Link Building – Why It’s Gotten Harder

In a previous post of mine I stated that “organic link building is making more and more sense“. A statement I definitely believe but a statement with lots of things going on behind it. Nowadays if you look at your own link building campaign efforts and compare it to the amount of effort you needed to get quality links it the past to boost page rank you will see that it is becoming harder and harder to get good links. The reasons?

  • Changing/improving search engine algorithms – Search engines are getting better and better with determining the quality and relevancy of links. As an example, if you’ve read my previous post on the Domain Age Factor in Links you already know that MSN Live Search factors in not just the domain age of your own page but the domain age of the pages linking to you as well. What this means is that even amassing a large amount of links is no longer enough if search engines deem those links are low quality links.
  • Blogging Politics – In an excellent albeit pretty cynical post by Michael Arrington he discussed how the “salad days” of bloggers constantly linking to each other “in a state of brotherly or sisterly love” is now over. Simply put the good days of getting organic links easily are gone. This is because as he says the politics of blogging has shifted so that the blogging politically savvy never link out just for the sake of it. Links are seen as a very important commodity so that links are only given out by bloggers if they’ll benefit from it. Other blogs, even those maintained by people you admire, now becomes a threat and are seen as sources of competition. Sounds really sad huh? You should note though that this game of blogging politics are really played only by bloggers who want to make the most out of the money floating out there and in the end Arrington points out that this thing is disruptive to the blogosphere. Whether you agree to this thing or not though the sad truth is that there ARE bloggers playing this game and these are the very same bloggers that have great enough blogs to be sources of excellent link juice. With them staying away from sharing link love it makes organic link building all the more harder. So if you can not rely on organic link building alone (which is understandable for those who need to grow their links faster) then by all means go around fishing for links, however, you should try to find the blogs that seem to still link out for the sake of it or you’ll be wasting your time on some blogs where you won’t have much hope of getting any link unless you have something to offer in return.

So now that organic link building is harder why do I still say that it makes more sense to go organic? The reason is simple…because it is even harder to get results the non-organic way. By non-organic I mean buying links and spamming. Though there are bloggers out there not willing to share link love any more there are still lots that link to other bloggers for the mere reason that they liked an entry or admire someone.

As Matan pointed out though, you would want those that link to you to include keywords in the anchor text. In the case of organic link building though since you really do not know when a blog/website will link to you what you should do is keep track of inbound links and check out the anchor text by those linking to you. If you see really vague terms used like “read this” or “this link” then you have the option of contacting the blogger and suggesting a few keywords. For the most part, especially if the blog is a tech blog, the blogger will easily understand your concern. Of course all this should be done with tact. Be pushy and haughty and the link might even be removed. In the end the harder part is to get the links than to ensure that keywords included in the anchor text. (Source)

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