During college I worked many long hours in retail. My biggest takeaway from that job was this: people are loyal to people. My store manager said this frequently, encouraging us to develop relationships with our customers. Years later, I see that his philosophy applies to any industry, including link building. Like building relationships, building solid links requires quality time, a willingness to listen and learn, and a good dose of patience. As long as your links are real and relevant, they will not only work, but they will also withstand any scrutiny from the search engine folks.

build links like you build relationshipsTo get these real links, you will need to build real relationships. These include (and certainly are not limited to) relationships with journalists, customers, vendors, and other professional associates. Do not attempt to build links with contacts that are irrelevant. Should you ask a sports journalist to link to the how-to you wrote on canning tomatoes? Probably not. This isn’t rocket science, guys; be smart and don’t be a link whore.

Don’t be lazy
We are drawn to get rich quick schemes, tanning beds, and crazy diets that promise a flat tummy in ten days because we are lazy. Like the first three things, using a magic formula for link building will eventually catch up to you. Don’t think that one of those 100 links for $50 deals in your spam folder is a fast way to outsmart Google. Laziness does not breed excellence. Link building takes time and a decent amount of effort, quality time, and some creativity.

Hail, King Content
Often the simplest answer is actually the best answer. Perhaps we begin to sound like a broken record when it comes to content, owning the nearly cliché “content is king” as our mantra, but it’s the truth. Want to avoid Google sweeping down and using their cute little penguin to crush your hopes and dreams? Write strong, relevant, well-researched content that is worth linking to. And remember that more content is not the same as strong content, and bad content will always drag down the good.

Autumn Nicholson – Project Manager

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