If you've been learning how to build backlinks, you might feel overwhelmed by the information. Changes to how Google sees backlink building have affected a total of about 15 percent of all web searches. In the midst of all this change, you may be wondering if you should use some kind of automated backlink builder software to help you create your backlinks. In this guide, you'll learn tips and tricks about how to build backlinks, and why backlink builder tools are no longer as useful as they once were.
The Rise of the Machines: Automated Backlink Building
A decade ago, search engine optimization (SEO) was more about creating the right keyword density and using the right keywords than learning how to build backlinks. However, as search engines became increasingly sophisticated, they started looking for measures of “authority” on websites—in other words, how many other websites trusted them.
One quick way to find out how much authority a website has is to look at its overall number of backlinks. As this became more weighted, learning how to build backlinks became increasingly important for search engine optimization professionals. Backlink building became a science, and as people learned how to create backlinks fast, backlink builder software began to emerge.
Usually, backlink building software worked by generating automatic comments on blogs and content on affiliate marketing websites or press release sites. When marketers began to learn how to build backlinks with a backlink builder, it seemed like a dream come true: it no longer took a great deal of work to make a website appear early in search results.
The Problems With Automated Backlink Building
It wasn't long before there was trouble in paradise. It turned out that all that backlink builder software was working—too well. Instead of finding what they wanted at or near the top of their web searches, web searchers found results that looked much more like spam. An automated backlink builder could make links, but it couldn't make quality content.
As a result of so many people learning how to build backlinks with automated tools, Google began tweaking its search engine algorithms. In 2012, they rolled out their solution to the backlink builder problem.
Google's Solution: Penguin
To combat the rise of automated backlink building, Google's algorithm update, code named “Penguin” or simply called the “over optimization” update, was devised. This update allowed Google to focus more on the quality of backlinks, and discouraged using any kind of automatic backlink builder software.
Penguin has forced many search engine marketing pros to learn how to build backlinks the old fashioned way, because now, if the algorithm detects unnatural optimization, it decreases your search rankings. Websites that had been on top with old backlink building strategies now saw little or no traffic.
Penguin works in part by assessing the quality of your backlink building by looking at the PageRank (Google's perceived authority measure) of the websites doing the backlinking. If you've only been backlinked by very low quality websites, Penguin may affect your website and you may have to learn how to build backlinks all over again.
How to Build Backlinks Post-Penguin
Because Penguin has made it so much more difficult to do automated backlink building, you may need some quick tips about building backlinks from scratch. If your website has been affected by Penguin already, you may first need to ask webmasters to remove the links that were made by your automated backlink builder.
Once you've had the offending links removed, you can work on how to build backlinks for your new, post-Penguin website. The key is quality: you want to do backlink building with as many high PageRank websites as possible.
Another thing you'll need to learn before becoming your law firm's post Penguin backlink builder is how to vary your anchor text. That's the text of the link itself, and if it's always the same, Google Penguin recognizes that as a sign of potential automated backlink building.
Finding Backlink Building Resources
If you're not going to use an automated backlink builder any more, you need to find new places to put your backlinks. You should start by reading, rather than doing immediate backlink building. Do all of the research you can into how to build backlinks in your niche. There are several other articles on lawfirms.laws.com about building effective backlinks after Google Penguin.
You should also start to form some connections via social networking websites and blogs. Reading Facebook and Twitter feeds, as well as law blogs, can give you some great ideas for creating new quality content to attract new backlinks. Keep in mind that you'll want to focus on relevant, contextual blogs, so that you can build the best quality links possible rather than being caught by Penguin or any future Google algorithm updates.
How to Build Backlinks Organically
Building organic backlinks that will pass muster with any future Google updates doesn't have to be terribly difficult—it's just a bit slower than using automated backlink builder software. That slowness may actually be a blessing, though: Penguin appears to also penalize websites that are seen as building links too quickly for their web traffic levels.
In order to do organic backlink building, you'll need to begin posting to your blog and commenting on other people's blogs. You can also create organic backlinks by entering information pertaining to your law firm on directory websites like Google+ Local, or even local or regional chamber of commerce directories.
You may want to check what your competition is doing. There are a wide variety of tools that allow you to detect backlinks to a website of your choosing. By analyzing where your competitors are putting their backlinks, you can ensure that you are able to have backlinking opportunities in the same or similar places.
In some cases, you may want to outsource your backlink building. If this is the case, make sure that your backlink builder service knows how to build backlinks post-Penguin and has a good track record. You don't want to get hit by the next algorithm update, so make sure that they're posting real, quality content—not just spam.