Link building is a search engine optimization (SEO) practice that’s essential for websites to rank high in search results. Because the business climate has rapidly shifted to the digital sphere and Google’s algorithm continually evolves, it’s become more vital than ever before.
This year, SEO professionals are more focused on performing link building. If you would like to boost your website, here are three of this year’s link building trends.
1. Guest Posts
The most crucial purpose of a search engine is to answer questions.
How do you patch up a leaky pipe?
Is buying a new car better than repairing the old one?
The results are a vast repository of online information that anyone can use, primarily articles and posts.
Guest posting isn’t much different from writing a normal blog post, except it also involves inserting quality backlinks throughout the content. With guest blogging, websites achieve three key objectives.
- Establishes an image of authority on the subject matter, let alone the industry.
- Earns enough exposure that readers may click on the links to learn more.
- Builds quality backlinks (albeit experts advise against making this the main objective)
This is how real SEOs buy guest posts. There’s little to no reason for them to write content purely for the backlink; for them, the business’s image to its competitors and the public matters just as much, if not more. Contributing to the growing repository speaks volumes about a business’s commitment to its customers.
2. Skyscraper Technique
More often than not, building skyscrapers is a prestigious competition. Malaysia’s twin Petronas Towers held the title of the world’s tallest building for six years before Taiwan’s Taipei 101 took it, only to lose it after six years to the United Arab Emirates’s Burj Khalifa. It’s only a matter of time before a new contender towers over it.
This skyscraper race applies to SEO as well, as it’s also a race to have the best content in a specific industry or market. In fact, one SEO expert in 2015 devised a technique that’ll continually give websites the edge, even in a hot market. Brian Dean aptly calls it the Skyscraper Technique, and it’s as easy as one, two, three:
- Research relevant content that has plenty of quality backlinks
- Create similar content but with better information and design
- Release it to an appropriate audience, preferably via email (1)
In pulling this off flawlessly, staying up-to-date is crucial. Experts advise using Google Alerts to help find the niche content that has the potential to become the next big read. The new version must contain current information in improving upon the old content.
3. Help A Reporter Out! (HARO)
Another link-building trend that’s recently gained momentum involves HARO, a public relations tool that connects journalists with credible sources. Reporters from major media outlets like The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal use this to great effect. As such, HARO can offer brands a tremendous boost in exposure.
Some experts believe that HARO yields more predictable results than conventional link building campaigns. For starters, if a reporter decides to use a brand’s insights for their story, the latter gets backlinks from the media outlet.
These backlinks are high caliber, considering they come from prominent news sources that typically command high domain ratings. For instance, The New York Times has a domain rating of 94 out of a possible 100 points.
Another advantage is that HARO is free to use, but signing up for a paid account grants users more features. Among these include multiple profile templates, keyword alerts, and even a heads-up from its editorial team if a media opportunity presents itself.
Consequentially, pitching to journalists can be difficult. Since they usually have a tight schedule, any response from a brand will have to come quickly. The quality of the response must also be high. Pitching products and services if the journalist doesn’t ask for it is against HARO’s rules for credible sources. (2)
Based on these trends, link building has become more creative over the years. Guest blogs and posts remain the most prominent method, as they’re easier to get published on another website short of a news outlet.
However, websites shouldn’t be quick to rule out the other two, as they have the advantage of providing high-caliber backlinks. Perhaps new link-building methods will offer the best of both worlds in the following years.
- “How to Execute the Skyscraper Technique (and Get Results)”, Source: https://ahrefs.com/blog/skyscraper-technique/
- “Rules for Sources”, Source: https://www.helpareporter.com/sources/rules/