It may seem unbelievable, but the majority of companies still have no strategy to create inbound links. Even some companies that used to work on creating inbound links have stopped, after new updates to Google shocked search engine marketers and limited the use of the biggest inorganic link building strategies. Whether your law firm has never tried to create inbound links or you're wary about creating inbound links with Google's new precautions, you need this guide. You'll learn what Google loves, what it hates, and how to deliberately create inbound links that won't result in penalties.
What Does Google Hate?
Google's motto, when it started as a company, was this: “don't be evil.” While it's up to webmasters everywhere to decide whether they've succeeded in implementing that motto or not, Google hates websites that appear to be evil.
What do they mean by evil? Basically, Google doesn't want to reward websites (with higher search rankings) that are making the internet harder to understand or harder to use. For example, websites that used the same keyword over and over, with no content whatsoever, very rapidly ended up penalized by Google's algorithms.
Google believed for many years that a website's success in creating inbound links was one of the best ways to judge its authority and relative worth to web searchers. As internet marketers learned that it was so important to create inbound links, they started developing new techniques.
Some of these new techniques for creating inbound links had effects Google believed were, essentially, “evil.” If Google believed your company had tried to create inbound links that were paid for, or that were spamming other sites, they started penalizing your rankings in 2012.
What Does Google Love?
Google loves when it appears that you create inbound links the old fashioned way: by being too fascinating to ignore. Whenever you want to know how to go about creating inbound links that Google will love, keep this in mind: the more natural it looks, the more likely it is to help.
For example, you can create inbound links by building an infographic about attorney fees and fee structures—something attorneys and non-attorneys in many different areas will probably find interesting. Infographics spread really well on the web, and you'll rapidly find that other websites are creating inbound links to your content—even websites you've never heard of in your life.
When this kind of organic inbound link creation happens, it has some features that are easy for Google to identify. Usually, when you create inbound links this way, the anchor text of the links will vary significantly. Additionally, it's very likely that there will be many different types of sources linking your content, from social networking websites to blogs to social bookmarking sites to real magazines or newspapers.
The more that your link presence looks like a naturally created one, the more Google will love your website. You should only create inbound links when you know you can make them look natural.
How to Create Inbound Links Through Blogs
If you want to actually let nature take its course instead of creating inbound links yourself, it can pay off—especially if you know how to make content that people really love. If you're talking about an area of the law that is of particular interest to a large number of people, it may be fairly easy to get attention and create inbound links through your blog.
Of course, that's not the only way to use blogs for creating inbound links. You can also create inbound links in the comments of someone else's blog. If you're going to do this, remember the motto: don't be evil. Don't post a generic response that doesn't really show whether you've read the blog entry or not. Make a real response, start a discussion, and it's much more likely that when you create inbound links in your comments they'll stay long enough to be indexed and add their link juice to your website.
If your blog doesn't yet have much traffic but you're putting together interesting content, consider talking to other bloggers. They may be willing to pass on an inbound link, or even let you have a guest blogger spot to create inbound links to your own website. Make sure that you don't tell other bloggers that creating inbound links is your primary goal—the goal should always be good content, rather than search engine optimization.
Should I Pay Someone to Create Inbound Links?
While it's certainly still possible for companies to create inbound links inorganically without getting caught, it's getting tougher every day. If creating inbound links seems too tough for you, outsourcing it carries a set of risks that you need to consider. It's possible that after they have managed to create inbound links on many, many websites, your inbound linking service will be penalized by Google. It's also possible that their inbound linking will be to places Google already considers low-value—and therefore won't help your rankings at all.
The only time you should ever pay someone to create inbound links for you is when you can be assured that they are only posting links to contextually relevant content. If they're not paying attention to the content, they have no business creating inbound links for anyone. You have every right to know what a link building service's links look like before you buy them—ask them all the questions you need until you're satisfied that they know how to create inbound links without penalties.
Creating Inbound Links with Competitor Analysis
By running an inbound link checker on your competition, you can find out where they've decided to create inbound links. If these websites allow open registration and posting, you're in luck, because you can now duplicate all of your competitors' efforts at creating inbound links.
Even if you're not able to create inbound links in exactly the same places, this is a good way to see a competitor's link building strategy and what's really working in the real world and your exact geographic area.