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Relationship Building versus Link Building

Saturday, February 11, 2012
Grant Whiteside

The link building industry is crumbling as we speak, it will take time before it is banished as a total waste of time and there are still millions of dodgy blogs out there that are ‘on theme’ enough not to be deemed as out and out spam. In many ways, I wish Google would get on with clearing out the blogs that sell links to websites selling everything from sex toys, live cray fish and student loans all on the one page. It annoys me to think that link building factories are still incentivised to create and sell links to these pages …because in many cases they still work. It wouldn’t be correct to write an article criticizing the old outdated SEO community without taking a pop at the new bloggers. The evangelistic idiots that ‘No Follow’ their own internal links or the bloggers that they feel that they are owed a living from freebies for reviewing products from brands without providing any actual traffic to the brands website. Yes things are changing, but not quickly enough. So it’s time to start relationship building, not link building, it’s something that we’ve doing for years and its part of the reason why so many of our clients are algorithmic proof. Don’t ask for links, don’t even suggest it – you never know what sort of person you’re dealing with, they might be web savvy; but they could also be a born again moron that thinks the worse of anyone out with their own blogging community. There are so many walking contradictions out there; bloggers saying one thing about how they pay for their existence, but actually selling links on their ‘other’ website. Try offering them the choice to post on a reciprocal blog. You’ll find out who is a blogger and who simply does stuff for cash and gifts. Develop a relationship, offer to promote them on social platforms, if they understand anything about their community they will probably play ball. Ask for quotes and opinions and make them feel that their opinion is important. If you feel that their blog could drive you good referral traffic, reward them if it does and tell them what sort of traffic you got and what sort of quality it was; saying ‘Thanks’ is courtesy in any relationship. If you develop a good relationship then links and referral traffic should naturally flow out of this. Taking time to develop this relationship will bring dividends; there are enough savvy webmasters, bloggers and content creators out there to create the authority and relevance needed to promote your website. It takes time and effort; lots of it and you’ll meet a few snakes in the grass along the way. So before you go ploughing in demanding links for cash; think again and develop a relationship that may not cost you anything in the long term.

Grant Whiteside
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