Website & Business owners have become fearful of link building due to Google's new algorithm updates. While understandable, what people need to comprehend is that links still play an important role in how a website is viewed by the search engines. Yes, it’s true that links can now harm a website for SEO purposes, but there are still good links too and links can also get a website to be viewed favourably. The key is to understand the difference between what constitutes as a bad link for SEO and a good link for SEO. There’s no doubt that the link building rules have changed after Penguin algorithm update, but that doesn’t mean that link building should be cut out of the campaign entirely.
Link building is still worthwhile as long as you follow these rules:
Before the search algorithms became the complex monsters that they are today, any link (within reason) was considered to be worth attaining for SEO purposes. The mantra was, the more links- the better. Today, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. As the search engines became more sophisticated they are now able to determine whether the context of one site relates at all to the context of another. If not, it’s a suspicious and sceptical link. For SEO today, the key is to spend time seeking out websites that are relevant to what you have to offer and looking for a link opportunity on those sites. In addition to being relevant to please the search engines, it also improves the chances that visitors to that site will be interested in what you have to offer and are more likely to click over and visit your site. The purpose of a website is to generate visitors and conversions after all. A link is acceptable in the eyes of the search engines if its primary purpose is to drive traffic to the site and not just to gain one more link for SEO.
Use the nofollow tag:
Depending on the nature of the link that you will get from a website, it might make sense to add the nofollow tag. This tag should definitely be used if the link is a paid link (advertising) and if it appears multiple times throughout the site. The nofollow tag essentially tells the search spider not to follow that link or consider it as part of the link portfolio that works to attain search engine trust. While it might not be the best type of link for SEO, what it tells the search engines is that the link is there for traffic generation only. The search spiders still see it, and a well rounded link portfolio of both followed and no followed links is desirable.
Minimal anchor text linking:
Once a staple in your SEO tool belt, anchor text linking was a primary target of the Google Penguin update because website owners were abusing it and it was ruining the overall experience of the web. The average web user doesn’t want to see a page of content full of linked keywords. Keyword anchor text linking should be avoided. The only type of anchor text linking that is still acceptable is the linking of branded terms, like the company name or the product or service that is sold. It’s a much more natural way to link.