The Ultimate Guide to Link Building
By Eric Ward & Garrett French
The Ultimate Guide to Link Building is a well-written guide about the best way to link your content online. It covers strategies and tactics to help develop sustainable link building campaigns. Overall it helps you to improve your website authority with users and search engines. Times in SEO are going through a period of rapid change due to the latest updates on web spam. Google’s emphasis on link quality has never been greater.
This book offers a timeless approach to link building, the methodologies taught in this guide will endure new updates for many years.
Eric Ward is a well-known authority in the SEO sector, many credit him as the first Link Builder which gave rise to his pseudonym ‘Link Moses’. When Amazon and Yahoo first launched it was him they approached for link building. At that stage Google had yet to be formed. Eric was one of the few professionals in the world that knew how important link building was. Over the years Eric has developed a timeless ideology which is founded on sustainable link building going beyond modern trends.
Garrett French is the founder of Citation Labs which specialises in custom tools for link building. Over the years Garrett has published 100’s of articles on link building and is a well-respected authority on matters regarding building links and saleable tools.
Garrett was also the Chief Editor for Web Pro News he has also written articles for other major publications such as Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Marketing Profs and many others. What I like about Garrett is his tools at Citation Labs are just too cool. They’re intuitive, functional and scale at a much higher-level compared to other well-known products. They’ve transformed the way many SEO’s build links and really help us prospect for links in challenging sectors.
Eric and Garrett both seem to share a common view about the correct enduring nature of link building which given the current state of search will help ensure successful link building for readers of this guide.
This books teaches us to ‘be the query’ where we think about how people search and our linkable assets on-site. It show us how to look for links and to find the best way to link our content. A lot of this goes beyond a common misconception in SEO that the more links you build the better the rankings.
“Like page rank, the number of links of a site has can easily be manipulated and should never be a sole decision point for whether to establish a relationship” (Ward p77).
Lately I’ve noticed that Content Marketing has rapidly risen due to Panda. The purpose of many types of content have been created with a view of gaining links as a sign of trust and authority, rather than editorial content. As a result many link building tactical activities are undertaken such as Guest Blogging and Infographics which some seem vulnerable to new updates.
Although this book shows us how to think about our linkable assets. It doesn’t push too hard on ‘creating content to solely get links’. It’s the context in which they are used rather than the strategies employed for link building.
Scalability is perhaps one of the most challenging areas in Search, we need to scale link building our efforts in a competitive vertical. The lesson I’ve learnt here is we’re scaling our research and strategy. Rankings may change but links stay around for much longer! This book shows you how to correctly scale a campaign and the processes needed to gain great links on merit.
I asked Garrett French two questions when he was helping me with a problem, here’s what he had to say on the matter:
Q: I noticed the book it takes a traditional approach to query based link research, how important are tools when scaling the link building process?
“Tools are the only way to scale the link building process. However, the best link builders also know how to build links with no tools at all… You will not achieve high-efficiency without by-hand knowledge, but you won’t achieve scale without tools”.
Q: What is your favorite chapter in the book?
“Definitely the prospecting chapter 🙂 That’s the area of link building that I love (well… next to actually GETTING links)”.
This guide will give you a great 360 tour of why link building is so important, it also shows you why different links are valuable. By using the methods taught in this book we’re able to think pragmatically about the process of link building and where to focus our time and energy.
Which is better than getting lost down a rabbits holes and wondering what you’ve been doing all day without successfully finding any new links!
Lately I’ve been thinking that perhaps I’ve become too dependent on link databases to quantify metrics. Maybe I should do more queries by hand and think like a user rather than what the Search Engine is looking for.
I think that’s a core message of what’s being taught here that stands out to me because doesn’t focus too much on link metrics or things subject to change by Google. I like many SEO’s obsess over DA/PA/FLOW/PR etc. I more often than not by-pass a Link if I feel that it’s not passing enough authority. I particularly like page 77 which outlines a list of 55 link building opportunity qualifiers.
This book also helps to refocus and redefine our understanding of what the internet is how links are formed and evolve. This goes beyond Google and Search Engine Optimisation it’s about connecting content to readers. The book doesn’t cover too much about Technical SEO on-page etc which is to be expected. The Art of SEO by Eric Enge is a great book that covers a lot of SEO .
Personally one of my favourite parts of the book is found towards the end (on page 181) Fifty Linking Rich and Getting Richer by Mike Grehan.
( http://www.e-marketing-news.co.uk/filthy_linking_rich.pdf )
It’s a reminder of what the web is, devoid of external influences such as Google Yahoo and Bing. The article shows us that we’re dealing with a static link based algorithm. Larger brands by default may well attract more links but it also goes into detail about Link Theory Data and Computer Science. (I now look at the stars and see nodes, too much for my fuzzy little brain to take!).
We might think we know about Hyperlinks (still a cool word ) but Google knows about Math and they’ve got smart cookies working for them! Yet the internet will constantly grow change and adapt.
The link-graph will change and move on. Google may index the web and they see and understand it but it still has a life of its own they don’t own it, they serve content.
I’ve found changing the way I think about link building is actually quite a tough thing to do, but this book has helped me to be more creative in my approach.
I like the overall structure of the book, each chapter has specific methods which helps to breakdown link building step-by-step. I also like that the book is focused on doing many things by hand and process rather than depending overly on competitive analysis, link databases and associated link metrics.
This book is suitable for SEO’s at all levels of understanding. It explains the context of modern link building and shows you a process that some tools can’t give you. However, I recommend Garrett’s tools because they act feel and function differently enabling you to make the decision about what you’re looking for, putting the strategy firmly in your hands.
After reading this book I feel refreshed about SEO, there has been too much doom and gloom about link building. This book offers a timeless approach to link building and shows you how and what to focus your time on.