Link building is a contentious issue among the SEO fraternity. Many like to quote the fact that Google’s ranking algorithm now contains 200 different factors and is no longer a link-based calculation as it was at the search engine’s creation. Others counter that those 200 factors don’t all have equal weighting in the Google algorithm and if you get a Google employee drunk, they will eventually blurt out that links are still at the heart of the algorithm. So you would be right to be confused on this topic.
A key part of link building is finding out where to get rankings-enhancing links from. This pursuit is called “link discovery” and there have been a number of articles on the SEO news sites on this topic over the last week. These articles appear in Search Engine Watch, Moz Blog and Search Engine Land.
This Moz Blog article is a summary of a link building guide recently produced by Moz. As a busy lawyer, you may not have time to read the full guide, but this summary should give you some ideas about directions you should take to look for link sources for your law firm’s website. It opens with a cracking recent quote from Google’s Matt Cutts, which answers once and for all the question of whether link building is worth the bother. It is.
This is another important article on link discovery from the Moz Blog this week. It explains tools you can use in order to see the links your competitors have attracted and to test the value of the links pointing to your own website Pages. The article draws you towards getting your hands dirty with technical stuff. So if you are a complete technophobe, pass this article on to whomever deals with the technical aspects of your law firm’s website.
If you are a little too busy with your legal work and you are not that into SEO topics, then this Search Engine Watch article should be more to your taste. The article outlines the general purpose of link building and proposes some strategies on how to go about the task. The writer also includes links to further reading if this article whetted your appetite enough to give you an interest in link discovery and link building.
Over at Search Engine Land, Julie Joyce, an SEO consultant, warns us all not to overdo link building. Note, however, she doesn’t say link building is a waste of time. In fact, reading about her experience, link building seems to be a major part of her job. Joyce points out, though that what works now might not necessarily always gain favor with Google. The company has a habit of suddenly taking against certain linking strategies and this could either ruin your rankings, or cost you a fortune in consultancy fees to get those links detected and removed.
This article reinforces Julie Joyce’s point. Not so long ago, link schemes were all the rage because they helped companies with their rankings. Now, they are frowned upon by Google. The landscape changes all the time in SEO and you need to keep track of developments in order to keep your law firm’s website appearing on page one of search engine results.