In my last post we talked about the big fat truth – without unique, fresh, and lengthy content your blog search engine rankings are as good as dead.
Check out the previous post here:
This time I will take it a step further and explain why, without great content, no link building campaign will take you as far with search engines as you would like to go.
Some time ago, I ran a series on my blog on how to build an email list.
It was only natural to discuss email autoresponder options in one of the posts in the series: after all, the emails you write to your list are only as good as the provider that delivers them or sends them to spam – depending on which autoresponder service you choose.
Naturally, I wanted to rank my post for any and all possible keywords that had anything to do with Aweber, which is what I use, and autoresponders in general.
Lo and behold, as I did my research on who was holding the current rankings for some of those keywords, Yaro’s blog kept popping up on the first page for almost all of them.
Yes, Yaro’s AWeber Review – Email Autoresponder post was what stood between me and high search engine rankings of my own Aweber review.
Naturally, a little competition never scared me away, so I started to drill in on Yaro’s links that played a huge role in ranking his post so highly.
Checking Out Your Competition
The best way to know what you need to do in order to rank your post for any keyword is to see which websites are currently ranking for that keyword and what their link building profile is.
Since it would require a lengthy explanation as to how exactly I do competition research, I will direct you to read this post to learn more on how to use their competition link profile to outrank them: Link Building Tip: How to Do It the Smart Way.
As I was doing research on Yaro’s Aweber post, I discovered that it was (and is currently) ranking for 10, what I would call, “money” keywords – the type of keywords that the potential Aweber buyers would be searching for when trying to make their final decision on their autoresponder choice.
Now that I knew how many and what keywords he was ranking for, I needed to find out what links to his post allowed him to have such high rankings.
And that’s what stopped me dead in my tracks.
You see, as I previously mentioned, the easiest way to rank your own post for any keyword is to match and outdo your competition linking profile.
Find out what their links are, in other words, get most of the same links and throw in a couple of extras. In most markets (barring you are going for some of the most competitive keywords, of course), that should do the trick and at least get you on the first page of Google.
In Yaro’s case though, most of his links came from within content on other blogs.
Learning that pretty much sucked, because there was no way I could get all those blogs to mention my Aweber review in their posts!
The Secret Was In The Source
Yaro’s Aweber post was so thorough and so good that many bloggers read it, loved it, and linked to it in their own posts, giving Yaro significant advantage in high rankings.
It was HIS CONTENT itself that tipped Google scale in his favor.
It is all coming together now, right?
YOUR CONTENT is the single most important factor that will make or break your search engine rankings and either will bring you floods of targeted FREE search engine users or leave you with a donut whole.
You can submit all the articles and videos you want, leave tons of comments on all kinds of blogs, spend some time building links through forums, but if I get a few bloggers to link to my post from within their content, as in mentioning my post because it was that good, I will have an upper hand in search engine rankings for sure.
That kind of link building is what is referred to as “natural” link building and is definitely the best way to get your site ranked and swarming with search engine visitors.
Link Building As A Search Engine Factor
As I did in the previous post, I’d like to take you back to this recently released SEOmoz report on search engine ranking factors.
After all, talk is cheap, but the collective opinion of 132 SEO experts around the world should definitely shed some light as to what are recognized as the best link building practices right now and in the future.
We have already talked about your content being the cornerstone of any successful link building campaign – master that part and the links will come naturally.
To further illustrate my point, allow me to quote the following from the report:
“Through all this analysis of search optimization – we will always conclude that a site needs “more links, more quality links, more content, and higher quality content” – Todd Malicoat
What other areas of link building should we pay close attention to?
- Diversity of links outweighs pure quantity: diversity of IP addresses, root domains, subdomains, linking pages where your links are coming from play a huge role – the more diverse, the better.
- Number of root domains linking with partial anchor text: yes, PARTIAL anchor text plays the same, if not bigger, role in successful search engine rankings than precise anchor text, as it used to be the case. If you don’t know much about anchor text or would like to learn more, I suggest reading this post: Your Ultimate Anchor Text Tutorial – from Basic to Advanced.
- Relevance of links. This one has been and I am sure will remain one of the most debated SEO link building factors: does it matter if the website that is linking to you is on the same subject as yours? Well, the consensus in this report says yes, it does.So don’t do link building to your cooking blog from a site that sells tractor parts.
- Nofollow matters: many SEOs say that nofollow links can help your rankings, which definitely goes against the very idea of Nofollow to begin with. Nofollow attribute is added to links to let Google know that, although you are willing to link to a particular website, you are not willing to vouch for them and share your site authority with them. Thus, any of your site PageRank will happily stay with your site and not be passed to the site you are linking to. To learn what Yaro thinks of Nofollow, take a look at this post: No More NoFollow. This new wave of expert SEO opinions on Nofollow links only strengthens “natural” link building point of view: you need both Dofollow and Nofollow links to have the kind of diverse linking profile Google would like to see.
The Future Of Link Building
What do SEOs believe will happen in the future with Google’s use of ranking features in the future?
- Prominence of ads vs content will remain a factor.
- Content usability / readability / design will increase as a factor.
- Analysis of perceived value to users will increase GREATLY.
- Social signals at domain level and page level will increase DRAMATICALLY.
Link building is here to stay, no question about it.
However, the face of link building is changing and the type of CONTENT you serve to your readers is rapidly becoming the most important factor in any successful link building campaign.