If you clicked on this article, you know it’s coming.
Seeing this means that you know that you, or a vendor you are using is doing something that violates Google’s rules of the web.
Maybe you hired a “white hat” firm. Or maybe you know with absolute certainty that everything you do is Google approved.
No matter which way you go about “earning/buying/acquiring” links, there is risk involved.
The chief distinction between good link acquisition and spamming is excess.
How can you possibly know how many links you can get with any dedicated effort? While link building vendors will speak about “earning” a pre-determined number of links per month, are those methods of gathering those links going to withstand the test of time from Google?
When you start developing links that are intended solely to influence search results, you and only you are responsible for what comes next.
As the link building process evolves (gets caught, blown up by Google), any time there is a “thought leader” touting about a better way to get links, you need to decide how much of that gibberish you want to believe.
Automated web spammers do a great job of creating fake back link profiles with their multi-tiered strategies than the average domain authority/diversification-loving link guru.
They are able to achieve this because they aren’t worried about creating “amazing content” at all. Instead, it’s STILL about getting links.
You hear about content being king. That used to be the way. But Google has clearly been favoring the big brands. It looks bad if you visit Google, search for JC Penny, and the branded JC Penny domain fails to appear. Users would think that something was wrong with Google, most likely never aware of JC Penny’s past ventures into the black hat realm.
It sucks, but it’s the reality that we live in.
So how do you survive?
This is the easy part actually.
1.) Build your site to make it easy for humans to navigate, not Google. When enough people use it, Google will know what pages are popular and need to be ranked.
2.) Create content that helps your users. FORGET about content based on keyword research.
3.) Use analytics to see what people are clicking on, what they are doing on your site and if they are traveling down the path you want them to.
4.) Work with others in your vertical. By appearing on similar themed sites, Google will associate your site correctly.
5.) Decide what social networks make the most sense to be on. You can’t be everywhere and be responsive. Also commit to the time it takes to build a community on each network.
Easier said then done, I know. But this approach works over time, through all algorithm changes because you are doing things for the right reasons – earning the trust of your future customers.