Looking for reliable link building strategies that improve your website rankings on Google?

A ton of effort went into making this guide into a curated resource you can put to work to help you in your link building campaigns straight away.

It is my hope that I have succeeded in my efforts to do that. Many of the link building strategies I share on this page come from people other than myself. I recommend you check out the resources linked out to throughout this tutorial. If you do, you’ll end up a much better link builder.

Note: Make sure to check out my link building book and video course while you’re here.

Cover image for Link Building Strategies that Work in 2017 depicting a caricature of Matt LaClear.

 Link Building Strategies Course Syllabus


Introduction

Before we jump into things, I would like you to imagine, for a moment, that it’s six months from today. Will your website rankings on Google be better or worse than they are today?

If you answered “better,” then you’re 100% in the right place. In this guide, I’ll teach you what sort of backlinks to build, where to build them, as well as how to go about creating them.

The fact of the matter is you can learn link building strategies that improve your search engine rankings. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out either.

Some SEO experts and agency owners will do their level best to convince you that it does require their help to make happen. But pay no attention to that nonsense.

It’s in their best interest to convince you that you need a Ph.D. or an MBA to be able to rank sites in the money slots on Google. Which is ridiculous, some of the best link builders I know only have high school educations, yet they’re generating millions in profits for their clients every year.

And guess what?

If they can do it, so can you.

After reading through the link building strategies I share on this page, you’ll see what I’m saying is true.

What Kind Of Backlinks Will Work Best for Ranking Your Website High on The SERPs in 2017?

‘What link building strategies should I use?’ is a question every link builder wants the answer to, but very few ever stay in business long enough to figure it out.

Personally, I love backlinks that build your credibility up while generating targeted referral traffic to your website. Those are the types of links that keep businesses afloat. Plus, they happen to be the kinds of links Google rewards in their search results pages.

Let’s rock this thing out.

What Are Backlinks and Why Your Site Needs Them

Before I can cover link building strategies, I need first to cover what a backlink is.

Backlinks are incoming links from other websites or portals that link to your site.

If someone with a blog or website posts a link to your site, then that’s a “backlink.” A high number of quality backlinks correlates to better search rankings on Google.

There are several different categories of backlinks. Some of these will be helpful in your bid to increase traffic, while others can hurt your rankings as well as your traffic.

What those types of links are I’ll go over one a time throughout the rest of this guide.

What Is Trust Flow?

One of the first things you’ll need to do when you first learn link building strategies is to discover the difference between a  good backlink opportunity and a poor one. Otherwise, the links you build could just as easily hurt your rankings as help them.

One of the tools I use for that job is Majestic. Using Majestic, I can check the strength of a given domain to see if it is a worthwhile site to target for a link.

The two metrics I pay attention to the most are what they call Trust Flow and Citation Flow. Both range from 0 – 100 scores. The higher the score, the stronger the backlink material.

When building links, you want to get your links placed on sites with high Trust Flow and Citation Flow score as possible.

Watch This Video to Learn More About the Flow Metrics

How to Use Majestic To Check Trust Flow & Citation Flow

Log on to https://majestic.com/. Enter the URL you want to check.

screenshot of Majestic home page - link building tutorial

Metrics will pop up letting you know what the scores are for the URL.

screenshot showing Majestic single URL results - how to build backlinks manually
You can also check the health of several URLs at once by clicking
https://majestic.com/reports/bulk-backlink-checker .
Then, paste in the URLs you want to check.

screenshot showing Majestic bulk link checker - link building tutorial
After that, the metrics from the URLs will pop up. Cool? I think so too!

screenshot showing results from Majestic bulk link check - link building tutorial

What Is Anchor Text?

Anchor Text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. In modern browsers, it is often a different color and underlined, such as this link to my home page 

As a potential link builder, if you do not yet understand what anchor text is, do yourself a favor and click through to the Moz post I linked to below. They did an excellent job breaking the topic down.

Anchor text plays a big part in SEO these days, so make sure you understand what it is and how it works.

Rand Fishkin – How to Acquire Anchor Text-Rich Links Without
Resorting to Spam or Manipulation – Whiteboard Friday

It’s Not Always Possible to Use Anchor Text in Your Backlinks

It’s worth noting, some of the websites I’ll be teaching you to build links on in this guide will not allow you to use any anchor text in the link you create. Backlinks without anchor text are “Naked URLs, ” and they do help increase the credibility of your website as far as Google is concerned.

Anchor Text Tutorials

Best Practices

Anchor Text Tutorial

Your Ultimate Anchor Text Tutorial – from Basic to Advanced

Anchor Text: The Definitive Guide

What Are Dofollow & Nofollow Backlinks?

In 2005, Google made fighting link spam one of their top priorities. The tactic they used was to introduce the nofollow tag. Any link that has the nofollow attribute added to it would become invisible to the search engines.

Most people when first learning link building strategies have no idea if the links they are building are dofollow or nofollow.

Nofollow lets Google’s algorithm know not to follow ‘through’ to the linked-to site, or destination, from the linking source.

Writing an article and having it link back to your website with a nofollow attribute would be a good example of a linking strategy. It means that your goal is to drive traffic or increase brand awareness, but you don’t necessarily want to contribute to the host site’s link building strategies. Again, you’re aware that Google is watching.

The “follow” attribute means that you want to push some link juice and boost the recipient of your link. The result has been good for legitimate websites. Spammers used to get rewards for creating links, any links, to websites of their choice. Now, most spammers don’t even bother to post irrelevant links to forums or blogs because they know Google watches those link building strategies with the eye of a hawk.

Nofollow Link Tutorials

Follow Links Vs. No Follow Links: Should You Care?

The Hidden Power of Nofollow Links

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Nofollow

What Are Image Backlinks?

An image backlink occurs from embedding a link inside of a picture on a website.

Duh, right?

But are they important to build?

You bet they are.

Image Backlink Tutorials

Building Backlinks Using Images

3 Secret SEO Techniques to Turn Images Into Backlinks

Find who is using your Images and get the backlink you deserve

Using Pinterest to Build Image Backlinks

If you think Pinterest is just a place for bored homemakers to swap recipes, think again. This social networking site is taking the link building world by storm. When it first debuted, no one could have guessed just how much influence the site would ultimately enjoy.

Today, however, many link builders draw a lot of their image links from their activities on Pinterest. Disregarding this virtual pin board or digital scrapbooking site isn’t a good idea. It’s easy to get started, so there’s no reason to put it off a moment sooner.

Before delving into a few of the best link building strategies, let’s look at why it pays to get active on the popular site.

A few top examples include:

Put People to Work for You – When you share images of your products and services on Pinterest, you give other users the opportunity to pin them, which is akin to “liking” them. When they do that, they automatically share your image with their followers, who may then pass it along again. You have the chance to get people to promote your products and services and give you backlinks for free.

Perform Market Research – Once you get going with Pinterest, keep an eye on the content getting the most repins to figure out what your target audience likes doesn’t like.

Drive More Traffic to Your Site – The images you share on Pinterest should link back to pages on your website. When users see things they like, they can click over to your site to learn more.

Build Effective Links – Every time someone shares one of your Pinterest posts or embeds it on their site, you have the chance to make another relevant link to your website. It’s more important than ever to have natural, relevant links streaming into your site, and posting regularly on Pinterest can make it happen. It’s also an essential component of learning how to create and earn links. The quicker you master it, the better off you will be.

Top Pinterest Link Building Strategies

Try out as many of these Pinterest link building tips as possible to draw in more traffic and convert more visitors to customers.

Optimize Your Profile – SEO shouldn’t just be reserved for your website. Keep your primary keywords in mind while developing your Pinterest profile. When combined with other Pinterest marketing tips, this will go a long way toward making your activity on the site productive.

Scope Out the Competition – Check to see how your competitors are using Pinterest to see how people respond to different images.

Study the Site – Spend plenty of time browsing around on Pinterest to get a feel for how people post and share things on the site.

Ditch Traditional Marketing Tactics – As with other social media sites, don’t try to use in-your-face marketing techniques on Pinterest. You need to add value to people’s browsing experiences, or they will completely ignore you.

Add “Pin It” Buttons to Your Blog and Website – An excellent way to encourage people to share your images on Pinterest is by including “Pin It” buttons next to them. These are easy to add, and they can increase your success on the site.

Include Images on Every Page of Your Website – Go through your site. Are there pictures on every page? If not, you need to change that. Think of each page as an opportunity to attract attention on Pinterest. You can’t do so if there aren’t any images.

Choose Visually Appealing Images – The quality of your images is critical when using Pinterest. None of these Pinterest link building techniques will work if you use dull, uninspiring images. Before posting something, ask yourself if you’d share it. If not, try again.

Find Your Target Audience – While you want to build up plenty of followers on Pinterest, they need to be interested in what you have to offer, so you stand the chance of having them repin your images. Find users who are clearly into what you sell and start following them. Many of them should return the favor, and you will be on your way.

After you’ve set up your Pinterest profile and gained a decent number of followers, using the site will be a snap.

LinkMoses Video Tutorial – Pinterest and Links

Pinterest Link Building Tutorials

Pinterest: Link Building & SEO Strategies
Why Pinterest is the Best Link Building Tool
5 Ways to Use Pinterest to Build Links & Blogger Relationships

What Are Tier Two Backlinks?

When building backlinks, you will need to have a full understanding of what tiered links are because they will be essential to the success of your backlink campaign.

Here’s a good working definition of what they are:

Tier One Backlink – A backlink that is linking directly to your money site.

Tier Two Backlink – A backlink you build that links to one of your tier one links.

There are excellent tutorials that you can refer to learn when and how you should be using tier one links.

Tiered Backlink Building Tutorials

What is tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, etc., link building in SEO?

How to Build Tier Two Backlinks

The Ultimate Guide To Tiered Link Building Part 1

The Definitive Guide to White Hat Tiered Link Building

Should You Index Your Backlinks?

It’s important that your backlinks be indexed (found) by Google. Otherwise, you’re not going to get much traction from your link building efforts.

Just keep in mind that it can sometimes take a week or more for Google and other search engines to get around to indexing your links. That being the case, you’ll have to play the waiting game.

Should you want to confirm a handful of backlinks are indexed, just paste them on to Google. If Google pulls up the page you posted on a backlink, then you know it’s been found by them and indexed. A clear result means they haven’t found it yet.

How to Get Your Backlinks Indexed

It’s best to wait at least a week before you take any action on attempting to get a backlink indexed. Google is quite efficient at crawling the web so more chances than not; they’ll find your backlink.

However, if after a week or so it’s still not indexed, you can Ping it. Don’t ping any single backlink more than once, however. Otherwise, you will risk tripping an alarm that will get the wrong kind of attention to your website from Google. Also, submit the unindexed backlinks once a piece to Linklicious or even Twitter.

There are software programs you can use to help index your backlinks. If you’re interested in learning more about them as well as how to use them check out Matthew Woodward’s post, The Ultimate Guide To Indexing Backlinks With A Backlink Indexer. It’s a great resource to have in your back pocket so make sure to bookmark it.

A Quick Word About Search Engine Penalties

Think about it. The Internet is your neighborhood. A cluttered link profile reflects poorly on you, and make your website hard to locate.

If you want visitors to find you and treat you with respect, you’ve got to get the mess cleaned up.

That’s what Google’s algorithm engineers are always trying to do. Their algorithm changes can be of a benefit, but only if you know about and use them to your advantage.

That’s why I want to be sure that you remain aware of them as you get ready to build your backlinks. See my Google Penalty Removal Tutorial for more information on link penalties.

Make love, not war, with Google.

Avoid These Black Hat Link Building Strategies At All Costs

Anchor Text Abuse – To Google, repetitive anchor text is a sure sign of manipulation. Natural links don’t follow a set pattern. Many of them have generic anchor text like “click here” and “learn more.” In the past, you could build backlinks that had a particular word in the anchor text.

For example, if you own a fishing gear website you might want the anchor text “buy fishing gear” to imply to Google that the site was strongly related to that keyword.  As a result, this would help improve the website’s ranking for that term.

But, Google got slick to that in 2011 and 2012.

You now need to use variations of your keywords, and generic anchors on most of the backlinks you build.

Reciprocal linking – This is where websites exchange backlinks with one another. The idea is that they will both get a boost in ranking by linking to each other.

It was one of the smarter link building strategies while it lasted. Google no longer counts two-way links. Put this tactic right out of your mind if you were considering it.

Link Farms – These are websites that are only created to give links to scores of sites to increase their page rankings and often contain long lists of links. Instead of improving the ranking, they will harm the ranking of websites listed on them. Count on it.

The good news is that link farms are easy to spot a million miles away.

Duplicate Content – This is a mark of a poor-quality website. Google knows it too. Make sure that the content on your site and backlinks are always original.

Cloaking – This is when a website tries to create two different versions of a website. With one version that can be seen by a search engine and another version served to the actual user.

For example, the website could create a content-rich website that is visible to search engines. Then create a malicious or pornographic website that is viewed by the user. This technique can get your site banned from the search engines.

Doorway Pages – These are pages that are designed to fool search engines.  They contain links to other websites to lure unsuspecting users.

Black Hat Link Building Strategies to Avoid Tutorials

Linking Mistakes To Avoid, Part 1: Link Optimization and Short URLs

Linking Mistakes To Avoid (Part 2): Removing Orphaned URLs

What Is Black Hat SEO?

18 Types of Backlinks Violating Google’s Guidelines

End of Link Building Strategies – Introduction

Click the Links Below to Check Out the Other Lessons!

IntroductionThe Basics, Intermediate,
Advanced StrategiesMaster Strategies I, Master Strategies II