Digital Insights

How and Why Effective Link Building Should be Building Your Brand


Published: May 22, 2014

Despite the fact that backlinks are one of the most widely used techniques to improve search engine rankings, the practice of link building for SEO has received a number of black eyes that have left many webmasters scratching their collective heads as to what will and will not earn that dreaded Google penalty.

Google’s Penguin update targeted websites attempting to artificially influence search results with questionable linking techniques. Matt Cutts, Google’s resident anti-spam expert, has expanded on that theme with a series of posts, the most recent of which called for the end to guest blog posting as we know it.

Link Building is not Dead, It’s Just Changed
Forget link building solely for the sake of improving your search engine ranking. It’s the wrong mindset for today’s digital marketing world, and will earn your website a Google penalty sooner or later. Google expects, and will reward, helpful and relevant content that attracts links all on its own.

This doesn’t mean that link building is no longer allowed, it just means that you need to think in terms of providing links to relevant content that helps people as opposed to plastering spammy links all over the Internet in hopes of driving more traffic to your website.

  • Avoid mass distribution blasting of your content to spammy or irrelevant sites or directories just for the sake of trying to gain a link. You’ll never build a high-quality, authoritative reputation for yourself by associating with irrelevant, low quality spammers.
  • Replace keyword-stuffed anchor text with brand name-rich terms. You’ll make Google happier and promote your brand at the same time.
  • Remember that while links are important to your SEO effort, building your brand name is critical to your overall marketing success. By incorporating brand building into your link building campaign, you’re positioning yourself for long-term, sustained results from your digital marketing efforts.

Create a Solid Brand-Building Platform

Google is placing increased emphasis on branding in its search results; if search engine marketing is important to your company, you need to be following Google’s lead. You can fine-tune your company’s branding by.

  • Focusing on getting your content on all of the important channels for your niche
  • Sending consistent signals with your message type, logo, overall design
  • Sticking with a unique and easy to remember brand name
  • Never missing an opportunity to promote your brand name throughout all of your marketing materials and channels

Expand Your Branding and Link Building Horizons

  • Although press releases have little direct value to the link building process, they are a great way to generate more awareness of your brand, especially among bloggers who may pick up your story.
  • Guest post blogging and commenting will not generate direct links, but are useful in increasing brand awareness among people interested in your niche. Focus on the most important blogs in your niche.
  • Budget permitting, infographics are a great way to build brand awareness as well as gain links. Infographics are very popular with social media channels, and can get you in front of audiences that you may not be able to reach with standard text content.