With all the updates Google applies to its search engine's algorithms, the one constant throughout the years that greatly contributes to a site's rankings is having quality links. The only thing that keeps changing is the definition of a quality link. For now, these five link building methods fit the bill for what Google wants:
1. Explore Rich Media
Nowadays, it's a given that you should be creating quality content to attract links. Taking your link building strategy to the next level though requires you to diversify your content assets from simple written articles to infographics, podcasts and videos as well as mixed media posts that combine all forms of content.
If you put the same amount of excellent effort into these like you do with your posts, they will become highly valuable resources that people will link to. To improve their link-building capacity, organize them in such a manner that is easy for visitors to browse through and share. Remember to track assets such as images to get links from those who happen to use them withoutproper accreditation.
2. Crowdsource the Experts
Coming up with original content ideas all on your own on a consistent basis is not easy.Instead of wracking your brain trying to generate fresh content with brand new insight, tap into the brilliant minds of your industry's thought leaders.
Think up of a hot topic that fuels debate or will guarantee varying opinions such as an emerging trend, then formulate two or three straightforward questions that you can send to these experts and curate later on. You don't even have to go straight to the biggest names, as that can be quite the challenge. Up-and-comers that you follow will definitely appreciate you asking them for their thoughts, and they will link to the finished post.
3. Fill the Gaps
It's not uncommon to have authority sites to link to quality resources. It's also not uncommon for those very authority sites to have dead links, or at the very least links that are outdated. That is a great opportunity to contact the webmaster, report the dead link, and provide a replacement using your own content (as long as it's relevant).
Manually searching for dead links can be an arduous task, but there are some tools you can use to make the job easier such as the Firefox extension LinkChecker and the Chrome extension Check My Links.
4. Join Roundups
There are plenty of bloggers out there that come up with posts that merely curate the best resources within the week or month. They are usually organized by the topics they cover for easy browsing, and the blogger in charge of the roundup will sometimes provide a short description as to why the link is worth a click.
A simple Google search for "link roundup" with the search string "+" and the industry you're in will do. Set the search tools' date into "past year" to get up-to-date results. All you'll have to do then is to contact the blogger and politely request to have your content linked to.
5. Enter Forums
Guest blogging is one of the more tried-and-true methods in building links, but you can use the same approach to crafting an article which you can just post on an active message board that is frequented by your target audience. Google "forum" with a relevant keyword, and check the results if they're getting enough views and real posts.
Before you register, you'll want to know if outbound links posted in the forum are direct and aren't "nofollow" so you don't waste the article on a useless link. You can use the SEO Toolbar from SEO Book or the SEOquake extension to find out if a link is set to "nofollow" or not.
Once you've determined that, sign-up so you can work on posting your article that has a link to your site as a new topic. It's best to take part in existing discussions first before you submit a new topic though, as that will lend you more credibility as a member who really wants to contribute to the community.
These are just a handful of the more advanced link building techniques you can use to build your site's link profile in such a way that Google and your site's visitors will appreciate. Do you have any more techniques to add? Share them in the comments section below!