Sustainable Link Development

With all the recent Google algorithm updates it can be easy to get confused as to what constitutes a solid link development strategy.  In truth, the same high quality approach that we’ve advocated for years is still the way to go.

Watch as Adam Audette discusses some key questions around creating a long-term link building strategy including integrating social media and how to approach mobile.


Adam Audette: Hi, everybody. Adam Audette, back again for another video here on the RKG blog, and today I want to talk to you about link development, and especially about sustainable, long-term link development. There are a lot of tricks and shortcuts you can take in link building. Those are going to be less and less effective over time. The search engines have really caught up with a lot of that stuff, so the thing to think about today, in this new era of SEO and online marketing, is how do you do things in a sustainable fashion?

The first thing that we always hear from our clients and from partners and friends in the industry is, “Well, where should I focus? What is sustainable link building? What does that even really mean?” And the thing to keep in mind here is that sustainable link building is really about creating a great digital experience. When you create a great experience online and you offer something compelling, some great content, that’s the kind of thing that’s going to attract links. And so, instead of thinking about, “Hey, how do I secure 500 links or 1,000 links or whatever I want to do”, think about, “How do I create a great experience online that will garner those links?” The other thing is social media. So, obviously social is this huge groundswell online; it’s this big deal. Search is about pure intent. It’s about what I’m looking for right now, what I want to find, and social is about what’s important to me and my friends and people like me. That’s important in link development, because you can use social to find people that are like you, and people like your clients or your company or what you’re trying to target or the kind of content that you’re trying to push out there. You can create those connections and relationships, and you can create that engagement with social media. You can also use social to mine tons of data, using tools like Followerwonk and lots of other tools to find who’s connected to who, who’s influential, and take it from there. So that’s really important as well.

Another question that we hear a lot is, “What about mobile? Do I have to do specific link development work for mobile, or what do I have to think about there?” And there really isn’t any specific link building that you need to do for mobile. So if you think about the three main ways you can handle mobile from an SEO standpoint: responsive design, using the same URL and just varying the content on that URL, or using like an m.subdomain. Each of those is trying to consolidate that equity back to the desktop anyway. Responsive is just a single URL; don’t even have to worry about it there. The m. strategy is using a rel=”canonical” tag on the mobile version back to the desktop, so it’s just saying basically consolidate everything back to the desktop anyway. And then the vary header is using the same URL as well. So all of those just illustrate the point that you really don’t have to do any specific link building for mobile, which is nice and simple.

We have a webinar coming up on May 2nd called “Link Development for the Long Haul”, or “Link Building for the Long Haul.” We’d love for you to join us then, and until then, SEO safe.