When developing quality content, one way to frame your work is as a form of thought leadership. This model takes advantage of your talents and helps you stand out in a crowded market, and can boost both your brand and your personal career by marking your site as a high authority domain. It also gives you an opportunity to network with other big names by interviewing business leaders for your site, speaking at conferences with them, and more. As you interact with other thought leaders, you status and brand recognition will rise in concert.
No penalty no demotion and it works in real time …basically if there are many or if there are bad links and other kinds of signals coming towards the side then it will just discard them and that’s what they need to know they can still see those links in search console and they can decide whether they want to disavow or remove.” Gary Illyes, Google 2016
I cannot give you a straight answer to that, for there are hundreds of factors Google takes into consideration. Also, Google ever becomes more sophisticated in processing those factors, but the single most important ranking factor remains the quality and quantity of the links other websites have to your website. In other words, your backlinks. Google is a socialite, it assesses your level of authority based on who is referring to your website naturally. That is, its’ not what you know but who knows you.

Whether it’s an app, free software, a Firefox/Chrome plugin, WordPress theme/plugin or infographic, building something that your audience will find useful or entertaining is a great way to earn backlinks. You audience will share your product with others on blogs, forum comments or social media. Something like an app could gain you some additional coverage in leading industry sites.
Getting your business on Google My Business, Yelp, and local sites like your chamber of commerce or alumni directories, is extremely important in getting backlinks to your site. Just make sure that your name, address, and phone number are consistent across the board to avoid confusion. Use a tool like MozLocal or Yext to get started in the right direction.

We are currently asking for them to contact all these big brand companies and ask them for a link on their websites to the client website because this COULD NEVER HURT ANY OF THE SITES INVOLVED and links from these big brand websites who have bought their products – i.e., testimonial links from REAL sites that don’t just link to anybody,  are good quality links.
There are many ways to perform link building (and I don’t IGNORE competitor research), but if I was a link builder picking through competitors backlinks instead of trying to think a bit more creatively about building a brand online, I think I would shoot myself in the head. I filter competition backlinks and identify quality linking patterns – but often, competitor research is best for inspiration, rather than getting the exact same link as your competitor.
These links from trusted sites help ranking your content – especially your new content. A natural link from a trusted site (or even a more trusted site than yours) can do nothing but help your site. I would think when a trusted site links to your site, the trust Google places in your site because of that link raises your trust levels, and while not helping you rank immediately for your main terms, can help you when you publish new content in the future. Of course, if the off topic trusted site links to you with good keywords, you don’t get much better.
Any old link! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take a link from anyone! Feel Free! But links vary in everything from quality and trust etc. – I just spend my time trying to get quality links where possible, and at least from relevant pages. It’s this kind of link that will help you in Google. I read a lot of SEO blogs on the subject and try and take a subjective view on what’s best for my purposes and what mood I’m in that day and what sounds “intelligent” to me, and I’m always experimenting with every option. It’s always a good idea to vary your link building strategies, so you’re not susceptible to massive ranking algorithm changes when one strategy is devalued.
What’s a quality link? It’s one of those “you’ll know it when you see it” types of things in many cases. But a link from any large, respectable site is going to be higher on the quality scale than a link you might get from commenting on a blog. In addition, links from those in your “neighborhood,” sites that are topically relevant to your site, may also count more.
There's a right way and a wrong way, however, to build links to your site. If you care about the long-term viability of your site and business, you should only engage in natural linkbuilding, meaning, the process of earning links rather than buying them or otherwise achieving them through manipulative tactics (sometimes known as black-hat SEO, a practice that can get your site essentially banned from the search results).
According to the research we conducted last year, about 72% of SEOs regardless of their experience did consider backlinks a significant ranking factor. And 24% of respondents also agreed that backlinks are quite important alongside with other ranking factors. Furthermore, from the words of a Google executive handling search quality, content and links are still the two most important things that affect ranks.
Getting your business on Google My Business, Yelp, and local sites like your chamber of commerce or alumni directories, is extremely important in getting backlinks to your site. Just make sure that your name, address, and phone number are consistent across the board to avoid confusion. Use a tool like MozLocal or Yext to get started in the right direction.

Part of the reason thought leadership and interacting with major brands is so important is that Google’s algorithm is biased towards big names. That means sometimes quality can in fact be outranked by quantity and there’s nothing you can do about it, unless you can get your name out there. It’s why Amazon is always the first product link and Barnes & Noble will outrank any book blog, no matter how in-depth the content.
Fantastic article! This article represents real world strategies in the local link building space. As we all know, local link building can be a daunting task. Earning links through content for local businesses can take a very long time, so hitting the phones and sending emails to contact your local news source or your manufacturer is a must in the beginning stages. Many of these strategies are great ways to earn or acquire links within the first several months of starting your local SEO efforts.
Don’t expect this strategy to have a huge success rate. The blogger would have to choose to do extra work in order to include your business, and also may not honestly see you as belonging on the “best” list by their standards. But if they are willing to give your business a try and see if you belong, it could earn you both a link and be the start of a relationship with a new local blogger.
The best thing about Link Alerts is that you can set it up to send you e-mail notifications with fresh backlinks. It's like Google Alerts, but for links.  This will allow you to identify negative SEO attacks right away. In case of new, unwanted links, you can react immediately, and thus protect your site from being hit by a Google Penalty. Read all about the risks and techniques of negative SEO attacks here and learn how you can protect your site.
Use tools such as BrandMentions and Mention to monitor your business’s reputation on line. These tools will check if anyone’s mentioned yor business in the last month or do a Google search for your business name and relevant keywords. If you find any resource pages, blog articles, or tweets where a business failed to tag you or link to your website, kindly reach out to them using one of our outreach email templates asking that they do.
Now let's talk about guest blogging opportunities and how to make the most of them. On the bright side, guest posting still remains a highly effective link building strategy, because it allows not only earning some backlinks, but also gaining new audience as well as website's traffic, which is by no means less important, let me say. On the dark side, low-quality guest blogging is far from being effective these days.
A lot of these tactics won’t just earn you links; they’ll help you become a more valuable and appreciated part of your local community. That’s one of the nice things about white-hat tactics – they’re not about being sneaky or taking advantage of weaknesses in the system, they’re all about doing things that are genuinely beneficial for the websites you reach out to, their audience, and your own business all at the same time.

So in particular if someone is pasting links on a spammy site, or maybe a previous SEO went off and ran some script to place links and a bunch of forums, and you can't clean that up for whatever reason, and you don't have a manual action, but you want to make sure it doesn't even get that far, then the disavow file is a great way to just like preemptively say well I know about these issues, I don't want to lose any sleep over them, I'm just going to disavow them and get them taken out of the equation.
Low-quality links: The low-quality links well is poisoned. Get out, now. Disavow them, remove them. Google killed low-quality link building techniques in most of the competitive niches I am in – probably yours, too. It’s NOT just a matter of ‘does this technique” work anymore. Low-quality links are not a defensible link strategy for most small businesses these days.
We were recently working with an attorney who was looking to earn links at a decent scale. We proposed a scholarship contest. While scholarship links from .edus are cool, we like The Wall Street Journal and high authority news site links even more. After speaking with this client, who is a DUI attorney, we discussed how everybody talks about how destructive driving drunk is, but rarely do people admit to the habit.
It's no surprise that the Internet contains massive amounts of spam. Some estimate as much as 60% of the web's pages are spam. In order to weed out this irrelevant content, search engines use systems for measuring trust, many of which are based on the link graph. Earning links from highly-trusted domains can result in a significant boost to this scoring metric. Universities, government websites and non-profit organizations represent examples of high-trust domains.
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