There is No Such Thing as Cheap Links or Cheap Link Building
There are hundreds of purported tricks used by various webmasters to improve their search engine visibility and the quality of both incoming and outgoing links used on their sites. For those webmasters who are DIYers and know the painstaking effort that goes into the process, it can be hassling but usually leads to greater rewards in the long run. Unfortunately, many webmasters outsource their link building solutions to others, paying them a flat rate every month and expecting results. These tactics should be advised against; we will outline the reasons why there is no easy and cheap path to building quality links.
Scoping Out the Possibilities
For those who are not well-versed in link building, we do recommend that you employ the services of a professional. Where we differ with many on this is what actually constitutes a ‘professional’. A quick search for link building professionals on Google will yield tons of results, but you should eliminate all of those except the ones that appear on the first page (this makes sense, given your desired objectives). From here, do price comparisons to see if any have unrealistically low prices; most valuable service providers are not going to guarantee great results for mere dollars per month. You can also contact potential firms to determine whether they are Google Adword certified, and also be sure to investigate their profiles on major social networking sites to get a better idea of their reach in these markets.
Changes in the Wind
While you may have hired a fly-by-night optimization firm to handle link building on your website, do they guarantee their results – and more specifically – is there a time-frame in which these guarantees apply? Whenever Google or another major search engine releases an update to their algorithms, this may or may not affect the previous link building work that has been done. It can very quickly be realized that a link that previously did good may now be a detriment to your strategy. Professional firms will offer assistance and in some cases, revise the strategy at no additional charge if said changes occur within a certain period of time. By having in-depth discussions with your hired firm on the objectives and guarantees, you can gain a clearer portrait of what you can or should expect if a situation like this arises.
Lessons from the Past
When Google unveiled its two most recent updates, Penguin and Panda, many webmasters saw their PageRank plummet overnight. While literally hundreds of thousands of webmasters were frought with anger over the changes and blamed Google accordingly, the updates in its algorithms were done to filter out less than premium SEO tactics (Tip: Want to know how many links are pointing to a particular website? Use Pingler’s Link Popularity Checker). With so many owners using cheap, low-quality firms to build their links, the real blame should have fallen on these individuals for failing to implement quality, long-term strategies that build links in the appropriate venues. When it comes to links, you simply cannot cheat the system and expect to stay ahead of the pack. Only through smart, professional methods and a long-term strategy can your site navigate the choppy waters that is link building.