Over a decade ago, I was introduced to the intriguing game of link building for the first time. My very first task was to create a few dozen splogs on freehost domains and to link them all together with exact match anchor texts, so it’s suffice to say that a lot has changed during the past ten years. Most of those freehosts have disappeared…
During this time, I think I have learned quite a bit about link building, SEO and marketing in general. Most of this can be boiled down to just seven key learnings, which all are pretty much ‘basics’.
1. Always be honest
To everyone! To your clients. To link targets. To Google. To yourself.
There’s nothing wrong with crossing Google’s lines every now and then, as long as you’re being honest about it. To your clients, that you’re putting their sites at risk. To yourself, that you’re really giving your clients value for money. To Google, that when you’re filing a reinclusion request, you accept the consequences of your grey hat tactics, instead of denying that those advertorial links had been purposely un-nofollowed.
Also be honest in your link requests. Stating that “you’re an avid reader of website X” is somewhat hard to believe after you’ve just misspelled their name (happens regularly). And while we’re at it: things like “if you use this anchor text, we will both benefit of the relevance”, “I will provide you with free, high quality, relevant content because I like your site” or “no, me paying you to link to my page isn’t against Google’s guidelines” are not principles of persuasion – that’s lying. Stop doing that.