shares your content will get, the bigger the chance will be to earn links. There are a few things you can do to be active:
This techniques is an indirect way to earn links because social signals do not provide the same ranking as links. But if your content is well shared and appreciated, people will certainly start to spread it and link to it.
This technique, as the others, must be done carefully. It is not about spamming trustworthy qualitative blog with links back to your website. If a website owner allow you to create valuable content on its website, they are looking for content their readers will enjoy. However, if you have a relevant occasion to mention back an article you have written on your own blog, then you can link to it. But be careful, you can only do that if the link you are mentioning can add something valuable, clear and informative.
This method is great to build backlinks and to grow your brand awareness too. The more guest blogging you can have, the more qualitative and relevant your website will be perceived.
Done in the right way, asking directly for links can be efficient. In any case, asking for links means paying or begging for them.
For example, if you are mentioning someone in an article, you can simply reach them and tell them that you have talked about their work. Many times, those people will appreciate the gesture and will simply share it on social media. This is the smoothest way to indirectly ask.
You can also be a little more direct by only suggesting them that this content might interested their readers as well. That is all. Do not go further.
In parallel, the most natural way is simply to ask links to people you know like customers, partners, business contacts. They represents a great way to link back to your website.
Infographics are not as powerful as they used to be but are still a good way to earn links.
Indeed, infographics are today pretty accessible to everyone and has become less popular. But it is still a good way to earn links if your infographics is qualitative, informative and well designed.
Earning qualitative links is something that take time but which worths it. Building your personal brand by helping people, share your knowledge, speak at conferences, guest blogging, connect with personalities of your field is not easy, but in the long run will provide you credibility. People will know that your expertise is valuable and will be more likely to link your content.
This is hard to measure your brand awareness but you will see that as soon as you will trend higher, the number of backlinks will rise naturally.
To go a bit further, you can watch this video from Rand Fishkin who is explaining in details how to get links from a reluctant target: