If you've been reviewing your options for link building solutions, you have probably found many different outsourcing companies. But can you really outsource link building successfully? Recent changes to Google called Penguin and Panda have changed the way that link building works for most websites, including law firm sites. Over a million websites saw their rankings decline and six million requests for link removal resulted. How does this impact the viability of your link building solutions? Keep reading to find out.
How Have Penguin and Panda Changed Google?
What do Penguin and Panda have in common? It's not just that they're both black and white. They're also the names of two new Google initiatives that have been launched in just the last year. The reason that Google began to work on these initiatives was that many companies were using unethical link building solutions. While some companies would outsource link building to reputable agencies, others used techniques that involved spamming and paid links.
When the Panda and Penguin rollouts took place, websites were no longer just ranked based on the number of inbound links they had. The quality of the links started mattering, too. This removed a lot of the incentive to use unethical link building solutions. Today, companies that want to outsource link building need to keep Panda and Penguin in mind.
What Are the Advantages of Outsourcing Link Building Solutions?
Obviously, the biggest advantage if you outsource link building will be that you just don't have to do it yourself. In a post-Penguin world, you may want to avoid working on the kinds of difficult and time consuming link building solutions that are still useful in improving search rankings. When you outsource link building, you'll be able to devote more time to what matters: doing legal work for your law firm.
Another advantage of using outside link building solutions is that if you find a good link building company, they'll stay on top of new developments to search engine optimization strategies. You have enough on your plate without trying to keep up with SEO technology and new link building tools. When you outsource link building, you can go hands-off and let the link building company figure out your next strategy.
Are There Disadvantages to Outsourcing Link Building Solutions?
Absolutely. While it may seem like it's a great idea to outsource link building, you should also consider that not every link building service is ethical. If you hire someone to provide your link building solutions, there is always a chance that they'll do it in a way that reflects negatively on your law firm. Make sure that you have seen samples of past link building solutions for law firms in your outsourcing provider's portfolio.
You also lose some of your flexibility when you outsource link building. If you had created your own link building solutions, you'll be able to change and adapt them as needed. Not every outsourcing provider keeps abreast of new developments to search engine technology. If you feel more comfortable keeping up with the state of tech than letting someone else do it, you may want to provide your own link building solutions instead of hiring someone else.
Preparing to Outsource Link Building
If you do choose to outsource your link building, you'll need to take some steps in preparation. Your website needs to be attractive and designed to be conversion ready if you're outsourcing link building solutions. Remember, no matter how much your search engine results are improved, that won't help if your traffic all bounces out due to a poorly designed website.
Speed matters too. Google now bases part of its search engine rankings on how long your website's pages take to load. For slow websites, this creates a double whammy: searchers are less likely to stay on your website already, and now Google also negatively impacts your rank. Before you outsource link building, verify that your website is fast and that all pages are downloading correctly.
What Kinds of Link Building Look Good to Google?
Generally speaking, Google wants to reward “difficult” link building to authority sites, not easy link building to spam sites. For example, let's say that through your public relations efforts, you landed an interview with a national magazine and they included a link to your firm in their online edition. These link building solutions are some of the best ways that you can get links from authority websites.
Another kind of linking that will look good to Google is when you insert your law firm's profile into a directory, whether a local directory of businesses or a ratings directory specifically for lawyers. The more of these directory links that you have up to date and with accurate profile information, the more likely it is that your website will appear higher in search and local search results.
You can also build links by asking people on Facebook or LinkedIn to share your content with others. This is a great way to have your links shared not only by the people you know, but also by the people they know. If you have some content that “goes viral” by being spread through word of mouth, you'll soon see your reputation and rankings rise up.
What Kinds of Link Building Look Bad to Google?
Usually, if you try to cheat, Google will notice. If you outsource link building and your link building company primarily works by putting links to your site on spam websites, your reputation will suffer and odds are that Google will drop your search result rankings.
You're also going to have a bad time with most types of link building solutions that involve automated press release companies. While press releases are certainly a valid link building strategy, these kinds of automated services are not able to really provide you the kind of readership that a real public relations service could. These websites are not really a substitute for professional press releases or media relations.