Sunday, March 30, 2014

Aggressive Link Building for B2B SEO is a Fool's Game

Artificial link-building for short-term B2B SEO advantage is a mirage and an affliction. 
Don't do it. 

You don't need to engage in artificial and risky attempts to build links to boost your webpage's B2B SEO success.

My SEO philosophy is to build quality content, target and exploite long-tail-search opportunities, and network those pages into cohesive and related clusters of relevant content. Then let the search engines rank these pages, ideally getting to page one results. When done correctly, this will encourage the proactive creation of quality, natural, inbound links from other websites which find my material relevant and worthy.

Inbound links are valuable if they are organic, have natural fit, are mostly unsolicited, and come from quality sources. Call this the 'white hatlaissez faire school of 'let them come' link SEO.

Buying links, joining link networks and participating in link-farms are blatant attempts to unnaturally and artificially circumvent search engine organic ranking systems. Search Engines hate these 'black hat' tactics because they can pollute organic search results with spammy pages of poor quality, pushing more deserving webpages down in rankings. Such tactics can create manipulated results which strike at the core consumer value of Google and BING. That's why Matt Cutts and Google have declared war on unnatural link-builders attempting to "game" SERP results.

I've witnessed various in-house marketers and agencies proclaim that acquiring links was their primary tactic. It didn't seem to matter that their webpages content was ageing, verbose, too broad, and too long. Nor did it matter that their webpage organization and hierarchy was poor. Never mind that their webpages violated the principles of long-tail-search and the content was not concise, not precise, nor relevant. None of that mattered. Chasing links would do the heavy lifting for SEO success, wouldn't it? No, not really. Especially not if you are in for the long-haul.

Play to Win, without buying Links.
In my 12+ years of search engine marketing and lead generation success, I've never engaged in a systematic attempt to increase the number of inbound links to my websites. Not once. I'm too busy optimizing niche content, focusing on long-tail-search, and enhancing website structure and hierarchy. In other words, I am focused on providing a superior, quality, product for humans (my potential customers) and search engines.

During a recent presentation I gave on Search Engine Marketing, during Q&A someone asked why I had not brought up link-building. When I told them that my success has come without link-building projects, there was an audible gasp from several people in the audience. I was apparently committing a form of SEO Linking blasphemy, in their link-loving minds at least.

Link-building hurts the innocent, too. I've met a some poor souls recently whose company websites were hit hard by recent Google updates and actions. Their pages dropped out of vital page one search results. Their company websites, built invariably by some hired, local SEO agency and/or 'seo expert', were set-up for disaster because a major part of the SEO strategy was to buy links. Once Google's anti-spam filters caught up with these sites, they were severely punished. Now these companies are scrambling to rebuild their sites, disavow links, and petition Google to give them another chance.

Matt Cutts video on "Unnatural Links to Site":

Creating a B2B search engine optimization programs based on aggressive link-building is fraught with danger, risk, and ultimate failure. "Black Hat" link-building may look like a short-cut to SEO success, but in the end such link-building tactics can, and will, backfire.

Focus on precise content, relevant content, webpage organization, and long-tail-search instead. You'll be amply rewarded.

Feed Your Website. Feed IT.