SEO & Link Building Post Panda/Penguin

There’s been a lot of talk about link building as it relates to SEO and whether it even still applies after Google Panda & Penguin updates of 2011 & 2012.  Many webmasters and SEO’s are going as far as to say that link building is dead or at least minimally effective in improving search engine rankings while others are still going strong with heavy link building, believing that there has been no change.

Here are my thoughts on the issue.

Yes, Link Building has been affected, but NO, Link Building as part of an SEO strategy is not entirely dead; It’s just different.

What do I mean by “different?”

Google has said time and time again that link building needs to look natural, so anyone that is buying packages on or another website where you can buy 1000 backlinks for $5, better watch out.  Those are the sort of tactics that will get you banned from Google’s index entirely now.   I believe that the quick and easy methods of link building are dead.  Rather than using the word “different”  I should use the term “natural.”  This is a term that’s been kicked around for years, but it seems that Google has tweaked their algorithm and their updates to actually enforce it.

If you need to brush up on what Google is looking for, check out their Quality Guidelines.

What should link building look like?

Link building should look as though you didn’t go out and blast a bunch of backlinks everywhere!  It should look as though the links were acquired naturally, OR better yet:  The links should be acquired naturally!  In our social media driven society, that shouldn’t be too difficult, if indeed your content is linkworthy.  People freely give out Social Media links from Twitter or Facebook all the time and if you provide good quality content and let people know about it, links will come.

Link building techniques that you should use:

  • Share your content on Social Media websites and hope for re-tweets, shares etc.
  • Write good content on your own website/blog and share it.
  • Old fashioned link building – find a high quality, relevant website and ask for a link.  It still works!
  • Use Web2.0 properties for backlinks, but don’t go overboard.
  • Vary your backlinks.  Don’t point everything to ONE web property.  Use a number of them.
  • Vary your anchor text when link building,

Link building techniques that you should avoid:

  • Buying any backlink whatsoever.
  • Hiring someone to build a few hundred or thousand backlinks.
  • Linking using the same anchor text over and over.
  • Links from low quality directories (local high quality directories may be an exception.)
  • Links from websites that have no relevance to your website.
  • Reciprocal linking, where you trade links with one website for a links on yours.
  • Getting footer links on a completely unrelated website.  It looks spammy!

Hopefully these techniques will help to point you in the right direction with your link building efforts, but if you have questions, please ask.


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2 Responses to “SEO & Link Building Post Panda/Penguin”

  • Great list Jonathon. I would say guest posting is the safest and effective link building technique that works at any time 🙂

    12 years ago Reply
    • Hey. Thanks for the comment. I forgot that one on the list, but definitely a great way to get backlinks and build a brand online.

      12 years ago Reply