Big brother is watching and recording. Google takes into account many things when considering where to place your website (page rank) on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). One of the more important, or weightier, ranking factors in their ranking formula is how many Inbound Links your website has.

Inbound Links to your site happen when another website connects back to your site via a ‘Link’ (blue hypertext), with those Links frequently being keywords (industry terms or phrases). Links are an optimization tactic, as they promote the popularity of your site content on the web, for both search engines and customer searches.

Authoritative, quality Links positively impact a web page’s ranking in search results. In turn, rankings affect site traffic and traffic can affect conversions. Page ranking is the web’s opinion about what website pages are important and popular.

Link gathering used to be straightforward, and simple math – getting x number of Links (by submitting your site to dozens of web directories) equated with a certain ranking in search results. For better ranking results, techniques were developed to build Links either manually or automatically.

Google wasn’t pleased that people were focused on intently gathering Links for their sites and forgot the fact that they should be focused on offering real value in order to earn those Links. Now, there is a transition from the concept of just constructing Link profiles, to investing time and effort into growing them organically as well.

Link Building versus Link Earning

Everybody is still proclaiming that ‘content is king’ and how Link Earning will change the face of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) indefinitely – but it seems apparent that not all know exactly how to get there. With much interest over this growing trend, people are confused as to how are they going to manage and implement both Link Building and Link Earning plans.

We continue to hear about ‘quality over quantity’ when it comes to content generation. While creating relevant and meaningful content helps both you and your web community… how will it end up helping to earn Links?

Everybody expects relevant search results from Google. Google works hard to improve their algorithms (ranking formula) in order to rank those that deserve to be there.

Basic Differences Between Link Building and Link Earning

Link Building and Link Earning really aren’t two different philosophies – they are two different roads to the same place. With Link Earning, you have to prove to be more resourceful and offer helpful information to the searcher.

One key difference between these two philosophies is that Link Building is based on an obvious intent of finding websites that would place a Link to your site, making sure you source the Links from quality and authoritative industry sites. While, the Link Earning process starts with some brainstorming and creative thinking.

Developing your content strategy and formulating content ideas should be your first step. Bear in mind that real value is relative to your target audience and to other websites or influencers that will want to share your content.

Three Link Earning Strategies

A lot has been written about earning and building Links and how they are different. You should consider Link Earning as a way to increase your portfolio of Links. Here are some methods that you can utilize to earn organic Links.

1. Unique, Incredible Content

Writing content, although a simple approach, is often hard to implement. The generation of unique content is crucial to earning Links. You generate unique content not only to provide relevant subject matter to readers and search engines, but also to be shareable on the Internet.

Once visitors find useful content on your site, be sure they will help you spread the word and Link back to you. Done properly, unique and engaging content can prove to be very efficient, spreading to other sites, blogs, and social media, without much of the manual Link Building work.

2. Engaging Contests

Another popular and valuable Link Earning tool is to generate audience involvement with contests and giveaways. You host contests on your site and promote them online. While networking with industry influencers and website owners, you ask them to pass on your content to their audience.

You may find asking other website owners to post your info on their site an odd technique, but it is one of the best Link Building efforts, in that each party earns valuable organic links.

3. Offer ‘Freebies’

One compelling reason for visitors to start talking about you and share Links that point to your site would be to provide free stuff or services. Nobody will pass up an occasion to get some useful free samples, or swag – which can also include any form of content or an app that is not very hard to produce and users may find very useful. Knowing your target audience is vital in making this tactic successful.

Closing Thoughts

Google penalizes (de-ranks) sites with shady Link portfolios. It is only a matter of time until the sites that employ shady Link Building strategies can’t rank well. Creative ways exist in which you can make Link Building work for you without putting your site in danger of penalization.

Business owners should invest more time in generating and delivering unique, incredible, informative content while also having a supportive, quality, manual Link Building process in place.

As you invest more time to earning and building Links and providing information people want to Link to, your web visibility, searchability, and page rank will rise.

If you are needing advice or direction developing your Linking strategies give the Everbearing team a call.

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