Doing Old Link Building Strategies the New Way

The only thing that’s constant in this world is change, and in a fast-paced world such as the Internet, you need to be nimble about these changes. Your methodologies should anticipate, or adapt to at the very least, the updates Google is implementing on their algorithms.

Link building strategies are among the most affected of the SEO techniques you are using today. With updates like Penguin and Hummingbird, Google is zeroing in on low-quality links and giving more emphasis to high-quality, authoritative, and natural links. The search engine giant is also learning to read links and content contextually. While you may read online that the old ways of link building won’t work anymore, this isn’t entirely true. Taking a new approach to the following old link building strategies will help keep your methodology effective through the changes Google is making.

Blog Outreach / Guest Posting

A few years ago, all it took to post a guest post in someone else’s blog was an email saying, “I want to post on your blog, and I was thinking of writing about this topic with a specific number of words.” What the bloggers usually receive is a post that’s not necessarily insightful and related to their general topic, but is exact keyword match-optimized.

Updating Your Methodology

Guest posting and blog outreach still works for link building, but only if you keep in mind Google’s revised link scheme definitions and Matt Cutts’ guest blogging advice. You’ll need to build your network of online influencers and establish relationships with bloggers. Participate in conversations and offer them advice without asking for anything in return. Finally, when they do offer you that coveted guest blogging spot, write something relevant to their topic, study their voice and their audience very well, and write something insightful.

Clayton Wood, our managing director, is a guest blogger on Search Engine Journal.

Press Releases

The norm was to release two keyword-optimized PRs to mass distribution sites like PR Web and PRNewswire. This changed when the fake Google acquisition press release changed the way press releases are used for online marketing, and set ground rules for press release creation.

PR Web was in trouble in late November 2012 for distributing a fake Google acquisition press release.

Updating Your Methodology

Google’s main concern here was more about link schemes and fact checking than anything else. It’s important for you to focus on the quality of your press releases. Think of what’s newsworthy and what’s worth writing about, such as:

  • Updates to your methodology / products / services
  • Extra-curricular activities involving goodwill like outreach programs, food drives led by your company, etc.
  • Special announcements, such as events, job openings, etc.

Distributing your press release to a targeted audience is also important. Just as in guest blogging, you will need to build your network of online news publishers and journalists. This will help ensure your release gets published only to relevant websites.

Directory Listing / Registration

Back in the days when PageRank was one of the main ranking factors Google examined, submitting your website to thousands of directory listing sites was a quick way of giving your PageRank a boost. Today, that’s not the case – many of these directory listing sites are considered low-quality and spammy.

Updating Your Methodology

Award-giving bodies follow a similar process, but it is more authoritative because Google knows they give out recognition to sites that excel one way or another. Submit your website for an award and focus on continuously improving the quality of your site. and The Webby Awards are only two examples where you can submit your site and have people vote for you. It accomplishes two things: It gets your website visibility and recognition, and it builds your reputation.

Sites like are a step up from the low-quality directory listings of the past. 

Updating your methodologies as Google updates their algorithms ensures you maintain your position on the SERPs, and it helps your website achieve the goals you have set for your business. Talk to us today to start updating your methodology.

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