The practice of link building has undergone quite a lot of changes recently. Whereas before it used to be a giant free for all, where webmasters used any method at their disposal to get a bigger link profile, these days poor link building can do a lot more harm than it could’ve ever done good.

It can be a subtle and difficult practice, which is why many businesses hire an SEO company to perform it. Below we explore some aspects of link building your SEO specialist should be aware of.

Links used to be a measure of your website’s presence on the internet. And while it is still somewhat about that, links these days are more an indication of your website’s authority.

They also help indicate to webcrawlers what the subject matter of the site is.

They should know how to examine your link profile in its entirety. Separating the various inbound and outbound links into different categories, based on link type percentages or their SEO value, for example.

The website for each link should be examined to ensure they’re a quality link or if they should be dropped.

Google Webmaster Guidelines

Link building isn’t unethical SEO but it is regarded suspiciously by Google. Their Webmaster Guidelines give quite a lot of information on link building penalties. Any SEO specialist should know them well when pursuing a link building campaign.

Getting linked to a website is an exchange of trust and respect, just like an agreement between companies. Building them needs to be handled with professionalism and a direct and purposed sales mentality.

Algorithm Updates

A company must be aware when algorithm updates have occurred and what their severity was. This can tell them what the appropriate response should be and also give them an idea of what direction search engines are headed for with future updates.

Using Analytics

You can’t measure the effectiveness of your link building with ranking alone. Google Analytics, for instance, can present you with other valuable statistics about your website that may give you a broader perspective on the results of your link building.

Even links to popular sites can be bad if the link doesn’t look right to webcrawlers. It’s important for any SEO company that they know not only that the linked sites are quality sites but also that the types of link aren’t regarded as unethical and add SEO value.

Keeping Up to Date

SEO is like any industry, it has developments and events which affect its direction. Any consultant needs to have very current knowledge on the ranking factors and be well informed on industry news that has changed the way SEO is conducted.

The SEO factors that affect the rankings are often discovered by observation rather than what search engines tell us.

This is almost like the link currency which is paid forward as websites link to yours and you in turn link to others.

It’s important that link juice is distributes effectively throughout the whole site and that there isn’t wastage.

Even if a link isn’t adding any value to your SEO, it still may be generating traffic. Using analytics tools to see if these poor quality links are building traffic, as well as figures in converted traffic, can be a simple but effective method to judge lesser links.

Linking Opportunities

There may be websites out there which are mentioning your company but not linking to you. This can be a lot easier a link to negotiate with websites as they clearly already respect your opinion or product.

Your SEO company should be able to monitor the web for these mentions.

Always be careful what websites you link to and the type company your links keep (is your link placed unnaturally). Links to de-indexed sites or ones that have themselves been penalised can reflect poorly on your site.

As poor link building is so heavily penalised, many websites falsely assume it to be responsible for any sharp fall in the ranks. Ensure that another factor isn’t dragging your rank down before hiring an SEO specialist for a link building campaign.

When using sitewide or footer links (links which are present on every page of a site), you should make sure that these are contributing to the site’s navigation rather than SEO, to avoid penalisation.

Deep Linking

Link building shouldn’t just be performed on the homepage. This gives the indication that your website doesn’t have any quality content in it, as no one is pointing to it. Ensure that your SEO company’s link building is comprehensive.