Goodbye 2012, hello 2013. For my last column of the year, I’m selecting five link building myths that I hope go away completely in 2013, and giving my rationale as to why they should be gone.
The only reason I’m picking five is because it’s the day after Christmas, and if I had written about all 500 myths I wish would vanish, you would not be reading this. Five seems like a digestible number in a post-holiday haze, so grab an Eggnog and let’s get to them.
1. Infographics Are Awesome For Link Building
Completely true and completely false, because they completely ignore the larger point. Any infographic that helps make a complex subject easier to understand, and which has been created by someone with some background in the subject and some artistic talent will have the chance to successfully attract links. Those links can, in fact, help your search rank as well as (and perhaps more importantly), click traffic.
Take a look at these examples. On the other hand, 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. You get back what you put into it. Like anything else, there are brilliant and there are terrible examples and executions. As a linking strategy, infographics are alive and well. For those that know how to do it properly.
2. Infographics Are No Longer Effective For LinkBuilding
See above, and then look at this search result for link building infographics. It’s been effective for me now for over a year. And all I’m doing is curating.
3. Links Pages & Pages With Links.html Or Links.php Aren’t Trustworthy
This one has been around for so long it’s become almost impossible to change people’s minds, no matter how well constructed the argument. So, rather than construct another argument , I present you with two link pages below.
Visit each one, then tell me if one of them is not helpful and if the other one is absolute gold for the right pursuing site.
There. Myth exploded. Links pages are not bad just because they are called links pages or because they have the letters l-i-n-k-s in their URLs. If that were the case, no company related to sustainability would pursue a link from the Harvard site above; and that, my friend, is just plain silly. The effective use of this search operator is all in the hands of the searcher.
4. Inurl: Submit
The classic Google operator that allows you to potentially identify sites that accept submissions, because they also put the letters submit in the submission page URL.
The conventional wisdom (and I’ve heard this one at more than a few SEO conferences) is that any site that actively seeks submissions via a submission form is not likely to be very credible. Baloney. It’s all in the intent and credibility of the content owner curator. Again, I provide an example.
You can’t get much more credible than commarts. How did I find that page? Via this search: library best web picks inurl:submitsite
5. Guest Blog Posts No Longer As Helpful As Before
Another knee-jerk reaction to a few webmaster videos and anecdotal results. But, put aside the empirical aspect of this. Forget what you think is measurable, and let’s go with common sense for a moment.
What separates an effective guest blog post from a useless one? Let’s start with the target blog. Is it a blog that has been around a while? What is the blog’s primary purpose? Is it comprised only of guest blog posts? What are the topics of the blog posts? Gambling, currency trading, Canadian pharmacies, electronic products, brothels? I’m kidding, but not really.
My dad used to tell me you are known by the company you keep, and this is true in the guest blog posting world as well. So, the way to use this tactic effectively is to think of it not as a mass shotgun approach, but a laser target approach. And that means a highly selective approach. I’ve heard some folks say that if a blog has the words “blog for us” or “be a guest blogger” that it means the site is worthless. This is another sub-myth of the guest blogging myth. Here’s an example.
As long as there have been SEOs or link builders making claims that come across as absolutes, I have argued vehemently that absolutes are a trap. You give me the topic and tactic, and I can find useful, or useless approaches. Call it link tactic profiling. Sadly, once a tactic gets labeled as worthless, it’s hard to fight that label.
This also represents a great opportunity for the forward-thinking link builder, because while others abandon a tactic they have incorrectly deemed as useless, you can deploy that tactic in a more nuanced and smarter way that will make it quite useful, indeed.
Have a good linking year!
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.