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Even if you have been in SEO a while, it can be difficult to tell what Google approves of and what they dock your ranking for. They don’t communicate all their changes to domain owners, and that leaves many people in SEO trying to guess and play catch up every time a new update releases. How do you even know if you are doing things the right way?
In this post, we will cover a few SEO guidelines that can help you navigate the murky water of search engine rankings. There are plenty other guidelines that you should be paying attention to besides what is covered here, but this is a good place to start.

Link Building Strategies of the Past Should Stay There

Old Link Strategies

If you are participating in any kind of link building that is labelled as easy link building, then you are going to get penalised by Google. If you aren’t penalised right away, then you will become penalised a little farther down the road. With that in mind, let’s look at some link building strategies that are definite no-nos:

– Commenting on blogs or forums- You may think you can get a few quick links just by making comments on blogs or forums that pertain to your industry. But what you may not realise is that most of these blogs are labelled as “no-follow” links for Google’s crawler bots. That means that nothing said in the comments will affect rankings, either for the site itself or for any site that posts there.
– Submitting to a directory- Directory submissions used to be SEO gold, but now they are to be avoided at all costs. Some directories still hold a little value, but you want to be careful about how you use them, as too many are a minefield for unsuspecting website owners.
– Submitting articles and guest writing- It is well-known that low-quality writing is not going to pass muster with Google anymore. If you are writing on other sites that allow anyone to post blogs and you aren’t putting any effort into it, then you are not going to help your site at all. In fact, you could do quite the opposite.
– Using infographic links- Google has already made it quite clear that they don’t support links that are rich with keywords, particularly when they are embedded in widgets. When people copy your code to use it elsewhere, they will bring along the links as well.
– Paying for links- It should not have to be said, but do not pay for your links. This is just asking for trouble. You can send out samples to gain reviews, but use this as a way to advertise rather than to build up links.

What to Do

If you would like to create an SEO strategy that you can keep on using for a long time to come, then you need to have the proper mindset. If your objective is to build links anyway you can and make your site appear better or more authoritative than it actually is, then you need to change the way you are marketing. If your priorities are on domain authority and link equity more than on getting traffic to your site and building up your brand, then you need to reprioritise.
Some of the SEO strategies we told you to avoid earlier can be used to your benefit if you approach them from the right angle.
– Marketing your content- Writing blogs simply as means to gain links is bad practice. But creating a steady stream of quality content can only help your site. It is going to take a lot of work, but your effort can really pay off. Give your customers valuable content with what you write, and you will see your influence and prestige grow online.
– Get involved with your community- There are always blogs and forums where people are talking about the industry you are in. You can seek those out and start talking to people who frequent them. Build up your company from there in helpful, non-intrusive ways by becoming a source of authority and information for those with needs and questions.
– Create shareable content- If you can make something that will get people talking, then you can let your community do a lot of your marketing work for you. Offer them something they can use and that grabs their attention, then they will spread it around social media and drive more traffic to your site.
– Share the content yourself- Once you have made some quality content, make sure you are getting it out to people. You can speak to blog owners you have built up a relationship with and get them to post your content for you. You can also place it in communities where you know it will be relevant. You can even change up your content and make it fresh by turning it into a video, a slideshow or a graphic.

Using Your Marketing Agency

Internet marketing should not be about building up a library of links. If that is what you are hoping your marketing partners will do for you, then you have your sights set on the wrong thing. You want to keep your business’ best interests in mind, and to do that, you have to build quality content.

Your marketing partners should be creating content that is relevant and that follows the guidelines we have already stated. You can ask them what they are going to write about and even make title and content suggestions yourself. Get involved with your internet marketing team to ensure that they are using best practices for SEO.

If you want their work to be successful and to help your business be successful, then you have to get involved with what they are doing and oversee their work. If you have content on hand that can help them- informational packets, brochures, etc.- then get that information to them to help them better understand what your company is about and what its target demographic is.