Link building has come a long way since its early conception in the world of search engine optimization (SEO). In the early days of SEO it was enough to just grab a handful of directory links, engage in a number of reciprocal links, and you were almost guaranteed placement. But the search engines got wise to these techniques, devalued the links, and ultimately forced the Internet marketing world to fine tune their linking strategies.
Moving forward, marketers were forced to find more self-reliant ways of obtaining links. This resulted in the use of large website networks that were interlinked, creating what are now known as “link farms.” This, in addition to the practice of comment spam on blogs, guest books, and forums, lead to another influx of great ranking opportunities; again, however, the search engines caught on to the techniques and ultimately devalued the links, which impacted website rankings overall.
As Internet marketers continued to pick up the pieces and try and recover, the introduction of social media into the Internet marketing scene provided yet another opportunity to obtain a large number of links. This time it was with the help of viral content, link bait, and widgets that contained links pointing back to the provider’s websites. These tactics are still susceptible to being spammy and in some instances got a lot of people in trouble. Yet, overall, the reputable members of the industry were forced to put themselves in check and finally embrace the white hat techniques that would provide the long term benefit, but often lacked the quick turnaround a client was looking for.
Then fast forward a few years and social media, link bait, and viral content were still a reputable and satisfactory form of Internet marketing if done properly. However, these techniques are often hard to come by, depending on the market. Ultimately marketers were again forced to reconsider their strategies, and in the end, gave in to what the search engines were saying all along – to provide relevant, quality content.
The key to a successful Internet marketing strategy is not about getting the most links or getting a quick fix to jump to the top of the search engines; it’s about making you and your business as visible as possible online using quality content and valuable information that will drive not only visitors, but also links and in turn rankings.
If content is informative, engaging, and offers something of value, people are prone to share it, link to it, and even write about it if the content struck a chord with them. Sadly, most plastic surgeons and those involved with plastic surgery marketing forget this and instead provide visitors with dry, self-promoting content written with the sole purpose of enhancing search engine rankings. The next time you are ready to write a blog post, onsite article, or a new page for your website, I challenge you to consider your audience for a moment instead of the search engines. You might be surprised with the success that results from your efforts.