Today, you probably already know that it isn't enough to just build inbound links to your website if you want to get to the top page. A quality inbound link counts for more, and if you're not building quality inbound links, Google will take notice. It penalized over 10 percent of web pages for building links from easy-to-game press release and article marketing websites with Google Panda. In this guide, you'll learn what makes a quality inbound link, and how to create quality inbound links that won't earn penalties from new Google algorithms.
Step 1: Know What Quality Inbound Links Look Like
Before you can start making quality inbound links for yourself, you should take a look around the web at some high quality websites and look at what their inbound links look like. You'll notice a few things about any quality inbound link you find online: they're often, but not always, linked with relatively innocuous phrases instead of exact keyword matches for Google searches.
Quality inbound links will be contextual, which is to say, they'll make sense in the context of the website around them. If you build a link that has very little to do with any of the content on a web page, it is very unlikely to be a quality inbound link of any sort.
You'll also notice that quality inbound links have a tendency to appear on higher quality websites with more traffic. While it's quite possible to build a quality inbound link on a website with a lesser reputation, higher quality websites tend to exclusively allow quality linking, while even a low quality inbound link might not be deleted on a low quality website.
Step 2: Get Accounts on Major Websites
After you've given yourself an education in what quality inbound links look like, it's time to work on some basic administrative tasks. Before you can build a quality inbound link on many websites, you'll need to build a profile and register for an account. It's often a good idea to get your accounts significantly before you actually start building quality inbound links: some websites are more suspicious of link building efforts that come from new accounts.
In order to reduce suspicions that you are just working on link building, you should make at least some posts once you've registered your account that aren't just designed to give you another quality inbound link. After you've gotten a reputation as someone who makes quality posts and contributes to the community, it's much more likely that you can post quality inbound links without risking post deletion or an account ban.
Step 3: Take it Slow When Building Quality Inbound Links
The fact that you'll need to build up a reputation on websites before you post your first quality inbound link isn't so bad. It gives you time, in fact, to ramp up your number of quality inbound links slowly—which is great, because Google can penalize websites that are building their quality inbound link number faster than their traffic patterns would indicate was natural.
Because of this, you should try to start by just making one or two quality inbound links per day, especially if your website is brand new or has a very small user base. For larger websites that are already getting a substantial amount of traffic and some organic quality inbound links, you won't necessarily need to keep your activities at that low a level, but don't make your quality inbound link number more than half a dozen a day, at least for the first couple of weeks.
Step 4: Use a Variety of Quality Inbound Link Types
When a website is getting quality inbound links naturally, they don't just come from one type of website. Having all of your quality inbound link traffic come from just a few websites is a surefire sign to Google that you've been purchasing links or posting them yourself instead of having them build organically.
By making sure that you have quality inbound links coming from more than ten different sources, you'll be able to control what Google sees and limit your chances of being perceived as a link buyer. You should audit your links periodically to make sure that they are still coming from a variety of sources.
Step 5: Vary Your Anchor Text
It's not enough to make sure that your quality inbound link websites vary. If you're making hundreds of quality inbound links, but they all have the same exact anchor text, you'll instantly be seen as over optimized. Think about it: when websites give a link to someone, they very rarely use an exact keyword match unless they're working together.
Varying your anchor text makes every quality inbound link you produce look much more natural. Even if your competitors are making many quality inbound links with identical anchor text, keep in mind that as Google's ranking algorithms become more sophisticated, you'll surpass their performance.
Step 6: Seek Out High PageRank Websites
While not every quality inbound link you create should come from a website with a high PageRank (Google's system for measuring how important a website is), it's much easier to raise your rankings with high PageRank sites. At least some of your links should always come from sites with a PageRank of higher than 5. If all of your links are from low quality websites, Google may see this as evidence of link buying.
Step 7: Use Contextual Websites for Quality Inbound Links
The highest quality inbound link you can get is one that is relevant and contextual. Make sure that all the websites you're including in your linking efforts actually have some bearing on your law firm outside of their PageRank.
If you're not making your quality inbound links contextual, it becomes obvious very quickly and will usually be regarded as spam. Because no law firm wants a spammer reputation, it's always best to avoid this linking strategy—especially since Google is likely to catch on quickly and penalize you.