Avoid A Mass Link Building Catastrophe Via Social Media

social media linking

With the ever-evolving world of organic search, algorithm updates, and penalisations galore, the process of natural link acquisition is the only way to guarantee search engine results that last.

The problem is how you acquire those links, without buying links by the thousands from overseas providers, bots, or one-user accounts, with a massive amount of fake profiles attached, with no reach on social media sites at all. There’s a power of those accounts scattered around.

After a conversation the other day on Google Plus, discussing client requirements for organic search listings, it’s clear cut that local clients, and perhaps even some uneducated brands have a bit of a learning curve ahead of them.

Note to +Dennis Brown – The link above is the uncut conversation 😉

At first our concern was that it was the process we took explaining our services, benefits, and the results that we can and do achieve for clients to one prospect who approached us, for an SEO service.

While it is part of what we do, we can’t and will not guarantee fast results. After reviewing the conversation though, and discussing with others in the same field, it’s clear that some educational content is required for not just the potential client we’d spoken with, but for every business owner looking to achieve lasting results in organic search, and probably hitting a brick wall, if misinformed.

This is a process and not one that can be achieved overnight. Probably not even in the short space of a couple of months.

When we say short space, we really do mean in a short period of time. When link acquisitions are acquired organically, it leads to long-term organic listings. Not a flash in the pan ranking that disappears at the next Google algorithm update.

SEO is a drawn out process. When it’s done right, the impact is a sustainable ranking. There is a clear-cut difference in a long-term strategic SEO campaign, in comparison to a campaign that’s being implemented for the objectives of fast rankings.

If you want sustainable rankings, you must sustain an SEO campaign. No ifs or buts about it. The best and most efficient way to organic listings that really do last, is to focus on a long-term marketing strategy where social media is incorporated at the core of your marketing campaign.

The emphasis needs to be on people and not links

Links are penny apiece if you look in the right places. Customers aren’t. You can buy thousands of backward links for less than the price of a cappuccino. They’re no use though and only contribute to a search engine penalty, probably sooner rather than later.

For business owners of the mind-set that all you need is a boatload of links to rank organically in Google search, then look no further than the horse’s mouth themselves. Google specifically state that link building to manipulate organic search listings is strictly against their terms of service.

What’s not against their TOS, as mentioned by +Jordan Donnelly is sharing your content via social media. That’s where your connections are and those are the people who will spread the word for you. Provided you have the relationship foundations built upon. You get reciprocal benefits. The social signals shows you care about your readers, and your brand name and everything your business stands for.

So why would you go about going directly against the biggest search provider that could make or break your business?

Quite frankly, it’s desperation and stupidity, nothing more, nothing less. As abrupt as it sounds, that is how we feel.

The main component of social media is to allow business owners, and even global brands to connect together. It’s getting to know your customer. As +Sam Mottram commented: It’s about establishing a relationship with your customer.

Further comments started to pour in with +Emmett Smith adding that social signals aren’t nearly as important as the relationship itself. That is one core message each of our team members are in complete agreement with. The point is that the more you know about your target consumer, or client, depending on your business model, the better you can serve that niche market.

Business is all about serving, whether it’s serving your customers up with a first class English breakfast, or a top of the line business plan, or even a customised CV writing service. The customer comes first. Not the ranking, the relationship.

Relationships are established through brand recognition. If it fits the needs of consumers, providing lasting results, it’s a brand name worthy of promotion.

The more unique the better, but even if you think that your business has nothing unique about it, you can still do a better job than most, when you get to know your target audience.

That’s what social media marketing is about. Letting the people do the voting of what really is the best content for others who need to access the same information.

With Google being the biggest of search providers online, it’s only common sense in business to go with them. You only need look at Google+ and see first-hand what Google has achieved there. It’s the one platform that puts users first.

While it’s noted to be a social network, the company themselves call it more than that. It’s an authorship tool. That’s what helps connect businesses to potential customers.

The same applies to every social network, from Twitter to LinkedIn, all the way back to MySpace when that was the bees’ knees of social media. The success drivers on social media are always the users. It is user generated content that power the sites, and the marketing reach of every one of them.

The one thing that each of them share is the ability to share information. The difference in today’s search is that while social media isn’t all that’s required for a successful SEO campaign, it does offer the ability to instantly share content that real users find to be of value.

Those shares can then be picked up by other website owners, who can then attribute the original source of the content, back to the creator of that digital material. Think Google Authorship for claiming content as your own.

To see an example of natural link acquisition, take this as one example:

seo social synergy photo

This description above comes from +Eric Enge, creator of StoneTemple.com. It is an awesome overview that describes the impact of social media on organic search results, and establishing connections through social interaction.

To make it even simpler to understand, here’s the Whiteboard Friday presentation on SEO and Google Plus…

As you can see from the video explanation above, just having G+ linked to your content can give you indexation benefits. Imagine what can be achieved through a super active and encapsulated social media presence, where your audience hang on your every word.

That’s powerful stuff, and that sort of engagement does not come fast. It takes time, effort, and devotion to serving the needs of your target audience. Longevity is only achieved by a long-term strategic SEO plan that incorporates marketing methods that help you reach people online, and not just count towards a specific number of links higher than your competitors.

Use any backlink checker and you’ll see that whatever site ranks top of Google, will not always have the highest amount of links. It’s usually far from it. It’s the trust coming from each link contributing to your link profile. It’s called a trust factor.

The more related your links are from inbound linking sites, the more credible the vote of trust. Nobody with an unrelated site is going to link to you with no rhyme or reason. Credible sites worthy of a relationship will.

Build the relationship with your target audience; establish yourself as a trustworthy source and the SEO advantages will come. It’s the only way to ensure that when you do achieve results, that those results are for the long-term, and not associated with mass link building putting your site at risk of penalisation.