Today, the biggest catchphrase in link building is “one way link building.” One way links are considered to be the highest quality links available, and these “backlinks” can help you to market your law firm and get to the top of searches. Of companies that have recently begun using a formal SEO process, only 37 percent are currently doing any external link building at all. Keep reading this guide to find out whether you need a one way link building service.
Reciprocal Links and One Way Links
Before we can really talk about the nitty gritty of one way link building services and whether you should even use a one way link building service, we should get some terminology out of the way. There are two ways that websites can be linked by another website: reciprocal linking, and one way linking.
If someone links to your website and you don't link back, this is called a one way link (or, sometimes, a backlink). If, on the other hand, you're linking to someone's website and in exchange they're linking to yours, this is called reciprocal linking.
The History of Reciprocal and One Way Links
In the earlier days of the internet, there were a lot of different reciprocal linking schemes to improve the search results of websites. As these became more and more common, reciprocal links stopped being a very good indicator of whether a website actually had quality content or not. To acknowledge this change, changes were made in search engine indexer algorithms that basically punished websites that overused reciprocal linking.
Enter the one way link building service. As soon as one way link building was the next big thing, it seemed like every marketing company on the web was offering one way link building services. However, for every one way link building service that was doing innovative, ethical, organic link building, ten more sprung up that were promising only links—in great quantity—and nothing more.
As those kinds of one way link building services became common, it created the same kinds of issues that reciprocal linking had previously caused. Every time a one way link building service posted a link to a totally unrelated website, they lowered the quality of the web as a whole.
Google's response was to release changes to its search functionality, mostly involving the weighting of inbound links by source quality. This means that the business models of many of the one way link building services have recently become untenable—their results are now neutral at best, negative at worst. Not every one way link building service uses these methods, but it's something you should keep in mind when you look for someone to provide one way link building services for you.
Developing One Way Link Building In-House
Finding a reliable one way link building service may sound tough enough that you'd rather do it yourself. If you're going to be handling your own one way link building services, you'd be wise to take a hint from the Beatles and get a little help from your friends. If you can ask friends, colleagues, family members, and neighbors to post links to your content on their blog or website, you'll be able to avoid hiring one way link building services while still getting all their benefits.
If you let people in your life know various topics that you'd answer questions about online, you never know who might have a blogging or podcast interview opportunity that could lead to one way link building. These kinds of venues are becoming increasingly common, and what's more, they'll appear as a very high quality link—probably better than you'd get from one way link building services. Social media can also help you find backlink leads, often better than a one way link building service.
Using One Way Link Building Services
If the idea of working on your own for every new backlink makes you want to stay home from work tomorrow, you may want to just hire a one way link building service to help you with your one way link building needs. As long as you're careful about vetting your one way link building services (by asking them to provide references and case studies), you can usually improve your one way link building efforts.
Because there are so many different ways to engage in one way link building, every one way link building service emphasizes different aspects of creating backlinks. Some may be blog-focused, while others look at social media or social bookmarking sites for backlinks. You should, generally speaking, use a one way link building service that already has strong experience doing one way link building for the legal industry. Without this industry experience, they may make missteps or even land you in hot water with the state bar association by violating advertising ethics guidelines.
Resources for One Way Link Building
Whether you're interested in doing your own one way link building services or hiring a one way link building service to do the work for you, it's good to know about best practices. One of the most crucial documents for marketers on the web right now is found at https://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66356. This document is part of Google's content guidelines. It outlines what Google currently considers a “link scheme” that could be found to be in violation of the terms of service or Webmaster Guidelines.
Every search engine that your website will appear on has some kind of content and quality guidelines, but Google's guidelines are typically the gold standard for ethical one way link building.
You should also use local community resources for one way link building. Think your community doesn't have any? Think again: check your local chamber of commerce and see if they do one way link building by listing your firm's name and contact information, as well as its URL, on their online directory of local businesses. These local directories are used by Google when choosing which results to offer people who have made searches with geolocational terms.