Marketing one’s website domain name through aggressive search engine optimization tactics designed to ‘buck the system’ have finally been defeated, thanks to Google’s ever changing algorithmic incantations. Your thinking is convoluted should you believe your old school comment spamming, FFA link fetching and article directory submissions will work today. Taking this principality back into link building, you’ll realize that SEOists have pretty outlandish expectations:
Give me permission to link to your page, and I will link to yours.
If Sam Walton were alive, he’d laugh at this methodology of joining hands in doing business with each other because it robs society from the true value of consumer-business relationships. Let’s investigate how building relations is of higher importance than building backlinks, an activity which will eventually perish.
Close Relations Are ‘Backlinks’
Modern concepts of building links between similar businesses could be construed as perpetual since the only real evidence such ‘linking’ exists resides on someone’s server. Relations are living, breathing and wanting to correlate with you to provide better tomorrows for millions. Once you’ve built positive relations, you’ve created a backlink in terms of ‘scratch mine, I scratch yours’, the most priceless connection one should hope to obtain and far more powerful than PR10’s could ever imagine. Once the actual relationship is established, receiving link backs becomes a technicality of the relationship.
In other words, get to know the business, not the HTML or website domain solely, and grow your ‘links’ through humility. Watch your business grow and natural search engine traffic will increase through these relationship formations.
Relationships Define Backlink Goals
The primary goal of obtaining link backs is to better position our businesses which, in turn, is theoretically supposed to bring us more business. What SEO professionals who spend their time creating links don’t take into account, unfortunately, is that links only hold value when the business they’re connected to actually have some level of working relationship. Sure, anyone can tirelessly place links all over the internet and rank our businesses higher; are we really building sales potential? I think not. If the internet were to catch up with how the real world worked before its existence, a link would only appear if it were relevant to the website and if referring visitors/customers to it was providing a service to them. Such links are more likely to hold true value as they tend to send actual traffic consisting of people interested in your service or product.
Again, you must actually have some working relationship with other niche companies in order for your links to have any value. The next time you run a link search on your site, email the business or blog you’re connected to and say ‘hello’. Chances are they’ll either ignore you or invoke amelioration of your link – if not, they’ll report your website domain for sure.
In other words, if your underlying goal of building backlinks is increasing your sales goals, perhaps you’re looking at the wrong end of optimization which means your website business model is probably lame.
Public Relations Grow Backlinks Naturally
If you’ve noticed how public relations campaigns have increased awareness naturally through news channels, you’d probably be inclined to change your marketing strategies altogether. Since press releases and other more natural news sources are read by billions every day, you’ll have better luck promoting your business, receiving natural linking and quite possibly grow your business from word of mouth. Content syndication through news wire, inclusion in Google news and other news engines will have greater impact on your search engine rank than errantly building massive contextual or anchored links to domains.
If you are creating an authority website you probably would have noticed the link profiles of the strongest brands, so you would have seen numerous references from news sources. The goal of these businesses was to establish their brands and, subsequently, they attracted quality links in the process.
The more time spent on honing your PR skills, the more likely you’ll succeed in your business world. Unless, of course, you run an illegitimate Ponzi scheme or MLM; in that case, throw in the towel because not many PR authorities will even look your way considering negative business could destroy PR’s who promote them.
Without Relationships, You Have No Business
Once you’ve embedded this fact into your memory bank, I’ll guarantee you’ll change your marketing schema to resonate more personable business principles. The issue with back linking resides in their nearly useless effects on your relationship building efforts. The goal of any startup business is obviously building customers who will stay loyal to them. Without relationships, you have no customers. Without customers, you have no business. Therefore, working on building positive business images which will naturally harvest interested customers should be the top priority before fretting over how many perpetual ‘links’ your biz has which will probably exist for all of, say, two to five years.
Our conventional fears of the Google God have caused the mad rush for being number one in Google search results, previously purported through link building efforts. Today, content which has mitigating weight for your business will be the relationship building tool capable of naturally building relationship links, the most valuable form of SEO one could ever beg for.
How The ‘Building Relations’ Process Works
We’ll talk all night about why specific relationship building tactics trump traditional backlinking campaigns, yet you’ll never actually learn how to initiate the process unless we debrief you. Therefore, we’ll take your traditional marketing model and approach linking with slightly more tact.
- Identification phase – During the first phase of relation building, we’ll need to identify proprietors similar to our business – or, at least our websiteproperty. If you currently have favorite blogs or sites, that would be someplace excellent to begin. If not, searching Google with “keyword” + blog or just “keyword” and switch to Blog Search Results. You’ll certainly find great businesses to initiate contact with.
- Communications phase – Once you’ve read through several pieces of content and feel satisfied with joining hands with this business, you’ll need to script a heartfelt letter which will outline your affinity for their efforts and the desire to collaborate or communicate regularly to share ideas. DO NOT suggestively sell; simply leave your name, number and website or blog link.
Now the wait begins. Instead of waiting for several months for the busy entrepreneur to contact you, it may behoove you to go onto the next business. This process will continue until you’ve communicated with your desired number of businesses, and ends when you say so. If businesses never contact you, it probably means you’ve either got little they wish to share or they’re so dang busy that your message hasn’t been given the attention it deserves just yet.
Society Will Never Get It
If you’re in your 40’s, a lot of old school business ideologies should be relatively fresh to you. Taking these thoughts of older marketing methods, ask yourself these questions and judge if link building is even worth your time.
- Would you have hung posters on your competitors’ windows to ask customers to buy from you without prior consent?
- Have you considered walking into some dime store and cussing (or punching) the owner out for no apparent reason other than boredom?
- Can you honestly say the goal of Yellow Pages was to be listed before anyone else?
If you’ve answered no to all, you’re business values are strong and congruent with potentially big things befalling for your business, yet you’re probably not an excellent candidate for link building since each question above seems to be the underlying goal of search engine optimization gurus.
In Conclusion: Fair Treatment, Fair Linking
Those who profess that one with the most links literally punches out the competition, steals window space for advertising and lists themselves in a virtual search world which nobody really cares if you’re number one are destined for failure.
In both business and website domain nomenclature, it only matters how well you treat customers, provide useful information for their betterment and how frequently you strive towards building written or verbally fruitful relationships with visitors – one facet which link building will never accomplish. Treat others fairly, and you’ll naturally build solid relationships which equate to natural backlinks.
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Roger Klawinski is a freelance writer and experienced domainer from Indiana who studies domain and search trends. You can follow him on Google+.