From Building to Earning: Link Acquisition the Right Way

One Does Not Simply "Build" Quality Links Meme

Link building is dead.

I’m sure you’ve read this statement over and over again in various features, blogs, and in social media. However, this statement is inaccurate in that link acquisition isn’t entirely dead – it’s just link building as you know it that died with Google’s algorithm updates. With the death of this old ideology comes an updated process, something we’ve been talking about for a long time now: earning links.

You don’t build links anymore – you have to earn them to get quality links from high-authority publishers.

Shifting Your Ideology

Why is earning links more effective than “building” links?

In order to understand why you need to shift your ideology, you need to understand two things. First, the notion of building is finite and tangible. When you say you’ve “built” links, you’re saying you have something to show for, that when you submit your feature to different publishers, that they will post it and you will gain a link. The truth is more complicated than that – your pieces will go through reviews and critiques before becoming a live link, and there is no assurance that all the links you’ve “built” will eventually become actual live links.

Second, you need to understand that link acquisition is only a means to an end. Your main goal for putting up a website is to gain more new leads that convert into new business, and to do that, you need to drive traffic to your site. Link acquisition is only one way of doing it. Other ways of driving traffic are at your disposal, including (but not limited to):

  • Social media – through conversations, contests, and informative posts
  • Email marketing – newsletters, promos, and coupons for your subscribers
  • Paid search – this allows you to control what keywords you rank for, and how long it will be displayed on the SERPs
  • Long-tail keyword targeting and content marketing

Google and Link Acquisition

Google plays a big role in changing the way we look at link acquisition. Penguin updates are zeroing in on low-quality links more effectively after each update, and Google revises their definitions of link schemes regularly to reflect the new methodologies that other SEO practitioners try in an attempt to “cheat” the system.

Hummingbird also changes the way you look at link acquisition because it doesn’t focus on links; instead, it focuses on understanding context and displaying relevant results based on your content. This means regardless of the number of links you have, you will have the chance to rank for your desired keyword if you offer high quality, relevant content.

Google Hummingbird, one of the updates Google implemented recently that will change the way you look at link acquisition

Earning Links – What Makes You Worthy?

The process of earning links begins with the question “What makes me worthy of being linked to?” What we do is to take a traditional PR approach, looking at the task as more than just SEO – we approach it as part of a holistic digital marketing strategy.

The difference between building and earning links is in the quality you get. “Built” links usually are of lower quality, while earned links usually come from respectable, high-authority sources. Some of the activities we do in order to help you earn links include:

  • Brand and Leadership Interviews – We get you interviewed by high-authority publications in order to share your brand message, discuss your offerings, and show your industry leadership
  • Content Development – Our team creates a variety of updated, relevant, and high quality content tailored for your target market. This includes guest blogs, PDFs, press releases, original videos, and products / service reviews.
  • Digital Marketing Outreach – We carefully select and establish strong connections with relevant publishers in your industry, giving you a platform where you can be seen and heard while allowing you to earn high-quality backlinks.

We’d be happy to discuss our strategy in detail and help create your unique digital marketing strategy. Talk to us and we’ll start planning how you can earn links today.

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