With every discipline’s preferred methodology, there always accompanies some amount of “snake oil”, myth or simply bad advice with it. In internet marketing, the practice of link building is probably most inundated with this phenomenon and there’s no shortage of facepalm-inducing “strategies” that get floated around. Search Engine Land recently identified a few linking myths we should wave goodbye to in this new year. Here are some highlights:
Infographics will always get you links.
While we can acknowledge that infographics can be valuable in terms of making complex subjects simpler to understand – and, they may be able to help you attract links if they are well-designed – Search Engine Land contributor Eric Ward cautions against throwing up a cheap visual and expecting search ranking miracles. “If all you do is take a block of text and use a pretty font, and add some clip art, then don’t expect much,” he says. “Like anything else, there are brilliant and there are terrible examples and executions.” The bottom line: If you opt to use infographics as a visual aid and linking strategy, be sure to hire a web design firm that has some impressive examples in their portfolio.
Submission sites are no longer credible.
By putting “submit” in the submission page URL, a website is telling you that it accepts submissions. Google can help you identify good sites to which you may submit your content when you enter “inurl submit” into a search query. While some SEO experts are spreading the word that these sites are no longer credible, Ward says, “Baloney. It’s all in the intent and credibility of the content owner curator.” Depending on your industry, there may be anywhere from a handful to several dozen credible sites you can use for content submission and link building. Of course, good SEO firms can identify those sites, write the content and do the submissions for you.
Guest blogging is a waste of time now.
While it may be true that it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of time spent on a guest blog post, it is still not wise to underestimate the value of expanding your presence – which is exactly what guest blogging does. “Forget what you think is measurable, and let’s go with common sense for a moment,” Ward says. There are effective guest blog posts, and totally pointless ones. An example of an effective guest blog post is one that you write for a blog that has a strong following, some authority in your industry and an audience you are dying to reach. How can writing guest post for a blog that meets those criteria be a waste of your time? That is why SEO firms should still help their clients find guest blogging opportunities.
A pointless guest blog post, on the other hand, is one you write for your cousin in a totally different industry, who has followers you don’t care about attaining, just because he is going on vacation and asked if you would fill in as a favor. Your attitude about guest blogging should be selective, but not elitist. You never know who will end up at your site after reading your guest blog post.
Linking is one of the most frequently evolving aspects of SEO. If you can think of any linking myths worth waving goodbye to this year, let us know in the comments.