Shimon Sandler

Link Building Optimization

What if you have a client that has difficulty implementing changes you recommend? What if he/she is restricted (for whatever reason) from making any real meaningful changes to the source code?

Is it possible not to touch the code of a site and still optimize it?

The answer is yes. A good SEO Consultant knows that the search engines read “backlinks”. That’s one of the ways search engines figure out what your site is about. As a matter of fact, the thesis paper from the founders of Google is called Backrub because it measures on “backlinks”. This type of optimization is called Off-Site Optimization. Your goal is to appear as the subject matter expert in your topical neighborhood. And by using a Strategic Link Campaign, this is possible.

The link development factors to look for are many, and a time consuming discovery process. But a well crafted Strategic Link Campaign will be well-targeted research and meet the Criteria & Time Period for Link Effectiveness.

A well crafted Strategic Link Campaign can have the SEO power to boost a site to position #1 if the right link combinations & quantities are used.

Your goal is to appear as the subject matter expert in your topical neighborhood. The best sites to get links from are in your same topical neighborhood, and under Google’s “radar”.

Some websites neglect to focus on link building when optimizing their site. Instead, they allocate budget on hiring an SEO Consultant that can optimize their code, and get them “free” rankings. However, without link building many of these types of on-site optimizations just don’t produce the results that satisfy website owners.

I’ll use the analagy that onsite optimization is like planting the seeds, and link building is the nourishing rains that will produce the harvest.

Link building is an easy and affordable way to improve your website’s keyword rankings, and brand presence in your industry.

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  1. If the seed has no endosperm or in your analogy, onsite optimization, then the rain won’t help much. Bad seeds won’t produce crops regardless of the amount of rainfall and good seeds won’t produce in a drought. IMHO you need both.

  2. Definitely the case that link building is (currently) the best way to optimize simply because of how SEs currently work. If that new site, ends up getting itself into the game, then perhaps its supposed more accurate content indexing will come into play. For now, though, link building and SEO are essentially one in the same.

  3. A good post

    I was interested in viewing this article, but hoping to have more detail in the link building process. What steps do I take to start a link building campaign? Where do I go to get these links?

    Will you be adding a post like this?

    ~ Jim

  4. In-bound links are vital but so is basic optimisation of the site itself:

    1. Great well-written easily spiderable content
    2. Good use of TITLEs, H1 and H2 structures
    3. Sitemaps
    4. Relevant (keyword rich) URLs

    Jim, Link Building… go and talk about your site, offer unique content or a unique service that people will link to, and did I mention going and talking about your site :)

  5. g1smd says:

    *** A good SEO Consultant knows that the search engines read “backlinks”. ***

    … and a really good one realises that gaming the system for backinks is often a futile endeavour, and that there is usually much more mileage in getting the code, content, navigation, IA, UA, and accessibility sorted out on the site itself.

  6. Hi all, great comments! I just want to clarify something. I don’t advocate optimizing a site solely using Link Building. Obviously, a comprehensive site optimization will include on-site optimization. Those of you who subscribe to my blog know I’ve written about the on-site optimization stuff extensively.

    This was just a quick post to emphasize the importance of Link Building.

    Any SEO Consultant worth his salt knows link building works, and is a critical component to any successful SEO initiative.

  7. Great Post!
    I agree that you can have great success with just a link building campaign even when a client won’t let you touch their website. Great question and great answer.

  8. Shimon,

    I agree with your point. Just like any other SEO strategy, it’s difficult to follow a pattern or formula.

    A clever SEO will have to do a bot of both onsite and offsite. In some cases, clients are not welcome to site changes, and we can only rely on link building. Even worse when the content of the website is inclined more to porn/gambling etc, I don’t think we can even go for an extensive link building campaign.

    I think depending on the nature and possibilities of the website, one must decide what strategy to follow and in what ratio.

    Just my two cents.


  9. i won’t dispute that offpage factors like you are saying are more important than on-page factors.. and im sure u can achieve a lot of success with it

    but i optimised my on page factors for my site and i moved from 1574 to 26 on google… number 2 at yahoo and altavista.. so i still feel there is alot to gain with off-page optimization

  10. This is true and working :-) I did a test last week and its working great .. I was able to get rank for a page with ZERO content, Its all the magic of backlinks !!

  11. @Jonathan – agreed, you can do all the link building you want and be #1 on Google with high traffic, but if you’ve got poor content that’s not relevant and not going to help the visitor, you’ll also get a high bounce rate. Maybe the person who’s in charge of enhancing the site, but not able to touch the site shouldn’t be the one elected for the job?

  12. While I believe that natural link-building is critical to an effective overall optimization campaign, I strongly disagree with the continuous purchase of directory links etc. Just wait until Google shifts its algorithm to somehow measure the quality & acquisition of inbound links..

    On-site optimization seems to most positively & fairly correlate with successful positioning in the SERPs. By way of white hat on-site optimization, your original content will attract quality links. If done aggressively & without careful thought and consideration, link-building is a quick fix that will get you nowhere, but black-listed in Google.

  13. We cannot arbitrarily assume that just building a couple of links will enable sites to rank better.

    Assume this scenario – you have not touched the code of the site in any way and the site has unrelated titles and has no proper structure – even if you build a lot of in-bound links, the site will still fail to rank.

    Many a time, we all fail to realise that SEO is all about “balance”, there needs to be proper balance in what we do in order to craft a successful campaign.

    I say balance here because nothing called really be over done or under done with respect to SEO.

    Its also all about situations and scenarios where we optimize..

  14. Great post. I agree, link building is certainly like planting seeds. I too see clients that are very impatient and try to get “free visitors” but rather then try to get free visitors I always advise them to build their business online, provide value and try to grow the number of relevant links naturally over time. If executed properly the ranking, visitors and sales come over time…bottom line SEO is one major source of visitors and sales and should not be the only one.

  15. its really good article & those persons who search fresher jobs in seo that blog is good for preparation……..thanks….

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