Seven (not so deadly) Link-Building Sins

August 27, 2013

Working in a company that’s trying to build its name in the World Wide Web is not just complicated: it’s beyond complicated, especially if your boss or your client has given you the honour of making the industry famous. Whoever said the phrases “Easier said than done.” must have heard you from across the planet. For those on the high seat of your corporation, the task assigned to you is just a simple promotion.

What they want is for the Google, Yahoo, or Bing to bring up the company website at the top of the search results whenever a customer shows interest in the field you are venturing into. More often than not, you find yourself wishing for them to understand that online campaigning is more than just key words in the search bar.

You probably are in the position to pull your hair and face the wall because of stress. Take a deep breath. You cannot expect everybody to understand the complexities of SEO, much more your boss or your client. You cannot blame them, they have a company to run and they just want nothing of the hassle of learning what link building is all about.

Although it will probably make everyone’s life easier if, from time to time, you can explain to them, in simple terms, the basics of link building. In an approachable way, you can live a message for your boss to read this article.

1. Links are indispensable. No matter how much people will say that link building is dead, they can never be right. Search engines line Bing, Yahoo! and Google rely on links to rank the results. That is not to say that link building before is the same as link building now. Time has changed and we have moved on from the traditional directory listing to a more social blog content writing. Conventional or otherwise, people will use search engines when they want to know something and search engines will utilize links.

2. Sorry, we cannot provide you the exact number, please try again later. How many links do you need to steal that most besotted No. 1 spot? Will 100 be enough? We don’t know. We don’t have a sure way of knowing the exact figures that can get you on top. As long as no specific knowledge about search engine algorithm is misplaced into our hands, it will suffice to know that the quality of the links will be more important than the quantity. A lot of factors have to be zeroed in: the efforts you put in, the keywords you choose and Google’s mood, I mean, the search engine’s prediction about the keywords.

3. Good content doesn’t come out of a bottle. No, please don’t assume that we can get you the perfect content that you are looking for in a snap of a finger. We have to think hard about what keywords will be of great match for you and the soon-to-be customers. Imagine something as trivial as a Facebook post can take up to 15 minutes to create. If you want a larger project, it may take us days and weeks. We don’t do haste because only a quality content can get you to that lofty spot. Anything less than that is fruitless.

4. You cannot buy a link map. Us, link builders always start from scratch. It is very stressful for us when our clients give us a one-liner command such as “Get some links.” If only a map can show us where to find the perfect link with the perfect content, life will be bliss. But, no. Said map is non-existent and we have to rely on our efforts and the key words.

5. We’re not beggars, we’re choosers. Contrary to popular belief, we do not ask an average Joe to give us links. Well, not unless they get something out of their “generosity”. So what we do is we try our hardest to “earn the link”. The best way to do that is by achieving No. 3, having good content. If we try to contact 50 people, it’s not a guarantee that we can have 50 links. But through efforts and a religious rapport, 1 link gained from outreach may be a lot better than 100 links promised by a foreign link building agency.

6. Patience is a virtue. It may be cliché, but it is true. We don’t know how long the fruits will bear through our efforts. Just imagine the amount of time it takes to make a good content. What we can assure you is that no matter how long, (usually up to 4 months) results are guaranteed. It’s in its nature; link building is a really slow process. There will come a time when you’ll really doubt if all the time, money and effort spent will gain fruition. Don’t worry, usually, on the fifth month, things will start to turn for the better. It’s just polite to set the expectations.

7. No break times allowed. Once you have determined that your spots are ranking higher, never assume that you can stop building links. If you do, all your hard work will be put to waste and you’ll start at ground zero. Again. Link-building is a continuous process. You cannot afford to stop. If, for a reason you stopped, you might be stable for a month or so, but only because of trace elements from previous efforts. Doing nothing will get you nowhere.

That sums it up. SEO is an intricate knowledge. Not everyone will get the hang of it right away. If your CMO, client, or client’s boss gives you a hard time because he or she thinks that you are assigned the most mundane of all jobs. Calm down. Don’t go on berserk mode. Just politely approach the concerned party and explain why SEO and link-building is never easy. Assure them that their money is equally met with your time and effort. That way, teamwork resumes and conflicts are avoided.