The times they are changing. If you’ve been keeping up with SEO news over the past year, you know that Google released an algorithm update that’s been dubbed the Panda update. The purpose of Google Panda was to put an emphasis on quality over quantity, as it relates to the content on your website and the back links you have from other websites.
Google Panda has served to reduce the rankings of low quality content farms, like article directories, press release directories, low-quality blogs, etc. This way, websites couldn’t any longer artificially boost their search engine rankings by getting thousands of low quality links from these types of websites.
This begs the question: How should you approach link building in the Google Panda era? Here are some tips to help you out.
Steer clear of low quality content farms — In the past, you probably got a lot of your back links from article directories and press release distribution websites. While those websites aren’t totally dead, most of them are on their way out. If you still want to use article and press release marketing, at least be more selective in which sites you publish your content on.
Look out for spammy-looking, ad-heavy websites — You are who you hang around with. If your back links are mostly from spammy, ad-driven websites, it will reflect poorly on your website in the eyes of Google. Do your best to avoid publishing your content on these types of sites.
Skip the blog commenting and forum blasting — Blog commenting and forum blasting used to be moderately effective for earning more links pointing to your website, but now, it’s a total waste of time. And even worse, it could cause you to look like a spammer to Google.
Guest blog on trusted blogs in your niche — Guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to build links. You publish original, quality posts as a guest author on other blogs in your niche, and traditionally, you’re allowed to include a couple of links back to your website in your author bio. Pitch other bloggers in your field to see if they’ll let you submit a guest post to their blog.
Focus on creating link-worthy content for your website — You’ll get the most juice for your squeeze by creating content on your website that other people naturally want to link to. Think of the type of stuff that hits the front page of Digg or gets a lot of ReTweets. That’s the type of viral content you need to strive to publish.
How have you changed your link building strategy in the Google Panda era? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.