I have seen two great posts about link building in the past few days. One of these is by Jim Boykin on the limitations of link bait, and the other is by Eric Ward at the Search Engine Land blog about the “Circle of Trust”.
Jim focuses on the importance of getting high quality links from relevant authority sites. Doing this takes more than sending out a link request email. It involves what my generation used to call “business development”. You build relationships first, and the links come later.
You might spend 40 hours working on one single killer link, or even more. For example, you may need to write a bunch of articles to position your site for the link first. Or you may need to go to conferences to meet people and build trust with them face to face. Or you may simple help them out somehow, by referring interesting contacts to them. To get links from these types of sites, you need to build trust with the people that own the decisions for that site.
This is not a concept you use on lower tier sites in your space. But it is the type of effort that bring huge returns with the best link targets in your space.
Eric’s post talks about how important it is to become trusted by the search engines, and the impact this can have on your ability to rank for competitive terms. There are two major elements to this:
- Build high quality relevant links from authority sites
- Time – let the search engines see consistent behavior from your site over time
Time remains a factor, even if you do a great job building links. You can get some traffic in the meantime, but getting fully into the trust box (or the circle of trust, or …) comes with great rewards.