GO Digital WSI

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Link Partners

Link building remains the number one method for improving ranking in SEO, even in the post-Panda search environment. However, the way we link – and how we seek out links – is significantly different. Paying for backlinks, getting listed on directories, and asking for links for the sake of links all fall under what Google sees as “link schemes,” and can result in you being sandboxed off the search engine.

Instead, you now need to focus on building relationships, making link building more of a PR activity rather than just an SEO booster. A major part of this process is choosing the right link partners in the first place. In this post, we’ll share a few of our favorite tips to help you identify the best opportunities.

Be Sure They’re Indexed

Is the site you’re considering even indexed on the search engines for their chosen niche or keywords? If they don’t even show up, much less rank near the top, a backlink isn’t going to pass through any ranking potential. This is common with sites created strictly for the purposes of link schemes and “link farms.” Often, they pass negative SEO, meaning you may be accused of link scheming yourself if they link to you.

Verify Content Quality

Take some time to review the website for content quality. Is the information they provide – posts, podcasts, videos, and page copy – clear, easy to understand, and well-written? Or does it contain endless grammatical and spelling errors? If you find the latter, it means they aren’t putting enough effort into their content strategy. This may be a red flag for black hat SEO efforts, such as keyword-stuffed content, too.

Are They Selling Backlinks?

If the link partner you are considering is selling – or offering to buy – backlinks, do not attempt to forge a relationship with them period. This is an instant ban from the search engines for both you and the originating site if Google identifies manipulation tactics. Good link partners don’t need to buy or sell links; their content and professionalism speaks for itself.

How Relevant to Your Niche is the Site?

Google cites relevancy as one of the most important factors in PR and link building strategies that adhere to the rules. The niche and/or industry should tie into your own industry at at least a basic level, but some diversification is okay.

Here’s an example: if you’re a hardware store, don’t seek out link partners running children’s clothing shops or healthcare blogs. Instead, seek out partners in construction, home and garden, lifestyle, or DIY sectors. There’s still plenty of room for diversification without veering too far off the path of sensibility.

Can’t figure out who to link to, or how to get started? Contact Go Digital WSI today and get started on the path to success with one-on-one assistance.