It’s time to rethink how we deal with backlinks.
In this article, I’ll explain what link earning is, why it’s important, and the types of results you can get.
Link Earning: What It Is and How It Differs From Link Building
I’ve been building links for over 20 years and I can tell you it never gets easier.
From public relations to writing guest posts.
As an industry, we’ve repeated the same practices and found that the returns are dropping or, worse, we’re being asked to pay some money in “administrative fees” for adding your link.
The message from those in the webmaster powerland is clear.
Left = cash
Backlink traders have sprung up in droves to capitalize on this trend by acting as the middleman, negotiator, and key player.
How long before Generative AI does the entire process of identifying link opportunities, writing blog posts, and even email sites for you?
Link building is the next big AI task that is likely to lose link value in the process.
Enter Link Earnings.
That old-fashioned idea that your business and content earns links for you because of merit, not money.
And buckle up, because earning links is around the corner, and you’re either in or you’re left behind.
Earn Link: You have to make it, not fake it
Back in 2021, Sparktoro CEO Rand Fishkin suggested that derived links would replace the link graph in the future, saying:
“If you pay an SEO agency to get you 50 “quality links” a month for $5,000 and refuse to pay a digital PR agency to give you 10 mentions in relevant publications for the same price then I would say that you are doing a very unwise compromise.”
The idea of derived links is easy to understand.
If Google is good enough at understanding entities, it can crawl a page and understand when a business is being talked about online.
This, of course, turns the SEO game into the “Upside Down” of Stranger Things.
Because mentions should be important, there may be links.
I can hear an old school SEO spitting his coffee in anger.
Of course we all like links, but what if they were “nice-to-have” and not “must-have”?
Wouldn’t that change a company’s approach to link building?
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How to earn links today and in the future
If I were to formulate a motto for SEO this year, it would be “Move fast, create things.”
Create link opportunities.
When it comes to earning links, these things matter.
But first, let’s jettison the tried-and-true methods.
Forget around Create content and promote it to death
This is what the gurus teach and it has some merit. If you spend hours creating awesome content, you should spend a lot more time promoting it.
And sure, that can work.
But it has some significant disadvantages. Just because your “ultimate guide” might be the best quality article, it ignores a basic rule of thumb.
The article is entirely based on your ranking goals.
Their advertising is based on the motto “Hey, I wrote that, you might like it too” in the hope that your content will be shared, mentioned and even linked.
People are busy. People are selfish.
The likelihood of your content being so good that they will sign up on their site and give you a backlink is highly unlikely.
Your working theory should be that even the best content gets ignored.
Forget Guest post for links
I’m a fan of guest posts. This is a guest post.
Guest posts help build brand awareness.
But for links?
light up. We were told a long time ago to fork this type of link building because it was “done”.
Nonetheless, guest posts are still the preferred linking method for most SEO agencies and websites.
The idea that a link in a post buried in the deepest, darkest corners of a low-traffic website has little value shouldn’t come as a shock.
But guest posting is easy.
“OK, clever SEO, tell us which is better?”
The solution is a mindset that companies can easily adapt to.
“How do we earn links?”
Link Acquisition = Thought Leadership, Data and Stories
Link building is selfish. They go to webmasters, interrupt their day and say it in a Golum-esque voice.
“Check out my valuable content. read it; You will. He wants you to do it. Links to it, you clever little webmaster.
No wonder people charge money for link placement.
Earning links is different.
It adds to the conversation.
It’s about leveraging a company’s expertise and helping others with that expertise.
It’s about creating stories from data that people want to hear about – not about forcing content on them.
is that romantic Perhaps.
Is this effective for SEO? Hell yes.
The benefits of link earnings
I don’t have to explain the whole EEAT thing.
But all too often we don’t think about how this happens.
They build EEAT through the network effect.
- mentions online.
- content on your site.
- Content on the Sites of Others.
They build connections to other web properties.
But with the quality and speed with which this happens, specialists come into play.
- Mentions in authoritative web properties.
- Links from Authoritative Sites.
- Quality content on your website.
- Quality content on other people’s sites that shows your expertise.
The advantages are apparent:
- Faster rankings.
- Increased traffic.
- Traffic Referrals.
- brand growth.
- Contact with a new audience.
- To reach.
But let’s look at an example of link earning in the wild.
Earning links creates new traffic
To add some context to this image, one of my agency’s clients is a discount code website.
Typically, these types of sites are not particularly glamorous and link building is difficult and you have to rely on these traditional methods as we discussed earlier.
Here’s how link-earning handles this.
The team discovered an interesting post on social media about the use of a supermarket loyalty card, which cannot be used by anyone under the age of 18.
When it comes to link gathering, speed of action matters.
After spotting this post on social media, our team quickly leveraged our client’s brand and expertise to pitch to journalists.
The result: 50+ links, referral traffic to the client’s website, and media mentions.
But do followers matter?
The end of the “do-follow” links
“Do-follow” links (i.e. links without the nofollow attribute) were once all the rage. These days, they usually scream “buy links”.
That doesn’t mean that such links don’t exist. They do, and of course they add value.
But any halfway decent SEO can spot a paid link from a naturally occurring link, and if the SEO can do it, so can Google.
In 2022, Google’s John Mueller said:
“Well, it’s something I can imagine the importance of links gaining over time. Eventually it’ll ease off a bit as we can’t figure out a little better how the content fits into the context.” The Whole Web. And to a certain extent, links will always be something we care about because we need to find pages somehow. The question is: how do you find a page on the web without a link to it? , it will not be such a big factor as is sometimes the case today. I think so, that’s something that’s changed quite a bit.
That was in 2022, and Google was quick to respond with updates on everything from link spam to content.
Our data results show that do-follow links are definitely beautiful and a must-have. However, no-follow links affect websites.
No-Follows Lead to Fame, Fame Leads to Do-Follows
There are many opinions about nofollow links, which do not pass ranking signals to websites.
Our internal data disagrees with this view, but we also need to remember that nofollow links on authority sites aren’t just important for the links.
The job of these websites is to generate traffic, and that means real people (remember them?) are visiting websites.
This leads to website clicks, search queries, online conversations, forum discussions, group chats, emails and dark social and human conversations.
These nofollow links ultimately create natural fame that translates into organically generated do-follows.
Earning links is a glory game
Fame makes everything easier.
Good news can make products sell out in a day.
A social influencer can make you famous with a single post.
And links and mentions, whether they follow or not, help build fame.
Collecting links is the game for fame.
It stimulates traffic And Left. It gets people talking.
The other option, of course, is to send this contact email. And yes, there is a time and a place for that.
But should that be your first choice?
I do not believe that. choose fame
Select “Earn link”.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily those of Search Engine Land. The authors of our employees are listed here.