Let’s find out.
The truth is that SEO is just a set of best practices that are ever-changing. Google for instance regularly roll out more updates to make things better for searchers. In fact with the Hummingbird update people have gone as far as to say Google is becoming more of an answers engine than a search engine.
Whether this is true or not when you’re performing SEO you still have the ultimate goal of ranking higher on the search engines. Building your PageRank (Google) is primarily how you will rank better in the SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages).
It used to be that you could rank better from simply stuffing keywords into your content. Today this can get you a penalty and actually hinder your chances… Once upon a time you could just build backlinks from any source and get a better PageRank but now Google focuses on quality relevant backlinks.
So when it comes to improving your PageRank today what are the most important factors?
Link Building 101:
When it comes to link building you want to focus on creating linkable assets on your own site that people find useful and can easily share. Not only will this build social signals which do play a growing role in relevancy in the PR algorithm… But you actually want to create content that people will link to on their own sites as a reference. If they’re linking you as a reference it’s highly probable that their content is related to your own. Which ticks all the boxes we’ve already talked about when it comes to relevant backlinks.
The better the PageRank of the page your link is on the more PageRank it will pass on to your own.
One thing you need to know about building backlinks is that it’s not easy. In order to even create a linkable asset you need a real content strategy and you need to understand your content audience which you’re going to have to figure out through analyzing data or at the very least doing a little bit of research.
So how can you build backlinks other than creating linkable assets?
In my opinion the secret to SEO success is all about adding value. As a link building strategy you wont go far wrong by following this mantra.
Not only is a linkable asset something that is in some way adding value to your audience but all the other methods that are tried and tested are also ways of providing value.
Link Building Tips:
When it comes to building backlinks from forums you really only need to know a few things beforehand.
Firstly you need to know if it allows DoFollow links.
A DoFollow link is basically when a site allows for Search Engines to take into account their external links. When you find a site or forum that allows a DoFollow link then this means they will pass on PageRank to your own sites page. You can download a browser add-on such as SEOQuake to help you find this out. When you visit a forum you’re thinking of posting on take a look at external links in peoples posts and signatures. If they’re crossed out this means SEOQuake is telling you these are a NoFollow link. Which means it wont pass on any PR to your site. For SEO purposes this forum wouldn’t be any good to your campaign.
Secondly you want to find out if the forum is being posted on regularly. Check the forum and see when the most recent posts were made. If these were recent it’s passed your second check.
Lastly you need to check if the PR is good enough for what you’re looking for which again SEOQuake will show you. Having SEOQuake or a similar add-on will be a crucial tool to your link building strategy success!
Note: Make sure the forum topic is relative to your own site.
You want to reply to posts on the forums you’ve uncovered and keep a backlink in your signature. You can use anchor text of one of your keywords or simply use your site name if you’re linking to the index page of your site. For the sake of link diversity it’s probably better to use a keyword but as long as it’s passing on PageRank to your target page it’s all good!
You also want to create your own topics on the forum and make sure you create posts that are detailed and useful. In essence this method is all about adding value.
This is pretty old school and to be honest not many blogs allow DoFollow links in the comment sections anymore. However some may still allow it and you want to try and find blog posts that are recent. Comment on these if you can find a DoFollow blog.
Note: It’s not a bad idea to do this for additional traffic generation purposes as it’s still adding value even if you can’t get a DoFollow link.
Comment on these only if you can add value. For one thing search engines take into account text that surrounds links. So if you’re posting something useful and relevant it may even help boost your sites page.
Again your SEOQuake add-on will tell you everything you need to know in order to find out if these blog comment sections are DoFollow.
Of course I heavily endorse guest blogging. One of the best parts of this is it’s fairly easy to find blogs that accept guest posts that in return offer a DoFollow backlink. Not only this but they have established audiences themselves so it’s the best chance to add value to your audience and work on your SEO.
Other Link Build Tips:
A big aspect of content repurposing is actually posting your content in a different format to other sites. A big benefit of this for our SEO purposes is that we can find other sites that accept DoFollow backlinks to post our content to.
It may take a little extra effort but you can easily make an audio version of a post or video version and submit these to audio sharing sites, video sharing sites and you can even create a PDF of your post and submit this to sites that are interested in taking document files, PDFs and so on.
So find sites that accept DoFollow backlinks and create versions of your content for these sites. Put a backlink in the section that accepts the DoFollow backlink to your original post.
In summary you want to look for these kinds of sites.
- Audio sharing sites.
- Slideshow sharing sites.
- PDF submission sites.
- Article submission sites.
- Video submission sites.
When it comes to SEO a big part of your focus should be link building strategy. If you want to be successful in this area you want to focus on adding value by building linkable assets, engaging with the communities relevant to your niche and repurposing your content in a useful way.
Far too often when it comes to SEO we think far too much about ourselves but if you want to keep in line with the search engines future updates and have lasting success with link building you need to think about what you can do for others by adding as much value as possible.
If it’s true that Google is becoming more about providing answers to question type searches then adding value is really going to be the best way forward for your SEO success.