Adopting a standard netlinking strategy exposes you to Google’s penalties, especially since the release of the Penguin 3.0 update last year and the Penguin 4.0 version a few days ago. Are there other alternatives to generate inbound links for your site? The answer is yes…

Despite successive changes and updates, links remain at the center of Google’s ranking algorithm. Along with site optimization, quality of content and user engagement, quality links are the key ingredient for ranking well in search results. Webmasters have nevertheless faced a dilemma in recent years: even if Google requires quality links to properly rank a website, the search engine advises against any activity aimed at strengthening a site’s network of links. It even penalizes sites that practice marketing with articles, low-quality guest blogging, paid links and directory submissions.

From the start, Google thought of rewarding sites whose quality content really deserves to gain inbound links. From this angle, one might think that the model has slowly shifted from a link-building strategy to a link attraction or link earning strategy. Yet Google’s goal has always been to favor sites that naturally ATTRACT links. However, this goal has only started to be achieved in the past two years. By monitoring search results and applying automated or manual penalties, Google is now able to sanction sites that seek to unnaturally boost their incoming links and instead favor sites that naturally gain backlinks.

This raises a number of questions: how can you gain inbound links if you don’t even have a sufficient audience? If nobody knows your site, how can internet users anchor a hyperlink to your site? How can they find your site and pages if they don’t even know you exist? Below is an explanation from Marcela De Vivo.

Things not to do, according to Google

The instructions sent to webmasters by Google are intended to be clear and precise on the question of inbound links. These recommendations list the practices to avoid to escape Google Penguin penalties in 2015 and beyond. According to Google, ” any link intended to manipulate PageRank or to fake search results may be considered to be part of a network of artificial links and therefore constitutes a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes all actions to manipulate links to your site or outgoing links from your site “.

So, to stay on good terms with Google in 2015, the search engine insists on the following points :

  • Do not buy or sell links – or posts containing links bought or sold – which influence PageRank;
  • Do not overdo link exchange in your practice and give-give exchanges, of the type “I point a link on your site, if you point one on my site”;
  • Do not flood your marketing campaigns or guest-posting campaigns with long keywords used as anchors;
  • Do not use automatic link building programs;
  • Avoid them artificial ties, including those anchored on templates and footers, those integrated in forum comments, hidden links, keyword-rich links, low-quality links integrated into widgets and lower-quality directory submissions.

These points summarize the practices that Google does not want to see in your netlinking strategy. Now that you know how to avoid Penguin’s penalties in 2015, let’s talk about how to earn quality links by Google standards. Achieving such an outcome is done in several stages, which require rigorous discipline, almost military.

1- Use the right tools

The first step is to consolidate the foundations of your strategy by finding the right tools for your job.

Google Chrome and its extensions

Google Chrome is the preferred browser for internet users and SEO professionals, thanks in large part to the modules and extensions that its users can install. Above all, make sure you have the following extensions:

  • Moz Chrome Extensions;
  • Seo Quake;
  • Streak for Gmail;
  • Majestic Backlink Analyze.

Podio

Podio is an excellent collaborative project management tool. This platform offers its users great flexibility in the distribution of tasks to editors, between editing or rewriting content, distributing content on websites and monitoring this content so that they do not fall into oblivion .

Podio operates on the basis of a hierarchical framework composed of several workspaces within the same organization, these spaces working on several applications. These are divided into different elements, which are then divided into several tasks that can be carried out by an individual or a team. Specific people can be assigned to different tasks. When changes occur, Podio sends notifications to all parties involved.

Familiarize yourself first with the features of Podio and Chrome extensions, so that you are well prepared for the next step, which is nothing short of enriching your content.

2- Reinforce the value of your content

The secret of a successful link building lies in the quality of anchor contentrong>. Quality content can be images, graphics or text – there are no specific rules as to what exactly it is. Internet users and site owners do not share links and do not link to a site without reason. They only do this when your content deserves to be highlighted or the interest of its readership is important.

So before you even write or develop your content, take the time to look for opportunities that you can take advantage of on specific topics. What specific problems does your audience face when they find little or no solution on the net? How could you help them overcome them?

You will find relevant ideas through the topics that are in the news or on which Internet users are interested. Use tools like Buzzsumo to see what news or topic people are talking about the most at any given time. This tool measures the number of shares of different subjects and thus identifies the theme that most interests the public. Buzzsumo thus appears to be an excellent means of identifying which subject is causing the buzz, which is the subject of more discussion and which shock / / or move people the most, data that a Google robot could not identify with precision.

So, by searching your site for the content that has generated the most interest, your goal should be to surf this success, then improve, refine and adapt it to what your target audience is currently looking for.

  • Beyond written content

Much of the content is limited to one article. Start now at think content beyond the written words and study the possibilities available to you with multimedia. Between presentations SlideShare, video interviews, animations, webinars and especially infographics, several powerful means exist to transmit information. Your content can be redesigned for various media, after its creation. For example, if you have an article that is interesting in every way, you can republish it or summarize it in a readable infographic that is much easier to remember.

  • Hosted content and own content

It’s extremely complicated to create good content on your site and then try to attract other sites to link to it. This strategy is however still commonly used by many bloggers. The best option in this case is to create two pieces of the same content, for each link you want. One of the elements will be published on your site and another will be published on the site intended to host the incoming link. You will find the sites potentially interested in this exchange of good process by carrying out a research by keywords.

Beware, however, of duplicates or elements of content that are too similar. For example, if you write an article on a particular topic, you can create an infographic that corresponds to it and offer it to the target site. In this case, the article will constitute your own content and the infographic will be the content hosted on the “partner” site. This method of hosted content and clean content creates value that attracts inbound links, both to your site and to the site that accepts to host some of the content you create.

  • Set your link strategy

The next step is to determine how you will link your content. Each link integration has two specific elements, the target URL and the anchor text. The target URL is none other than the page to which the link points. It can be a home page or an internal site page. The anchor text designates the word or words on which the user is supposed to click.

Before, site or blog owners used paid keywords as anchor text. However, this practice has become dangerous in the Penguin era, especially since the release of the Penguin 3.0 update. Rather than using these risky expressions, prefer normal anchors like your company name or a bare link, fully integrated into your content. Another option is to use call words, like “To more information “Or” You will find additional explanations HERE “. It would seem more natural to search engines.

3- The awareness stage

Great content is worthless if it is not supported and promoted by a good outreach strategy. Unless you already have a well-known and very popular referral site, awareness raising should always be part of your inbound linkage plan.

  • Identify the right sites to contact

How would you know with which site to be in relation? The first step is to take an interest in how you researched and created your content again. When you debated or imagined your content topics, you certainly discovered several sites that contain interesting and relevant information. List these sites to identify which can or potentially want to host one or more of your inbound links.

Another method is to leverage the power of Google by researching which sites contain or have hosted content similar to yours in the past. Anyone can search Google, but understand the subtle nuances that produce the best results nevertheless requires special skills. Familiarize yourself with these nuances by closely studying a guide to research methods to understand how to use quotes, periods, dashes, and keyword phrases and get the best search results.

Develop a complete list of target keywords and potential sites to contact. Some tools like Trello can be more interesting than standard applications like Excel or Google Drive. Trello makes it possible to be shared for collaborative work and is intended to be more intuitive. When you have finished your list of sites, examine each of them, emphasizing:

  • Their Mozrank ranking;
  • Their authority in their respective fields;
  • Confidence flows;
  • The citations associated with them;
  • Their PageRank.
  • Collect information about your contacts

Now that you’ve identified the most relevant sites, take the next step on how to contact them. This is a very important step that you should never take lightly. Find the “Contact Us” tab on their site, or check their user guidelines, their leads on official social media pages or their official email addresses. This data allows you to contact them directly and avoid landing on their customer service or in their spam files.

  • Write a convincing email

Site owners are cautious and demanding of email and content hosting requests. It is imperative to distinguish yourself. So, you must:

  • Mention the source URL as the subject;
  • Write a short and readable email;
  • Personalize your letter to say that you are a real person;
  • Stay polite and friendly – it’s easier to chat with, and it proves, again, that you’re not a spammer;
  • Use flawless grammar. Yes, it is entirely possible to write an email with zero errors;
  • Present yourself as an authority figure in your field;
  • Submit one or more extracts from your work published on other credible sites.

Consider sending your email from a personal Gmail account to tell your contacts that this is not an advertisement. Above all, be sure to mention the URL of your subject content.

4- Start your awareness campaign

Rather than using standard email marketing tools to send your approach messages – they can then be filtered -, use a Gmail account with the Streak extension. Streak automatically creates a dedicated mailbox for an email, which is automatically linked to all emails sent by the same person. Streak then allows you to treat each email address as a contact and to consider each communication as a “step” in your collaboration.

Streak user guides are available on the internet: just be sure to read the guides for the Streak version compatible with your CRM. You can then classify the stages of your exchanges into different categories, in particular:

  • Send ideas / Need more information;
  • Auto reply ;
  • Class ;
  • Classified / Needs attention;
  • Need for content;
  • Rejected;
  • Published;
  • Without answer ;
  • No correspondence, etc.

5- Respond to emails received

Respond to any responses you receive, even automatic replies, as soon as possible after your first submission. This could disrupt you fairly quickly and you will lose collaboration opportunities as a result. The organization at this level must be very strict and methodical.

Sort, label, mark each email with Streak. Try to include as much detail as possible. Do not pretend that you will not forget anything by not classifying your emails.

6- Complete all the steps on Streak

Navigate through all of your Streak steps on Gmail to check if you’ve completed all of the tasks.

As soon as you get a response, take the opportunity to nurture this early relationship. Quickly absorb the tone, the readership and the topics covered by the site. Then send its administrator / owner some thematic ideas, taken from Feedly or Buzzsumo, all free tools accessible from your Google account.

7- Create and follow your content

As soon as you have the green light from the partner, Podio then takes action. Create an application and identify all its essential components, including the title of the content, the status, the author, the editor-in-chief, the number of words, the target site, the URL of the content and all the notes allowing you to follow the progress of the task. Brief your editor on specific phrases / expressions to include or avoid in content.

Then add images to your content by embedding it in a Word document and submitting it to the target site. Be sure to accompany the content with a friendly note to the site administrator. Take the opportunity to thank him for his collaboration and to ask him if he has any other questions or requests. If it requests changes, be sure to make them on both Streak and Podio.

8- Watch your links

After sending, all you have to do is check if the content sent has been published with the corresponding link. This step may seem long, especially since the host sites often seem busy in their activities. A cordial revival might remind them of your deal if they delay uploading the content.

As soon as your inbound link and anchor content are posted, review the text carefully before playing your Streak labels. Then send a message of thanks to your correspondent with the site for their collaboration.

Winning links is not for lazy people

Arranging quality inbound links takes a lot of time and effort, but the results are definitely worth it. When other sites, using standard practices, fall into the Google net, your site will gain links and visibility and your business, in notoriety. If you follow these recommendations to the letter, you will build in a few months or a few years a solid base of inbound links that will propel you into the top ranks in your field, these places being occupied by the brands that Google likes to reward by bringing them a substantial traffic.