The cookie cutter approach to link building has never really worked.
You can’t apply the identical linking strategy for one site to another site. Even so, services that sell that exact thing have flourished. I really can’t believe people are still buying link building packages from cheapest-priced, overseas vendors/workers who can barely type, and don’t speak English. I still get emails that say things like: Please to links now will exchange with us for pagerank 3?
I go about things my own way, but I also recognize my weaknesses, and see the link building trade becoming more and more specialized. There already are specialists in certain types of link building. Social media, for example. I don’t think I have ever had a client with a site that made it to the front page of Digg – but then again, I don’t try, because the type of content I work with isn’t very Digg-y. For content that is, there are companies way better than me who can help you seek social traffic and links. It’s the same with social bookmarking. The same goes for article marketing, link buying, link selling, link tweeting, or any other form of link getting.
Add to the mix the growing wave of people who access the web from mobile devices, and you have yet another link building challenge. Has anyone seen a service yet that specializes in building links to only the mobile versions of web sites? Is there a need for that? Of course there is. Or will be.
So where will this leave today’s link builder who knows a little bit about a lot of tactics but doesn’t know a lot about any of those tactics?
The specialists will have the edge in the future to an even greater degree than they already do. I’ve accidentally ended up as a specialist. I’m the old school white hatter. I’m practically a fossil now. I help companies with one-of-a-kind content learn how to maximize the linking potential of that content, without antagonizing the search engines along the way. That doesn’t appeal to sites that are after page one rankings tomorrow, or to sites that prefer their link building be a little bit grayer…
There are specialists who know exactly how to rank an undeserving site. Specialists who know exactly how to push your links in the direction you want them to go.
The link building generalist will become a thing of the past. Prepare for it now.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.