There are certain goals that always seem to stay on the priority lists of brands and businesses. Drive traffic? Definitely. Grow the brand? A must. Develop relationships with consumers and other businesses? Absolutely. All of these factors are crucial to any given brand’s success and long-term achievement, and finding ways to address all of these goals is a necessity.
One of the most fundamental and widely performed strategies used to work on such goals is link building. A practice known to fuel site traffic, link building tends to be used by brands and businesses to leave a trail of bread crumbs across the internet leading back to their own page. While that’s not necessarily a bad way of looking at the SEO practice, it does take away from the emphasis that should be placed on the importance of manual link building with quality in mind.
All too often, people jump into link building ready and eager to scatter the bread crumb trail and increase the quantity of their external links. So eager, in fact, that they end up investing in “black-hat” strategies, such as automated link building. Other than being risky to invest in, automated link building also doesn’t work in the long run. Search engines are constantly evolving their algorithms to become even more airtight and capable of detecting fraudulent, or inauthentic, SEO tactics. For a search engine to find that your business invested in something that exploits loopholes in their algorithms would result in a heavy fine and set your site back even further than it originally was.
Above all, automation goes against the very concept of link building and what makes it so effective, and black-hat SEO doesn’t factor in what you should already have before you even consider link building. Let’s back up to that whole quality thing. As a baseline, your website should have purpose and utility that people can benefit from. It should be a strong website that’s populated with quality content, and it should reflect a brand or business that is an industry authority. Assuming those baseline points are already taken care of, you then move forward with link building in a manner that’s in keeping with the purpose, utility, and beneficial qualities of your identity.
Before you even build a single link, you should have already built value. When you have that value, building links gets much easier. By interacting with other pages in a real and personable way, you’re able to leave a link. By leaving a link that leads to a website of upstanding value, you’re able to signal the importance of your web pages to other uses and search engines. It comes down to a matter of value and quality that keeps your brand consistent across the board, and the important thing to remember is that when it comes to SEO, quality can’t be automated.