Create an Online Presence and A Linkable Brand is the advice from Loren Baker in order to help with natural link building.
Link building is generally a term used around the SEO industry to describe building relevant links to a website in an effort to rank that site for specific terms while also building trust, value and equity to that website. All too often however, link building is associated with questionable SEO practices such as link buying or link spamming. As an old school online marketer and PR guy, I tend to take a different approach to my link building philosophy, and see link building as more of a branding and web presence approach.
That’s sound advice and it is particularly appropriate for Google, since Google puts a great deal of weight on links. Bing and Yahoo seem to value them slightly less and of course their share of search is also very much less.
Many A Mickle Does Not Make A Muckle
The old Scottish saying would confirm that if you add sufficient small things, it can add up to something substantial. However it may well be with the Google search algorithms the down-weighting of spam-type links is so severe that there is no SEO benefit by creating them. There are a wide variety of spam-type links including illogical reciprocal links and links from dubious websites. In the worst case such links might even lead to penalties, if the website is deemed to have breached the Google Quality Guidelines. As Baker points out even links that appear on a site-wide basis in sidebars or footers may well be also very much devalued.
Creating Link Value
A much surer approach is to create content on the website that is of interest to other humans, thus attracting unsolicited links from admirers. It is useful to have a diversity of online content. Baker has some most useful information on building out diverse links in a Link Building Evaluation Guide.
The role of blogs in all this should be emphasized. The blog structure naturally creates a number of associated web pages for any single blog post. All of these support extra internal links. Although less valuable than independent external links, they do add real link value. At the same time, the RSS news feed pings the search engines and ensures that the blog is on their (robot) radar screen. Writing well constructed blog posts is perhaps the surest way of expending effort to get more search engine visibility.