So before I broke up for Christmas and got all festive with beer and pies. I decided to ask a few experts about what they thought the biggest link building method will be in 2013.
I tried to keep it short in terms of allowing people to write huge answers. This is why everyone who has been questioned has only been allowed to write 1-2 paragraphs. Now I am not saying all of the below are going to work, they are all a matter of opinion.
One thing for sure is with the amount Google changes and makes updates none of us will ever be sure how we can build links which might not be penalised within the coming years.
The idea of this blog post is to give you some ideas as to what people who have being working in SEO for years think will work throughout 2013.
Even though it’s broad, the method that will take over in 2013 will be helping webmasters in any way possible. Just offering your help and being genuinely helpful, and when you get positive feedback in return, just asking for a link to be repaid in.
For example, broken link building is exactly this, but this will broaden from a practicality standpoint to just about anything, even like for things such as fixing grammar, updating old content, fixing on site SEO/dev issues, etc. I know these tactics have been talked about to some extent, but again, not from a practical standpoint.
2013 will see Google continue to drive out low quality sites from the search rankings, I’m confident that this will result in Google being harder line with traditional link building such as TLA’s, low quality guest blogs, sidebar ad’s and footer links. I believe that the best link building will be achieved by quality outreach through traditional PR techniques combined with engaging content. This will ultimately result in a natural, relevant and high quality back link
Link building is an area of SEO that has perhaps changed the most over the last 2 years, the Penguin update caused a big shift in recognising link profiles and, most importantly, recognising when links were deemed bad and penalising based on this. Because of this, there has been a real shift in the approach to acquiring links, particularly when looking at the ever-closer relationship of SEO and PR. In 2013 I can only see this relationship developing, many top SEO agencies now actively recruit PRs to sit in their outreach department. Unfortunately there is a general myopia in the SEO industry where many SEOs believe that ‘they can do this job anyway’ I disagree, most can’t; just like many PRs that claim to be SEOs fall short also. Between these disciplines there are genuine mutual beneficiaries and skills that can be learned, or exchanged but we, as SEOs, don’t always possess these. The real winners with link building in 2013 will be those that engage this, either by: internally hiring PRs, up-skilling with genuine PR skills, or working closely/partnering with a digitally-savvy PR firm.
I think that link building in 2013 will move away from standard link building methods such as social bookmarking & directories, and continue to become more tailored to each project individually. It will be about thinking of the kinds of links you can get which your competitors might not yet be going after or links that they will struggle to get such as high value PR queries. Keeping your link profile natural will remain extremely important in 2013 and as a result I think link building will take into account the web user a bit more and offer something of value to them, not just Google.
I think the biggest (by which I mean, most successful) link building method in 2013 will be a shift in focus from link building to link earning. That means SEOs are going to have to get serious about relationship building: finding reputable sites we want links from, and working to build ongoing content sharing relationships with them. The best part of this tactic is that it can pay off in multiple links from each site. A progression toward earned links will also mean a decrease in tactics like article marketing, pushing press releases to hundreds of sites, directory listing, or any other tactic that doesn’t require a.) a good, link-worthy piece of content and b.) some groundwork to build trust with the sites that link to you. Finally, it will be important for SEOs to pay more attention to community building and management in 2013, as social sharing activity continues to be more important, both as a ranking factor itself and as a way to get your content in front of new people who might want to link to it.
PR/Social mentions, both physical links and co-occurance of brand names – mentions in press media and social media will keep becoming more and more important and so will Google+ – even though Google have said that it does not directly affect rankings a good Google+ author profile will rank higher than standard content. Fact. – Geographic link building – with so much variation of rankings depending on the location of the searcher having a larger link density in a particular city or region will give that site the advantage. This will be particularly effective in the leisure/attraction and hotel industries for example.
Personally, I think the biggest link building method in 2013 will be guest posting. I know that when some people hear the words “guest post” they automatically think that it’s a spammy way to build links, but in my opinion this isn’t strictly true. Fair enough, there are plenty of people who are using guest posts in a spammy way, but there are always people who are trying to take advantage of something that really can work well if used correctly. There are a lot of sites that make it easy to get in touch with other site owners that are looking for guest posts, but I think in 2013 there’s going to be more and more people actually trying to build relationships (using Twitter etc.) with other site owners so that they can get quality links, rather than getting a link from some site that is full of guest posts with titles such as “Top 10 iPhone Apps”, “5 ways to…” and so on. That’s just my opinion, but who knows what’s around the corner in 2013, either way it should be interesting!
Frankly guest blogging will probably continue to be “the” tactic of the year in 2013. There’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about guest blogging so anyone reading this should be careful that they don’t just engage in a ever so slightly higher form of article marketing and think they are doing legitimate guest blogging. It is a solid way to acquire valuable links for the purpose of driving referral traffic and improving search engine visibility but it certainly isn’t the only tactic you should be using and nothing screams “unnatural link warning” like a link profile distorted by just one tactic. I also think that paid links will make a return as more nervous marketers and their clients worry about the patterns and footprints they are creating with their free uncontrollable and natural links and subsequently head underground again to try and “manufacture” and control more of their own link graph to avoid any nasty surprises when it comes to Google updates. I’m not necessarily condoning this behaviour but I wouldn’t blame anyone that feels this way.
That’s it some unique ideas on what various industry experts feel will be the best link building tips for 2013. If you have any ideas or thoughts on what you think will be the biggest tip be sure to comment below.
Enjoy your 2013 SEO Campaign