[IMAGE left medium] Given the fact that over three billion local searches are conducted per month, and 90 percent of these searches lead to sales, it is now more important than ever to put a high priority on earning a high Google ranking. At the same time, Google is making it harder than ever to boost a site's standing online by penalizing companies that engage in tactics that it deems to be "spammy" in nature.
Link building is one of the main SEO tactics that Google is targeting, as many site owners have engaged in practices such as purchasing links on link farms and creating large quantities of sub-par content. At the same time, the number of links a site has and the quality of these links will have a bearing on a site's Google rating. Following are some tips that will enable you to build links without facing Google penalties.
Quality over Quantity
Quality is much more important than quantity. One link from a related, well-known website will do more good than a hundred links from unrelated websites with a low Google rating. Before leaving a comment on a related forum topic or asking about guest blogging on a related blog, check out the site's standing online and make sure it is considered an authority in its field.
YouTube links are perhaps some of the few link types that are unaffected by Google's recent algorithm updates. Create high quality video content with a keyword rich title and tags and add the business links in the description field. You will often find that the video will appear at the top of related search engine queries and generate a great deal of traffic for your site.
Diversify Your Efforts
Google puts a premium on organic link building. What this means is that sites that earn links by creating great content have a better PageRank than sites that earn links via a link building campaign.
Besides creating great content, you need to ensure that your link building efforts look as organic as possible. This means that you should not try to get a large number of links all at once or concentrate your link building efforts on a single type of site (i.e. blogs, forums, article websites, etc.).
Although Google is cracking down on sites that have the wrong type of links and/or go about link building in the wrong way, this does not mean that building links is an obsolete SEO tactic. In fact, Google still considers both the quantity and quality of a site's inbound links when determining PageRank and search engine standing. At the same time, you need to go about your link building campaign in a cautious manner if you want to reap the rewards of your efforts. By putting an emphasis on quality links, diversifying your link building efforts and putting a premium on video marketing, you can safely yet effectively boost your search engine standing.