Date: December 16, 2011 1:13 PM
Standard practices of building links to your website have now shifted considerable from the old days of FFA’s and other illegitimate practices; webmasters have the latest Google Panda update to thank for that. If you were one of the unlucky 35% of the world’s websites to receive some form of penalty in Page Rank or organic placement, I’d be willing to wager that your linkage had perhaps better than 40% of the reasoning involved with the penalty. Sure, before you could buy your links from anywhere, place them anywhere and Google would deem your site popular simply due to the quantity of links regardless of relevance. This trend is over, and leading into 2012, webmasters better be slightly more ‘pragmatic’ in link building or face a certain organic demise.
Simply put, you must immediately evaluate your incoming and outgoing linkage and first check the relevance of the anchor texts in both, along with the landing page on both sides. Somewhere down the line, you may have contracted links from porn sites, malware or software downloads, Aunt Mable’s recipe site, and many other irrelevant sites or pages. When the respective sites containing your links are deemed dirty, the domino effect will ensue; now, you could have a beautiful site that is visited daily and contain relevant outbound links, yet the penalties you’ll suffer when irrelevant inbound links exist will incrementally destroy your site. A few days’ worth of research and webmaster contacting can nip the issue in the bud and sever the unneeded link ties.
In terms of your outbound links, it’s imperative to match your links with anchor text relevant to its destination, anchor text to keywords, place correct keywords into meta tags, and optimize meta data to match the page. Content must match all of the above; images need to have keyword optimization; when all is done, make sure that each page has its own canonical URL to differentiate each page on your site to the index bots; this will prevent Google from indexing content it believes to be duplicated and identify each page as its own entity. Once you are done with each page, you’ll see organic placement happen much faster since the pages are completely legit and ready. As a side note, you’ll need to avoid excessive scripting and frame breaks as well; this causes hang-ups and time-outs on the spider side.
Now that the above links have been fixed, follow the newest social trends into 2012 to promote further link health. Keep the Facebook wall updated as you do your site, engaging readership while slipping links onto your content though wall posts or FBML usage. Tweet the same link from your wall, including a keyword present in the content. If you have a Lens, continue a conversation from your wall or site with retribution back to one or the other; keeping all areas where you have links updated with content relevant to the link’s location will increase importance, promote targeted traffic, and naturally boost organic placement.
Finally, the newest hot ‘toy’ webmasters can play with while relatively new is the bookmarking site Pinterest. This site is almost like a Stumbleupon-Delicious sandwich as you can share bookmarks, or in this case ‘pins’, with other people or sites that are similar to you; these pins come in the form of pictures on your site. Should you have correctly anchored images with text relevant to your site, expect to get infinite PR6 backlinks from Pinterest IF you can catch on to the concept of image pinning with keywords and linkage. It’s new, hot, and easily makes the top five newest practices for SEO link building practices for 2012.
All old bets are off for link builders in 2012, so pick up your chips and be ready to move to the high-stakes table. Take the last few weeks of 2012 to evaluate what you have done thus far to promote better link building practices and assess your company or small business’s goals for the future. Comment spamming for links will soon die (if it hasn’t already to most webmasters), so throw that idea out. Link building needed a facelift, and with timely practices, webmasters can be the surgeons who administer the new skins for these newer and more frugal link building practices.