Back in the day (and by back in the day I mean many people are still doing it even through Penguin updates) people used to rely heavily on link-building tools for automatic use. Just type in the keywords and the program will make you thousands of links in the blink of an eye. Of course, Google weren't thrilled, which is why they unleashed Penguin to hunt those low-quality links down and judge them on site (pun intended; the way I've written sight was intended, too, you nitpicker) in Judge Dreddesque manner. Many webmasters had face the consequences of their actions (or inactions, depending on how you look at it) as Penguin was capturing and executing their sites wherever the y were, erasing them from search results and, hence, from the face of the earth. Some were lucky – they got just minor penalties, and by that I mean they were sent in the leper colony of 50, or even 100+ pages, where they were never to be seen by human eyes; where they were left to die for the transgressions of their creators.
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This brings us to present day. The hunt is still on and if you want a top place in Google's results, you have to work for it. There are (or at least should be) no shortcuts. You will be able to do it in three steps, and it will be simple, but it won't be easy.
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Stop Trying to Game the System
Forget about link spamming programs and all the “get rich quick scams” that are running through your head. SEO is hard work. If you rely on Black Hat, Google is going to burn you, as they've showed it time and time again. Don't try to make links for the bots, but for the people. Think like a human being and think about what would be relevant to you and in what way a certain link would help you. The first step to success is to change your mindset completely. Stop looking at links as something necessary that will on some way help you improve your rating, and start seeing them as something that will actually help people in some way.
Find Good Websites to Link You
High quality backlinks can't just come from any site. It has to be a relative authority and it has to be relevant to your field in some way, shape or form. SEOProfiler is a perfect tool for the job here. It can help you analyze and find potential sites that would give you backlinks and that are in some way relevant to your field. You can even check what your competitors are using and how they're doing. It's a pretty good tool. You can even search by keywords. This will help you locate potential partners. Now, the last step is the hardest...
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Giving Them a Reason to Link to You
Finding potential partners is useless if you can't give them a reason to link to you. The first prerequisite to success is actually having a good, well-thought of and interesting website offering relevant and high-quality content. If you don't have that, no amount of links will help you. If you do, you will get them even if you don't ask for them.
Let's say you have a good website and you've found a potential partner and you want them to link to you. How do you do it? Well, it's simple – you message the webmaster with a proposition. You can offer content in the form of guest posts, show them that your site offers something others don't – anything to get them to reply and link to you. If you make friends in the industry, even better. Once some of them start linking to you, others will, too. But like I said, it's hard work and you need to keep the quality up. Are you up for the challenge?
Rose Finchley is a tech geek. She works in the web department of http://www.cleantoperfection.co.uk/deep-cleaning-sw16-streatham/ and likes to share her knowledge at topics like SEO.