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Link Building in 2010

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Link_building What does 2010 have in store for link building? Before we discuss some predictions, lets look back at 2009 as there were some interesting Internet developments. We saw the birth of search engine Bing in front of our very eyes, social media went mainstream with a little help from Twitter and Facebook, Google tried and failed to buy Yelp but succeeded in delivering personalised real-time search results.

Entering the new decade and checking out the first SEO blogs of 2010 was interesting reading...or not as the case maybe! With so many link building and SEO predictions being thrown around, many posts gave opinions and predictions that have been known and discussed in the SEO community for the past few years and nothing new. There are however a few new things worth mentioning which we touch on below that will impact on link building. One thing is for sure....for many businesses, ranking high in Google and getting traffic will of course be as important as ever in 2010 as competition increases on the web and therefore link building will be at the heart of marketing budgets.    

In terms of web trends, mobile web consumption grew 148% worldwide in 2009 thanks to devices such as the iPhone and the UK market for web analytics technology and services grew by 9% in 2009 to an estimated value of £85 million. The web certainly had a busy 2009 and we can safely assume that 2010 will be no different.

A common prediction amongst the SEO community is that 2010 will see its biggest change in terms of securing links as Google continues with its quest to eliminate paid links and devalue old school anchor text links in blogrolls and footers. There certainly is no sign of this yet as we are seeing those at top positions for insurance related searches having a backlink profile with obvious paid links. Will there be a high profile website to be penalized by Google for buying links, only time will tell! 

The old tried and tested email link requests will change as webmasters will more and more ask for content promotion rather than one way or reciprocal link deals. The past year we have seen a significant increase in image banner ads and these will be requested more as they deliver both traffic (if positioned above the center fold) and SEO benefit with the ability to embed do follow text links into the banner. One thing to bare in mind with this is the bandwidth as we have noticed banners created using Photobucket are not displaying properly.

Google caffeine will see the value of link sharing and link promotion via Twitter, Facebook so linking strategies will need to be more social media orientated and the term ‘content is king’ will never be so apt. Link building will become more integrated into both social media and press releases in terms of content. The creation of engaging topical content will be in high demand but also placing this content will be important as more and more newspaper and magazine sites offer offer paid sponsored opportunities as a revenue stream despite being against Google guidelines. Article directories will continue be used to syndicate content such as Ezine and Article Trader but using key bloggers and journalists to publish and syndicate content via their contacts will be a strategy many will be keen to adopt.   

Many in the SEO community believe that link building will turn away from old school blogroll and footer links as they will offer little or no SEO value and instead linkers will turn to securing links that bring targeted relevant traffic and not just higher rankings. Whilst we agree about footer links, blogroll and embedded link banners still work as you just need to look at those sites ranking in the top 10 for insurance related terms such as car or travel insurance and you will see the backlink profiles of these sites are full of obvious blogroll paid links. These blogroll links are usually from relevant blogs so there lies the key as it always has and nothing new. Those blogs that are updated regularly publishing many posts per week within their niche will stand as authority and thus harness the power to send lots of relevant traffic to a site via a link. Twitter_logoAgain, nothing new but worth noting.

The use of Facebook and Twitter skyrocketed in 2009 and naturally these social sites became magnets for hackers sparking privacy concerns. Facebook now has 350 million accounts worldwide and Twitter is growing exponentially too. Some 40% of online sales are influenced by social media already. 2010 will see both sites actively addressing safety issues or headline news regarding these sites will be common place.

Both Facebook and Twitter will play significant roles in link building asFaceBook-Logo these social sites will be used to promote and share content amongst friends and followers. Econsultancy reported in the blog post titled Google's real time SEO ranking factors for Twitter that Google are now indexing tweets from Twitter and other status updates from other social media sites, including Myspace and Facebook. If this is the case then these social sites will be invaluable linking tools and sites will need to make it as easy as possible for users to share content such as using Addthis and Retweet.  Twitter search will be used widely, especially as a research tool for links.

Marketers in 2010 will continue to evolve and think of ways of using social media to secure links. Those websites that engage with its users via good quality content will have a distinct advantage over those sites that do nothing. Those that do actively engage in social media, content generation and syndication will need to make sure their content is as linkable as possible. SEOmoz did a great post on this titled what makes a link worthy post part 1 and what makes a link worthy post - part 2 The main findings are that a blog post should combine images, lists and videos to make it as linkable as possible.

Many in the SEO community feel that traffic is now the new PageRank although this has been the case for the last few years so nothing new but 2010 may see more emphasis on generating as much traffic from a variety of sources as possible. Alexa will be closely monitored rather than pagerank. Many linking strategies will therefore begin to adopt a two pronged approach by splitting campaigns into ''traffic generation' and 'link popularity which will provide a more diverse and natural looking back link profile.

In terms of SEO agency offerings, more firms will deliver on monitoring and leveraging content via social media. The communications giant British Telecom (BT) has delved into search marketing which is an industry first. BT launched a service called SearchSmart in collaboration with SEO agency Latitude offering low cost packages for small businesses. It will be very interesting to hear about some case studies from this service. News out yesterday is that Latitude has gone into administration so it will be interesting how this service from BT is delivered going forwards. 

Finally, becoming the ‘authority’ in a niche (especially for competitive brands) will become paramount and achieved via content creation, customer engagement, brand awareness and online and offline marketing. Companies battling it out in a highly competitive niche will need to incorporate both online and offline advertising efforts more than ever because the more eyes on the brand online and offline, the more they’ll trust and link to it when asked.

Comments

Gareth

Hi there,

I have been reading tons of articles and posts about link building over the last two weeks and this article is the only fresh interesting piece I have seen.

Quote, "The main findings are that a blog post should combine images, lists and videos to make it as linkable as possible."

The above quote is confirmed by my own findings but this is the only article I have found so far that has clearly stated it.

Thanks for a good article, Gareth.

SEO Link In

Great article! I think there will be some changes in the way that people use SEO and link building strategies in 2010, but I don't see them changing too much. I see them being more improved then they were in 2009. Thanks for sharing!

Need More Visitors

I agreed that this post about link building is really very cool and fresh that is giving you information in a different way.

ExpediaCoupons

I found this post via one of your more recent posts. I truly am impressed by this post. It is very usefull for me explaining SEO importance to my clients.

Mediarunsearch

Its a good article to know about latest linking approaches. Thanks for sharing

Mike

Thanks for the post, it will be interesting to see which predictions come true and I'm keen to see how dominant a market share Bing will have by the end of the year and if Google manages to retain its crown.

Internet Marketing Firm

Thanks for the helpful and insightful post! As a Virginia marketing firm for small businesses, it is important to stay updated with what other SEO specialists around the country are doing. Because the Internet is always changing, staying current with SEO best practices is a significant portion of our business!

Thanks for the resourceful article! Can't wait to read more!

 Baby Bedding

it will be interesting to see which predictions come true and I'm keen to see how dominant a market share Bing will have by the end of the year and if Google manages to retain its crown.

Patrick Long

Very well-worded! Link building is now one of the better techniques that SEOs use. The fundamentals of SEO are not easy to understand but if one will make a way to learn, a little knowledge will reap great fruits in due time. Using social media platforms (such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.) also help. You can make your customers learn more about your product in an enjoyable way.

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The first commercial electrical telegraph was constructed by Sir Charles Wheatstone and Sir William Fothergill Cooke, and its use began on April 9, 1839. Both Wheatstone and Cooke viewed their device as "an improvement to the [already-existing, so-called] electromagnetic telegraph" not as a new device.

Charlie

Personally I don`t see why Google have to get involved into cutting off paid links. It`s a part of the business of the internet and why shouldn`t businesses or individuals be able to pay more for their links?..like anything in this life you get what you pay for and Google seem to be intent on yet again, reducing flexibility...unless of course it financially benefits them.

cherry

===============
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amit


Dear Sir/Madam,

We are one of the pioneer link building company based in India.

We provide quality and PR+links for all sorts of domains including – gaming, real estate, art, entertainment, casino, dating, health etc.

We are highly competitive in terms of pricing and focus on quality.

Let us know if we can help you with the link building.

(If required we can send you the campaign reports which we did for our clients)

Regards
Amit

Cap Cana

The fundamentals of SEO are not easy to understand but if one will make a way to learn, a little knowledge will reap great fruits in due time. Using social media platforms (such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.) also help.

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Alexa will be closely monitored rather than pagerank. Many linking strategies will therefore begin to adopt a two pronged approach by splitting campaigns into ''traffic generation' and 'link popularity which will provide a more diverse and natural looking back link profile.Thanks

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There are many conflicting theories on where Google is with filtering link swaps and farms. If you have thousands of inbound links from unrelated low quality sites with overflowing outbound links it still appears to work according to some “experts”.

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It will be interesting to see which predictions come true and I'm keen to see how dominant a market share Bing will have by the end of the year and if Google manages to retain its crown.

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Alexa will be closely monitored rather than pagerank. Many linking strategies will therefore begin to adopt a two pronged approach by splitting campaigns into ''traffic generation' and 'link popularity which will provide a more diverse and natural looking back link profile.Thanks

The System

It's interesting to note that if you look beyond the surface of your article that the answers to top rankings are already there.
It's not about link-building per se - It's more about content creation carrying links.
PS Paid links - Why did your company offer to buy insurance lnks from mine then?

DJ Equipment

Personally I don`t see why Google have to get involved into cutting off paid links. It`s a part of the business of the internet and why shouldn`t businesses or individuals be able to pay more for their links

Wedding Planner

it will be interesting to see which predictions come true and I'm keen to see how dominant a market share Bing will have by the end of the year and if Google manages to retain its crown.

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I agreed with this post .Link building process spread your site url and get more traffic.
Your blog is informative for seo professional and me too.

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