This post was influenced by a conversation that I had with Hugo Guzman (writes a great blog about enterprise marketing) several months ago that has been lingering in my head. Let’s face it. Link building is one of the most important aspects of the SEO game. Not only does SEO as an industry have a bad reputation, link building is an aspect of SEO that has an even worse reputation. But lets take a different look at link building. Link building is one of the oldest forms of social media, even before social media was…. social media. When you say or hear the word social media right away you think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, just to name a few. But you don’t think link building.
Well, why not? When doing linkbuilding, there are different parts to it. There is the directory submissions, the internal linking and then there is the link outreach. Reaching out to somebody and engaging that blogger or webmaster to build a relationship with them to update a link on their site, or to have them add a new link to their site, is the oldest form of social media there is. Social media today is the same way, except you engage with somebody via Twitter for example.
An SEO consultant is already facing an uphill battle the second that they walk into the room. Whether you are an in-house SEO trying to educate (notice I said educate and not sell) link building to your executives or if you are an SEO consultant or agency trying to educate your client. It makes it even more difficult when there was a previous SEO attempt made at link building that just failed miserably. It’s sort of like coming off a bad relationship with an ex who has cheated on you. Luckily, there are tools that exist now (Raven SEO Tools for example) that allow you to show progress and show results to clients and executives.
Another part of link building is the paid link side of things. This is the part of link building that has the worst reputation. And once again, how is this any different then social media? Aren’t there companies or people that are getting paid per tweet? Is it right, is it wrong? If there’s disclosure or transparency in your message than no, it’s not.
Link building has been here for a long time, and it will stay here. But how about this. If you still don’t think that link building is important, at least write so damn good content so people will naturally link to you. But if you have great content, than why are you scared to share it? Create great content and build links or let your SEO die.
It’s your choice.