Jen Miller answers a client question on whether building links or buying links is best for SEO and website ranking. Jen recaps what Joost de Valk recently had to say on the subject at an international WordPress conference, WordCamp US, in December 2016.
Transcription: Hi, it’s Jen Miller and this Be Seen Blogging show, episode #18, is a little different than usual. You see, I just returned from a conference in Philadelphia called WordCamp US where I attended a talk entitled “SEO in 2016” by Joost de Valk. If you use WordPress you likely know Joost as the developer behind the Yoast plugin, an amazing SEO and content marketing tool. Otherwise you’ll just have to believe me when I say he’s an authority on content marketing and deserves your respect. I’ll be sharing with you some of his comments today as we talk about today’s episode, “Building Links For Website Ranking.”
Just last week I had a client ask if we were building links on his site or if he should buy them elsewhere. I immediately explained that link building happened over time as his website content earned merit and that buying links would be a mistake.
Ways to Go About Building Links
Typically we include external links in blog posts and community type pages if an authoritative link is available as the content is written.The hope is that the authoritative website will link back. We create internal linking as well, connecting related pages and posts in a website, because it makes it easy for readers to go deeper into the website and can reduce the bounce rate or how quickly a viewers leaves the site.
Depending on the desired goal, we may also use other methods to encourage link building, such as guest blogging on high ranking sites, establishing individual and company profiles or writing wiki-type articles that link back into your content to achieve this goal.
When it comes to ranking in search engines, interesting and carefully crafted website content is critically important. Links are important as well. You really need to do everything you can to build authority in your site and spot on content combined with credible links accomplishes this!
Many years ago I started adding the Yoast SEO plugin to our blogging sites and recommending it to people learning to blog. Once added to a site, I believe Yoast SEO is the ultimate security blanket for bloggers. It assists by pointing out possible post failings AND suggests methods of resolution. Once the post is optimized for search engines, a green light appears, telling the writer that it’s time to publish. A brilliant and well-executed plugin developed initially by Joost so he could resolve his own content issues and “scratch an itch,” Yoast SEO has enhanced millions of websites.
Conversation Is a Great Way to Start Building Links
Joost de Valk, explained that getting a website to rank takes work. “The thing that people seem to think is that Google will find everything by itself. It will not. You need to link. If you don’t link to content, no matter how good it is, you will never rank,” he said. “You still need links to rank.”
Joost encouraged conversation as a way to build connections with other websites, “So work on that,” he suggested. “That in itself is also hard work. Link building is not easy. It’s something that comes from a lot of talking to other people, saying, “Hey I wrote this piece, do you like it and would you want to link to that?”
If you are new to blogging you probably haven’t done that before. You might not realize how connected your website – your virtual world – and your real life interactions are, until you seek out links. As you make friends or partner with others to add links to your website, you’ll realize that you can create more traffic by helping one another.
As Joost said, “You have to do the work. The problem with most of us human beings is that you don’t really get into real conversations.”
Speaking of himself and his company, Joost explained, “We don’t link to many people, but we link to people that we know and love and trust. So the chance of you getting a link from me is sometimes a lot higher if you talk to any of us here and we see and we talk to you for awhile. Then we’ll link to you. We’re not unique in that. Everybody wants linkbacks.”
“Do that. Go out. Talk to people,” Joost encouraged. “Figure out who’s writing about your topic and go to where all these people are.”
And finally Joost said what I was desperately hoping he’d say. “Don’t buy links. Don’t do any of the things that feel fishy. If it feels fishy to you, you’re probably right and it’s harder to get sites to rank well after you’ve done stupid stuff.”`
So, there you have it. Don’t do stupid stuff. Buying links fits into that category. So to answer my client’s question, build links, don’t buy them. Thank you for tuning in to Be Seen Blogging. Have questions about your website content? Reach out to me on Twitter at jenblogs4u or through my NeedSomeoneToBlog.com website.