The practice of using article directories as a way to build links for search engine optimisation strategies is one that has been around for a long time, but now Google’s Matt Cutts has spoken out against this tactic. But, don’t worry; there are still legitimate ways to build links to help you get higher rankings.
The Problem with Article Directories
Article directories are sites where users can upload articles, which include a few links in the author biography, and other users can use the content on their own sites. The idea is that as more people use the content, more links will be built back to a company’s website, increasing search rankings.
Cutts explained that the content in these directories is usually low quality and then goes on to say, “I wouldn’t necessarily count on that being effective.” Google has also updated its search algorithm to put less of an emphasis on these links, so this strategy is not the best way to build links and earn rankings.
Better Ways to Build Links
But, when done the right way, link building can still be an effective SEO strategy. The key is to make sure the content you produce is of the highest quality and provides value to your market and that links are relevant.
Creating attractive infographics that are interesting and make your readers want to share them is a great way to build links. There are a few ways you can use this as a link-building strategy. First, you can post the infographic on your own website or blog and share it with your market, in an effort to encourage people to link back to your website. Secondly, you can provide your readers with a piece of code they can use to embed the infographic on their own site, which will automatically link back to your site.
Earned Media Coverage
Getting in the news can offer link-building opportunities. When your business or products are blogged about or mentioned in a news article, the writer will most likely link to your website. News websites and high-ranking industry blogs provide valuable links that will help your own site’s rankings.
You can get media coverage by simply being the best in your industry, launching innovative products, holding major events and becoming a resource bloggers want to reach out to. Another way to build these kinds of links is to write press releases about newsworthy happenings at your business and then distribute them to journalists and bloggers.
Social media can work hand-in-hand with SEO to help you get higher rankings. Promote your content on social media to drive traffic to you website, which can influence rankings. Another added benefit of using social media is that your content will get more exposure and if your readers like it, they will be more likely to link to it from their own websites or blogs.
When users are logged in to Google when they perform a search, content that their Google+ connections have written, and linked with Google Authorship, will appear higher in search results. While the audience you can reach with this strategy may not be as large as when you achieve regular Google rankings, it is one more way you can get your content in front of more people.
While using article directories to build links is an outdated practice, there are other ways your business can get links back to its website to earn higher search rankings. Your goal should always be to provide top-notch content and value for your market, and link-building opportunities and rankings will follow.