An element of SEO that I often get asked about from many different people is the ‘mystery’ world of links.
When I first started in this game, I too found this world quite confusing. Mainly because there are so many different opinions out there as to what might work and might not.
Below are answers to some really common questions I often hear:
What is a link?
Most people in the digital space are familiar with Facebook ‘Likes’. Think of a link to your website from another website as being similar to a Facebook like. If you like a business on Facebook, it is because you are interested in what the business in doing. You want to see their updates, their offers, photos etc. A link from Website A to Website B is a way of Website A saying to its visitors “I like Website B and you may also find this Website of interest to you”.
Should I buy links?
I’ll again go back to the Facebook correlation; sure, it’s pretty cheap and easy to buy a lot Facebook likes and it might make you really look popular in the short term, but are these fake users who ‘like’ your page genuinely engaged and interested in your business? It’s highly unlikely. Wouldn’t it make sense to have only 50 Facebook likes from people who are legitimately interested and engaged in your business activity, than 1000 ‘likes’ from people who don’t actually exist?
That same theory goes for links to your website. Again, it’s really cheap and easy to pay anyone to build 1000 irrelevant links to your website; the downfall here though is that unlike the Facebook page with thousands of fake likes, Google now penalises businesses with irrelevant and low value links to their website in the form an update called ‘Penguin’.
Let’s jump into Google’s corner with this one. Put simply, Google’s goal is to show the best and most relevant ‘answers’ to whatever ‘problem’ is entered into its search box. Therefore, why would Google possibly want to show the websites that simply have most links built to it, compared to a small business that is completely relevant to the end user’s search query?
Is link building dead?
Link building is definitely not dead. Let’s take a small business such as a local Wedding Celebrant in Melbourne; does she need to have links from unrelated businesses or overseas directory listings? No, she doesn’t. It’s not going to do her any good whatsoever; no one is ever going to follow those links through to her website.
- Is it a great idea though for the celebrant to have links from other local wedding suppliers in Melbourne, such a photographer or a reception venue? For sure!
- How about a link on a local wedding directory listing website, one that brides-to-be visit to plan their big day, looking for information on suppliers and inspiration. Is this a good idea? Yes!
- What about a ‘real weddings’ blog, where brides post a story about their wedding day and offer details about their favourite suppliers? Brilliant!
The list goes on and on, but the number one rule is: keep it simple and keep it relevant.
The combination of the most recent Penguin update and Google favouring a shift towards local results means good news for small business. Google really is on your side.
There is no better time than now for a small business to be doing SEO. To find out what a Small Business SEO Marketing Strategy can do for you, don’t hesitate to give the team at ROI Connect a call on 03 9888 4400.
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