On July 22, many site owners received a message from Google concerning inbound links, or links from other sites into their webpage. This was alarming, as these messages usually mean Google thinks you are trying to cheat the system, and they are harshly penalizing you as a result. Consequently, many webpage owners began frantically searching through Google Webmaster Tools, trying to figure out where these links came from and how they could save themselves. The next day, Google engineer Matt Cutts posted on his Google+ page, explaining the messages and why most people did not need to worry. Essentially, he says that Google is just trying to cut down on spammy links, and they want to alert website owners when they find links leading to that owner’s site. It will not necessarily affect the site, but it is a more transparent manner of taking action on certain links.
As previously stated, most site owners do not need to drastically change their site in order to avoid being blacklisted by Google. However, this temporary scare can make many people wonder, “How can I be positive my inbound links are of the highest quality?” There are a few steps you can take to drive quality links into your site, which will improve your ranking in search engines and get your site seen by more potential customers.
Social Media Pages
The easiest way to both control your image and build links from outside sources is to create company pages on social networks with links that direct users to your site. Sites you might want an account on include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and Youtube. On each of these sites, you can put informational links to your site in the “About” sections, and you can share content from your site to your network. If you consistently update your site with a blog or new products, you can inform customers quickly by sharing on these networks and create acceptable inbound links in the process.
If you do a Google search for your company, chances are there are a handful of online directories that appear within the top 10 searches. You can optimize these directories to your liking and create valuable inbound links in the process. A few to get you started include Yelp, Citysearch and Google Maps. By owning these directory pages, you will see valuable reviews of your business, and you can link customers to the right pages in your website so they can find you more easily.
One of the most valuable ways to create an inbound link is to write a guest blog post for a relevant industry blog. Bloggers are often looking for guests who are knowledgeable on a subject to write a post for them, and in return, the blog will link to that author’s website. You can also insert links to your site in your post, as long as they do not appear to be shameless self-promotions. When you post on a credible blog, you also are improving your standing in the eyes of customers. Win-win-win!
Create Good Content
The one irrefutable way to stay in Google’s good graces is to create exceptional content on your website. By developing relevant, helpful web pages, you are making the Internet a better place, which is truly what Google wants to see. Google will never punish this content, and if your content is truly exceptional, many people will link to it, giving you an inbound link profile full of valid, rank-boosting links.
There is no easy way to gain inbound links. Improving your inbound link profile will help your search rankings, drive more visitors to your site, and make Google happy. In conclusion, when it comes to inbound links, don’t cut corners. Create valuable content, spread it around for others to see, and develop beneficial relationships with other relevant sites in your industry. You’ll be glad you did.